A Travellerspoint blog

Sydney Australia

"Don't worry about the world ending today. It's already tomorrow in Australia" ~Charles M. Schulz

This is a long one prepare yourselves!

Day 15: June 5
First day in Sydeny! We get off to an early starting munching on the most delicious croissants ever made as we head into the big city. Our train ride to Sydney was a bit long, around 45-50 minutes because we decided to stay out in a bed and breakfast in the suburbs of Sydney, which was very lovely and the people were beyond nice but in hindsight I would have liked to be closer into the city at a hostel or something. Luckily the trains were pretty nice as well. They were double deckered and had changing seats so you could change which was you were facing depending on which way the train was moving it was terribly exciting (small town girl here). We got off the train at central station and decided to make out way to chinatown. Since we left so early Chinatown wasn't quite open yet, but we did find a very strange Korean store that just going deeper and deeper into the ground. It had everything you could have ever imagined in it. So many knick knacks. It was the strangest thing and you wouldn't have known all of that was in there because the store front just looks like a tiny room. Crazy. Since Chinatown was pretty closed up we decided to head to the Chinese friendship gardens (because we're friends now kinda). On our way though we saw people queuing up for something. I said to be group isn't that the X-factor symbol over there? Turns out everybody it was! Yes, I was on the Australian X-factor.

We wandered over to where everybody was standing and an official lady came up to us and was like "You want to watch? It's only about 10 minutes until we let everyone in" and we were like "of course!" So we que up as well. Turns out it wasn't a 10 minute wait but an hour wait until we actually were seated. Once seated we learned how to make TV. On shows like the X-factor they don't actually record your reactions during each singer. They prerecord everything. Strange, right? Before we saw and acts at all they recorded us doing a golf clap, a that was pretty good clap, a loosing our minds clap,a disgusted response, amongst other responses. After we recorded all the response and it was satisfactory then they finally brought out the judges. There were four judges only one of them I actually knew, which was James Blunt (guy who sings "Your beautiful"). The other judges were Guy Sebastian, Dannii Minogue, and Chris Isaak (all of which I spelled wrong the first time). I saw some pretty good acts. The best act I thought the best act was this older woman maybe 45 years old who has four sons and had great cancer. She sang this really inspirational song about taking chances or something, she was just really amazing. There was another act who had this huge following and like half the crowd was there for him. His name was Andrew Lambrou. He was also pretty good, so if he wins the whole thing I was there for his first audition! The episode I think they were filming was day 2 in Sydney so if anyone wants to tune in to X-factor Australia I may be on there.

We couldn't spend all day at the X-factor so we left maybe half way through to explore the rest of Sydney. We started at Darling Harbor and were going to attempt to walk to Circular Quay (pronounced key). Realizing Sydney is way bigger then Adelaide and that walking there would take forever we decided to hop a ferry, which is the best way to get around Sydney. This was actually a great decision because as we were rounding a point there was rainbow right beside the Sydney Opera House! Some of you may have seen the pictures, but it was stunning in real life being the first time seeing the Opera House and to have a rainbow right beside it. I mean just wow.

Once at Circular Quay we stopped for a quick dinner of meat pies and a wee bit of salad. Dinner was a quick affair because we had to get to the Sydney Harbor Bridge so that we could climb it! The bridge climb was definitely a unique experience that I'm glad I took advantage of. While we were in Sydney a big festival called Vivid was happening. Vivid is a light, music, and idea festival. So all of Sydney is lit up in colorful lights at night. Of course we had to climb the bridge at night so that we could see all these magnificent lights! So we climbed the bridge at night, during vivid, and in the rain! Yes in the rain. Those who think it does not rain in Australia. Ye be wrong because it poured. Though it was slightly cold and wet, how many people can say they did that? Not many I'd say. We kept our cheer high by singing old disney tunes to our new Canadian friend Nick who put up with us the whole time. It was a lot of fun and I would recommend it to anyone who ever goes to Sydney and if your worried about it being to strenuous no worries it is so easy with lots of breaks! :) Stay tuned on Facebook for some thuggin pictures of Katie and me in our climbing suits and complimentary hats!

Our final goal for the first day was to enjoy the light festival from the ground, but unfortunately we were all super tired from the long exciting day. Luckily we had a couple days in Sydney so we decided to go another day.

