Friday, November 6, 2009

Now and Beyond

Its really warm here now, like 30's... oh, I'm sorry, that's in celsius... anywho... I am officially done with school. My papers weren't too bad, this entire semester in general wasn't too bad, I could have used some of this free time last year, that's fo sho. Now I'm looking forward to Sir Kevin Smith, who will be here in T-3days and we will embark to New Zealand. I should let Kevin take over right now, as he is seeing more Aussie than I probably have. Change one letter and that sentence it does a 180. Maybe I should throw an 'of' in there.. meh, too much work.

Ummmmm and then after NZ I come back here for two days, then to Darwin in Northern Australia for a day. Then off to Malaysia from Nov. 28-Dec8, Singapore Dec8-Dec14, Thailand Dec14-27, Then back in Canberra for a few days...India was canceled on account of them having a visa system that's slow as. That's what they say here, when they want to describe something they just leave the simile up to your imagination, look up "beached as" on youtube, and that is what I live with everyday.

Just got some vaccinations, got me some Typhoid, some Hep-A, a little Polio, and got that H1N1 all up in me.

As far as that I am taking these few days to just relax and do absofruitly nothing while everyone else studies. Pack a little, do some research maybe. Thats about it. I'll be joining team ginger soon. I could keep the blonde hair but by the time I came back it would be 6th grade frosted tips all over again.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

So as most of you know Tessa came to visit and we stormed through Australia in a span of 2 weeks. We went from Sydney to the Gold Coast (Surfer's Paradise) to the Whitsunday Islands,back to Sydney then to Melbourne, to Canberra. It was exhausting, but the trip of a lifetime. So many long talks, great beaches, interesting room mates, long bus/train/plane/boat rides, and good beer.

I have a feeling that this trip will be one that when I look back on my time here in Australia, it may be the only thing I remember, if not the memory my brain indexes with top priority. Sort of like how I can't remember much of this summer before or after Rothbury, or much of 2nd grade besides when Ms. Current shoved me up against the heater. Sadly, I will only be able to conjure up a few images of being a the hostel bar in Airlie Beach, or watching the sun set on Long Island, but not able to recall the care-free feelings ignoring my back pain, empty wallet, or future assignments. It sucks that such an amazing trip will eventually become a "remember when" memory and nothing more... Look at me, 20 years old and talking about life, what a bunch of bullshit.

To tell you all the details of the trip would mean me typing thousands upon thousands of words. However, since a picture is worth a thousand words, I will just let you look at the pictures. Maybe Tessa will give me some to add later. Maybe I will add captions to each one. Maybe.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Since Sydney

Nothing has really happened since then. I got shat on with a big research paper and a story, and planning trip over break. There was a pretty good Toga party thrown in one of the wings of Bruce Hall, one kid set up concert sized speakers at the end of the hall and everyone went crazy. There was also a really lame booze cruise. And by lame I mean it wasn't really a booze cruise, it was thrown by some asian association, and we paid $40 a ticket to ride in slow circles while eating dinner and only being provided two bottles of wine. These "balls" as they call them can go either way, you usually pay $40 and if you're lucky there will be an "Open bar, dude!" But that was the first and last one I am going to... well maybe one more if its cheaper. You usually have to dress up, this weekend is the Inter-hall ball and it is themed the 7 deadly sins, the booze cruise was pirate themed. I was lazy and went as Treasure r, and just tapped my nose every time someone read it and looked to me for explanation.

Anywho, this weekend was awesome. A kid named Andy took me, Jo (girl from Texas) and Adam (a Swede) to his house in a small village about an hour from Sydney called "Pretty Beach." His house was right in the national forest in a bunch of semi-mountains, and about a 45 second walk from the beach. We rockclimbed/bush-walked our way along the coast to a small secluded beach that could only otherwise be reached by boat. The water was kind of warm, and barely salty. From there he took us to a small winery to taste wine (where I bought two really awesome bottles of wine for ma and pa for thanksgiving but usa doesn't allow alch. do be shipped and the place doesn't ship internationally, so i guess tessa and i will have to drink them), then we went someewwhherreee ellseeee.... yeah... oh lunch, then we came back and hung out, then he cooked us up an authentic australian meal: pumpkin and sweet potato, baked potato and onion, steamed green beans and broccoli, and KANGAROO. It was awesome. Kangaroo is one of the healthiest meat out there, but there is a whole list of reasons its not a bigger export. The swede is determined to open the market, and kept telling me to invest in kangaroo meat. Its only like $5 a Kg, so, pretty cheap and extremely healthy. Look that s up if'n you don't believe me.

