We’re Not In Kansas Anymore….

31 Mar

My first night in Australia went well. I passed out at 7:30 and slept until 4am. Being wide awake, I decided to get a head start on unpacking my suitcase. My sister and her girls woke up at 6am so I wasn’t up too long alone which was nice. Thankfully it was Christmas that day so I was busy meeting all my new family members and chasing after kids. Christmas in Australia did not feel like Christmas at all. It was so hot which was the complete opposite of snowy Indiana.

I cannot stress how important it is to drink lots of water. Water helps the jet lag and don’t take any naps. No matter how tired you are it is compulsory (important) that you don’t take any naps. When I went to my pre-departure meeting, they told me all these things and warned us against drinking alcohol during the first week. Unfortunately I let one of my new family member’s talk me into having one drink. Turns out the study abroad advisers were right about not drinking alcohol because halfway through it and became so dizzy and nauseous. Rule of thumb about when its safe to drink alcohol is the day when you don’t feel the need to take a nap is the day its ok to drink. When we sat down to dinner (don’t call it super otherwise Australians will look at you funny), we had on our plates party crackers. Crackers here are paper cylinder looking things that you pull apart and they have a miniature toy and tissue paper crown inside. Until coming here, I had never heard of such a thing bit its huge here.

By the end of Christmas day, I was ready to drop but knowing it would help me in the long run I managed to stay awake until 10pm that night. Waking up at 5 instead of 4 the next morning, gave me hope that adjusting my body to a different time zone might only take a week. That day I learned that Big W and Woolworths combined would equal our Super Wal-Mart and almost every store closes at 5pm. There’s only one real way to describe the businesses and stores here and it’s like stepping back into the 1950s in the states. Butchers, bakeries, and chemists (where people get anything involving health from prescriptions to Tylenol) are everywhere and most people go to these places rather than grocery stores. It’s kind of cool to get this opportunity in experiencing an economy that is still based people who start up and run their own business eventually growing into family owned chains.

After going to bed at 10pm that day, I woke up at 6am and found it easier to stay awake throughout the day. It always helps to keep busy and this day my sister’s family and I went to a park for a picnic to celebrate Australia Day. Getting the chance to come here was been one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I now get to swing with my nieces on the swings or go down the slide with them. If it wasn’t for the Purdue’s Study Abroad Program I wouldn’t be here right now. Being in Australia has not only changed my perspective about me and my home in the states, it has changed the things that I want for myself and my community back home. Back on topic here, the ants are enormous! In little old Indiana the ants are really tiny and they don’t bother you but here they can grow up to an inch long and bite so hard you think they’re trying to eat you. Ants are annoying and everywhere but a bigger problem for me is the money. They don’t have a penny or 25 cent coin but they do have 20 and 50 cent coins. Their bills are plastic with a clear mark on a corner and they have 5, 10, 20, 50, etc. A fair whack of Australians actually wonder how Americans can use paper money because wouldn’t it go to mush when you get it wet. I always have a little giggle with that question and then I tell them that our money isn’t only paper and it doesn’t turn to mush every time we get it wet. Australia’s 1 and 2 dollars are coins so be careful about what you drop on the ground because it might just be 2 dollars.

Overall my first week in Australia went well and was a constant state of learning something new every hour. Thank goodness that on third day and thereafter I woke up at 8am which worked out perfect for me because of my schooling. Australia is truly a beautiful place with rolling hills in the country, breathtaking sunsets, and magical stars at night. It should be a requirement that everyone comes to Australia at least once in their lifetime. I hope to upload some pictures I’ve taken of Australia soon!

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One Response to “We’re Not In Kansas Anymore….”

  1. ashley April 7, 2010 at 2:40 pm #

    hahah love ya

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