Thursday, January 27, 2011

welcome week!

So now for day 5. The day I went to Canberra! YEAH!

SO background on Canberra…. It’s the capital of Australia (not Sydney or Melbourne as I, at least, had previously thought. Canberra was created because australians are all really nice people and decided that they couldn’t decide whether to make Sydney or Melbourne the capital. So they compromised and created Canberra roughly inbetween (even though all the people from Sydney/New South Wales say it’s a part of New South Wales [the state] I did not explain that well.). So Canberra is a smallish town and kind of reminds of me of what you'd expect out of a college town….EEEEXCEPT its also the seat of government.

The best way I can think to describe Canberra is that it's like sacramento. Everyone expects the capital of California to be San Francisco or los angeles but instead its sacramento which is way out in the middle of nowhere and is all cows. Except I haven’t seen any cows here. I have heard though that if you walk slightly outside of the city then you see a ton of kangaroos…I guess that explains that couple here getting beat up by a “lunatic ninja” kangaroo who jumped on their bed while they were sleeping. <--lunatic ninja kangaroo article

So the flight to Canberra was really nice. It was a little jet with GIANT propellers right next to where I was sitting which KIND OF scared me because well I don't like flying anyway and I could just picture one of those propellers breaking off and flying through the plane at like a million revs per minute and slicing me in half. Nice, right? Well I managed to tame my fear and took a few pictures…
It was really pretty and when I stopped thinking about how the plane was gong to kill me I really started to appreciate it.

I also thought it was really cute that when they served drinks they served “biscuits” which are cookies and were actually really good and they gave you a little placemat and everything. It was so cute! <3 australia

So anyway. Canberra. When I first got here it was pretty pleasant weather wise. More like california's weather than sydney's which was all humid. It was quite nice actually. And then I met the anu welcoming people at the airport and they took me to my room where I checked in and learned that the internet would hate me and everything and then it became a debate as to whether or not I should go sign up for classes or find the Canberra center (mall, effectively) and buy everything I needed and didn’t have (towels and sheets/blankets). I decided that it was more important to get the latter. What a good student I am.

So I found out where the nearest target was (which is really close. Like 2 blocks/10 minute walk away) and headed over there. By the way I was totally stoked there was a target here. They have like big w too which is like walmart I guess? But I didn’t want to go in there cause walmart's sleazy and I only go in there as a last resort.

So now onto uni (because they call it uni here and not college---I get laughed at for calling it college) life.

The next day I went to sign up for classes with other uc kids and then we got a bit lost and took a bit of a walk/detour around campus.

This is the creek that runs through campus. I think it was at some point a river cause the “riverbank” is pretty high and stuff. But because Australia is in a major drought theres like no water in it. They were all saying that it had been raining the week leading up to me getting there and that that refilled the creek. As is, its pretty nonexistent. I mean its there but its nothing big. But the surroundings/campus is really pretty. So heres the creek…

its quite a pretty campus really. I quite like it.

So the first night I was here I met a bunch of people cause they had a UNILODGE (my dorm) meet and greet thing. My apartmentmate annaliese had met this other girl on the floor below us at enrollment like the day before so we went down with them. And those people became my friends. Haha. I'll put pictures of them in a little while. Anyway they were all really nice. But it seemed like everyone I met was from the floor below me. So pretty much I hang out with first floor (which is actually second floor) kids. so they were all really nice and really welcoming.

And they tried to fool me with what they call “Drop bears.” One of the guys who lives downstairs, Nick, was talking to me about Australia and everything and started telling me about how there are these bears called “Drop bears” and they hide in trees and drop down on unsuspecting people walking by. I was like what? why did I not hear about this? I think this kid's fulla crap. And it turns out he was! He was saying it's like an Australian joke for tourists. 2 minutes later his friend, Dan (who also is on the first floor/lives with him) walks up to us and is like “did you tell her about drop bears?” so I guess its fairly done. Makes an entertaining story. I was just glad I didn’t fall for it. I was like dude everyone I know told me about all the stuff that’s gonna attack me, I think I would have heard of these if they actually existed. So that night I met a lot of really nice people and most of them I ended up hanging out with the rest of welcome week (or o week as they call it here) and that was nice.

So then I think it was the next day (everything's getting a big blurred together) there was a market day and there was tons of free stuff. And I thought this was funny…

I liked it cause I mean a lot of the other places were giving free stuff but didn’t advertise the fact. So the fact that they did advertise it made it a lot easier to know that you eventually wanted to go over to that booth. And the way that they described it made me definitely want to walk over there. Haha

I got a lot of free stuff on market day. It was most excellent

So then one of the two elevators in the building died. Or something was wrong I don’t know. Its alive again now. But it was dead for most of o week. And this is what it looked like.
Poor sad, confused elevator. It was quite cute really.

so then the, I think it was second(?) night I was here we all hung out in dharini and beck’s room (theyre two of the girls that annaliese met at enrollment) with the guys from 117 (now known as ben, nick, dan, jinxy and brett).

And I also learned about GOON. Goon is cheap boxed wine that has a surprisingly high alcohol content for wine. Ive asked multiple aussies why they call it goon. Nobody knows. The best explanation i've heard for why its called goon was “because its easy to say when you're really drunk. You can just shout GOON (and then they made a motion to put the box up toward his mouth to drink)” haha. Goon.

so then other stuff happened the next day that probably wasn’t very interesting because I don’t remember what it was right now but then there was toga party night.

