Fremantle Sunset

Fremantle Sunset

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Man, my life sure is tough!

On one of my numerous days free from class, I borrowed an old-school bike from one of my gracious and friendly Australian buddies who lives at the P and O hotel and went on a little cruise around Fremantle. My expedition had no real planned direction or purpose, but I ended up pedalling past some stunning beaches, quaint little shops, and spectacular landscapes. I admit that I ended up getting a tad lost as I was exploring aimlessly, but I had a blast on my joyride, I thoroughly enjoyed checking out some of the cool sites and shops along the way, and navigating my way back home was just part of the adventure! Now that I know I have a bike at my disposal (meaning that I can occasionally borrow it), hopefully my cycling outings will become weekly occurrences!

Another phenomenal event that took place this week that I fully anticipate becoming a fun weekly tradition was Tuesday night pick-up basketball with my Australian friend Blake and his mates. I met Blake through the mixed bball tournament in Perth earlier in the semester, and we recently discovered that we actually share an English class together. Anyways, he asked me if I’d be interested in strapping up and running a little full court pick-up game with him and his buddies. After carefully considering the offer and spending countless hours carefully pondering my answer (NOT! It took about .00001 seconds for me to make my decision) I eagerly accepted. He generously offered to pick me up at around 8 so I could avoid the hassle of public transport, and we spent the half hour ride discussing all things basketball, school, and he even helped me work on my struggling Australian accent (which has made massive strides under his expert instruction)! He also offered up a plethora of useful slash hilarious Aussie slang that I will surely integrate into my daily vocabulary. We arrived at the gym and after meeting everyone we dove right into playing on the beautiful, full-court of glistening hardwood that they have reserved from 9-10 every Tuesday night. It. Was. AWESOME!!! No absurd rules about where guys can run/rebound/play (cough cough shitty mixed tournament rules cough cough), just pure, exhilarating, glorious full court basketball with 2 competitive teams. In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been going through massive withdrawals from true pick-up bball and the hour we played felt like a dream come true! I had a handful of thunderous swats, threw down a few nice dunks, and played decently well considering the rust that has accumulated from my limited playing the last month, and the players there seemed impressed enough by my playing to invite me back for future sessions. Next week I am recruiting some of my fellow American ballers to join me so they can share in the wisdom of a native Australian as well as release some pent-up competitive juices on the court.

Although the eye is progressing nicely and I’ve developed a truly impressive shiner (pictures of the gruesome development are up on facebook, you might want to abstain from looking at them if you’re squeamish…) The doctor advised me against playing any full contact sports given the state of my eye, but I couldn’t resist and thankfully no further damage was done (after participating in Footy practice on Wednesday I breathed another sigh of relief as I managed to escape unscathed even though we spent a large portion of practice working on tackling and body slamming our teammates), Whew!

This weekend will be a particularly quiet one around the P and O hotel, mainly because nearly everyone has fun and exciting trips planned! There are a group of girls taking the ferry to Rottnest Island (something I fully plan on doing, I’ve heard it’s a spectacular place for camping, surfing, snorkelling, biking, and playing in the gorgeous tropical-esque ocean), another group of girls rented a car and are road-tripping down south (another adventure I plan on undertaking before I head back to the states), and myself and 9 other charming gentlemen are borrowing a couple cars to get away for a guys weekend of camping and sandboarding!!! Shinanegans will undoubtedly abound with such an abundance of testosterone. Surely a memorable weekend will be had by all.

Warning: pictures below are not for the faint of heart… my eye appears to have developed a slight bleeding problem. Whoops! Nevertheless, I assure you that it’s fine and recovering nicely.

Here are some more Australian slang terms I’ve picked up through class, extendable ears (eavesdropping), and interactions with locals:

Thongs=flip flops (many girls have been appalled and embarrassed when they have been asked if they brought along any “thongs,” thankfully they calmed down after learning the difference in local jargon)

Laricka=boisterous, loud, somewhat obnoxious individual

Waffle on- to fluff up, to over-emphasize trivial subjects

Trunk=boot i.e. “pop the boot mate!”

Ripper/shiner=black eye (I have gotten countless stares, comments, and inquisitive looks from shopkeepers, peers, and teachers about the condition of my multicolored eye)

Mug maps=rough, crude, and basic sketches of landscape

Snakies= when someone is swerving on the road i.e. “oy that drunken bastard is making bloody snakies all over the road! Bloody Hell”

Stubbies=short shorts i.e. “the stubbies we wear for footy are quite revealing and leave little for the imagination!”

Give way signs=yield signs

If you’re like me and desperately want to adopt a sexy Australian accent, here are a few tips on how to pronounce words with an Aussie accent:
Ranger=Ranga (Ranga is their version of ginger; redheads are lovingly named after orangutans)
Australian=strine (say it out loud, trust me)
How are you going? = How ya gan?
bath= barth
bloody hell=blardy hell

Less than a month until my trips to Broome and Thailand!!! Woot woot! Blake also invited me to head down to his farm sometime in the near future to check out what rural life is like in Australia and also to help him out with shearing his sheep! There’s one more adventure I can tack on to the long, growing list!

So long!
Much love from Australia,

P.S. Apparently head boys and prefects actually exist outside of the magical world of Harry Potter; Blake was head boy of his high school!

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