Week 2, July 20-26
So this week was between my four day welcome program and the start of classes. Essentially, a deadzone.
However, just because there was nothing scheduled for me, I made sure I still had a packed schedule. Monday was orientation at Uni Mleb which was 100% boring and I listened to about 3% of it. The only useful (and tragic) information I got out of it was that we only get 1GB of data per week from the university. That’s not enough to watch a single Netflix show. I’m convinced this country isn’t a real place, who limits wifi?? But I got a free BBQ so I can’t complain too much. Well actually, they served me a hot dog on a piece of sandwich bread. AND you can only buy maple syrup in the International section of the grocery store. This is not a real country.
There’s a club here called MUSEX, which is not a freaky orgy club, but instead stands for “Melbourne University Study Abroad and Exchange” or something like that. Monday night they had a MUSEX Welcome party where a bunch of international students (known as “Musexuals,” great right?) met at Turf Bar to become friends and sing Kumbaya or something. In reality, we talked to the friends we already had and played Heads or Tails for drinks. If you called it right, your drink was free. It was a really fun night, but it would have been fun to meet more people.
On Tuesday, we went back to the university because my roommate needed to talk to someone about classes. This was a bit of a commitment because every time you ride the tram outside of the free tram zone, it costs $4.00. And of course, the university is outside of the free tram zone. But because we’re too cheap to pay the $4, we take the tram one stop to the end of the free tram zone and then walk the rest of the way to the university. And then we probably did something productive but I honestly have no idea. What I do know is that night we plopped down on our couch with friends and watched Horrible Bosses 1 and Mr. and Mrs. Smith. It was super chill.
Wednesday we went back to the university–do you see a trend here?–to get another free BBQ. Considering these BBQs are my only source of meat, I’m starting to really like them. I mean, for free meat I guess I can get over the fact that its served to me on a piece of bread. This one even had free soda! In America, this probably doesn’t sound like a big deal. But in Melbourne shops, all sodas cost at least $3.50. And when you buy a pack in a store, it still costs $1 a can. For those readers unaware, I drink a Diet Coke every morning–I’ll probably die young, I know–and this price is really cutting into my budget. So free soda is a big deal.
I have some friends that live in RMIT Village, another student housing complex, and they were having a party that night at a club called Eden. Multiple friends invited my group out with them and said that we should have no problem getting into the club even though we don’t live at the Village. There’s a lesson here: don’t listen to intoxicated people. Ever. We walked all the way to this club only to get turned away and then walked like 8 years to the other side of Melbourne to end up at the Shaw Davey Slum. On Wednesdays, it has $1 champagne for ladies. Seeing as I’m a lady and like champagne, this made for a good night. Like maybe too good of a night. McDonald’s (called Maccas) was a necessary end to our revelry.
On Thursday, I got hit with a wicked cold and wanted to spend the entire day in bed coughing. But we had to go back to the university to pick up our student IDs. And then we got roped into joining the University of Melbourne Art’s Society. For art students. Guess who is not an art student? Me. But, it was only $2 and it got me a free BBQ every other Thursday. Including today. So more free meat and soda. Hot dog! (Look, that’s sort of a pun because its an exclamation of excitement and also I was eating a hot dog. I’m ready for SNL). But then I dragged myself home and slept all day. And blogged a bit and then slept some more.
Friday was the clubs fair at the university and I joined possibly some of the most exciting clubs ever. The coffee club cost $5 but meets every week for a coffee meeting and if you show up you get free coffee. That’s like a free $4 every week! And then I joined the Melbourne University Surfriders, which I am half convinced is a Ponzi scheme. But it’s a Ponzi scheme filled with hot Australian boys, so I’m sort of okay with it. It cost $30 but they throw a bunch of parties and you can sign up for surf weekends that are like $100 but they bring all the equipment, food, drinks, and give you lessons. But like only 80 people can go on a trip and over 150 are in the club, which is why I’m half convinced they just took my $30 and ran. But there’s a party next week so if it’s fun, I guess it’s worth it. (Also, another kid from Boston College joined the club before me and actually went on a trip so it’s probably real).
Friday night I went to my first AFL game. It was between the Carlton Blues and the Hawthorne Hawks. I was rooting for Carlton and my heart was broken. They were beyond an underdog. It was like watching a car race between a Porsche and someone on a bike. But it was really fun and I got to bring my own pizza in to the game which was absolutely amazing. I left in the third quarter because the score was like 18 to 120. But AFL is cool and it was actually pretty easy to understand. There are these guys that dress in all pink and just run on and off the field delivering messages from the coach because the coaches are in a box and not on the sidelines. I think it would be stressful because you have to dodge these huge players, but my friend wants to become one. 10/10 would recommend going to a game.
Saturday and Sunday were part of Open House Melbourne where over 100 buildings are open for public exploration. It only happens once a year, so it’s pretty exciting that I was here for it. We only explored one place on Saturday–the Hellenic museum–and then went to Lygon street for coffee. It’s this really cute street in the Fitzroy area of Melbourne that has good Italian food and apparently a famous cafe called San Churro which is where we ended up because they had cake in the window and not because we knew it was famous. Then we wandered through the area to look at street art. This city has so many good artists. Their art isn’t just tags, they actually make pictures that are nice to look at or serve as social commentary. On Sunday, we explored the Windsor Hotel, the Old Treasury Building, the Town Hall, Scots Church, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. In the rain, how fun.
My first day of class is tomorrow. Wish me luck!