I guess that’s the one toga party everyone goes to. Apparently after the first one, this one, that everyone goes to, nobody but the sleazes go to the others. But anyway I tried to take a picture of everyone as we walked over and it totally did not come out so im not posting it here. It wasn’t amazing. But as far as my first toga party goes it was still fun.

So then I went shopping with annaliese, my apartmentmate. She’s from Sydney and thus is authentically Australian. And she told me what to buy because I wanted food to live and didn’t have any Australian brand recognition. They call raisins sultanas… so this is their raisin bran!! hahahahahaha

the worst bit though was that they don’t have chicken noodle soup! They have something they call chicken noodle soup. But its totally not real chicken noodle soup. And I was really bummed. And they call ketchup tomato (pronounced tomaahto) sauce. Which is really quite cute.

And they don’t have top ramen! But they do have mi goreng (sp? I think that’s how its spelled. I could get up to check on a package annaliese has but im much too lazy) anyway mi goreng is like their answer to top ramen. I still have not tried it but i'm sure it's good. How could it not be?

But they do have really good candy. And their milk is good. I know how caleb said that russia's milk was disgusting and Marisol said mexico's was also disgusting so I was a little bit worried. But this milk is totally good. No problems. And their peanut butter is the same too, unlike how lauren had problems with british peanut butter and had to have her family mail her skippy. Or at least you can get the same. They all thought it was funny that I was making myself pb&js though. Haha.

So then we were watching tv and they have subway commercials. Except they don’t have 5 dollar foot longs here partially because their dollar isn’t equal to ours and partially because they're metric. But all of us uc kids were arguing as to what they would call it and the best we could come up with was a “5 dollar 30 centimeter” which totally does not have the same ring to it. So anyway when I was watching tv later they showed a subway commercial for 7 dollar foot longs. Totally did not have a jingle though. A bit of a disappointment really. Subway, you really need to work on that. And then when I started to sing the jingle nobody (including the Hawaiian guy jinxy) knew what I was talking about. Wendy fail. Hahaha

The 117 guys automatically have everyone go over there to do stuff because they have the biggest place because there has to be room for all 5 of them and cause they're older and thus are all already good friends. and also, of course, cause they're all really cool guys. So after we finished “building survivor” in which all the different floors were like I dunno it was basically just incentive for everyone to go to events which a lot of people still didn’t but first floor basically did cause they're all the best (i'm such a traitor to second floor. My bad) so we had a party there that night and eventually were forced to leave because we got about 6 noise complaints, including complaints from the building ACROSS THE STREET. Needless to say, we were all pretty proud of ourselves.

Anyway in building survivor they had like one representative from each floor do crazy stuff including jumping into a like kid pool and finding room keys to do something and eating nasty stuff (lemon, baked beans and red onion included all included in the bowl) and they had to run around. One guy even broke a couple toes. It was insane.

back at 117, we were watching the winter olympics over there one night and they were all talking about this announcer who had said about Johnny weir something along the lines of “he leaves nothing out on the ice, and nothing in the closet either.” And everyone was laughing at this announcer guy. And I guess he apologized and was being super nice about Johnny weir after saying like “oh if you come to australia you can stay with me” and everyone was making fun of the announcer. Especially cause if he had been back in the states he sooo would have been fired. But it was pretty funny. And the fact that we were sitting there, watching figure skating was pretty funny. I think we could all agree that our favorite name of a move was “the flying camel. ” but anyway that was funny
But not as funny as the Australian Olympic bobsled team
That was the funniest thing i've ever seen
I don’t think it would have been half as funny except everyone had heard about it before and had left the room with the phrase “LET ME KNOW WHEN THE BOBSLEDDING IS ON” so when it came on we called everyone back in and it was amazing. First the guy couldn’t get into the sled and then they flip over like 10 seconds into the race. And did the entire race upsidedown
And the australians kept commentating as if nothing had happened. It was HILARIOUS. It wouldn’t have been half as funny if I wasn’t in a room full of laughing aussies or if anyone had been hurt. It was genius. And they did finish the race! They just finished it….upsidedown… that was amazing.

Oh god though one thing that kills me
My closest friends here are all freshmen or first years WHATEVER. And so theyre all younger. And when they said they were 18 I was like oh that’s not a huge age gap between 20 and 18 no big deal. And then hugh mentioned he was born in 91 and I was like oh wow that’s so young. And then someone was making fun of beck cause she didn’t know some music or something and was like “geeze what were you doing in the 90s” and she was like “being born!” and I was like OH WOW.
Completely different decade. I feel old. I mean I know it's not that huge of a gap but jeeze. it just sounds really really bad.

Oh so anyway these are my peeps...(im so lame for saying that just there)

they make fun of me for saying legit. and gnarly. and other california slang. hahaha

so these pictures are from before we went to the communist party at unipub. thats why were all wearing red...well ok some of us are. (dark pink was the best i could do and dharini and hugh i guess just didnt care that they failed. so i guess only beck and annaliese got it right. good job guys!)

thats beck in the middle and annaliese (my apartmentmate) on the end.

this is dharini

thats hugh. i look like an idiot in this picture because i was laughing. beck and dharini were saying he has a cute smile if hes acutally smiling but he wouldnt do it cause he was fake smiling for the picture so me, being as tactful as i am said "WOULD YOU SMILE IF I GRABBED YOUR BUTT?" so then we both started laughing and he real smiled and i just looked like an idiot. but whatever, nobodys looking at this picture to see me.

and then this is an actual picture of annaliese

and then heres' annaliese, dharini, beck and jinxy.

anyway that is a long post. sorry. i may or may not add to it later if i remember things. i dunno.

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