Part Three: Two months down, two to go
The past two and a half months have been a whirlwind, and I can’t believe I go back to the states in just two months. I have been doing passably well in the classes, although I have found out the hard way that they grade much more harshly than they do in the States. I have celebrated my birthday during this time, and my friends have been fantastic during my time here. As it is still technically winter, there have not been an influx of outdoor activities, but things are finally starting to heat up and get better.
I plan on going to the beach in November and touring the city during the beginning of summer/end of spring when I have more free time. Late October and early November are the busiest times for me, and they are rapidly approaching. In other news, I got to visit New Zealand and tour the set of Lord of the Rings. New Zealand is a beautiful country, for the record, and I absolutely adored the country and the people there. I have gotten to enjoy the fun of trying foods that you won’t find in common restaurants in the states like deep fried pork belly and duck. Did you know that it’s easier to find authentic Asian cuisine here than in the states? I miss my friends back at Waynesburg, naturally, but I am greatly enjoying my time here, and I can not wait to come back and tell everyone about it. One thing that has really stuck out to me about Australia as well as New Zealand is the emphasis on environmental health. This is something that I hope we can model back home.
As is my custom, I have some more fun tips and advice for anyone planning on visiting these places!
- Stay at the Stamford Plaza Hotel. It’s fancy, fun, and has a heated pool.
- If some place says “best Teppanyaki in New Zealand,” they mean it, and it will be expensive.
- If you get a chance to visit a hot pot restaurant called Spice World, do it. They have robots that give you mints!
- Make friends, or else no one will throw you a birthday party *wink wink*
- Do all your readings. They care about them a lot here.
- Do not overeat on the duck fried rice.
- Always plan on extra grocery money, so you can buy that fun, exotic food.
Part Four: I made it!
I’ve done it. I have made it through the classes, and now all I have is a couple papers and exams to do before I fly home to greet the icy cold of Pennsylvania. Australia has been a good time, but I do believe that it is a good time to come home. During this time, since the last post, I have made more friends, gone on some more adventures, and tried some new food! I got to visit the lovely Jervis Bay, with the whitest sands in the world, I got to visit a very large shopping mall and play hide n seek inside, and I celebrated Halloween with some Australian friends! I even have joined a gaming group and regularly play video games with some local people I have interacted with here. I am going to miss the relationships I have made when I come home, and I am very grateful for the advent of technology that makes keeping in touch so much easier.
Some fun tips for the person about to come home are:
- Look out for suitcase sales. That’s where they get you, souvenirs and suitcases
- If you get invited to look at the glowing algae at night, always say yes!
- Never go into the shady cabin in the Australian woods with no cell service. Your fiancé will think you’ve died.
- Plan your airport ride wisely, you don’t want to be lugging about nine hundred suitcases on a tiny little bus.
- Try calamari rings, they’re better in the coast towns.
- You need to bring the Halloween. Australians do not celebrate it with half the gusto of Americans.
- If someone offers to let you try their mysterious indie video game, well, just, use your best judgement.