In total, I’ve lived in Australia for 1.5 years in the last 3.5 years and there are definitely a few things I’ve learned. I know you’re probably saying ‘Wait, Kristine’s over there to learn? We thought she was just hemorraging money via drinks, traveling, and shopping (more or less true).’ For all you non-believers, I’ve compiled a list of all the things that I’ve learned during my time abroad (or at least remember).
1. If you’re clumsy off a bike, then you’re clumsy ON a bike I know how to ride a bike, just not well. How does that work? Easy. I fall a lot. Thank god for helmets…I should really wear knee guards but I don’t think that’s acceptable for a 23 year old, right? My last fall was more embarrassing than usual. How, you ask? Well, imagine me coming to a stop and managing to fall off my bike as I was trying to get off. Is that even possible? Yes, I have my scars to prove it. What’s worse? The look from the dude who was walking toward me as I did it. Shaking your head at a total stranger should be outlawed.
2. Disco nap. How did I not know what these were called before? If you don’t know, they are naps you take before you gotta haul ass to get to a disco. lol. Going out here is so diff from home and sometimes I don’t come home until 5/6am, meaning, I need lots of energy to make it through the night. Red bulls, monsters, and V’s are okay but nothing is as satisfying as a disco nap to keep me nice and refreshed before a night of going out 🙂
3. Doing things with people is overrated. Shopping alone, watching movies alone, dancing alone, eating alone, traveling alone, drinking alone…you name it. There isn’t one thing that I haven’t done where I didn’t have to do it alone at least once. And you know what, it’s awesome. No one to rush you, to judge you (maybe on the drinking alone part…but you don’t know them), or to force you to do something that you don’t want to do. Awesome.
4. American-isms or just Kristine-isms? I’m not saying I’m a weird, but there sure are a lot of things I do that are unique. The two biggest things are probably my facial expressions and they way I pronounce/emphasize things. Now, I don’t necessarily know all of them but I have been asked numerous times by my Aussie friends ‘Do all Americans do that or is that just you?” That is HA-larious.
5. Every Australian actor that has made it in Hollywood was on Neighbors or Home and Away.
6. Americans rule when it comes to donuts, among other things. Lol, not that I really needed to go abroad to learn this, but my travels has just reinforced it. First of all, american donuts are bomb. Australians seem to believe that good donuts = jam donuts. Psh. They are rudely mistaken. Good donuts are bready donuts made by Cambodians, am I right?
7. Always carry an umbrella or jumper. Melbourne is the city of 4 seasons in one day, no joke.
8. Never read the Herald Sun, unless it’s for the quiz. One of the most right-wing and conservative papers, the Herald Sun spews more than a lightweight college freshman. Unfortunately it is one of the most read newspapers in Melbourne, so you have people actually listening to Andrew Bolt, among other spew-writers. Bleh.
9. Australia is the largest continent by area where everyone drives on the left side.
10. The coffee here is boss. Coffee snobbery has taken a new level here in Melbourne. Back in the 1980s, Melbourne underwent a massive city revitalisation project where they took back the streets and coverted dingy alleyways into beautiful laneways, boasting over 300 cafes. Two coffees a day is now typical for me. Don’t talk to me before then.
11. Summer festivities rock! From music festivals like Meredith to Falls, or outdoor cinemas, Melbourne is great at organising outdoor events during the summer months. Any day of the week you can entertain yourself by going to the night market at Vic Markets, to a movie at Moonlight Cinemas, or to Symphony in the Park! I’ve never known another city to be so dedicated to summertime activities as Melbourne and I gotta say, other cities should adopt their approach fast! http://www.broadsheet.com.au/melbourne/ and http://thethousands.com.au/melbourne/ are great blogs for all the happenings!
Well I’m sure I’ve learned more, but that’s all that my little brain can write at the moment.