Its been quite a while friends, I know. I have been living in Melbourne for almost a month now – seems crazy! I dived right in as soon as I go here looking for an aparment and finidng jobs and such that I didn’t enjoy the lovely weather as best as I should have. I only say that because since being here for a month I have experienced such a wide array of weather .. In Melbourne they say if you want the forecast, “look out the window”. Ha! Its so true. Somedays it feels like November, like late Autumn and really chilly. Other ways it is 97 degrees and you cant move without sweating. Ive never experienced anything like this. Because of these crazy weather conditions my allergies have been acting up and I’ve had an eye infection for almost a month now. After 3 optometrist visits, I am now taking eye stereoids – yeah, im a roidhead now. I have to put them in four times a day and have not been able to put contacts in for a full day in about 3 weeks. I have to say, I have been cheating a LITTLE bit. Being the four-eyed glasses girl hasn’t been me since grade 7, and I’m not about to let these glasses take over my life. I forgot how terrible it is to be a constant glasses wearer. Going to the gym is so much harder and you can forget about trying to see if its raining outside. Despite my four-eyed face, the stereoids have been working really well – and I’m hoping that I don’t have to take them for the whole prescribed 3 months. The doc said if it lasts longer than the 3 months, blindness is my eyes goes up 40% or something ridiculous like that. Blind at 22, sounds awesome ….
Speaking of 22, yeah I said it. It’s a premature statement because I still have about 30 days of my 21styear left and I’d hate to discount 30 whole days of my life. BUT my birthday is April 10th as most of you know, (or SHOULD!) and if you know me well you know that my birthday turns into a “birthweek”celebration of week long festivities. So, this year its exciting – not only because I don’t have to pray for the snow to be come – but because my school break is on my birthweek!!! Because of this god-given gift of a weeklong break on my birthday, I decided the best way to spend it is in Bali. Ta da! So, even if I have to sell my soul to make it there, I will be spending the beginning of my 22nd year in beautiful Denpasar, (hopefully)
What have I been up to for the past month, besides planning my birthweek? Well, Im glad to say I’ve been to ALL of my classes, except one. It’s only been two weeks – but this is the best I’ve done attendance wise since, well, EVER. As my University degree is dwindling down to the last 10 courses, I am beginning to have a new appreciation for education. Not only that, but it scares the shit out of me that I will be graduated in a year and have not much to show for it. That’s becoming very apparent.. all of the cramming and useless class choices I made aren’t really helping my confidence about my degree. However, the classes in Melbourne at this university are SO easy and much different than in Canada. In Canada my classes had anywhere from 50 to 500 people enrolled. Here, my biggest class is 100, and smallest is 8. Yes 8! And the class with 8 people is the best class I think I have ever taken. It has no relation to my program but is a class that is therapeutic for my soul. Sounds so weird to say, but we literally sit and talk about life for 3 hours a week and get credit for it. I think I would take this class even if I didn’t get credit. Oh, the class is called Philosophy and Happiness. Its very raw, and open and doesn’t seem like a class at all actually. The first week we talked about “what is happiness?”. “What is pleasure versus happiness?” “What is real knowledge?” “Is there real knowledge at all?” We talk about perceptions and opinions of others, family, and death. The class brings out our most vulnerable, but I love it. My other classes are extremely boring when I compare it to this class. But, easy nonetheless. I ended up with Cost Accounting, Personal Finance, Philosophy and Happiness, Strategic Management, and Intro to Australian Society.
Intro to Australian Society is another interesting class. Another one that is nothing like classes in Canada. 40% of our course is made up of field trips and we had our first weekend retreat last weekend. About 30 of us got on a bus to the Grampians National Park about 3 hours north of Melbourne. We did a lot of sleeping and a lot of eating on the retreat, but I also learned a lot about the colonization of Australia. Boring, I know. But it was interesting to talk to the natives and hear about their history in person. We spoke to one aboriginal man that had been taken from his family when he was 10 by Europeans who took over Australia. Thousands of other children were taken from their families during that time. It was sad. But other than the sappy stuff, my favourite part of the trip was the wine tasting, obviously. I also really enjoyed the sheep farm and guess what, … I FOUND GOLD! Yep, I panned for gold and found a few beauteous nuggets. They even let you keep them, muahahahha. A family last week found $125,000 piece of gold, I just found a few little babies. But I have them in a little jar… maybe I will make some earrings or something. At night, the North Americans were teaching all the Europeans and Asian kids how to play flip cup.. we had a pretty solid 10 versus 10 game going for a while, then we got “sent to bed”. Why am I not surprised? Anyway, that was my fieldtrip.
