Thursday, July 31, 2008

Where the hell are you, exactly?

Arg, I've been a bit lazy and not updated recently, sorry everyone. I'd like to say I've been busy out going partying and being cool or something. I've actually spent most my nights sitting around watching TV, dumb movies, or Japanese game show clips from Youtube with my flatmates. That's right, I live with a bunch of fellow nerds. Magic Cards, World of Warcroft, constant quoting of 'The Simpsons,' Dungeons and Dragons, one guy is studying the science of lasers... Yup, full-out geekdom in here, yay! There are currently four guys and three girls (counting me) in our flat, we all get along very well, thank goodness. Well, two of the guys rarely leave their rooms, but they're nice when I do have a four second conversation with them and they don't cause any sort of trouble. One gives me a cheery "Good morning!" every time I see him, even if it's 4 pm.

I suppose I should explain the flat, since a lot of people were confused about where I'm living. First of all, my campus isn't actually IN the city, it's in the middle of a forest a few miles from the city. The other day I was sitting on the balcony eating breakfast and two turkeys ran by gobbling at each other. That was pretty odd. My one flatmate also keeps trying to convince me to be warned of the scourge that is 'drop bears.' Which is just something made up to scare foreigners, kind of like our jackalope or snipe. I told him that and he said, "Snipe? Like... Severus?" Hahaha, yeah, in America, Alan Rickman jumps out and attacks tourists, hahaha. Anyway, there are eight people (though we're currently one person less) in a flat sharing the kitchen, bathroom, and lounge area. We each have our own single room going off a hallway that looks like this:

Yes, a tad dodgy looking (to throw in some local slang), but that's Uni for you. That light is burnt out now though, and for some reason it keeps buzzing randomly in the middle of the night despite the fact it's off. The only way to stop it from doing so and keeping you awake all night is to smack it with a broom. We all take turns doing that so the same person doesn't have to get out of bed constantly, kind of like taking care of a crying baby. Er, you don't hit babies with brooms to shut them up though, hopefully. Also, you can't quite see it, but there's an iron burn on the rug from previous inhabitants. Speaking of the wonderful people who used to live here, we keep finding all this weird stuff they left behind. That closet at the end of the hall had a sewing machine from the 1970s in it, a treasure I've since claimed. We also discovered a broken skateboard (good for moving things) and 'Street Fighter II: The Board Game,' which we have yet to play, but I'm super excited to because it looks hella awesome.

I finally went into the actual city (not just the huge weird mall and sprawling Asian markets nearby campus) on Monday for my first day of classes. Half my classes are there, the other half are here at my home campus, which is nice because I get to spend my time in both environments. The city campus has all the artsy types and home campus has all the nerdy types, so either place I'm set to make friends. Granted, there are the "WOOO! I LIKE KEGSTANDS AND METALLICA!" type at both, but those are easy to avoid for the most part. My class was annoyingly short since it's the first week, so I decided to wander around a bit.

This interesting looking path was right outside my lecture building, so of course I followed it. The sculptural enclosure/ plant tamer thing changes gradually as you walk along, I kept staring up at it and almost running into people. Another mistake I keep making is walking on the wrong side of the street. Just like they have opposite car lanes here, Australians walk on the other side, and American me goes along the incorrect way out of habit. I've caught on to looking a different direction when crossing the street, but I always forget to walk to the left. To the left... Everythang you own in a box to the left... Sorry, had to.

Soon alongside the path, there was a cute little stream with a heap of palm trees and other exotic plantlife. And look, a duck! An animal I've seen before in the wild! Believe it or not, this is the first wild animal I've seen in Australia that we have in America too. Not THIS exact duck, I mean the species. They don't even have squirrels or pigeons here! However, I did spot a seagull later on, and of course I yelled "MINE! MINE! MINE!" :]

Continuing on, the creek turned into a little lagoon for kids. Sand, rocks, things to play on in the water... It looked like it belonged in a Disney World resort. "Well that's weird!" I thought, "All this in the middle of the city? But the lagoon was nothing compared to...

The full out man-made beach right next to the lagoon! And I thought Central Park had weird stuff in it! Why they need this in Australia where they can drive half an hour to a real beach is beyond me. Please note the ibis wading in the water there. Somehow, this sacred Egyptian bird made its way over to Australia and they're EVERYWHERE. I saw about five eating Cheetos out of the trash and I thought, "Shouldn't you be mummified? Piss off!" The funny thing is that for a public fake beach in a major city, this was surprisingly clean. If Philly built one, there would be crack vials, needles, and dead bodies in it a week after opening.

The beach with the river and city skyline in the background. I said Chicago before, but this picture makes it look like the start of 'CSI: Miami,' so I may have to change my comparison. Later I saw a guy trying to make a video of himself doing ninja jumps off a nearby flight of stairs with this view in the background. I ruined one of his takes by making a weird face as I went past.

That's all the pictures I took, because after this the walk goes by entirely too many outdoor restaurants and nothing else. Um, what else is new with me, hmmm... I keep having people think I'm Canadian, even other Canadians who should know the difference. Also, the other day I told someone I was from Pennsylvania and they said, "Ooh, what's a Wawa?" I got all excited that they knew that and went on a rant about how amazing Wawas are. Apparently the person only knew that because of the Bloodhound Gang song 'Pennsylvania,' which has a line that goes, "Do you even know what a Wawa is?" At least that's what they got out of that song, because the rest of the lyrics aren't entirely flattering. Damn you, Bloodhound Gang, for being one of the things Australians associate me with. That goes for you too, Bam Margera, cream cheese, and Kobe Bryant! There are hundreds of better things to come from Philadelphia!

I'll leave you with this hilarious video of the latest craze sweeping Oz:

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