Friday, November 21, 2008

Finals/Being Back

Well today is Thursday and I got home from Australia on Saturday night. So I thought I would put a little post about the end of the semester and the return-home experience. The end of the semester passed fairly uneventfully in a haze of studying and saying goodbye and so on. It is weird to think that I might never see my friends again, or at least for a really long time, and same for Australia in general. However, there is really not much to report from that last week, except for that I had fun and am sad to be gone.

My flight was (thankfully) uneventful, if almost unbearably long. The second leg from LAX to JFK was delayed a bit due to rampaging storms in New York, but it wasn't too bad and apparently I missed some even bigger scarier storms right after I left Brisbane, so all is well. My dad picked me up and when we got home I had good food which was excellent. The next few days I unpacked and shopped and was really really jetlagged. I am still a bit jetlagged now but I think I am starting to get over it. Hopefully it doesn't last too much longer it's really inconvenient getting super-sleepy at weird times of day. As for reverse culture shock, when I first got back it was kind of weird - like things that were different stuck out at me (like the way the moon looks and the ketchup saying ketchup instead of tomato sauce), and I kept going to do things I had to do in Australia but not here, like switch my outlets on and off. But I pretty much got over it after about a day. It wasn't that hard of a transition I guess because this is where I lived my whole life, haha. Now I am in DC back at AU for a couple of days, which I am really excited about and am enjoying and am happy to see everyone. Michael came as a surprise and that was exciting.

So I guess this will be the end of my blog because I am back from Australia. I feel like I should put down some profound final thoughts, but I'm not really a profound kind of person. Maybe I will say this: there is a lot of talk in Australia about whether or not their culture is being swallowed up by our culture. I mean, they watch our TV and our movies and listen to our music, etc etc. And I have to say, once I stopped thinking about how convenient the quality coverage of the American election was, I started thinking that really it was kind of weird. I mean, how much do we know about Australian politics? But really, I'm pretty sure Australian culture still exists in full force. If you go there from here you can just tell. Even though they have a lot of our stuff it isn't like little America over there. At least, I don't think so. Maybe people can comment on the influence of American culture in the countries that they are in. It would be interesting.

Okay that is all.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Moreton/Gold Coast/Exams

My first exam is tomorrow, so I have been studying pretty much constantly for a few days now. However, UQ allows a whole week for studying that I put to much better use traveling about. The first weekend of SWOTVAC (read: study week) I went to Moreton Island, and that was really fun. We went sandboarding (like sledding, but on sand), and I got to climb on some giant sand cliffs, and the beaches were beautiful, and we did a bit of snorkeling also. It was an overnight trip, so we camped out that night and I went out to the beach and looked at all the stars. There were many. It was a nice weekend.

Later in the week I went to the Gold Coast for a night with Kailey and Kimberly, and Lauren was with us for a little while also. We stayed in Surfer's Paradise and it was really nice. The Gold Coast is basically your standard touristy city, but the beach that it is on is amazing. It's just huge, with white sand and nice waves. I enjoyed it immensely, even though I am now a teeny bit sunburned. One other downside is that the skyscrapers make shadows in the beach as soon as the sun starts going down. Unfortunate. In the night we went to this thing called Infinity, which was also pretty cool. It was like a maze of different rooms that was all based around lights and lasers and mirrors to make all kinds of weird illusions. It was really trippy and really fun. We explored some other aspects of the city too, but the beach was definitely the best part.

You may be interested to know that the Women's College is now decorated for Christmas, and we had Christmas dinner the other day (on Halloween, oddly enough). At first I thought I was really weirded out by all the Christmas stuff just because it was so early (I never realized how important Halloween and Thanksgiving were in limiting the length of the Christmas season). However, now I realize it's especially weird because it is so hot out. It is pretty much summer here. I can't quite believe I will be home in two weeks, or that it will be cold when I get there.

I have two things to say in closing: one is to ask Jenelle's Mom, who I know occasionally reads my blog, where she gets her secret American supply of TimTams from?

The second is to tell everyone to make sure they VOTE on Tuesday!!!!!!!!