On to the more important things .. we still don’t have internet. Yes. This country has taken 3 weeks just to call us to “send the broadband request”. WTF. So, maybe by the time I leave here in 6 months I will have proper internet. That’s a long shot though. For the mean time I bought one of those sticks, but it doesn’t have enough memory for me to do anything remotely close to streaming or downloading, which is causing me to have severe reality tv withdrawals. Ive had to resort to actually BUYING tv shows and movies off of itunes, then gong to school to have internet to download them. Needless to ssay, Ive been spending all of my rainy days with my macbook watching episode after episode of The Bachelor. Im all caught up, so now just waiting for the season finale so I can decide which of the two “reality stars” ben chooses. I’d bet Courtney, but I don’t want to get shot for saying that.
Finally… our apartment is finally coming together. I bought some lovely couch covers, and Chris “borrowed” some sugar and other necessities from work. All we need is a few more chairs and we are set for all of you to come visit. I mean, you can come now – the couch is HUGE, but youll just have to eat your steak dinner on the floor .. hope you don’t mind. BAH. Our apartment is kinda far from most of my friends here.. but seeing as we live on the river, I can’t complain. In relation to Toronto for you Canadians .. its like living on Queens Quay and Bathurst and going to school at Dundas Square. Not far, just a streetcar and subway away. Or 25 minute walk. I like it. OH! And I forgot to mention that the Gym/Sauna, Pool and Hot tub, are on our floor! Floor 15. Which means I cant be a lazy, refusing-to-run, bum anymore. I have gone to the gym or swam laps in the pool almost every day! Granted its only max 1 hour of working out, with some breathers in between.. But let’s be honest. That’s more than I can say I’ve done since I went to Goodlife spinning classes with Shauna 5 years ago. And I only went then because I couldn’t take watching smelly baby Samuel at the daycare for much longer (that’s for you Jenna B).
There not much more I can tell you. My bartending experiences here are interesting.. fun, but interesting. Who would ever know that when someone asks for lemonade, they mean sprite? Do you know what “squash” is, or “scotch and dry”, or a “pot” of beer, or? Yeah, I didn’t either .. which made my first day very difficult. It got a lot easier when I knew dry meant gingerale, and squash is pretty much bar lime and a pot is half a pint. Now its just the same as in Canada .. minus the fact I have to spend thirty seconds after someone orders staring at them to figure out what the hell they are saying. Also, martinis and cocktails here are the “it” drink, which is annoying. And god forbid someone asks for something normal like a cosmo or long island. Nope, they have to get all crazy with “espresso martinis” and such. Who in their right mind wants to mix espresso with booze and drink four of them at 2 in the morning. Australians, that’s who. These people are nuts. 15 shots of Bacardi 151 they order. 10 shots of Absinthe, or ABC’s (which is Bacardi 151 mixed with Absinthe). There is a reason that shit is illegal in Canada, you will die.
Anyways enough about the crazy bar life. Sometimes I walk around the city and it is so much like home. It really is another Toronto, just warmer (most days). School is the same, working is the same, day to day activities are the same. It makes me both happy and sad. Happy because it reminds me of home! But sad, because I am so far away that it is definitely NOT home .. and I wonder if I made the right choice in choosing Australia to come. Its such a similar culture that it seems silly to travel all this way for the same sort of lifestyle. I guess I will have to wait until Thailand and Asia to get my culture shock, and I can’t wait! I am the luckiest girl to be out her, living the dream. And have many more adventures planned. Skydiving soon, and Bali, and then in July the Great Barrier Reef. Im sorry to bore you all with my lame stories, I promise they will be more exciting in the future. Which reminds me, the three of us and a bunch of my friends from school, along with about EVERYONE in Melbourne are going to a festival on Sunday called Future Music Festival. Tickest are insane expensive, $160+tax each.. but I haggles with a guy and found them for 120 each. (I guess that’s why my four year degree talk me- how to negotiate). We went back and forth for days decided if that much money is worth the 12 hours of our lives the festival is. After careful deliberation we got our priorities straight … and decided to give up food for a week and spend our money instead, on a day o’ fun. The line-up will blow your mind… Swedish House Mafia, Fat Boy Slim, Skrillex, Jessie J, MGMT, Knife Party, Gym Class Heroes, The Naked & Famous, New Order, and so many more. Kurt Scanlan will be so jealous.. So will Alex and Ssica I think. I guess this is my version of the SanFran concert I missed, wah. So, we all have a few long nights of work tonight and tomorrow (hopefully not until 5:30am again), and then party time on Sunday. ALSO! Good news – Monday is a holiday. So no school or worky for us… just a day to recover after our 12 hour rave on Sunday.
I hope my life decisions are making you guys proud.
Thank God for music festivals.
So much love.
Till Next Time …