Monday, November 30, 2009

The Great Barrier Reef

Well I am about to embark on my plane ride home and I am just wasting time waiting for my flight time. I am on my computer so here is the update that I wrote about the Great Barrier Reef. It was written the day I went so that's why it says today. Love you all and see you all soooooon :)

I experienced the Great Barrier Reef today!!!! It was AMAZING!! Actually that word doesn’t even half describe how it was.  It was beyond belief or comprehension. I still don’t think its fully sank in that I just got to see for about a full 5 hours one of the beautiful natural wonders of the world. I mean it was a once in a lifetime experience. There is coral everywhere and even lots of coral in some places, but it was just something about this reef that was breathtaking.

It isn’t anywhere close to the shore so you have to take a boat out there. The sea actually isn’t even that deep where it is and the coral comes up so high in most places that I would be able to touch it with my feet if I would have submerged only a few feet. There are multicolored, multi-shaped and exquisite fish swimming everywhere. They swim around you, away from you and even with you! I was flabbergasted. You don’t think they have much human interaction because they are in the middle of the sea but they didn’t swim away from you. I’m sure that if I was fast enough I would have been able to catch one. But I didn’t try because I didn’t want to disturb the nature peace of the underwater world. Some of the most unique fish I will ever see in my life were there today, and lots of them. One fish was huge, probably about the size of my midsection, and its body was mostly blue and green. There were what looked like big cracks or the edges of where huge scales would be and they were bright orange and pink. It was a neon colored fish but amazing. Nothing like a fish I had ever seen before. I have seen neon colored fish in the aquariums but these fish are incomparable. Their colors were so vivid it was hard to realize they were real fish. They weren’t one solid color either. In fact, I’m not sure I saw one solid colored fish. They were all multi-colored and extraordinarily shaped. You saw fish with the classic shape: round body and two points for a tail. Then you would see fish that had their mouths pointing upward and in place of were it’s hairline would have started, and it’s eyes were much further back and on top of it’s body, like it was constantly looking up. The strangest and coolest looking fish I have ever seen.

I also saw a reef shark! I guess they are afraid of humans though so there wasn’t any threat. I don’t even think it noticed me. It was lying on the bottom of the reef in the sand and it was either just not moving or sleeping because it was motionless. It was a little smaller though and white, or off white. I also saw a stingray or manta ray. It was sand colored because I didn’t see it right away since it was so expertly camouflaged.

Clams look nothing like what they are made out to look like. They just look like huge boulders of coral. There is no breaking point half way up to show that it might house something inside. But they were massive! Some were bigger than a van. In fact more than a couple could house my dads truck, with no problem. Everything in the sea is just so much bigger! It’s like everything is on steroids. Amazing.

The best part was that everything I saw was from snorkeling. I could witness so many amazing things happening all around me and all with just swimming the surface. I signed up to go scuba diving but because of the medicine I am currently taking, I wasn’t allowed, since they didn’t know what it was and the doctor couldn’t examine me to make sure I was ok. Honestly though, that was ok with me. It wasn’t really that deep and I could see everything from the surface so I wasn’t bummed at all actually. It would have been fun but I think I would have been a bit uncomfortable and I was so nervous that I really was a little relieved to find out I couldn’t participate.

On the boat, while we were all waiting to get in the water, a turtle was spotted. I wish I could have seen one in the water, I never did, but I was ecstatic that I got to see one at all. The coolest thing about the Great Barrier Reed is that from the surface, on top of the boat, you would never know that there is a magical world underneath. Just feet below! Nothing sticks out of the water and all you see is blue ocean everywhere. You might see some discoloration from the reef, like green in some areas, but nothing that you think is very neat looking. But just one look in the water, and you have to keep convincing yourself, “yes, this is real.”

            Even the coral was cool. There was coral that looked like brains, flowers, boulders, sticks with spots, or plain coral. Not only were the fish beautifully colored but the coral was also. Some coral I saw was blue but most was white or brownish. Sand colored and I think even pink. There was green stuff growing in some areas too. It looked like deep green lettuce was growing through the coral in some areas. Some coral even looked like a bush but it wasn’t green; it would probably be brown or whitish.

