Fremantle Sunset

Fremantle Sunset

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Random Collection of Thoughts and Happenings

Warning: this post contains several pages of random, incessant babbling. I apologize. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

This past week, two of my fellow P and O residents and I went and met with an Aussie rules footy coach who wants to help set us all up on an American team, lovingly referred to as the “Yankaroos.” This man, Tony, was short, built like a tank, and a truly intimidating character with a handshake that would make a silverback gorilla wince. These guys don’t mess around when it comes to footy! Despite his rather terrifying demeanor, he gave us a true Australian welcome and treated us to some beer and rowdy talk about the many intricate and beautiful aspects of footy, as well took us to a 19 and under footy game. It is blatantly apparent that this guy used to be a stud player who still eats, sleeps, and breaths Aussie rules footy.
After the game (which was not only thoroughly entertaining, but also quite impressive), We got the chance to kick around the lopsided, oversized ball that is used in footy and run around the pitch. The field is absolutely gigantic!!! Apparently it can hold 2 and a half American football fields within it. Due to this impressive statistic, and the fact that the game consists of 4 separate 30 minute quarters, the midfielders are said to run anywhere between 15 and 18 kilometers per game. Add some ruthless body slams and tackles in there and that’s one heck of a beating on your body! Sign me up! I can’t wait to start playing.

Another day trip we made was to the local Saturday market, where fruit, veggies, street performers, neat little trinkets, and many completely useless but nevertheless entertaining objects are plentiful (I’ll post some sweet pictures soon). Afterwards, we meandered over to a Didgeridoo Shop, where we received a free lesson on the strange but beautiful instrument. The shop owner was the prototypical Australian hippie, rocking waist long dreads, a laid back ‘tude, and working in an incense laden shop that was playing soft, hypnotizing aboriginal music. But MAN, this guy could absolutely tear it up on the Didgi. He showed us some cool tricks (including how to howl like a dog while playing and imitate the sounds of kangaroos hopping across the bush. AWESOME) and put on a pretty incredible mini performance for us. I’m considering investing in a didgeridoo to accompany the 70 dollar guitar I’ve had my eye on in a local music shop.

In other news, my classes thus far appear to be relatively laid back and interesting. I’ve managed my schedule so that my Tuesdays and Thursdays are a massive marathon of lectures, seminars, and tutorials, but I have no class on Monday and Wednesday so it’s definitely worth it! More to come once I have more experience with the new Australian education system.

One last positive note: our group of residents at the P and O have continued to bond and grow closer, with movie night (toy story 3), game night (we are obsessed with a game called 500 which is very similar to bid spades/bridge, I feel like I’m right back at home with bridgemaster Mark Jansa!), community dinners, massive games of football in the park, and group trips to the beach for skim boarding.

Life is fantastic down under, Australia is stunningly beautiful, the people are so so so friendly, and I’m having a blast adjusting to this magical place!

If you want to send me mail/postcards to remind me that you love me, here’s the address:
19 Mouat Street
P & O Hotel
Fremantle, Western Australia

P.S. I witnessed my first school (pack? Group? Whatever) of playful dolphins at our lovely backyard beach!

P.P.S. I’ve discovered a phenomenal sanctuary RIGHT next door to our hotel: a basketball court!!!!!!! Today I got the chance to break a sweat playing some pick up hoops with some fellow Notre Damers and had a blast; there’s one less thing to miss from the states!

A couple more Aussie Slang terms that I’ve picked up on:
Mate- Bro
Ridgy-didge : New, innovative, original, genuine
How are you GOING?–What’s up/How are you DOING? (throws me off every time)
No Drama- No Worries

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