27 January 2014

Australia Day & More

So I guess I can do another post today to also write about what I've been doing the past few days!

On Friday we had and orientation at ACU about our internships and the business culture here in Australia. At that I found out that I have my internship and first day of work this Friday in Hornsby at Hornsby Physiotherapy! I'm really excited to get started and I've heard that my supervisor hires people from all over the world to work with him so I'll be with ah ute mix of other people! I'm pretty sure I'm going to have pretty long 12 hour days though. I guess thats alright since I only have class here on Monday and Thursday morning.

After that we had someone come to tell us about all of the places and things to do we should accomplish while we're here! There's so much to pack in in only 3 months. Later, I had my first Aussie food experience! I tried crocodile pizza and it was pretty weird. I think I would describe it like chicken but waaaay chewier and I liked it less. It was kind of rubbery. There was also Kangaroo pizza to try but I just didn't have the heart to stomach that yet. They're just too cute!

After that I saw my first good glimpse of the harbor and the opera house at Circular Quey. It was just as beautiful as described. It was kind of overcast & windy that day but still a cool experience nonetheless. I think I'll be passing it every day on my commute to class or my internship & I'll get to appreciate the view.

That night we went to a really cool bar in King's Cross called World's bar. The name kind of fits because there were people there from all over, not only Australia and America but Italy and Belgium and Spain among lots of others. It was a fun place with different rooms and atmospheres and lots of dancing. King's Cross is kind of a sketchy place though, I'd never seen so many strip clubs in my life...

On Saturday some of us ventured out to Bondi Beach! It wasn't the best day but it got sunnier in the afternoon. It was absolutely beautiful with the biggest waves I've ever seen! There was a fun little bar, with different mixed drink jugs right on the water and $10 margaritas, too, super yummy! Even though it was cloudy you could still really feel the sun coming through, but it was windy and kind of cool so we headed back early.

Sunday was Australia Day!! Australia Day is essentially like America's Fourth of July. It had lots of stuff going on in the city and day drinking and beach going and all that jazz. A group of us headed back out to Bondi for the day and it ended up being beautiful! I got my first bit of sun on my face. I'm really going to have to remember to keep up with the sunblock here though because we were only there for an hour or so and I got as much color as I would all day on the beach at home. We came back to go to Darling Harbor for fireworks and it was easily the best firework show I have ever seen! It was beautiful right over the harbor with all the building surrounding it and great music playing. A group of us headed out to a nearby bar for casual drinks to finish up the night.

Today has been a relaxing day, the first one I've really had and it's been nice to just sit around and take it all in. I've done a little homework but we have limited wifi in the apartment so I'm going to have to get used to using cafes and school campus to get a lot done.


26 January 2014

Tidbits I’ve learned in my first 5 days in Australia that are different than America

I know this isn’t uncommon in the world but here they drive on the left side of the road. It is incredibly bizarre to be looking out at the street and to think you see nobody driving a car! Because of this you have to look right first, then left, then right again before crossing to make sure that you don’t get hit rather than the other way around. Also, pedestrians never have the right of way. It’s really hard to break the habit of just walking across and assuming everyone will slow down for you. They are really aggressive, like I think more than the "Masshole" mentality I'm used to, and that's saying something! Here they will just keep going! Already there have been a few near misses. Not only do they drive on the left side but everything else is left too. Walking on the sidewalk and stairs you are expected to walk on the left side. As soon as I feel like I get the hang of it I find myself in a situation where everyone seems to be keeping to the right! Not sure if that’s just random or I’m just missing something.

Quieter/less direct:
I can totally see where the Loud/Ignorant American stereotype comes from now. When walking down the street or sitting on the bus or train, almost everyone else is silent or whispering to talk. As soon as any of us are around that peaceful silence is completely broken. When a pause in the conversation occurs and its quiet again its incredible how much quieter it is and how loud we notice we are. I think part of that though, is that people normally commute alone whereas we have been going every where in groups since we got here. Hopefully soon I’ll learn to use my Aussie voice out in public. They are also way less direct in their interactions, they won’t usually call you out for being an idiot they will try to be nicer about it. Or if you are late or something and they say they noticed it but don’t seem mad, they are, they just aren’t blowing their top off as happens back home.

I’m not a huge coffee drinker so this hasn’t affected me too much yet but coffee is STRONG here. I think all coffees have espresso in it rather than that being something extra as it is in America. Also iced coffee almost always has actual ice cream in it. 

No tipping at restaurants or cab rides or anything like that! Their minimum wage is something crazy like $17.00/hr so I guess that they can afford that here.I’m sure that there are more that I’ve learned but just are forgetting right now and I will add them as I realize it.

Happy Belated Aussie Day Mates, Cheers!!

23 January 2014

First Australia Post!

Hello from Australia! I arrived Wednesday morning at 6am after 24 hours of plane rides and stayed awake all day until about 10:30pm. It was a loooong day, probably because it was 2 days and I missed Tuesday completely. I am still not over the jetlag. Yesterday we walked around Waterloo and the areas around Sydney and went to a Hotel.

Fun fact: Hotel is essentially a pub or a bar here because places that served alcohol used to have to have overnight accommodations. Hence hotel!

Felt like freshman year all over again walking around in a group of 30+, but at least we had a final destination. Jackie, Courtney, Miranda and I successfully navigated a bus home! Goo us! Small victories. Then I promptly passed out by 10:30.

Today we had orientation at Australian Catholic University. Beaaauutiful. Although, still had construction going on like good ‘ol UMass. I hear we got a foot of snow back home? Life’s rouuuugh. We got lunch at this little cafĂ© and our waiter adored us. Apparently Americas say thank you much more than Australians do, and he appreciated it a lot.

Not much else has happened yet. They have Seinfeld and Ellen on TV though, yippee!