Out of the ordinary Australia

Australia, the island continent… what a diverse and unique place. It is definately a world on it’s own.

I have seen some really unusual things when being here, and noticed a few differences in daily life. 

Here’s a few of these unusual/different sights/experiences…

  1. Blue and red crayon car
  2. People like to honk and creep you more on the street compared to Canada
  3. Casual heels with every outfit is completely normal
  4. I have been asked if I was Irish or American way to many times to count
  5. Apparently I look Yugoslavian to Australian people
  6. Rhino’s on skateboard signs at the train station…
    Rhino
  7. The bus drivers are either super nice and helpful or off their rocker and should not be allowed to drive a bus for safety concerns
  8. The barista named Moose from Tasmania who has white painted nails
  9. Short shorts are worn by all boys – starting to dig it 😉
  10. The lingo is close to impossssible to understand still…
  11. and many more that probably blew my mind in how unusual they were at the time but know I am so overwhelmed that I completely forgot. – check my tweets I probably tweeted about them at the time 

this place is great. so strange to think I only have 2 and a half months left here. 

hoping that time goes by super super slowly cause I will miss this place like crazy when i’m home.

YOLO

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Time to meet some INTERNATIONAL students #ellodarling

Since being in Melbourne and starting school we have met alot of Australians who live on our street. We live in an area called Newport which is a young mommy central. It is not a student populated area so it has been hard to meet other people. With the amazing networking and international connections the university sets up for us, we finally decided to take advantage of their services and head downtown to the main campus and attend the VU International Student Welcome Function. It was hosted on the 17th floor of Flinder’s Street campus which overlooked the entire city. When we got there we were giving a name take with our country flag on it as well as 3 free drink tickets. Drink selection was either beer or wine. 

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It was such a welcoming and awesome atmosphere at this function, everyone was so friendly and so willing to meet new people and it ended up being such an amazing night. We met a ton of people from the UK, Germany, USA, Austria and various other places! 

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Hearing some of their stories of why they chose to come to VU as well as facts about their lives was so interesting! It’s nice to know that I have connections in so many different places in the world if I ever pass through some of these countries when I travel on my home. Having somewhere to stay in stead of paying for accomodation is key when cutting costs when travelling!

Also this evening, Lisa Murphy was arriving in Melbourne to meet up with her brother who is this super sick wicked dj. We met up with her and headed downtown for the remainder of the night. Transport bar was first, which was this really nice bar located in Federation Square which looked out on the water.  We continued the evening and ended up at a bar called Cookie. It was so confusing, with SO many different rooms. Definately got lost. 

The night ended with Maka’s and then we headed home.

amazing night out with all the roomies and our new friends.

pip pip cheerio – g’day

Classes start… back to the grind?

It’s time for reality to set in. Its time to finally start classes… the reason why I am in Australia that is. Sometimes.. well actually I forget that school is suppose to be the priority here. It is definately not a priority… it probably ranks 3rd or 4th. woops. Travel, social, taco bills then school haha. 

First things first.. Victoria University Footscray Campus. Definately nothing like Western that is for sure. As I stumble my way through campus in attempts to find my classes the first week I definately stood out as a newb. One funny occurrance was when a student helped on campus noticed I seemed a bit lost and came up to me offering some help and assistance. She said “I know Vic Uni is a big campus, but youll know your way around sooner or later…” Funny thing is, Vic Uni Campus is the size of Huron College… hahaha The charming Canadian innocent girl accent and smile definately worked in my favour in various situations. I also recieved various looks as if I was this martian whenever I spoke in class. I kind of got used to the fact people look stunned for the first minute of speaking with me. It really neat being so different than everyone else. Everyone is so interested in why you are in Australia, and are always willing to catch up and show you around! I have met a few good friends in some of my classes, who have been so keen on bringing me to footy games, being there for my first Australian meat pie, and willing to invite me out! 

