Australia 4: New Experiences

Recap: I’m studying abroad in Australia and doing my best to keep people updated, but it is HARD. To anyone that signed up for my email list, sorry. I literally haven’t sent anything since the initial email, and I’m getting lots of hate for it from my family. You can find links to my other articles leading up to this here, here, here and here.

Now that my Easter vacation is over, it’s time to get down to business. But seriously, since my internship started, my schedule has been crazy. The high point of the week, however, has got to be Wednesday nights. The Queen Victoria Night Market may be over for the season, but that doesn’t mean that mine and Victoria’s food chronicles have to be over too. Every Wednesday, we make it a point to meet up after my internship and try something new. Last week, it was pho. The week before was a comedy show (not food, but it’s fine). On the agenda for this week: tacos! While I’m usually exhausted after a full day of classes and an internship, Victoria is always there to distract me from those looming deadlines for at least a couple of hours. 

Quick Victoria appreciation: Victoria is this awesome, tall, confident, Swedish girl that I met here at La Trobe, and she’s responsible for getting me off my butt and making me have fun. She took me out on my 21st, had me go to a drag show with her, is always down for food, and makes sure I’m being my best self. Yay Victoria!!

This is my Thursday night squad learning to throw what they know. Thursdays just might be worse than Wednesdays. I’m up at 6 a.m., I’m at my internship from 9 to 5, then I run home just in time to make it to baseball practice from 6 to 9. Individually, everything is great...but when you throw everything into one long day like that, my mental capacity is drained. So my friends and I have made it a Thursday night tradition to go play pool and hang out until my (early) bedtime.

I’m not totally busy all the time, I swear! I do things still!! A couple weeks ago, my study abroad group went on an excursion to Phillip Island, an island about two hours away. They’re famous for the numbers of penguins that cross their beaches every night, coming home from hunting. It was even more fun because I got approximately three hours of sleep the night before, so I was absolutely slap happy. We made a couple stops on the way, starting with Sherbrooke Falls then heading to this nature reserve. This nature reserve was, no lie, the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen. It was dedicated to this environmentalist from the 60s that is, apparently, considered very ahead of his time. I guess that translates to: he liked to carve statues of babies and Aboriginal people and disperse them throughout the forest. There were even some baby statues that were babies on the top half, but the bottom half was a kangaroo. I didn’t take any pictures because I figured that would be in everyone’s best interest. We stopped by the penguin lookout (that’s what the picture is from: me being as uncomfortable as possible in front of a body of water), then headed to the seating to watch the penguins come across the beach. There weren’t any pictures allowed, but just imagine approximately 1,000 penguins rolling up to the beach then waddling their little selves to their nests. It was, quite possibly, the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. That night, my study abroad group made a potluck dinner together, walked down to the beach, and ended the night with a Princess Diaries viewing. Solid night. The next morning, we saw MORE cute animals. We went to a nature preserve and spotted approximately eight koalas, a handful of wallabies, an echidna, and a number of birds whose names I forgot. Neat-ure.

I also got to experience my first Australian Rules Football game! We went and saw Collingwood versus Richmond. I would compare Collingwood to the Raiders. They’re definitely the underdog with a questionable fan base, but they’ve been getting better in recent years. But still everyone hates them (sorry, Dad). Richmond would be like a team that is similar in skill level to the Raiders, but people like them more than they should. I’ll let you think of your own comparisons because that’s the extent of my football knowledge. In summary, AFL is outrageously confusing, but I think I figured it out a little bit towards the end. I still like rugby better. One thing that I was really impressed with though was the athleticism of these players. They need to have the build of rugby players. They’re constantly hitting and getting hit with no pads. But then they need like three times the cardio of soccer players. Google the size of an AFL field. It is this massive circle, probably about the size of three or four soccer fields. And every player runs practically all over the field for two hours. I’d be on the ground in the first ten minutes. For a number of reasons. Cardio, getting tackled--take your pick.

I’m sorry I’m not exciting in the slightest. I’m at the point in the semester where I actually have to do schoolwork (dumb!), and my internship is occupying the remainder of my time. I still manage to go and try fun, new things on Wednesday nights, then I get to play baseball on Saturdays, so it’s still all a good time. And these are my rose-colored glasses! With hearts!! I didn’t actually buy them, but it’s fine.

All in all, studying abroad is great, I’m just way busier than I thought I would be. I’m so excited for my family to get here in July. I’m trying to get un-dehydrated. I’m learning fun slang things. I’m walking ALL over the city; my step count is outrageous. It’s actually cold here, I’m pissed. If anyone has been trying to contact me and I’m not replying, I’m not trying to be rude; just make sure you have my Australian number. See y’all soon(ish)! Cheers!

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