            Overall, the Great Barrier Reef is an adventure I will never forget and definitely one of the most diverse and unique experiences I will even have in my life. I’m so glad I came here and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone!! There were even older people on the trip. Not old people but like my parents age or older. The Great Barrier Reef is for everyone! :) Finally, my dream of seeing the Great Barrier Reef has come true. One of the Seven Natural Wonder of the World I can check off my list! :D 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Quick Catch-Up

Well I only have about 11 mintues to update you all so far. I'm currently in Auckland, New Zealand and loving it here! I think I might even like it better than Australia! Well as least so far I do. I think it's because there is water everywhere here, and LOTS of it. It's a stinking island though so what can you expect?
Molly and I are renting a car tomorrow and taking a road trip down to Wellington to take a tour of where they filmed Lord of the Rings. It's going to be fun! It takes about 8 hours to get there but we are stopping along the way to visit the Glow Worm caves and then on the way back we plan on stopping at Hells Gate to take a mud bath and stuff like that. It's going to be exciting!! A little intimidating at first because we will be driving on the other side of the road and the drivers seat is on the other side of the car. But they are letting us, crazy people haha. No I'm actually EXTREMELY nervous about it so I will definitely be the most cautious driver on the road! No worries, you don't have to tell me to be safe because there is no doubt in my mind that I will be. I will be beyond safe with myself and Molly.
New Zealand is actually quit a bit different from Australia. I didn't expect it to be but it is and I'm thankful for it. It's beautiful here. I wish I would have spent more time here. I REALLY want to come back here and I haven't even left yet!
Well I'm going to get off before I accidently lose track of time. I just wanted to update you all on what's happening.
I visited the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns last week and it was beyond amazing. I can't wait to blog about it! I've actually already written it but I'm not using my computer so sadly the fun story will have to wait :(. No worries though because oddly enough I will be home in a week! My plane leaves Tuesday afternoon and it's Wednesday afternoon here. Almost exactly 6 days and I will be on a plane back to America. Love you all!!! <3

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Goodbye Perth. It's Been Great

It’s finally here. The day my glorious adventures in Perth end. :( It’s a sad and exciting day. Actually it’s mostly stressful, but what else is new in my life. I tried to ship a suitcase home and the suitcase itself was too big so they wouldn’t take it. So I had to split the contents into three separate boxes and ship them. Now I am praying that the airline doesn’t mind that I have two suitcases as long as they are a combined weight of only 20 kilos. They will definitely be more but oh well.

            It really doesn’t feel like I should be leaving yet. I’m going to miss my time here but I’m not as sad about it yet as I thought I would be. That’s usually how I am though. I don’t really miss things a lot until I don’t have them anymore and then when I want them, I REALLLLY miss them. So it might not even hit until I’m back in America at home or even at OSU and want to do something that I always do here. Like get bubble tea. I’m going to miss that stuff. I don’t think anywhere in Ohio sells it. Trust me if they do, I’m tracking it down! Haha Well it’s a bittersweet goodbye. I’m happy because I get to finally go home (after my travels) but I will be leaving my fourth home. (I consider my house my first home, the restaurant my second, and OSU my third.) I like the laid-backness of Perth and I’m really going to miss that, especially at Ohio State, where it’s never laid back or even quiet for that matter.

            It was really cute because my flatmates all know I’m leaving today. Well Quan Yuan, from China, wrote me a message and stuck it under my door. It said something along the lines of “Have a safe trip. It was great meeting you. – Quan Yuan p.s. welcome to China! :) “ It’s definitely the best thing I’ve collected here. I saved it and it’s going straight up unto my wall at home for sure. Actually speaking of China and flatmates. Well first I just want to say that my flatmates are great. They have been so friendly and I just don’t think I could have asked for better flatmates. They really have opened up my eyes to the Asian culture and it’s helped my development tremendously. I’ve come to realize that Asians are a really nice and their culture is so vastly different than ours. I was talking to Shintaro (from Japan) about how he’s my first Japanese friend. He then told me that I definitely need to make more Japanese friends and I promised him that I would work on it. It’s really something that I plan on doing, making more Asian friends. I think I’m honestly doing to miss all of the Asian culture I’m so used to seeing now.