Playing the Canadian chick card has also attracted attention from a few Aussie boys… When I am looking my greatest after a full work out at the gym, I am still able to attract attention from smoking hot, fit, tanned 27 yr old grad student males. Gastrocs is him name. He has the most defined calf muscles and therefore we refer to him as gastrocs. #shitinsiasays 

I think this post got a bit side tracked and derailed a bit… so school, classes, work and that learning stuff I was suppose to be talking and writing about.. oh right.. so yea, school is NOTHING like Canada. With 3 days of class a week and 1 lecture and 1 tutorial per week for every class… and some classes aka rock climbing only have 3 classes in the entire semester, I have alot of free time. Classes remind me alot like high school as there are lots of small assessments and tasks, and things arent worth as much. Lectures arent mandatory, and as long as you complete the tutorial activities and hand them in on time you are golden. When June rolls around I only have 3 exams. 1 in which is online and can be written when I am back in Canada, and the other two are in class. Rock climbing class has a week long camp trip which I will be embarking on shortly, and my Phys Ed and Adolescence class (aka.. gym class for grade 5’s) only has a few assignments. #mylifeisajoke It’s great to be getting equivalent credits for these classes! My other classes are Nutrition which is alot easier than the nutrition I took in first year, Resistance training which is awesome, and the teacher is UNREAL (coolest women ever) and finally Growth Development and Aging which is technically a first year credit at VU, but I get a 3rd year credit eqivalent at UWO. #thisisntreallife 

SO far so good, school is great but it is extremely hard to get into a routine. I dont think I will ever take school as seriously as I should, but that’s alright… i’m here to travel, see Australia and have an amazing time! Good grades will happen, but there is no need for stressing while being here. 

Fun Fact of the day… I don’t have class again until April 16th. 

– peace love and hot british boys

Taco Bills

Taco

Taco Bills, Taco Bills, where do I even begin with this place. Coming to Australia, I knew that I would have to find a part time job to make some extra cash to fund all my crazy adventures and to ensure I didn’t starve. I did not expect this part time job to be one of the best decisions and biggest parts of my exchange. Not only is it a super easy and fun job serving enchiladas, tacquitos, quesadillas and fajitas, I am to have some quality bonding time with two of my roommmates who also work there! Our boss Harry absolutely loves us and so do the cooks and the dish boys. I have never been complimented so much in a short period of time, as when I am at work. Clare is a big jealous of the amount of attention I get from the various 16 yr old boys who consistently profess their love for me on a daily basis. hahah 

FRIOLES… that is all. They are the most delicious creations to the world. Frioles on everything. Stacks and stacks of frioles. I want to roll in frioles. Clare would prefer to roll in chocolate mousse but hey, to each their own. 

Pancho Villa’s – In the mood to get a little silly? Well order a Pancho Villa and you are sure on your way there. A margarita spiked with more than 10 standard drinks for the hefty price of $36.90. This drink will sure make it difficult to walk out of the restaurant. When my best friends from Canada come and visit in about a month we are making an evening out of it. Pancho Villa’s for everyone and well see where the night takes us!

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This is most likely the status of you after a Pancho Villa… mmmm

It’s hard to explain how awesome and how much fun work is… as crazy as that sounds! I’ll definately miss that place when I have to say goodbye!

I’d make this blog post more detailed… but I have been slacking on blogging so I have about a month to catch up on… woops!

Ole’

 

VU O-Week … i’d say O-weak.

The day has finally arrived after an amazing 2 months of being completely care free, it was time to get into school mode. On Feb 20th Madison, Daniela and I made our way to Footscray Park campus for a fun- filled? day of Orientation events. With 3 Oweeks behind me, I was expecting great things from VU. For a smaller school they did try really hard to make the best possible O-week… O-day that they could. The most beneficial part of the day was the Study Abroad and Exchange info session. I finally was starting to get excited for classes to start, and planning all our side trips and travels for the remainder of my time here. I met so many international students who are all eager to get out and do things in the city. It’s amazing to meet people from all over the world who all chose to study at VU for the semester as well. There are so many people from Germany, the UK, USA, and surprisingly Canada! Everyone loves Canadians it’s awesome. 

So far so good at VU!

 

The Great Ocean Road

so it looks like I have a few weeks to catch up on… I am sorry for those of you who have hassled me to distract them with my blog instead of studying for exams. my sincerest apologizes and I won’t let this happen again.

let’s go back in time to Saturday Feb 18th 2012. 

The Great Ocean Road Excursion. My memory of this excursion isnt as great as it would be if I blogged right after so i’ll jot down the highlights of what I can remember 🙂

Geelong – After a very very early morning following a night out on the town, Madison, Daniela, Rick and I began our Great Ocean Road day tour. The Great Ocean Road is located south of Melbourne, and is one of the most scenic excursions I have been on in my entire life. After a short highway drive we made our way through the first area which is categorized in the Great Ocean Road. Geelong I had heard of previously as many people who I have met in Uni, and on my street are from this area. Geelong is Victoria’s 2nd largest city following Melbourne. 