Day 16: June 6
Another early wake up day! 6:45 AM wake up call to make sure we got to Sydney in time for our tour to the Blue Mountains! We took the long train ride in as the sun was pretty much rising and were picked up the Aarons hotel by our jolly Australian tour guide, who had way too much energy for 8:00 AM and talked incessantly for the next 10 hours but he was a good crack. Once we picked everyone up for the tour we headed to the Nepean River for tea and further check-in. After some tea, which there wasn't tea there was apple and orange juice with some cookies which were actually pretty good we headed off to a mystical place called Scenic World (yes that's what it was called).

Scenic World. Oh what to say about it. It was your typical tourist trap. Its main premise was that it had these skyway and cable cars that flew above the blue mountains (they were so short you hardly saw anything) however it did have some stunning views of the blue mountains and the three sisters rock formation. Scenic world also has the steepest passenger train in the world, which was actually pretty cool. Now the big attraction the three sisters rock formation actually has a really interesting aboriginal dreaming story to go with it, which surprisingly they didn't tell us at scenic world. Our tour guide filled us in though. The dreaming story goes a little like this. A father and his three daughter were out in the forest hunting. The father told his three daughters to stay put because he was going down in to the valley to hunt and it was too dangerous for them to come. He told them not to be to loud because the monster of the valley (I forget what its aboriginal name was) would come up and eat them. The girls agreed that they would be quiet and the father went out to hunt. While the father was out hunting another animal came up to the girls and was threatening them. The girls tried throwing rocks at it to try to get it to go away, which they eventually did but the monster of the valley had heard them. The monster came up and the girls started screaming for there father to help. The father heard their cries and ran to their aid. He tried to use a magical bone to change the monster of the valley into something less scary but he didn't have enough power to change it. He tried over and over again, but it didn't work. He did have enough power to change his three daughters. So he turned them into rocks (hence the rock formation). The monster of the valley was not happy about this so began to come after the father. The father ran down the valley away from the monster. He didn't think he could escape so he decided to turn himself into a bird with the rest of the bones power. Now this bird still exists today I forget what it's called, but it's a ground bird that is constantly scratching the ground scavenging for something. It is said that this bird is the father looking for the bone that he lost when he changed into the bird. I didn't get to actually see the bird while there, which was sad but apparently they're kinda hard to find.

After Scenic World, we had lunch in the town of Leura with our new American friend Michaela. She had been traveling for the last months through Indonesia by herself. She was super cool and made me more excited about traveling by myself, which is actually happening really soon. Next was Blue Mountain National Park. The Blue Mountains actually reminded me a lot of the United States especially in Virginia because we have blue mountains too. It kind of cracked me up because they were so excited about there blue mountains and I have the same thing kinda in my own backyard. They were still very beautiful though and our guide actually explained why they were blue which I've always wondered about the Blue Ridge mountains. These mountains are blue because the oil that is released by the eucalyptus trees reflects the sky making the mountains have a blue appearance. In the national park we went to Wentworth Falls which were beautiful. I wish we could have spent more time there and done a long hike, but we were on a time crunch to see a lot. We also went to Lincoln's Rock which also had stunning views of the mouton range. I really enjoyed this. I love being out in nature instead of the cement world of a city.

After the park we went back to the man made world to see the Olympic Park where the Olympics were obviously held. This was pretty cool thought the blue mountains were cooler though. Not a big sports fan so maybe didn't mean as much to me. The last part of our tour consisted of a ferry ride back to Circular Quay in Sydney. We watched the Opera House and the city light up their lights for Vivid. It was pretty anticlimactic. But I still saw it! We decided to do a fancy dinner that night no the harbor because you know you gotta treat yourself when your in Sydney, Australia! It was quite lovely. I had a yummy lasagne while my mates had kangaroo steak (I don't think I can ever eat kangaroo steak, I love the kangaroos too much). After dinner we walked around to see all the vivid lights and all the activities going on. I got an electronica digeridoo CD, which is really interesting sounding. The most impressive light formation for Vivid was definitely the Contemporary Art Museum but isn't that kind of expected? I have some pretty cool pictures from Vivid that I will load on Facebook later. It was really hard to take pictures though so mainly I just took it all in.

Day 17: June 7
BONDI BEACH DAY!!!! WOOOOO. Today we hit Bondi Beach. One of the top 10 beaches in Australia! Luckily we had a beautiful day of around 70 degrees. Warmest day yet. First we hit the Bondi Market which had local artisan crafts and clothing and everything artsy you could imagine. I got a cat crop top and a hang made recycled dress that is going to be great summer dress for when I get back, all made right there in the Bondi area. I spent a couple hours here debating what I wanted to pay a pretty penny for. It was so cool though didn't realize how much I loved these kind of markets.