I learned a whole bunch of stuff, since Jo and Andy are getting their degrees in forestry or farming or something. But they were both like walking books when it came to plants and animals. They would be talking about whale's gestation periods while I was wondering what it would be like to walk on water. But I decided its not that cool of a power anyway, more for show if anything. I mean, its just like walking on the ground except there is nowhere to go. And if you got thirsty, you couldn't really just bend over and start sucking the ground... yeah, a wholeee bunch of things wrong with walking on water.


That's about it.

Oh yeah, I bleached my hair.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Sydney a Second Time

This trip was a lot more laid back, and southern-illinois diva-less. We left Friday morning at 6:30AM, to catch the 7AM bus... I guess I should backtrack by saying Thursday night, for some reason, I was on a mission to get noodle-legged, maybe because I didn't have to play soccer the next day, and could instead "sleep on the bus." Which when on the bus is the most retarded excuse to drink, but when you are drinking the opportunity to "sleep on the bus/train/plane" seems pretty reasonable. But really, instead of sleeping you are cramped into a tiny seat next to a large person who looks like man but sounds like a woman, resisting the motion of the bus, refusing to open your eyes or speak, and in general hoping the bus driver loses control on a bridge, releasing you from the heavy, groggy, painful, sweaty hell you are currently suffering.

Needless to say, the 3/4 of Friday sucked. The group pounded on my door for twenty minutes before they finally heard a groan, and an array of obscenities. I finally emerged, struggling to put my sweatshirt on with 20min to get to the bus. We wandered around a bit before checking into the hostel. Then we found some Japanese restaurant to eat at, where they refused to constantly refill my water glass. From there we moved to an ice cream shop that offers these famous mountains of ice cream. If the bus wasn't enough torture, I was now just being dragged through the mud. As I started to perk up we took a ferry to Manly beach, but it was around 4pm, overcast, and the sun was about to go down. So on the way back we stopped by the Opera House, which at night is pretty awesome. It was kind of warm, a clear sky, bands were playing at the seaside restaurants, and the bridge and house were all lit up. I'll see if I can find some pictures Ricky took and put them on the site.

The second day we went to Bondi Beach. We got there around 10AM, ate breakfast next to the beach, and walked around the shops. It was overcast and kind of cold around, but at noon, like clockwork, all the clouds cleared and it was warm and sunny. I forgot my camera... or figured I forgot my camera in my drunken stupor, but when I got back into my room Saturday night I found it in my bag, whoops.

Aand that's about it...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Culture Clash

It has become a habit of mine to make peanut butter and jelly/banana sandwiches for a late night snack. We always eat dinner at 5pm on the dot, just like freshman year, except here they do not have Latenight, where I could buy anything from cereal, to a peanut butter smoothies, to pizza, to cheese burgers, or MEGA cheeseburgers, to awesome chicken sandwiches, to ice cream........ anyway... I always grab three or eight peanut butter and jelly packets, and two pieces of bread.

The other day, however, I was astounded, even electrified to find that someone had started stocking the small kitchenette down the hall with bread, the peanut butter/jelly/vegemite (gross) tray, cereal, and even fruit! I was so happy that I need no longer scavenge food out of the cafeteria every night, and could instead make sandwiches at my own fancy.

However, this all shortly came to an end when what seemed like the next day all the food was gone! It was a grey day to say the least.

So at lunch I decided to get to the bottom of this and here is how the conversation went:

"...I mean, who took all that food? There was a ton of bread and fruit and stuff...I was so excited and then it was just gone! Who does that?"

girl, looking up from her plate "That food was for Ramadan."