            I was thinking about it last night in bed, while I couldn’t sleep, about how different my outlook on life is now compared to what it was when I came. I feel like I’m a completely different person. One thing that has really changed is my opinion of myself. I might have already talked about this but it’s something I think is really important and something that is fairly new to me so I like thinking about it so I can retain it. But I’ve enlightened myself to the fact that I am my own best friend. Then I realized that everyone should be their own best friend. I mean I’ve known this but I believe that the only person you should ever worry about pleasing throughout your whole life is yourself. I mean you need other friends too obviously, but you don’t want friends that like you for someone you aren’t. You can’t fool yourself forever and it’s painful to keep trying. I like who I am and I hope that when I go back to Ohio State I keep this part of myself around, because I will be a lot happier if I do.  I’ve also realized that being my best friend involved listening to myself. I need to listen to myself more often. I need to journal more or just sit and think more because I know a lot of the reason I can’t sleep at night is because my brain is finally thinking about all of those things I’ve been ignoring. So I just decided my new year’s resolution. I’m going to sit and think to myself, kinda like meditate, for at least 10 minutes everyday. Yup, that’s going to be it. Yay! I’m excited to start actually.

            It’s weird to think that in exactly two weeks from today I will be on my way home. I’m super excited and I can’t wait to see all of my friends and family that I have been missing like a fat kid on a diet misses cake haha It’s painful. Before I came to Australia I thought that I would be able to live in another country, and even though I did for a couple of months, I realized that I wouldn’t be able to do it permanently. Of course it will be different if I’m married and have my own family, but right now my family is too important in my life for me to be able to live without them. It’s like part of me is missing. The fun part. Even though I have fun hanging out with friends and going out, my family just always make me happy. I would rather sit at home and play cards with my family than go out on some nights. Not allll nights. It’s hard to explain my though process and the only way I can explain it is like this: my heart refuses to smile in their absence. Even though I have fun and collect amazing experiences, I know everything would be even better if it were with my family. Especially trips like this. I mean at school and stuff its just school and partying but here, it’s almost like a vacation and I would much rather vacation with my family than any friends. Family is just more fun.

            Well Molly and I are headed off to the airport in about 2 hours. My room is unfamiliar because of the bareness of it. I took my suitcases out and there is only really a couple of small bags left and a few cords. It makes me uneasy since it reminds me of the nervousness I felt when I first arrived and that’s how it looked. Well we are headed off to Cairns to experience the Great Barrier Reef. I will take lots of pictures!! I even have an underwater camera so this will be good! And then this Monday we are skipping over to New Zealand for our last week. Tuesday, December 1 at approximately 3 pm I will be boarding a plane to come back to Ohio. :) I will try and get internet for these next two weeks but I can’t promise I will get enough to blog. Actually just don’t count on it. I will definitely blog though when I get back in America. I don’t know how soon since I will probably be pretty tired in the beginning. I’m not planning on this being my last blog. I hope to have at least one more. Geia sou or goodbye to all of you though. I can’t wait to see all of you when I return! :D Love you all more than you know <3

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Beginning of the End

Yay! Time to blog! Well the past week I’ve been really busy. I had my last final Thursday and I’ve relaxed a lot since then. I think I did pretty good on the final but I won’t find out my grade until a week after I even get back in the States! The teachers here have 3 weeks to grade exams and get the grades finalized. That’s crazy because in the US they only have a week from the time finals end. Then again, there their semesters are spread further apart so that could be why. It was my last and only final though and you could really feel the intensity in the room. The room I has it in was their gymnasium so it’s definitely the biggest room I’ve ever taken a test in. It was strange too because filling the whole room was hundreds of small tables. Four classes took our tests together in the same room so there were roughly 300 students all in the room. We had two hours of testing time and ten minutes of reading time. It was weird because for the first ten minutes you were allowed to read your test and take notes but you weren’t allowed to open you booklet to write anything. Only after ten minutes has passed were you allowed. Well there is no such thing as reading time at OSU so I had no idea what was going on. I tried looking around at the other students but then I realized they might think I’m cheating. Really, though, how could I be? It’s only reading time and the whole test was written. Plus the tables were pretty far away from each other. Eventually I figured it out though and everything was ok. You, also, aren’t allowed to leave the room a hour after it starts or fifteen minutes before it ends. You has to raise you hand when you were finished and they had to come get your test from you. They were stricter than in the States, well Ohio State anyways, and it completely surprised me. It was intense because with hundreds of people in the room it was DEAD quiet. You could definitely feel the anxiety in the air. Glad it’s over.