After shopping all morning in the Bondi Market I was starved so Katie and I decided to hit a cafe that had been recommended to us by one of the vendors called the Icebergs. I don't really understand why she recommended it because they did not have many things in the way of food, but I guess it did have an incredible view of the beach. So despite the food we decided to stay there just for the view. Our plan was then to go back to Sydney central area to see more of that but we loved Bondi so much we decided to explore some more.

We went on a beach walk called the Coggee beach walk which had great beach views and led to several smaller beaches. After that we went to get gelato at another place a vendor had recommended. This was much better then the first recommendation but can you ever really go wrong with ice cream? I don't think you can unless you ha e left in the freezer for too long and it has ice crystals on it. :P Katie then decided to go swimming in the ocean. It wasn't that crazy of an idea because the water was actually really warm for being winter time. I couldn't commit to getting in though because we still had an 80 minute train ride to get back and I can't stand being awkwardly wet. Before we headed back though we decided to get drinks on the beach. I had a strawberry daiquiri which made it really feel like summer time and Katie had a pina colda (but she didn't get caught in the rain). Haha crack myself up. After our drinks we then took the long train back.

The plan was that once we got back we would do a quick turn around and head back into the city to goo out for the night. But we were so tired and the train ride was so long that we decided that it probably wasn't worth it. So we made a rash decision of heading to the local watering hole in the suburb of Epping, the Epping hotel. What a weird night. It was the strangest crowd at the Epping hotel. There were significantly older people, people slightly older then me, and preteens. And everyone knew each other! It was also open mic night, but legit open mic night not crazy drunks singing. So we're just there sipping our rum and cokes listening to 12 year olds sing. It was a strange experience but again a unique one. A great way to end our short journey to Sydney!

Day 18: June 8
Travel Day

Cheers

Posted by kmnelsen 20:39 Comments (0)

Warriparinga and the Ibis

"We Rise by Lifting Others" ~Robert Ingersoll

Sorry I have not updated in awhile. I'm about to do two big updates so stay tuned for adventures in Sydney!

Day 11: June 1
Field trip day! Today we visited the Kaurna Cultural Centre in the Warriparinga Wetlands. First we took a tour around the land area and learned about the dreaming story of how the land was created. Aboriginal dreaming stories are about how something came to be like a particular land area, animal, tree, etc. There is a difference between dreaming stories and the dreamtime. Dreamtime is when the Earth was actually created, dreaming is a subset. The story of how this land area was made goes like this Tjilburke was out hunting with his nephews when he became separated from them tracking an emu. He eventually found them and when he found them his nephew had killed the emu he had been hunting. This is against aboriginal law because the emu belonged to Tjilburke. His nephew apologized and Tjilburke accepted this and went on to hunt some more. When he came back some of the other hunters had killed his nephew because they thought that was just punishment for him breaking the law. Tjilburke was upset with the other hunters and killed them off and carried his nephews body to a burial site and everywhere he rested his tears created a freshwater spring. His grief led him to give up his body as a man and turned into the ibis found in the area today and used in many symbols in the area today. Apart from the dreaming story the area is also known for holding many large festivals in the aborigine community because of all the fresh water source the area was able to support a lot of people at one time.

After our tour around the centre we had an hour or so break before we had to be back for an art workshop. Since everything is closed on a Monday morning for no apparent reason we decided to venture into the local hospital to the cafe for a quick snack. Apparently this was a poor decision for multiple reasons. For one, one of the guys from our trip ate tuna from a can that he got out of the vending machine it was pretty gross if I do say so myself. Who knows how long that stuff has been in there. For two, because my family decided to load the find my friends app so they could track my wear abouts my mom saw that I had been in the hospital for an hour. Shout out to Merbeth for being a concerned parent and actually emailed the professor asking if I was okay. Thats one precise app and one watchful mom!

We left the hospital and headed back to the centre for an aboriginal art lesson from an aborigine. This was probably the highlight of the field trip for me because since I was little I found aboriginal culture and art fascinating. It was interesting to hear the perspective from a real aboriginal who functions in the modern world but still practice the traditional roles of a woman in aboriginal culture, which consisted of pots carving, painting, weaving, amongst other things. One interesting tid bit I picked up was that aboriginal families each have a totem and throughout there life they work to protect the totem. The aborigine that taught us her totem was the black swan. So she does not eat or use anything from the black swan. It's kind of like a sacred figure for them and each family has there own. It would kind of suck if your totem was the emu because they tend to use that animal for a lot of their products.

