Here's my bucket list this summerDecember 21, 2016

Mum didn't like my reaction to a small group of tourists taking selfies in front of the Sydney Opera House. We should be grateful about warm Christmas, she reminded me one more time. She couldn't imagine Aussies celebrating National Day on subzero temperature, she added. She asked me why I haven't thought about exploring the Outback during this time of the year. It came to mind, but my mates rather go to Bondi (and have a tanned experience).

I thought the sight of tourists in Sydney could be tacky, yet it embarrassed me that Sydneysiders could take these places of interest for granted. I passed them every week, if not every other day. The Harbour would elicit romantic thoughts during a soggy morning, but it won't happen every day. Summer is my favourite season. It gives me many excuses. (I can sleep late, I can wake up late, I can skip breakfast. My mother won't like the last one.) I made a resolution one year ago, where I wanted a different experience. A different set of experiences, which I could look back with pride and fondness. I wasn't becoming sentimental, as my mates wouldn't be around. (Some planned their holidays ahead, and I would be envious of one. His family wanted to go to Bali.) I came up with a bucket list.

Buckets lists were supposed to be reserved for older people, no thanks to a not-so-old Hollywood film of the same name (starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman). Who said that such lists would be specified to a particular demographics? I strongly disagreed with it. I wasn't thinking of playing rugby on a professional level, even aspiring to be the first Aussie skier to win a race on the World Cup circuit. I was thinking of five:

Barbecue and fireworks on New Year. My family hasn't done it for years. As a matter of fact, I hardly remembered the details of the last one. The fireworks might not be impressive, and I was hoping that it could turn out to be different later this month. The thought of Australia as one of the first batch of nations of celebrating New Year would excite me. I was thinking of backyard rugby, but Mum won't have anything of it. She might point us to the road facing the front door.

It's time to rediscover Sydney's appeal. It had been months since I last stepped on Centennial Park. I haven't been to Chinatown. I've been to Rose Bay on one occasion. I won't ride on the Sightseeing Explorer, though.

Read more paperbacks. My thoughts turned to Adventure fiction the last term, but I couldn't find the time to read a title or two. It won't be the case this summer, as I already bought a few paperbacks by H. Rider Haggard. I imagined the Namibian desert to be a substitute to the Outback and Kukuanaland to Uluru. I figured that nothing could beat the classics, but I haven't located a contemporary title.

The telly will bring me to Flinders Park. I had a blast watching the Australian Open from the living room early this year, and I would repeat the experience next month. This could be an exciting one, as Andy Murray would bid for his first singles title after reaching the final five times. I've been rooting for him during the last few years, and his time would come now. I don't see anyone challenging him, as Murray and Ivan Lendl won't part ways again.

Sleep. I tend to oversleep at times, which could put my mates into stitches. Some friends.

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