            But ok more about Bali! Well Molly and I had a nice relaxing time on the beach.  Outside of the beach though we did a lot of shopping. We went to Kuta, which is where the bombing memorial is. So of course we took pictures with the memorial. The memorial is probably the nicest part of the area. It really doesn’t even look like it belongs there. It’s really nice and new and shiny and the rest is just shops that are open all day with people sitting at the edges (because there are only three walls to these shops since they get so many people walking along the streets shopping) asking you to come in and look at their stuff. One shop we went into the girl told us that we were her first customers all day so far and it was like 1:30 in the afternoon. I’m pretty sure she meant someone who bought something but I’m not sure. We might have been the only ones who went in to look. But because people were so persistent on you going into their store when you didn’t want to, you had to learn to walk by, look no one in the eye, and ignore people who talk to you. Sad but it had to be done or you would spend your whole time there just declining people.  Everything there was extremely cheap. I mean DIRT cheap. Molly and I went to a nice Italian restaurant and I got a large pizza for $5 and that was good. The most expensive meal I found there was $12ish. Really I mean it’s all very cheap. A tax ride for half an hour was roughly $7.50. I mean things were priced realllly good. Our hotel for a full week was $175 and it was a great room with a free breakfast every morning!  You can tell it’s a poor country because they have sidewalks with huge slabs taken out and no caution signs or anything to warn you. If you weren’t watching where you were walking you probably would have fallen into a hole up to your chest… well my chest. So like four feet.  And it’s not just one or two here and there. It’s about ever 15 feet.


            The last day Molly and I decided to go to the Safari and Marine Park. It was probably one of the best parts of the trip. I got to watch Elephants give a performance on how humans were taking over their habitat and we need to be nicer to them. The elephants did cute tricks like walk on three legs, play dead, and one elephant even put leis on a couple of people. It was a really cute show. After the show we got to feed an elephant!! There was even a baby there and we took lots and lots of pictures. The elephant was actually so gentle that when I fed it a carrot it took my hands in its mouth with it but I didn’t notice because I was getting my picture taken. That’s how gentle it was!! Isn’t the so cute. Or maybe I took my hand out in time but I’m pretty sure it was fully in its mouth haha. Then after that I got my picture taken with a orang-utan.  It was really nice. It was taking pictures all day long and it would climb all over you and hold on to your neck and shoulders. Such a cute animal. Then I went and got my picture taken with baby tigers. They were ADORABLE. Mostly they were sleeping but I didn’t care because I got my picture taken with them hehe. After that we went on a safari tour and saw animals like tigers, lions, rhinos, apes, zebras, and just a whole bunch of animals. No kangaroos at this park :( That’s ok though.


            OH I almost forgot. My friends and I went out to dinner Friday night and I ordered the Kangaroo, Crocodile and Emu dish. The kangaroo was kind of tough and the crocodile wasn’t too bad but the Emu was delicious!! Here in Australia they put pumpkin in so many things too. I realized I don’t like pumpkin except in a pie. :) But I like pumpkin flavored things like coffee drinks too. Weird. This restaurant also didn’t let you take leftovers home, which baffled me.


            That’s all I got for now. I have to decide what I am going to pack. I am sending a package home that’s going to take up to 3 months to get home and I have to decide what I can live without for that long. This packing business is a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. I don’t know where I accumulated so much stuff. I mean I have a lot of extra stuff that I definitely didn’t come here with! Oh well, it’s all worth it :) I had to say goodbye to my friend Patrick today too, and Chris. It was such a bummer. It’s like my family here is separating. They literally have become like a family because we were around each other so much and all we had were each other. Chris though is the Australian and he wants to come study in the States next year, like 6 months away because he would come for summer. And I think he might even spend a couple of quarters at Ohio State!! That would be so exciting to have my Aussie friend come and study at my school. Oh my roommate Laura was also thinking about coming and studying in the States and I told her that Ohio State was a good school, so she’s considering going there too. I swear, Ohio State should be paying me for all the recruiting I’m doing! Whelp, that’s all I got for now. I can’t stare at a computer screen much longer. Love you all <3

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Yay! I made it back from Bali alive! I arrived Saturday night at like 3 am (2 pm for most of you) and ever since then I have done a little bit of sleeping and a lot of writing. Obviously not for this :( but for my Creative Writing class. We had our final story due yesterday and no one could possibly be happier than I am that it’s over. I loved the class but I hated the teacher. I’m praying I get above a 50% on this final story or I might be in some academic trouble :I well not majorly, I just might just barely pass. Ugh. Anyways! Lets not hear me complain, lets talk about Bali!