After our workshop, we headed to Brighton Beach for lunch where I enjoyed a chicken schnitzel sandwich and some chips. Brighton beach is of course another beautiful coastline of Australia. One of the best things about Australian beaches is there usually no one there. So you pretty much have the beach to yourself. A unique thing about Brighton Beach is that it had really hard sand great for playing cricket! Too bad we didn't have a cricket bat with us. Turns out that our Professors sister lives right off Brighton beach and we ended the day at her house enjoying some tea and delectable pastries in a cozy little beach house. It was interesting to see our professor interact with his sister. You could definitely see some sibling rivalry. She and her husband were lovely people and very welcoming. A great way to end the day.

I'm going to just list out the next couple of days because wee did a lot of work with little play:
Day 12: June 2
Class- Cross Culture Psych, Energy (What is involved in energy politics?)
Got my nosed pierced
Bit of shopping
Smoked some hookah

Day 13: June 3
Class- Cross Culture Psych (Perception), Energy (Does climate change exist?)
Worked in the apartment
Pizza
Packed for Sydeny

Day 14: June 4
Class- Cross Culture Psych (research project work), Energy (Nuclear Power debate, my team won)
Left for Sydney
Arrived in Sydney made our way to Epping
Got a little bit lost
made it to the beautiful Perch house (our accommodation)
Dinner at Kenny Gourment Chef

Cheers!

Posted by kmnelsen 02:13 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Somewhere over the Rainbow in a Place called Oz

"You've always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself." ~Glinda

semi-overcast 11 °C

In the past two days I have probably seen more rainbows then I have in my life! I think I saw maybe 5 or 6 rainbows. What's is even crazier is as an abbreviation for Australia that they often use is Oz. So it's really like I am Dorothy from the Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Adelaide is my Emerald City. All I need now is a little dog named Toto! For the past two days I have been in a little place in Oz called Munchkinland a.k.a Kangaroo Island (kangaroos are surprisingly short).

Day 8 (May 29)
We started our journey down the yellow brick road at 6:30 AM in a little bus called Toastie with our own Wizard named Jay. We drove through the morning darkness through the poppy fields and the dark forest into the morning light. We arrived at the Jetty ready to board the mystical ferry that would transport us to Munchkinland/Kangaroo Island. The journey was smooth and I saw a couple of Australian dolphins along the way. Even though dolphins are the most common animal see in the water it was still pretty cool because these were Australian dolphins. Once we made it to Kangaroo Island we board Toastie again and headed for our first destination the Raptor Domain (real place not a reference to the Wizard of Oz).

The Raptor Domain was not what I expected, which originally was velociraptor you know dinosaurs. It was actually a center for the most deadly species in Australia (birds, snakes, etc.). A raptor by definition is an animal the catches it's prey with its feet. So for the show we saw several types of birds. The first bird that we met his name was Donald and he had the longest legs. He was so funny looking. I've noticed that a lot of animals in Oz have long legs and necks, must be some evolutionary thing. We also met a bird named Wally who disguise himself as a stump. A very nice young mate. My absolute favorite raptor was Casper who wasn't actually native to Australia he's just a barn owl but he was so beautiful and cute. I actually got a selfie with him while he sat on my leg. I really enjoyed seeing the birds of Australia and those who aren't. I was amazed at how well trained they all were, but I guess they have to be. After the show we had a lunch of cold chicken sandwiches and chips. Yum!

Off to the next destination, which was the Little Sahara. At the Little Sahara we attempted to go sand surfing and sledding. The hill had two sides and incredibly steep side and a bunny slope side. I was a master at surfing on the bunny slope side...and then I tried the super steep slope. Oh man did I wipe out some kind of hard. My neck is still sore from it. After that I stuck with sledding which was still kind of terrifying because the boards wouldn't stay straight. So much sand though and I hadn't brought a towel to shower that night so I was sandy all weekend. My dad's worst nightmare.