"They fast from sunrise to sunset all month"

"I uhh, didn't take any... I just wanted to..."


p.s. Since writing this, I've stolen bread twice, tucking into my sweatshirt as I walk down the hall. I figured it's okay to take things from people, as long as they are wrong.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

First Trip to Sydney

I should have gotten to this earlier, since I am beginning to forget all the good details, but I ran out of internet credits so I have to wait. That, and I had a paper that I hadn't started by 1pm Monday, and it was due at 4pm... I just needed to prove that I'm better than everyone else...I guess I haven't gotten my grade back yet, but I think it is pretty o.k.

Pictures of the trip

Anyway, Sydney... where do I start...
It is a 3 hour bus ride there...We had a good time/ interesting experience with the hostel. We booked it primarily because they offered a deal that if you ate 15 of their free pancakes on Sunday morning, you got a night free... We didn't make it until Sunday. When we got off the bus we walked a good 20 min, watching the nicer buildings turn into car stores, then I found myself looking around, and saying "... I think... no we are definitely in the red light district." We were, and our hostel was on dark alley paralleling the clubs. It was kind of funny, we asked some firefighters how to get to the address of the hostel and this is what they said (slightly exaggerated) "Ok, take this street all the way down until it splits, stick to the left, less busy street. You'll see a big lit up hotel, keep walking, its down the block more." The pictures actually make the room look good, since the flash makes the paint look new, and not moldy and chipping, and blankets over the stained mattresses.

We decided to go walk around, and get something to eat. As we were walking out a cameraman and two police men were walking in... It had to have been a murder, because when we came back the cops asked if we were staying there and what room we were in. I started joking that it was old white men taking and torturing young Americans, and as I said that there was a creepy grinning old man in a pink polo at the top of the stairs... Most of us reveled in staying in a crappy, cheap hostel, but one kid just could not stand it and had booked a room at the Hilton, and wouldn't stay anywhere else (I really don't like this kid. I remember Emma talking about having a Capt. Buzzkill while studying abroad, this kid is like Admiral Buzzkill, or even Chief of Staff Buzzkill). So the second night we all payed $44 to stay on the floor of the Hilton. We went from staying at the worst place in Sydney to the best place.

On Saturday we did all the touristy stuff - Aquarium, Opera House (kind of), the bridge, Center Point (a really tall tower that you can see all of Sydney from), and the Wildlife reservation. I also wandered into a cool little flee market.

Sunday, we met up with a native Sydneyite and she took us to Bondi Beach. I guess it is really commercialized and considered a tourist beach, but it was pretty awesome. We ate fish and chips and sat/slept there all day... Then we went to China town before leaving, and there is another super cheap flee market there, but by this time I had run out of money.

Next time should be more fun since we have a better feel, and I am also making a perfect list of stuff to do/what hostel to stay at (its much cleaner/better, and very central) for when TESSA VISITS!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Most Dangerous Game

There is an interesting game going on in Bruce Hall right now, called Murder. The rules are as follows: Everyone who signs up is given an envelope at midnight with a small water gun and a "target" (another person to kill). Basically you are supposed to stalk and kill your assigned person. However, no one can witness it. So it is really funny, because everyone is extremely paranoid; in the dining samnovario hall everyone is eyeing everyone else, trying to figure out who is hunting them, or waiting until their target leaves. No one walks alone in the hall or answers their door - always looking over their shoulder. Some people stalk in the bathrooms, or break into a target's rooms and wait for their unsuspecting victim to walk in. As the game goes on people trade underground info. For example I was able to chalk up two kills because I, being a double agent, told my neighbor who was after him, and at the same time told his murderer where he was. That way, I found out who was after me, and where my target was. I killed my first two by getting their friends to knock on the door, then when my target answered the door, I burst in and their friend ran away. My next target is Yio Khang Shii, who might win by default, because no one knows who the f she/he is.

But besides my deathly cold and three papers, that is what is currently consuming my life.

Oh yeah,the tattoo is fake, I knew it was fake when I woke up although not knowing where it came from... we must have run into a chinaman with a marker in some pizza shop or something. I just thought I would create some buzz, but nothing gets past you guys!~!~!~!!~!!~!!~~~!!~1~!`1!~~!

I've tried to leave comments too, but it won't let me, so, like an angry Betta fish in front of a mirror, I'll keep fighting.

Sydney on Friday!