Indonesia is a VERY different country that anything I am used to.  Well any of us are used to really I’m sure. Because unless you are reading this and are from a developing country, you probably can’t relate with what I’m about to explain.


Bali. Wow. I know people say all the time that they don’t know where to begin when talking about something, but really I can’t think of anywhere to start… I could talk about the living conditions, the beaches, the people, the driving, the food, how everything made me feel. They’re all a topic that’s interesting enough because they’re all first timers.


Well, I think I will just start with leaving Australia and arriving in Indonesia. The night before I left was chaos for me. Really. So the fact that I had to travel by myself to an unknown land didn’t relax me any. I had also just finished all my class work and assignments for the week so by the time my plane landed in Bali, I was not the least bit relaxed. I was actually very stressed out, and continued on like that for the first few days. I know that’s not exciting and something you would expect to here because I was in Bali right? What could possibly keep me from relaxing? I really can’t say, I think it just takes my body a couple of days to calm down and I still had my ridiculous story to turn in afterwards. My mind just refuses to forget those things.


Geez, I keep getting side tracked with all these negative feelings. Ok, switching to positive mode.


The airport in Bali is very different than one I’ve ever been in. It’s definitely not as advanced or even as clean as all the ones I’ve seen. It reminds me of a smaller hometown and very outdated airport. Everything was silver and shiny, it was all brown and worn. Oh, I forgot. On the plane ride over I sat next to an older couple who were vacationing in Bali. They had been there a couple of times before so they were telling me all about it and giving me advice. They were very nice and very helpful. They warned me that when I got off of the plane that there would be men there wanted to take my things and carry them for me because they then would expect a tip afterwards. But they don’t tell you that when they offer to carry your luggage. And they were right. Even leaving the airport there are just guys everywhere standing and sitting around wanted to do things for you for money. As I was walking to a taxi one guy basically took my luggage from me. He even put his hand on top of mine to grab my luggage. But thankfully because I didn’t let go he finally did. That irked me. 


As I was standing in line to get my passport checked and my temporary visa I saw a bribe happen right in front of me. Remind you that Indonesia is a very poor country so it makes sense that they are very corrupt. I don’t know why but for some reason the kid, who looked to be about 15 and I don’t know why he was travelling to Bali by himself, didn’t want to pay money for a visa. So when he got his passport checked he just slipped some US dollars in there. The security guy had a manager of some sort come over. The manager counted the money, right in front of the line of people mind you!, and stuck it in his pocket. That was the end of that and the kid walked away towards the next checkpoint.


Bali is a beautiful country… sometimes. It depends on where you are looking. If you are looking at the beaches and the scenery, then yes it’s gorgeous. But if you are looking at the everyday living such as the shops, houses, streets then you’ll be very disappointed.  The scenery was great most of the time. The sunsets were gorgeous and a lot of things had been untouched b/c they aren’t a very industrial country. But the homes were just shacks, well some of them. The ones by the beaches were just filth for the most part. It made me sad to realize that people had to actually live in those. They probably don’t have running water in some of them and they don’t have many material items at all. I mean I think hostels were nicer than some of those homes. It broke my heart. Those were the ones next to the beach though, so I’m assuming also that they were the people who were harvesting the seaweed right off shore. They probably just work during the day and that’s all b/c there were people working there till sun went down. Bali isn’t a country that closes down on Sunday’s either b/c I don’t think it’s in their religion kinda thing. So I’m pretty sure they work all day everyday, for close to nothing. So sad :(


Well that’s all I got for now. I will definitely be posting more alter though.