After rolling in the sand, we headed to Vivonne Bay where I played cricket for the first time. I was actually pretty good in a sense. I could bat pretty well, but pitching I had like a 1 in 3 average of getting anywhere near the mark. The thing with pitching and cricket that makes it so hard is you can't bend your arm, you have to keep it entirely straight which is the complete opposite from baseball (not that I've ever played baseball), but it's just more natural to bend you arm. It was really fun though I could have played for hours. It's the perfect game because it's relatively easy, you try until you get it, and then the running is not that intensive when you do hit it. We were probably not actually playing it the right way at all, but it seemed like the perfect beach game. Afterwards we had some watermelon and banana cake. Yum! (yes, my world is centered around food).

Our accommodation for the night was on a farm in a camp dorm style. All 8 girls in one room with outdoor shower and bathroom. It really wasn't that bad it was actually really nice. It could have been a lot worse. For dinner we had an Aussie BBQ with hamburgers, sausages, and salad. It was pretty cold on Kangaroo Island so we decided to make a bonfire. Only problem with a bonfire is that it had been raining on and off all day. So it was a bit of a struggle as I've said before like most things in Oz but with a uncowardly lion named Colin, a scarecrow with a brain who almost set the whole camp aflame named Lachlan, and a tin woman with a heart named Emma we were able to get the fire going. We then played Cheer to the Governor and shared cheesy jokes. Twas the perfect night despite the cold.

Day 9 (May 30)
To start the day off right we header to Flinders Chase National Park. A picturesque piece of Oz. One of the biggest problems of Oz is that you can't capture its beauty in a photo or take it all in with just your eyes. The countryside is so beautiful and hard to describe. It makes you remember how beautiful our little world really is. At Flinders we were headed to the coast to see some New Zealand fur seals and Admirals Arch. The seals were so cute and fun to watch. I really just wanted to take one of those adorable blubber balls and take it home with me. Admirals Arch was incredibly windy, but a natural marvel in itself. My hood on my jacket is too big and the wind would fill up and make my head look all disfigured. Everyone kept telling me it looked like those floppy things outside of car sales place (if anyone can tell me what those things name actually is I will bring you back something from Australia). We also went to the Remarkable Rocks, which are natural rock formations disfigured from erosion from wind and water (I'm sure you've seen picture of them through my Facebook). I will be putting pictures up on Facebook eventually because putting photos on the blog has proven to be incredibly difficult.

Next stop Kangaroo Wildlife Park! KANGAROOOOOOOOOS are to me as Ruby Slipper are to Dorothy. This made my life pretty much. For those of you who don't know it's always been one of my life goals to see a kangaroo in its natural habitat (check). Added bonus feeding a kangaroo! I had a kangaroo hold my hand while it munched on multi grains from my hand. It was amazing. I also got multiple selfies with the kangaroo. We are best friends now. The kangaroos were awesome. I can't wait to see more...hopefully I do. We also saw many other animals native to Australia including a koala name Alfie! Alfie was literally the cutest he just clung on to the ranger and looked at us with his tiny eyes. Koalas are not too terribly soft but they are fluffy and fun to pet! Other animals that we saw were tammar wallabies, wombats (also a favorite of mine apparently they're nocturnal), and a baby kangaroo name Tiger! I also got to hold him :) Life complete again.

To end our journey through Munchkinland/Kangaroo Island we hit a few more spots briefly. First was Stokes Bay. Very picturesque kind of breezy like all of Kangaroo Island. Next was a honey farm, Cliffords Honey Farm, where they had honey ice cream! For those who cringe at the idea it was actually really good. I was going to buy some honey to bring back but apparently TSA in New Zealand has banned bee products and since I'm going there next I figured not risk it. Then we went to Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Farm. A family owned farmed built from the ground up that now produces 3% of Australia's Eucalyptus products, which is actually a lot given how little this place is. Our last stop was a sunset hike at Prospect Hill, which was probably 200 steps straight up a mouton side (I'm incredibly out of shape). It was stunning when we got up there you could see all of Kangaroo Island for miles and see all the different patches of rain and rainbows of course, since we are in Oz afterall! After the hike, we headed back on the ferry and drove back to the Emerald City.

Day 10 (May 31)
Rest day. Slept in to about 9:00 this morning and did some laundry. Once everybody was up we headed out to pound the pavement some more. We headed up to North Adelaide to find food, which was actually a bad idea because North Adelaide doesn't have much food to begin with and then it's a Sunday and everything is closed. We eventually found something, thought Jiaorui was going to die/kill me though. The place we ended up wasn't even that good. Sorry Jiaorui! After our lunch we walked for maybe an hour to the market. We got into the deep parts of Adelaide. We really do get around then again Adelaide is not that big. We then went shopping at Coles for food for the week. Boring stuff that ya'll probably don't want to hear about. Tomorrow we head out again on another field trip Kaurna Cultural Living Center, which I'm super excited about because aboriginal people are fascinating! More on that later.

