A Travellerspoint blog

"It's like a hamburger, but with mince and tomato paste."

(Please note that the following photos of rainbow lorikeets are not related to any food-oriented statements. They are pretty, but not edible, that I know of.)

semi-overcast -25 °C

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Welcome to a land where sloppy joes and banana cream pies do not exist. It’s always fun to go to the supermarket and try to ask the employees where something is, because I can never be sure whether I just don’t know the right word for it, they can’t understand my accent, or it really doesn’t exist at all. That said, I managed to cobble up some tasty sloppy joes from scratch to the merriment of my Aussie housemates. Also, a very important note, Mountain Dew does not contain caffeine here. Strange.

We finally have a full house! Two weeks ago Veronica and I were joined by three first-year uni students, two girls and a guy, all Aussies from smaller country towns. I couldn’t have hoped for a better group. Being the oldest by a few years I feel a bit like a mother hen, but Aussies seem to be somewhat more mature at 18-20 years old than the average American kid (their parents tend to allow them a little more independence, and a lot of them go to boarding school before uni). That said, getting them to do their dishes is still a bit of a trial, but they’ll catch on eventually (I hope).

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A couple of the new crazy housemates.

We spent last weekend in the city, and upon wandering around, discovered the Moomba festival. It was originally based on an annual Yarra River water-skiing competition, but by now a whole carnival goes up in the Botanic Gardens. While we were there I was lucky enough to catch a live performance of some traditional Koori dancing (Koori is the name the indigenous people of Victoria have given themselves, ‘aborigine’ is about as politically correct as ‘eskimo’ is, and can be construed as derogatory). They were accompanied by live digeridoo playing. The dancing is fascinating to watch but difficult to describe, some of my favourite parts were the movements and positions they had to represent various native animals, like the kangaroo and emu.

Speaking of new cultural experiences, Veronica also took me to one of her netball games. Netball is a bit like a cross between the practicality of basketball (sans dribbling) and the theory of soccer (sans using your feet), but not quite as exciting to watch because you’re not allowed within three feet of anyone else on the court. Also, girls are required to wear skirts – naturally, this does not increase my respect of the sport.

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Netball!

As it was our housemate Angus’ birthday, we also spent Saturday night at a pub called the Elephant and the Wheelbarrow in the city. They had a lovely live band, and wonder of all wonders, Bulmer’s cider on tap, which is something Trish (my former roommate) and I have been seeking ever since we left Ireland.

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Veronica trying to burn the house down by putting sparklers on the cake...

I’m very excited to meet my mother at the airport on Wednesday. We have a number of adventures planned, including a trip to Tasmania!

Aussie slang of the week: drongo (idiot), bloke (guy), jackaroo (cowboy)

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Posted by JuliaInOz 16:46 Archived in Australia

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