Love you all <3

Friday, October 30, 2009

Done with regular classes! :D

I’m going to attempt for this blog to be somewhat short, because right now I’m REALLY tired and I have to get up at 4 to catch my 7:00 plane. My goal is to go to bed at midnight and I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night. Anyways, I finished all the schoolwork for my classes today, FINALLY!! Now all I have left to do it study for one midterm that’s in about two weeks and edit the crap out of my short story that I wrote. I got another grade back from that class and I’m not happy with it. I would normally go on a rant about this stupid professor and the fact that I think he hates me because I’m American and don’t spell things with unnecessary u’s. But I’m trying not to think of things that will stress me out, because I’m trying to relax, so no CW talk for tonight.

            On the bright side, in my Planetary Science class I got 100% for the class!! I wrote my final essay on the rings of Saturn because NASA found a new ring and I thought he would like it. Well he loved it. Said it was the best essay he’s read on the rings and even forgave me for not mentioning the Australian theory he threatened all students should talk about. (Which I remember right when I was about to turn it in so I threw in a sentence, obviously that wasn’t enough.) So that completely made my day on Tuesday!

            The past couple of days I have mostly just been living the in the library trying to get all of these papers done and assignments finished because this week was the last week of school. Yay!

            I’m really not sure on what to update right now. Oh I remember one thing I wanted to talk about. Another Laura story. So I was cooking dinner in the kitchen and there was a pizza laying on the table. Well I didn’t think it was Laura’s because she was eating chicken so I opened the box and looked in just to see if anything was there. Because my flatmates have a bad habit of leaving food out, so of course there was still pizza in there. I continue on making my dinner and then Laura puts her chicken away and pulls out a tube of ketchup. She then grabs the pizza and loads the ketchup on top of it, and I mean GLOBS it on. Pretty sure there was an equal ratio of cheese to ketchup on this pizza. I don’t know what possessed her to put ketchup on a pizza but she did. And then she told me that she was taking it over to her friend’s house to share. What?! Chinese people have the weirdest eating habits. I told Molly about this and she thought that maybe there wasn’t sauce on the pizza and she was just making up for the sauce. But I’m pretty sure there was sauce on it and ketchup is different then tomato sauce. She then pointed out that here they call ketchup tomato sauce so maybe she got confused. I thought that might be a possibility but they are different too so I’m sure they call pizza sauce something like pizza sauce to distinguish the two. We can’t figure it out and I didn’t ask. She left in a hurry haha

            Humm I think I’m currently too tired to think of anything else interesting to write. But I wanted to update before I left to tell you all that I won’t be updating for over a week. I won’t return back here until Saturday afternoon Ohio time. I will try and journal while I’m over there though so I don’t forget anything! I should be studying while I’m over there, but I will do that too, maybe. Haha I love you all and I wish you well! <3

Monday, October 26, 2009

Perth is Coming to an End :O

I can’t believe I have neglected my blog for more than a week! It definitely doesn’t feel like it. Time is going by too fast for my liking. I just realized the other day that I only have approximately 14 days left (actually it’s exactly 14 counting today). That’s so sad. I have more emotional responses to this than there are colors in a color spectrum. I can’t even categorize or recognize them all. I think that’s one reason my writing has diminished lately, because I can’t even begin to explain to myself everything that’s going through my head right now.


I’m anxious to come home for many reasons. One, I’ve obviously changed. Anyone who doesn’t have the physical limitations of Helen Keller can attest to this. I’m really excited to see how I cope with old situations (and new) with this new state of mind. I’m so at peace with myself that I think I can handle challenges a lot better than I used to be able too. I also think I can do them with more confidence, understanding and less stress than I could before. So because of this I am very anxious to see how I play out in that aspect. Two, I get to see everyone again. I’ve always missed all of you don’t get me wrong but just recently I REALLY started to miss all of you. Thank God for the internet or I would probably be in a serious depression right now. I can’t live without Ohio and the people in it. They are too important to me. I realized that no matter when I am or where I go, Ohio will always be my home. Literally Ohio, because I realized that I just miss my house. Not as much as the people in it but I seriously just miss my house. I like where it is and the feel it has. I miss that. Three, I get to give and receive hugs again! I get some hugs here but not as many as I would like. Hugs are my favorite things in the world and very important to me. So people expect lots and lots of hugs when I get back :)


