Sunday, February 13, 2011

Living in a Land Down Under

I am officially living in the land down under. Week 1 has flown by! Somehow I got my jet lagged and hungover self through the week. I have met some amazing people, and everyone seems intent on having a great semester in Australia!

The Orientation Week here is incredible, I am more than impressed. What a difference to the arrival at RHUL. I got driven to my dorm by one of the first people I met here, and got my student card the first day! I am an enrolled student and have all my courses set up, "tuts" (tutorials) in addition to the lectures. On top of this, wonderful seminars and tours demonstrated some of the school's support systems and facilities available to us. The school set up social events for us: trivia nights, pregames, transportation to clubs and beaches... It has been a great first week!

I may try to get a part time job while here. I can only work 20 hours on my student visa and working here should help me meet some locals. It is my understanding that it is harder to become friends with the Australians who go to school here because they are under the assumption that "you're just some American here for the semester and ultimately here to party." Understandable.

I am thinking of getting a bike to get around, and am questioning buying a surfboard. I definitely want to learn! A couple Bentley kids went out and bought them without ever taking a class, and are learning on their own... I think I need to take a class though a. I'm not a strong swimmer b. the riptide can get pretty strong.

The songs were no where near the g-rated elementary tunes like "Miss Susie" that used to make people giggle in the back of the bus. I was a bit taken-aback, was not quite ready for the repeat after me tune that ensued with lyrics like "If I knew a Yank, a horny horny yank, and I was a Bondi, I'd pull on his Wank" "I wish that all the ladies, were fine going south"

The club scene here is bizarre. Girls can be asked to pay up to a 20$ cover charge. Girls step on each other, the boys want to fight each other, and if you seem sloshed? The bouncer asks you to leave, "go get water and pizza." (No, this has not happened to me. Yet.) For the record my feet are so sore from every one's spikes. At first I thought it was accidental, but turns out people are just really aggressive. One of my girlfriends got pushed into from behind while ordering a drink at the and was asked  by the bartender after: "why didnt you slug him for that?" Real aggressive.
Pizza take away here is about three dollars, but everything else at a decent restaurant can run you easily thirty dollars for a good meal. For example, earlier when I asked for salmon (fifteen dollars, one of the cheaper items on the menu, even less than the salads which go for twenty-five!) I received four thin slices of raw fish. In addition, disappointingly, I have yet to find a place that serves decent filter coffee, and the cappuccino's, which are not even that great, go for about five dollars for a "short black" a very small cup of disgusting coffee.
All in all, things are going great and I am doing more than alright!
Classes start tomorrow, wish me luck!

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