Transportation

I don’t think I’ve made a post about the transportation here yet. Suffice it to say that you can get around very easily with public transport. They do drive on the left here, so I wouldn’t advise driving a car if you are from America.

The transportation includes: trains, buses, trams, and kangaroo.

I would suggest buying a MyKi transport card and getting a concession card if you are an exchange student. MyKi makes getting around faster and easier in my experience.

P.S. I was joking about the kangaroo. Kangaroos don’t accept MyKi or Metcard. They will accept giving you a good kick though.

Steve Jobs

Seeing Steve Jobs introducing the iPhone in an Intro to Marketing lecture video as an example of “product”…priceless. Apple is used as an example in many of my classes; here and in the U.S. It makes me feel proud.

A New Perspective

I watched the 2007 Doctor Who Christmas special tonight. It was fun…but sad. I miss David Tennant as the Doctor. I just plain miss the Doctor. That’s one more reason to stay here a year: to watch a new episode of Doctor Who in another country. I had a weird feeling at the end of the episode I watched tonight. There was a reference to America. It was a weird experience because I could relate a lot more to the Doctor; him being a traveler and the fact that he wasn’t in America. It felt like I was looking at America from a non-American’s perspective; which I am in a way. I am already noticing that my perspective of the world has changed. It isn’t necessarily a big change that you notice all the time; but you do notice it in the little things. And those little things feel like a big change.

Tomorrow When the War Began

This is the first book in a popular series written by an Australian author about a group of teenagers in Australia. I have not read the series but it has been recommended by more than one of my friends. There is a movie of the first book coming out next month. I’m planning on going to see the film with Chris. I may or may not have time to start reading the book before the movie.

I recently listened to some Savage Garden songs. It was surreal because they were one of my first bands that I started listening to…and here I am listening to them where they originated (Australia).

Kangaroo

Notice that I did not type kangaroos. No, my first experience with Australia’s national symbol was not with the furry jumping kind. My first experience was of the dead, meat variety. Yup, I tried kangaroo…the food. Chris commented once that he thought Australia was the only country to eat it’s national symbol/animal. The statement holds true for the United States; we don’t eat eagles. So what is the verdict? To put it simply, I’ll stick with chicken thank you very much. I tried the sausage variety. Maybe kangaroo steak tastes better. I think it was the texture more than the taste that wasn’t to my liking. Hopefully my experience with live kangaroos is more to my taste (pun intended).

AFL and St. Kilda Beach

On Saturday I was going to go Ice Skating but I got the time for the bus wrong and missed out. Instead I decided to go to the beach, even though it was cold. About an hour and a half later I arrived at St. Kilda Beach. Australia seems to keep surprising me. It’s amazing that I can go to the beach anytime I want using the public transportation.

Sunday was my first AFL (Australian Football League) game. Aussie Rules Football is the major game played here and it’s nothing like American Football. I won’t try to explain the game because I don’t fully understand it. IBefore the game all of the students were taught some of the rules of the game with some embarrassing participation. After lunch (which wasn’t very good) we got some free Western Bulldogs branded items (western Bulldogs is the AFL team that gives students three free game passes). One of the items was a scarf. I asked Thomas how he put on his schal (schal is the german word for scarf) because I liked how he wore it.

I’ll say this about Aussie Rules Football: there is no throwing of the ball allowed, the field is an oval, there are three goals, and the players don’t wear any protective padding (on the contrary they wear short pants and a tight shirt so that other players can’t catch them easily). Of any sport I’ve seen, I enjoyed this the most. There is a lot more movement on the field compared to some other games. And there is a good chance that someone will get hurt as it is a contact sport and like I said, the players don’t wear padding. I need to find a book that explains the sport better. I don’t think I’d ever play it because it looks painful…but it’s fun to watch!

Not the most flatering photo

After the game I spent some time with Thomas and Sascha; both German. We went to Melbourne Central and they got coffee. We talked for awhile until I went to Flinders Street Station to meet up with an Aussie friend, Matt. After about an hour and a half later, I took the train home.

I have decided not to move to Melbourne. Now, for those of you hoping I don’t move to Australia in the not-too-distant future, don’t get excited. I’ve decided to move to northern Australia. For two reasons: Melbourne is too multicultural for my liking and northern Australia will be summer all year round.

Today I received my Australia Tax File Number and yesterday received an email about a potential job. I’m trying to set up an interview for tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Coffee Tour

Two nights ago I went on a coffee tour with a group of people from the Student Village. I had a mocha with pizza, hot chocolate, and a cappucino with some chocolates. I was rather full and high on caffeine by the end of the night. But I had heaps of fun. We played mind games too. One with forks that involved numbers and one with a spoon called Umbrella. I met a few new people, including Vicky.

Second Day of Classes

Today was the second day of classes and the first day of tutorials. I was a bit terrified with the tutorials. I had very little idea of what to expect or what was going to happen. But it’s basically a more interactive class like back in the States.

I met up with Thomas again; a German guy I met a few days ago who looks strikingly like my French teacher (who was ALSO named Thomas). It’s really cool meeting people from Germany and Norway. But I wish I was meeting more Australians (Chris, if you’re reading this, anything advice?).

The world, and I mean that literally, is getting a whole lot bigger. My perspective of the US is changing. I am seeing a whole new perspective of America; one from the outside. Apple has been used as an example of a successful company in most of my classes so far. I feel proud.

I noticed myself pronounce the word “I” differently today. I’m also using the European spellings of words like “centre” and “globalisation”. And today’s date is 29/7/10 (the day is written first here, then the month). I’m not resisting any of these changes; on the contrary, I welcome them. My only concern is that my reverse culture shock is going to be strong when I return to the US.

Speaking of returning to the US. The job hunt has commenced. Or rather it commenced last Friday when I got my class schedule. I have resumes printed; they do things differently here. Resumé first, then application if you get called. Several have already been distributed and I have other leads to look into. I will update here with many exclamation points when I get a job. Getting a job makes possible me staying here another six months. I have a goal of having a job by the end of next week.

Tonight I talked with Tom (one of the norwegian guys) online. I was typing in Norwegian (with the help of a translation website) and he was typing in English. I’m also attempting to learn a little Norwegian when I have the time through a podcast. If anyone had told me a year ago that I would be attempting to learn Norwegian on my own, I would have laughed at them.

So for now, I’ll say goodbye in Norwegian, Hadebra.

1st Aussie haircut

So I got my first haircut here today. Yes, I’m writing a blog post about getting my hair cut. It cost $20. But if you do the conversion and subtract what you would usually tip from that amount it comes out about the same. The woman who cut my hair did a great job in my opinion. She used these clippers to hold my hair in place so she could cut certain parts easier. It felt strange at first; I think I startled her and the other hair cutter next to us when I started reading in the back to feel what was there.

I plan to go back the next time I need a haircut. It’s the little things that make all the difference.