Ok well talking about all of that now just basically got me stoked to come home. But some of the reasons I’m not too excited to come home are: One, Because I’ve become so happy with this new person that I am, I don’t want old situations and circumstances to change me back into the person I was. I mean I don’t detest the person I once was, I’m just so happy with the way I am now that I want to stay that way. It would be like losing your soul mate. Tragic. Literally, that’s how I’m looking at it. I don’t remember if I blogged the journal entry I wrote about my “me soul mate” so I will explain briefly. This new me that I am, I think of it as my “my soul mate”. Someone you can’t and wouldn’t want to live without. It’s like this new person is my best friend. I say it’s my soul mate because the old me is still here but it’s just like an addition. Anyways, this “me soul mate” and my bond I think is too strong to break but I’m just nervous about it still. I know can never completely change back into the person I was but I don’t want to become less unsure about myself, etc than I am now. Because I’m not unsure about myself in most aspects and I like it that way.  Two, I’m also not excited to come home because I have a new family here. My friends Patrick and Molly have seriously become my new family. They are honestly some of my best friends and I think they always will be. I have told them stuff that I can’t even tell some of my best friends from home and acted COMPLETELY myself around them. I know because we really only have each other here we became such good friends. But that doesn’t change the fact that they mean so much to me. I’m going to miss them like crazy when I leave. I know we will still stay in contact but honestly it’s never going to be the same as it was here. Three, I will miss the less stressed life. I don’t work here and I don’t have class as often as I do. It’s basically like a mini vacation all the time. Who would ever want to leave a vacation?


So those are just some of the emotions and things I have been thinking about lately. Besides the fact that I am going to be doing so much travelling and travelling always makes me somewhere nervous because you can’t know exactly what to expect. But I’m trying not to think about that :)


Well now that I have gotten all of that out of the way. For some reason it’s easier to blog about my feelings than it once was. Which I think is good. I don’t know if you care to know those things or what but I don’t care. It’s my blog, I do what I want :)


Well onto the events of my days. I haven’t been doing a lot lately actually. I have been spending wayyy too much time on the computer because I have had to do papers and write my story for my class. I have two papers left to do and peer reviews before Friday since this is the last week of classes. The last week, can you believe it?! I can’t.  Well after this week all I will have left to do is turn in my final creative writing story and then take one final. I’m not too worried about it all. I can study for my final in Bali and I can edit my story there as well. Should be relatively stress free I’m hoping! The weather here has been kind of temperamental. It was really nice yesterday; hot and sunshine everywhere. But today and Saturday it is cloudy and raining. Boo. It feels like Ohio with it constantly changing. Luckily though I haven’t had to resort to using my heater again. I put it away and I refuse to bring it back out!


Oh and an update on my ever-changing mind. I think I decided I’m going to pick up another major: English. :) I’ve realized that I love to write and I think reading obviously so I should be ok with this. I’m not 100% sure on the idea yet because Ohio State isn’t being too cooperative with getting me someone I can talk to about it. But when I get back I’m definitely going to be looking into it more. And I schedule classes tomorrow and I’m scheduling a beginning class for the major. So as of right now it’s happening. I don’t want to drop my business major though. So hopefully I will be majoring in Human Resources, International Business, and English. I probably won’t graduate in 5 years anymore but I don’t care. I do what I want. One reason that might keep me from doing it though is that its going to be even more money than for me to graduate. That’s going to be a problem because that’s just more I will have to pay back after school but really I think it will make me happy and will be worth it so I’m seriously considering it.


Yup, ok well I think that’s enough for now. I should do some schoolwork. It’s funny I didn’t realize until late last night that I had classes today. For some reason my brain has stopped working and it needs to get back in gear because I have stuff I have to do. No worries though I went to class and I have one later that I need to finish a question for. So I’m going to peace out.


