Settled In & Chowing Down
Yes, they actually say that. Yes, it cracks me up every time. Yes, it is still surreal to realize again and again that I’m currently living in Australia — and I have loved every minute of my time here! The people are amazing (I’m living with a mix of international students, everywhere from Norway, Ireland, Pakistan, Vietnam, and a good number from the States, as well as a bunch of Aussies) and I’ve been gorging myself on Schnitzels, chicken sausages, plus various cultural delicacies like curry and lasagna and all the food I could possibly want to eat through my accommodations. I’ve also tried a kebab for the first time (quite delish), loaded chips (McDonald’s will put guac and chili sauce on fries — surprisingly good, but 99% different than American guac/salsa chips), sticky fig pudding (with caramel sauce. 12/10 would recommend), pavlova (essentially baked whipped cream), and lots of other unique foods that I didn’t know existed but now am very excited that I do.
Besides eating, I’ve been getting loads of schoolwork to do which has kept me plenty busy and on my toes since the Australian uni system is much more independent learning than anything I’ve known before, but I do like the system as it makes me feel as if I’m calling the shots on my own education. I truly enjoy my classes and like my subjects, though I do wish I didn’t have to do any work at all (obviously, who really does?) but I enjoy learning about global politics, Australian Literature, sediments and fuels, and cultural studies. Mid-session break is coming up soon though, and I’m planning to go on a trip to New Zealand through an organized trip around the South Island (IM SO PUMPED)!!
This past weekend was the Country Life Weekend in Bathurst, NSW, about a 4 hour drive inland from Sydney, where we stayed with the kindest, most heartwarming couple on their farm for two days and they fed us wholesome Australian goodies until we felt like curling up on the heated blankets in a wonderful food-induced sleep. They had an incredibly beautiful farm and plenty of cows, so we helped Bill take some hay out to them and he showed us how to be Angus farmers (kind of). They had the most hardworking Kelpie farm dog I’ve ever seen, who’s name was Larry and was very much in love with Bill. It was a wonderful weekend with plenty of food and good company, and I really enjoyed getting to experience what authentic Aussie grandparents are like — and would be so excited if I ever had a chance to stay with them again!
As for now, everything is going swimmingly in Wollongong (even during the dead of winter it’s warm enough to tan on the beach!) and there will of course be much more to come. Cheers, mate!