Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Arriving in Australia and Getting to Know Fremantle
Welp, after two days of flying and franticly scrambling to reach multiple different terminals (LAX sucks), I have finally reached the spectacularly beautiful Australia. I was warmly greeted in Brisbane with a gorgeous Australian Sunrise, several baggage checks and quarantine questions, and a plethora of g’days from friendly looking Aussies. After arriving in Brisbane and getting all checked in for my flight to Fremantle, I experimented with the exquisite local cuisine (AKA Subway). Several important things to note here: 1) Burger King is known as Hungry Jacks and 2) Subways here offer guacamole with their subs (which I took full advantage of)!!! When I finally landed in Fremantle, I was met with a big sign that read “University of Notre Dame” (the uni I’ll be studying at while here). Needless to say, I felt pretty important. Anyways, I got the chance to meet and chew the fat with some other students who are studying abroad and staying at the P & O hotel, my residence hall while I’m here. If you want to know the truth, the P & O hotel rooms are about the size of a walk-in closet. They make Desmet rooms look like colossal dwellings fit for kings. That having been said, I am very lucky to have a room all to myself right next door to my other fellow GU traveler James. The P and O does have several super clutch things going for it: 1) our back yard is a beautiful beach with gorgeous sandy shores leading to a chilly but not unbearable Indian Ocean 2) our front yard is a massive, lush park with every kind of playground material one can imagine, and plenty of space to play soccer or other sports (rugby perhaps? Footy? Kangaroo catchers?) 3) there is a group kitchen that is humungous with every kind of grill, appliance, and other kitchenware thingymabobber (that’s the technical, scientific term) you could ever want. Once a week (including tonight), everyone in the residence hall gathers for a community dinner. All the people staying at the P and O hotel seem really nice, we’ve gotten the chance to know each other through orientation activities, joint kitchen duties and cooking, and going out and checking out Freo together. Today we went out and explored all over Fremantle, including several incredible beaches and we were treated to an unbelievable sunset (the pics on facebook don’t even come close to doing it justice, but you should still check em out). We have one more week of orientation activities (basically just all the safety bullcrapola and necessary information about the uni) before classes start, which will give us plenty of chances to get to know each other and Freo better. Classes here meet only once a week, with a 2 hour lecture period and a 1 hour tutorial period. Due to this somewhat bizarre schedule, I am fortunate enough to have my Wednesdays free of classes, leaving me with plenty of opportunities to explore Fremantle or take a train to Perth to adventure there. Well, I’m off to enjoy and partake in our first community dinner! Fremantle ROCKS!!!
If you’re at all interested in contacting me and telling how much you desperately miss me, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, skype me at paddy.jansa, or facebook me. Hopefully I’ll have a mailing address soon. If you want me to send you a postcard, send me your address!
P.S. It goes without saying, but the accents. Are. AMAZING! I can never get enough, I’m trying my best to catch on and adopt my own sweet Aussie accent.