Cheers

P.S. Shout out to my parents, Merbeth and Padre! I really just wanted to thank them for sending me on this trip. It is really an experience that only happens once in a lifetime and I am incredibly grateful for them sending me. I've already learned and experienced so much in a little over a week just like Dorothy I'm learning to be myself and stand on my own. Thank you sooooo much!

Posted by kmnelsen 00:14 Archived in Australia Tagged landscapes animals boats food australia kangaroo ferry oz adelaide Comments (1)

Crepes, a Canadian, and a possibly drunk Australian

"This is the sort of thing that only happens to you once in a lifetime" ~Lord Howard Foley

sunny 18 °C

Day 5 (May 26)
Our first day of real classes was today. In our Sustainability class taught by an Australian professor we went over topics regarding Australia's Population. It was actually really interesting to see how Australia has facilitated growth because the country actually has fertility replacement rate is what I think it's called. Meaning for each fertile women there is often not enough children able to replace her. So to make the countries population grow an initiative called Australia Unlimited they created baby bonuses, paid maternity leave, and a family friendly work place. International migration is where they get most of their bulk population growth from. Fascinating stuff really when you think about it. Especially comparing Australia to the U.S.

In Professor Balls class who is teaching Cross-cultural and Indigenous psychology and who came with us from the U.S., we talked about our research projects that we are going to conduct over the next 5 weeks. My group is going to do a project on the idealized female body image in relation to a countries gender inequality. I think it's going to turn out pretty well. We are actually ahead of the other groups, which is good. Next in our planning we will set out the methods in which we conduct the study and other variables.

After class, I met my sorority sister, Paige, at the Botanic Gardens. This is probably one of my favorite places in Adelaide so far. For those who know me I am a country girl not a city girl. I can't pound the pavement for days. I need to get out and see grass and trees and birds! So Paige and I explored the gardens while I reenergized from all the beautiful nature around me. I'll make sure to put up pictures if not in this post then somewhere.

Once Paige and I said goodbye, I met up with some people on Rundle Mall, another spot I tend to hangout in just because it's so central. By this time I was pretty starving so we got grilled cheeses from a miniature VW van food truck thing. They were delicious. Somehow they had melted cheese on the outside so it was basically one gooey cheesy mess. It was glorious! While we were sitting there eating our yummy grilled cheeses we spotted a crepe cart and we just had to have one of those (not that grilled cheese wasn't enough)! I got a crepe called the Lot, which consisted of nutella, strawberries, banana, and crumbled biscuit. So god makes me hungry just thinking about it!

When are bellies were stuffed we decided to stop off at a pub, none other then the Austral where we were the night or so before, for a drink before our movie. I got my signature drink a Kraken rum and coke (first real alcohol I've had since I've been here). Hit the spot. After our drinks we head to the theater to see Pitch Perfect 2! While we were buying our tickets we found out that the person selling the tickets was actually from the states as well. She was from Texas of all places. Small world you know. When we got to our theater we were the only ones there. So we thought we would have the whole movie theater to our selves. Oh boy we were wrong. We had some rowdy Australians beside us who had to be fairly drunk because they were laughing hysterically, I mean big guffaws, throughout the entire movie especially at the American jokes. Grant it the American jokes were kind of funny especially when your so distanced in Australia. They really made the movie though, the acapella was just eh.

Day 6 (May 27)
Woo second day of classes. Time is just flying by. Today in our Sustainability class we learned more about Australia's changing population distribution and effects that has on Australia's population composition, environment, economy, amongst other factors. I'm slowly realizing Australia is in a never ending spiral of struggle...more on that to come. In our Psych class today, we did a small psych study on the Adelaide students. We were put into pairs and went up to a person (preferably sitting) and asked them a random question. Then the second person in the pair came up and asked the person who had been asked the question what race, ethnicity, and nationality they thought the person who asked them the question was (read it again if that was confusing). We found out that not a lot of people know what race they are and they aren't really able to identify other peoples races or nationalities easily. This could be because of the blurred definitions of ethnicity, nationality, and race, which are still confusing even to me. I'm also apparently Canadian. Ay.

