AFL!: Week 4
This past week has been the first week where relaxation and, dare I say it, sleeping in has been possible. The calm in between two orientation weeks has been wonderful. Besides from the stress of picking classes and getting lost on campus (more than once in my case), I am really starting to get into the rhythm of the city. All of the essentials have been covered. I know where to get late night Chinese food, four dollar pizzas, and the best spot to get my caffeine fix. There are even a few sushi places here that offer a vast array for a student’s budget.
Continuing the on the happy train, the weather here has been amazing this past week. Compared to my first week (or two) in Australia – with the rain and the wind and the cold – this week has been phenomenal. The sun has been out every day and the temperature hasn’t been frigid, but in the only slightly chilly mid-fifties to low-sixties range. It has inspired many walks into the city. My orientation group and I even went on a tour of the local (legal) graffiti.
Despite the many connections I’ve made with the other international students, I’m attempting to really integrate myself in my new college community. I’ve joined the surfing club (which should be more appropriately titled the surfing and drinking club.) As well as the rec futsal team. For those of who who don’t know, futsal is like a mini version of indoor soccer. I also plan to play AFL or footy for my residential college while I’m here. Unfortunately for me, Victoria is more of a footy state than a rugby state; so rugby will have to take a back seat this semester.
Speaking of footy, I got to see my first live game last night. The Carlton Football Club took on the Hawthorne Hawks at their home stadium. The Carlton Blues were demolished. My friends and I left at the end of the third quarter and the Hawks were winning 122 to 19….
For those of you who don’t know a thing about footy: the game is like a mishmash of basketball, soccer, volleyball, and American football.
There are 18 players on each team on the field. To move the ball, you can either “handball” it (which is like an underhand serve in volleyball) or kick it. Players work their way down the field to four posts. If they kick it in between the middle two posts, it is a goal and worth six points. If they hit one of the posts, kick it through the outside posts, or if the defense hits it through the posts, it’s called a “behind” and worth one point. Also there are these things called “marks.” A mark happens when you catch a kick. From where you make a mark you have a free kick and can’t be tackled. This helps the players move down the field unobstructed.
So was I. Watch a game if you’re ever down here. One, it’ll make so much more sense. Two, it was a great experience. 10 out of ten would recommend.