Hi Pals! My “Perspectives on Australia” professor assigned us to keep a journal throughout the semester, so I figured i’d share mine with everyone back home.
I’ve never been one to keep a diary so I’m not really used to this whole writing my feelings down ordeal so bear with me…
It seems like pictures entertain people. So maybe I’ll just post a picture or two after every paragraph.
…Where do I begin? I’m currently on a bench sitting outside my apartment overlooking an inground pool. Today is the last day of “summer”. If you didn’t know, our seasons are switched around, so our winter is their summer and vice versa.
Even though it was almost a month ago, I still remember my flight here like it was 5 minutes ago. I met my friend Donna at the Newark Airport after having one last meal with my parents. (With Sangria, of course) This was right before my mom sobbed… Poor thing. Good thing she has tax season and the dogs to distract her
Luckily, Donna and I were able to sit next to each other on the plane. The flight from Newark to LA was the longest I had ever flown (until my next flight). It started out okay… until the little girl next to us started playing Candy Crush on the loudest setting of her iPad. It took everything in me not to say anything… but eventually, after an hour and a half, I politely asked her put it on silent. (Is this the kind of stuff I’m supposed to include in my blog??)
The maps on the plane kept me sane^^^
The night before, I downloaded like 3 books to my Mom’s iPad to read on the flight. Dummy me only got the Free Samples (like who does that?), and I was only able to read the first 10 pages of each book. Unfortunately, no movie was playing, so I was forced to buy “The Heat” for $8.
Donna and I got off the flight and realized that our gates were absolutely nowhere near each other. I can honestly say, at that point in my life, the next 16 hours were the most independent ones of my life. It was such an incredible feeling going through security, finding my gate, getting on the plane, sitting on a 14 hour flight, going through customs, getting my luggage, and finding the SCU banner… completely ALONE. (okay I had some help with the luggage; it was really heavy…)
The flight was awesome… fortunately, the seat next to me was vacant so I was able to have a tiny bit more leg room. I slept for 10/14 hours. Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m really big on napping. So honestly, I think my sleep schedule was already so messed up that jetlag hasn’t affected me at all… There’s a 16 hour time difference, by the way.
Now that I’m settled in, I’ll move on to my life here at school…
I live with 5 other people… 4 australian boys and 1 girl from california. Their names are Sam, Spencer, Josh, Rowan, and Kelly. One boy who lives upstairs, Johno, is considered to be our 7th roommate because he only leaves our apartment to sleep. My roommates and I combined make for a very dysfunctional, yet hilarious living situation. Our apartment got inspected for cleanliness last night … Unfortunately, we failed the inspection… (But that was pretty much expected)
So far, The hardest part of adjusting to living in Australia is definitely the food situation. When you move to another country and the only thing you’ve ever “cooked” before is Elio’s pizza, you’re in for a severe reality check. Scranton’s cafeteria is one of the best in the country, so having to go grocery shopping and prepare my own meals is harder than you can imagine. One of the first nights I asked my roommate, Kelly, if it was possible to make a grilled cheese on a tortilla roll. She informed me that that is in fact how you make a quesadilla…
Fortunately, all of my Australian roommates have cars and they’ve all been super nice about giving me a ride to “The Square”, which is basically a mall with grocery stores… Something I found so weird: The Grocery stores are in the mall… so after you go grocery shopping, you walk around the mall with your cart- like you go in clothes stores with a shopping cart full of groceries… isn’t that weird?
So far, I’ve just been getting adjusted to school and the surrounding town. My school, Southern Cross University is located in Lismore, New South Wales. The campus I live on, Orion College, has done an amazing job of getting all of the internationals adjusted by giving us free food and tons of social events to get to meet everyone. So far, the themes we’ve had are Hawaiian, Pajamas, Back to School, Toga, and Smurf. Being legal to drink is so weird… I never expected to be encouraged to play Thumper with my RA.
1.No one actually calls girls “sheila”… Thats more of an old timer thing.. Like your grandpa may ask if “you’ve got yourself a sheila”
2. Almost always, Aussies will say “I reckon” instead of “I think”
3. KFC is often referred to as “dirty bird” … Which like really grosses me out
4. McDonalds is 100% of the time referred to as “Maccas”
5. The reason everything is so ridiculously expensive is because minimum wage is $17/hour… i know.. insane
6. Large quantities of something is referred to as “heaps” … For example: Last night was heaps of fun! or Im buying heaps of food later!
7. Drunk calling your mom at 2am to let her know that the local grocery store delivers probably won’t make her a happy camper… i still never got my delivery and that was 2 weeks ago
8. Having a life proof phone case does not mean you should throw it in the pool for fun
9. Australians do in fact believe in Santa Clause
10. If someone is playing dizzy bat (or dizzy cricket) everyone within 50 feet should put their valuables away. (I learned this the hard way)
11. Why the heck does America think they’re above the metric system?! Its so much easier to use!!
12. You don’t actually ride kangaroos to class
13. People will laugh at you if you say “Put another shrimp on the barbie, mate” … No one even calls it shrimp.. Theyre called “prawns”
14. You don’t refer to your best friend as “mate”. You’d be more likely to call the cashier at Maccas “mate”
15. It is the law to have horrifying pictures on cigarette packs. So far i’ve seen rotted teeth, a dead baby, and black lungs. Definitely a good thing!!
16. I will never ever get used to the whole driving on the left side of the road thing. Not to mention Its so embarrassing everytime i yell “shotgun” and get in on the drivers side.
17. It is definitely possible to cram 12 girls into a room to watch the bachelor from a laptop screen.
18. And finally… The most important thing I learned is that inexpensive boxed wine is called “goon” and that is the ONLY thing anyone drinks here. Cheers!!!
OH BY THE WAY….
Look I met some new pals xoxo
PS I’m not much a nature person, and i’m doing a terrible job of taking scenery pictures. I’ll work on it.