After class, since it was another beautiful day in Adelaide I decided to show my friend the beautiful Botanic Garden that Paige and I had visited before if anyone is keeping up. I actually found new stuff that I hadn't seen before in the gardens. It's a mystical place. Kind of like Narnia...not really. We also wandered through the National Wine Centre while we were there. I don't think we toured it right or something funky was going on because it was weirdly empty. Maybe we were just there at a weird hour. I plan to go back for a full tour.

For dinner tonight we decided to stay in cook because we were pretty tired from our adventures and we had to catch up on some work. I cooked our apartment a delightful chicken parmesan meal with a lovely honey balsamic salad (kind of tasted like dirt in my opinion the salad not my beautiful chicken parm). Afterwards we headed over the other girls apartment to partake in some throwback to college drinking games. We played a good round of Kings and the Cheer to the Governor while sucking down some lovely Australian wines. Many laughs and rosy cheeks were present.

Day 7 (May 28)
So in my mind Australia is the biggest struggle bus ever. Today in sustainability class we talked about how to fix Australia's problems with population policy and it's like if you fix one thing another thing goes wrong. It's pretty incredible, I understand why they struggle so much. One of their biggest problems is water. They are running out of water pretty fast given there population size and the amount of rainfall the area in which people live get. They try to solve this by having people move to an area where there is more rainfall but they refuse to move and also if the move it would interfere with the aborigine people who are actually living in the most plentiful water area. Just every problem is linked with another. It's no wonder why the Australian government avoids the topic of Sustainability.

In Psych class we performed another miniature experiment on students in University of Adelaide area. In this study we looked at how people respond to another person smiling at them as they cross paths. We found that people especially around my own age are very avoidant. They either blatantly see you and look away or just look down at their phone. This could because our generations limited view of social interaction or some other cultural difference between Australians and Americans. I also felt very unloved. I tried smiling at people no one cared to look at me. It was like I was a ghost. Wonder what this means for the world.

After class we decided to hit one of the museums, the Art Gallery of Australia to be exact. We saw some Australian paintings through the ages, some aboriginal work, an Indian (like the country) tribes pieces, some Islamic art, European art, and an interesting art installation. The art installation was really interesting it was a video of an interrogation just in words. It got really dramatic real fast. I think it was about some woman who had killed her husband after he had abused her. That's just what I got. I also really enjoyed seeing some aboriginal artwork. Love those dots! It's such a simplistic form of art which can be done by just using a bamboo stick, yet it can display and mean so much. I can't wait to actually go to either an aboriginal camp or museum or both! To reboot after the museum we stopped at a nice alcove of a tea shop. I got a lavender latte, which was actually really nice. Kind of made me sleepy though it's a wonder I'm still awake...it's only 9:30 though here.

For dinner we did a pizza night in the guys apartment. We watch some throwback youtube videos including Shoes, Old Gregg, and some other weird stuff that I don't understand. Pop culture...not my thing. After dinner some of my flat mates and I booked our trip to Sydney! We actually have a long weekend over the Queen's birthday so we decided to head to Sydney to catch the tail end of the Vivid light festival. Should be fun! It's quite stressful planning such a big excursion, which only reminds me that I need to start planning my trip for after my study abroad program ends! Ahhh time moves so fast and I just want to do it all! If I'm gonna do it all I can't stay here blogging about it! Till next time.

Cheers!

Posted by kmnelsen 05:53 Archived in Australia Tagged art sydney gardens food travel australia museum school class adelaide Comments (0)

First day of school!

"I find it unrewarding to be consistent. The world ifs full of interesting, funny, excruciating things. My attention wanders my appetites change." ~Bert Flugelman

sunny 18 °C

G'day mates! It's a beautiful day and as the Australians say...It's a beaut! (Haven't heard anyone use this slang term but apparently according to the internet it's a thing) It's a nice 57 degrees out warming up to around 65 later in the day, which as we are quickly finding out when your walking around in the city is not actually that cold. Lets go ahead and dive right into it then.

Day 3 (May 24)
To start the morning off before we had to meet Professor Ball by the Balls on Rundle Mall, some of us decided to fid a coffee shop called the St. Louis House. We actually didn't end up the as usual I'm finding out. We actually ended up in the middle of Chinatown at a Hello Kitty Cafe! It was so cute and different. Not something you would ever see in America and if you did see it in America it would probably gaudy and all pink this was a classy gold and brown cafe. It is always great when you stumble upon something unexpected. The rest of Chinatown was alike to most other Chinatowns in other big cities. We found a Hong Kong market which had lots of interesting foods in a language I don't understand, but one of our fellow travelers is from China so she promises to make us a authentic meal! We wandered through a few more stores and then met Professor Ball.