Torquay – The next area which we past through was Tourquay. Torquay is known for amazing surfing on the various beaches, most importantly Bells Beach. Many surf competitions take place in this area; specifically the Rip Curl Pro which is held on Easter Weekend. 

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Anglesea – We continued along the famous GOR route and made our way to Anglesea. We stopped at the Anglesea Golf Club which is known to have wild Kangaroos which habitat in the course’s tree and forests. In Canada we have wild deer who habitat around golf courses, but in Auz their are Roos. 

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It was the first time I had ever seen a wild roo and it was such a highlight of my trip. I can’t believe how fast they run! It was incredible! Next, we continued through Anglesea and got out of the car for the first time to take a walk down one of the beaches. A footy team was training on the beach, doing various drills… looked more like boot camp to me. 

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It is amazing to see how intense some footy coaches are with their teams. No pain no game. The beach was absolutally gorgeous and the rock cliffs were just a taste of what was to come through the remainder of the tour. 

Lorne – Next, we made our way to Lorne. We stopped in a few places which are located in Lorne, these including: Cape Otway, The Great Otway National Park & The Erskine Waterfalls. The Erskine Waterfall was first on the tour and it was breathtaking. We had to make our way down a very steep set of stairs to get the best possible view of the falls. 

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There was an opening for those who were feeling a bit adventurous to make their way on the rocks to get closer to the falls. Being the adventurous one I am, I took full advantage of this. I had many close calls and almost slipped and ended up in the falls. We continued through the Otway National Park to an area covered and flourishing in Eucalyptus trees. This only meant one thing… KOALAS! As we made our way down a dirt road we were able to look up in the trees and see wild koalas in their natural habitat sleeping. Koalas sleep 20 our of 24 hours in a day so it is quite rare to see them when they are awake. It is crazy to think that these adorable creatures have a fiesty and vicious nature, but when they are spooked or threatened they will attack.

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They have extremely sharp claws and they will use them in self defence. When we reached the end of the road, we got out of the car and were surrounded by trees that were filled with Koalas! They are sooo cute.

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It was really frustrating to see a group of foreigners who were taunting the Koala by poking it with a stick. I was so close to saying something to them, but them I realized they didn’t speak english so they wouldn’t understand me. I considered grabbing a stick myself and start attacking them. Well not actually, but the though did cross my mind. The poor Koala was just enjoying his/her time in the tree… give the dude a break. 

Apollo Bay 

 

Throughout the day, I was getting so excited to see the infamous Twelve Apostles. I had seen in many travel books this landmark, and it was something I was dying to see. I mean, there are only 7 of them left, but they are so iconic it was a must see. 

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Right before we made it to the Apostles we made our way down the 86 Gibson Steps to get a different view of the rocks. It was just after Valentines day and someone had collected sea matter and made a really cute design and saying in the sand. The Great Ocean Road is such a touristy location so it is really well arranged and viewing areas are located in perfect spots. We had such an amazing view of the Twelve Apostles from above. 

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After a long day of touring, it was time to grab some dinner before we made our way to the final two landmarks on the GOR. However it was harder than we thought to grab dinner as many restaurants are closed between the hours of 3-5 for only coffee and biscuits… weird? yup. we ended up having to settled for pizza at this tiny restaurant. 

Port Campbell – After a not so good dinner, we drove a few km’s until we made it to the London Bridge. The London Bridge is another famous landmark on the GOR. There is a really interesting story about when the London Bridge collapsed back in the day. 

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When the bridge fully collapsed, a love affair was brought out in the open, as the cheater and cheatee had to be rescued and airlifted back to land. They had been abandoned on the other side of the bridge. 

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The last stop on our GOR tour before we had to make the 3 and a half hour ride back was the Arch. The arch was an incredible site as well. 

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Watching the waves crash in and around the arch was breathtaking. The rock texture was magnificent as well. 

Overall this day trip was amazing. Thanks to Rick Bremner for being an amazing escort. It was so sad to say goodbye to the last parent figure we would be seeing for the next 4 months of this adventure. It was so nice to experience this with Madison and Daniela as well. We had so many laughs along the way and a few unexpected experiences surface as well 🙂