Three Wicked Stories from Sydney

by Colly

I have for you three completely different stories all set in Sydney, Australia, where we spent two weeks. They are about a jellyfish, a bat, and a play. They are all really weird and wicked, but I just thought I’d share.

Here I am at the Sydney Harbour waiting for the ferry to Manly.

Here I am at the Sydney Harbour waiting for the ferry to Manly.

A jellyfish

A little while ago, I went swimming in Manly, a beach near Sydney that we took a ferry to. Manly is infested with Portuguese Man O’ Wars, also called blue bottle jellyfish in Australia. A Portuguese Man O’ War is called that because its top looks like a Portuguese battle ship.

We got to Manly and there were signs all over saying to watch out for Portuguese Man O’ Wars. I thought they were just being paranoid because there were crowds of people in the water not getting stung. So, I jumped in and went boogie boarding, ignoring the signs. The waves were huge but the water was shallow for about a quarter-mile out.

About an hour later I came back from boogie boarding and my brother was on the shore. He was crying and on his leg was a giant welt that circled his calf just below his knee. We think he was stung by a dead jellyfish floating on its side, which made it wrap all the way around.

Of course, I stupidly went back out in the water before we had to go.

Of course, a jellyfish stung me.

I couldn’t talk; it felt sort of like a bee sting times a thousand. A giant welt appeared on my knee, so whenever I bent my knee it hurt like crazy. I slowly limped to the showers. For some reason the pain was now moving up in my thigh. After I came out and met my dad, the pain was now in my hip. He took me to first aid station. The lifeguards told me that the poison was moving up my leg and that I should just rest it.

This is the kind of jellyfish at Manly Beach.

This is the kind of jellyfish at Manly Beach.

My day was okay after that. My dad bought my brother and me ice cream, and then we went home. Now I can say that I got stung by a jellyfish in Australia.

A bat

A couple of days ago, we went to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney to see the fruit bats. We walked around for a while but we didn’t see any fruit bats. As we got farther into the park, we kept hearing all these weird bird noises, but there weren’t many birds around. I had to go to the bathroom so we found one, and after I came out my dad said, “Colly, look at those coconuts up in the tree.”

“What about them?” I said, looking where he was pointing.

One of the coconuts flew away.

“Oh my god!” I screamed. “They’re fruit bats!”

These are a couple of the fruit bats. In Australia, they're also called "flying foxes."

These are a couple of the fruit bats. In Australia, they're also called "flying foxes."

I looked all around and every single tree was covered with “coconuts.” They were everywhere! (Later we found out that there were an estimated 12,000!)

“How did I not notice this?” I asked, really freaked out.

“We didn’t either!” my mom said.

We kept walking through the botanical gardens pointing out all the “coconuts”. The fruit bats are fury creatures the size of Chihuahuas with leathery, translucent wings. They curl up in the day so they really do look like coconuts.

We also saw giant spiders hanging on giant webs (poisonous of course).

Spiders like this were all over the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Spiders like this were all over the Royal Botanic Gardens.

A play

When I was 9 I saw Wicked in New York, and I’ve wanted to see it again ever since. In case you don’t know what Wicked is, it’s the BEST play ever. How did the Wicked Witch of the West become wicked? How did Glinda become the good witch? How did the Scarecrow become a scarecrow? This story took place all before Dorothy dropped in. Did you know Elphaba (who turns into the infamous Wicked Witch of the West) and Galinda (who turns into Glinda the Good Witch) were once best friends? Amazing costumes, amazing voices, an amazing show.

When we first got to Sydney I saw a huge marquee that read “WICKED”.  I got really excited that it was here and showed my parents, and they got really excited too.

On Monday my parents did Twenty Questions with my brother and me. I know it sounds weird, but it was for a really cool prize.

“Twenty Questions,” my mom said, “ What are we doing on Wednesday?”

“A ten mile death hike?” I guessed. (With my parents, that’s not a bad guess.)

“No,” my mom said.

I love Wicked!

I love Wicked!