We had a lovely Australian BBQesk meal at Professor Balls house consisting of meat pies, champagne (which we brought with us), and good cheer. Professor Balls cottage is up in North Adelaide which I would say is kind of like the downtown area of Adelaide only with a more small town feel. There are lots of little cottages and parks up there. After lunch we went on a brisk walk through North Adelaide, where we saw parrots and many people heading to the football game. We definitely stood out we were going the opposite direction of the crowd and literally everyone else had turquoise on for the Port Adelaide team who lost. Interesting note: for Australian football the main choice of article of clothing to support your team is a scarf not a jersey, unlike in the U.S. Silly Australians.

After traveling back to CBD of Adelaide some of us head to the shops. SHOPPING SPREE! (said in really girly voice) Australian style is much alike to european style in my opinion. Lots of dark colors and super bright colors with patterns. Interesting note on style: style boots in Australia are almost always short style, they really don't wear up to the knee boots. We found some pretty cheap stores. In one of the stores, ICE, we finally had our first interaction with an Australian!! WOAHHHH. It was awesome. She came right up to us and asked us if we were from the states and we were like yeahhhh ;) She was really cool and gave us some good recommendations on what to do and what clubs we should hit (because you know thats terribly important). She also gave us a sweet deal on some dresses, only $6! It was nice to finally have an Australian interested in us and to meet an Australian apparently they're pretty rare!

To end the day we watched some American classics. 17 again and My Big Fat Greek Wedding and enjoyed some Ramen noodles #collegelife.

Day 4 (May 25)
First day of school! Well not really. First day being on campus as students we went through an orientation program. We saw the campus, got ID numbers, which I have promptly lost, and we met with some professor and Phd students. One of the students that we met who was significantly older then us which I guess was fine but I would of liked to meet some younger people was a Irish/Australian. She moved back and forth from Ireland to Australia her whole life so her accent is really interesting. She was also wearing a guns and roses shredded t-shirt which made her pretty cool for being a mom. Those crazy Irish gotta love 'em. The lunch itself was unsatisfactory Australian don't understand how much Americans love to eat! Noms. A pitiful half sandwich just ain't gonna cut it.

Once orientation had ended we decided to head for the Glenelg beach! Our professor called us crazy fools for going there because apparently it's cold here which it isn't. Anyways we took a 40 minute tram ride out through the suburbs to the beach. By the time we got there it was actually kind of cold because we didn't realize how long the tram took and we had all changed into shorts. Whoops. So we walked down the pier, watched a guy bash a puffers fish head into the ground and then throw him back into the water, and took some pictures. Interesting note: there are either sycamore or some kind of pine tree that lines the coastline, and there are palm trees in the city! Go figure. After we had observed the water and coastline we headed into the little town to get some grub (NOT an Australian slang word). We landed on this cheap little Mexican restaurant who served frozen margaritas, which we bought several jugs of (not that big compared to American standards). I think we actually drank the pub dry which real y wasn't hard to do because the frozen margarita was just in one of those slushy machines, but success right? We actually didn't eat at the Mexican restaurant we only wanted them for the margaritas. I found food at a Wok In a Box, which was kind of disappointing because my food didn't come in a box.

To end the night we all got dolled up, boys included, to head out for the night. Yes...On a Monday. We attempted to go to a bar called Maybe Mae, which was not the scene we were looking for there were still people eating and not really a bar life. Since that was a total bust (probably cause I didn't plan it, just kidding) I led the team to another pub that several Australians had recommended called the Austral. The Austral was the complete opposite of Maybe Mae there was literally no one there, probably cause it was a Monday. One of our groups member however had forgotten her ID so she had to leave and I volunteered to go back with her. So I didn't get to stay that long but it looked cool for the few moments that I was there. The other person and I had a quite night in which was probably better in the long run.

Sorry it has taken me so long to update. I'm obviously out a lot doing stuff. I will try to get the next couple days in before the weekend because we're heading to Kangaroo Island and probably won't have internet!

Cheers!

P.S. Pictures to come

Posted by kmnelsen 14:56 Archived in Australia Tagged beaches night food travel australia shopping mall Comments (0)

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