Tuesday, August 14, 2012

No longer homeless!

I’ve been here for a for three weeks and am still finding excited and new things. For the living situation, I moved into the house with the two brothers and the mom. The mom was out of town for another week so it was really chill with the three of us in the house. Another roommate moved in who was a nice guy from Saudi Arabia. The day Cole moved in downstairs things turned upside down! Cole wasn’t the only one to move in; A baby moved into the house!!! The brother’s sister came to visit and turns out ‘visiting’ means she and her 10 month old son were staying for a month, leaving for a month, and coming back for a month. The next day the mom came home and the house was an animal farm! I talked to the brother/landlord and he was very understanding of the whole situation. In a few days Cole and I packed our bags and moved into a castle!

This is the Castle! We have to share a room otherwise rent is out of this roof (and it’s a tall building!), but now it’s much cheaper than the first place. It is dorm style lodging. There’s an upstairs and a downstairs hall filled with rooms on either side (about 20 or so). The place has a total of six bathrooms. The rest of the castle includes a sitting room, a living room with four couches, a dining room, and a kitchen. The kitchen is like Noah’s Arc and everything comes in sets of two: two sinks, two dishwashers, two stoves, and two ovens. Then, we have a room filled with fridges and a freezer.  All of this is only 1/3 of the castle! The family that owns the castle lives in the other 2/3. I hope to get a tour of the other side before we leave! That side has the porch and the bell tower and the garden!

My life has been filled with exotic animals. I took a tour to Healesville sanctuary where I saw all of the local animals including kangaroo, wallabies, dingoes, bats, parrots, ect. The next weekend I saw a possum in the park. My normal instinct was to see how close I could get. Only about two feet away, we stared at each other until I reached out to touch it on it’s back! I got some fur but it ran up the tree in terror. Possums are much cuter here. They do not have the beady eyes or the naked tail. This last weekend I took a tour to Phillip Island. We saw pelicans be fed fish, surfed down the sand dunes (pronounces “junes” here), and watched little penguins sail into shore and maneuver to there nest stopping to pick twigs and grasses along the way. ADORABLE!

Even though I’m still in an English speaking land, the language barrier is ridiculous! Doona is a comforter, jumper is a sweatshirt, spanner is a wrench, singlet is a tank top, and so on. If you want the whole list, check out http://www.statsci.org/smyth/ozus.html . Sometimes it sounds like we’re speaking different languages. It’s not just us Americans who can’t understand the Aussies, but many Australian can’t understand us too. I’ve also been trying to get the Australian accent down. Whenever I try it, I start speaking in a British accent by the second sentence. I’ve resorted to watching YouTube videos and repeating after the Aussies in hopes of getting better.

Everyone needs to travel...

Monday, August 6, 2012

Ready or not, here I come!

Melbourne, I’m hereeee!! 

Wow. Weather shock! I’m in the winter again! It’s cold and rainy… I like it though : ). Nice to snuggle up inside and in the sun it’s not too bad. Now that I’m  here, it doesn’t surprise me, but before I came I didn’t  think about the huge Asian influence. Everywhere you go there’s sushi and noodle places. There are also cafés on every corner and Aussi’s are known to be coffee snobs. Soooo since I don’t have the first idea about coffee and don’t even drink it… I think I’m going to change my job plan. Instead of working at a café, I’ll hopefully fine myself behind the bar! I’ve always wanted to be a bartender, and I can’t start as a bar back because there’s no such thing here.

Since it’s so chilly here and I packed 40 degree Greek weather, I was in desperate need of a jacket! I’ve been wearing three T-shirts, a flannel, and my windbreaker everyday. Today my host’s roommate offered me a coat. She warned me before she gave it to me that it’s very dorky and she apologizes. I imagined a jacket with yellow strips, reflectors, and some red blinking lights. She brought it out of her closet and it was a black ski jacket! Whattt?! Dorky?? I where that every day when I’m in Colorado!! My winter wardrobe consists of only ski jackets! It’s pretty funny how style is very important here. She told me if I wore it out, I would be the only one, but people wouldn’t really look at me differently. In Sydney, that’s a different story. If you’re not wearing what’s ‘in’, you’re weird; end of story. I’ve heard that Sydney is pretty ‘soulless’ from multiple people. A great place to visit, but I’m very grateful I’m not living there!

The hunt for an apartment continues! I’ve looked at three places. One dump, one beautiful house with two brothers and a mom, and one that’s unfurnished. They all have their ups and downs. So far the family one is the nicest, but it’s funny how it was advertised. Two male roommates (21 & 23) and a female roommate (38), not two brothers and a mother that’s actually 44! We’ll see what else Melbourne has to offer before I make the decision.