“A water park?” my brother guessed.

“Nope,” my mom said.

The “game” went on forever (or so it seemed).

“Wicked?” I guessed.

“Yes!!!” my mom said.

“Oh my god!!!!!!” I yelled.

On Wednesday we went to Wicked. It was amazing! I forgot so much from the last time I saw it, and it was amazing seeing it again. If you ever have the chance to go, do it.

Here is the Sydney Opera House, one of the weirdest buildings on Earth.

Here is the Sydney Opera House, one of the weirdest buildings on Earth.

14 Responses to “Three Wicked Stories from Sydney”

  1. OK Colly….this one gave me the creeps! A JELLY FISH STUNG YOU??!! Yikes! Actually, your mom had told me that story, but reading your blog post made it much more interesting. You and your brother are very brave, indeed. I am so proud of you guys for being so open to new adventures!

    Love you –


    PS – I’m looking forward to you writing about the parrots…when I read your mom’s post, I saw a picture of you and Kyle and, don’t know if you knew this or not but, um…there’s a BIRD on your head!! You might want to do something about that… ha ha ha

  2. Awesome! I can’t wait! I’m going to see wicked tonight! AHHH creepy picture of a spider i am afraid of spiders ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

  3. Omg i want to go see wicked!!!! btw awesome dress! Did u c Abby?? lol 😀

  4. Colly,

    Great post (and wonderfully well written–I love the way that your repetition of “Of course” establishes such a wry and engaging tone).

    Your tale of the jelly fish reminded me of the time I was swimming WAY off Hapuna Beach (do you remember going there?), going from point to point when I swam right through a jellyfish. It wrapped around my forehead and my arm (OUCH!) and (of course) it stung like heck (and I still had to swim all the way back to shore).

    Again, I really enjoyed this post and want to encourage you to write even more regularly. (Are you keeping a journal?). It’s so much fun for all your fans not simply to hear of your travels, but to see the growing confidence in your own abilities as a writer. Keep posting! (And do it more often–your posts are to the blogosphere what Stephanie Meyer’s books are to vampire fiction–your readers want more!).

    Give my love to Kyle and your folks.

  5. Wow..Sydney sounds like a dangerous place lol! I loved that you went back in the water after Kyle got stung…that says to me you are either really brave or really optimistic!..and yes…I still need to see Wicked. My sister loved it too and tells me I should check it out (it’s playing in SF right now). Write more soon! Love

  6. Omg i saw wicked in sanfransisco b4 christmas!!! IT WAS AMAZING!!! Woah a jelllyfish?? CREEPYYY! The bats? uuuuggghhh i hate bats! miss ya lots!

  7. OMG I SAW WICKED IT WAS HEAKA GOOD BUT U NO GILINDA?! SHE WAS SICK SO I SAW HER UNDER-STUDY!!!!! But still that sucks that you got stung….. oh and bats r actually pretty darn cool!

  8. We saw Wicked in Los Angeles and thought it was one of the best new musicals produced in many years. You were so lucky to see it again with new staging and accents? The picture outside the show is such a lovely one of you. I love that dress you are wearing. It really suits you! Thank you for the picture of the awful “stinger” – I wondered what they looked like. They look like a melting blue bottle. Your stories were really well written and engaging to read. Your answer to Twenty Questions (about the hike) was very, very funny. Keep writing, you are becoming such a good storyteller. Love, Mimi

  9. awesome

  10. omg!! all those stories are crazy!! was it fun seeing wicked in austrailia? email me!!!

    I love the drawing!

  11. HEY COLLY!!!!!!!!!!!!
    omg i havent talked 2 u in 4EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I MISS U SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    did the wicked actors have australian accents???
    ello mate!
    omg i miss u!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. OMG! I was just in Sydney, and I saw the bats too! They are FREAKY! One almost swooped my mom! LOLSAUCE!!!

  13. OMG the pic of the Sydney Ora house was the one u sent me!!

  14. Amelia Eldridge on March 30th, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    that sounds really cool yet very painful!