I love you all <3

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Rottnest Island

Today I got to go to Rottnest Island! It's an island here that is pretty popular. There isn't a lot to do there but the island has a couple shops and lots of beaches :) It's really gorgeous b/c the water is really clear and they have these animals called Quokkas and they look like a cross between an enormous rat and a kangaroo. They have like a rats tail but they walk like a kangaroo does. They put their front paws down first and then hop their back ones forward. They kind of remind you of a possum (sorta) but they are friendlier. They actually let you touch them. I mean one we found ran away but another one was walking around benches and tables picking up food and you could pet it. Another was sleeping right in a dirt patch in the middle of the shops and when I touched it, it didn't jump or anything. Mostly we just laid out on the beach all day and my face is SOO red! I match my Ohio State shirt. No joke. It was nice though to finally get some sun! Maybe too much sun, but oh well ;)

Friday night a group of us went to eat at a place called Little Creatures. They brew their own beer there called Little Creatures and it's not bad. Well the blond kind isn't. Another kind I tried was really bitter and just awful. Blah. Then we went to see the movie Couple Retreat and it wasn't bad. Kinda predictable and slow but it was nice to see a movie since I haven't seen one in so long. OH!! I found out too that I will be in New Zealand (yes I'm vacationing there :D) when New Moon comes out. New Moon is the second movie to the first, Twilight. They are based off of a series of books. I know all of you probably know about them but incase you didn't. Anyways I'm super excited about it b/c here and there it comes out Nov 18 while it comes out Nov 19 in the States!! YAY!! I get to see it a whole 24 hours before all my friends! haha I'm so excited! It will just make New Zealand  so much better. 

So all my vacations are booked and here is my schedule. Bali the week before finals (two weeks away!). Cairns to see the Great Barrier Reef the last week of finals b/c Molly and I are both done with finals then :) (A month away from yesterday) and New Zealand after that! (Nov 23 - Dec 1). Then Dec 1 is when I depart on a plane back home to see all of your wonderful faces again :) 

Love you all <3

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dolphins and Shells

Well I probably shouldn't be blogging right now because I should be working on some of my assignments, or even better yet, sleeping, but I feel like it so I am. :)

I want to tell all of you a little more about my Exmouth trip. I realize that I barely told you anything at all. Especially the best part, so I'm going to start with that. One day we went to a place called Monkey Mia. It has nothing to do with monkeys but everything to do with dolphins. We arrived late afternoon like 5ish and we headed straight for the beach of course. We were told we might get lucky and see the dolphins but they are usually only there during the mornings. Well we were lucky :) There was about 3 that were swimming pretty close to shore. My friends and I weren't swimming in the water but some of our group was and the dolphins swam RIGHT next to them. More than once too. I guess the dolphins there really enjoy human interaction!! So the next morning at 6:30!! I headed out to the beach to watch dolphins being fed. They didn't end up getting fed until 8 but they were there even when I got there. They get food everyday in the mornings. You aren't allowed to stand in the water unless you are one oft he lucky ones chosen to feed them, because they dolphins get so close to the shore. It was spectacular. I've NEVER seen a dolphin up close like that in my life in their natural habitat. They really did like humans. When I first got to the beach they were just sitting about 10 feet from the shore of the water. Just still as stone. They weren't moving or anything. I've never seen anything like it. I didn't even know they could do that!! Needless to say I had dolphins swimming 2 feet away from me multiple times and it was the neatest experience of the whole trip. Definitely my favorite part! I even got close enough to capture their eyeballs in my camera! haha They were nice too b/c when the girls who had their food walked along the shore to show others the dolphins followed like dogs!! Cutest thing! There was a strict No Touch policy though b/c they want the dolphins to not feel threatened so they will come back. There was also around 300 people to watch this so there was more than one spot they were being fed. They told us some really neat facts about dolphins too but I won't bore you with those :)

We saw Nature's Window and the gorge around it. That was really fun too. We had to basically hike to the gorge but it was worth it b/c it was beautiful! We also went to a beach called Shell Beach. It's like 80% made up of all shells. It hurt a little to walk on but it was the coolest beach I've ever been too because it was so different. They had shells about 1/25 the size of my fingernail perfectly formed. Amazing. The beach had little hills too.. something I've never seen before at a beach.  

Ok now I'm tired and decided to start working on stuff. Love you all <3

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


October 14, 2009                         12ish am  Tuesday night


            So I know a lot of you said that you liked my “journal” entry the best. Well if you would like to read more journally things (AKA feeling things) I copied what I wrote last night right before I went to bed. Enjoy:


Wow, I really don’t even know where to begin. I just love life so much right now. Coming to Australia has literally been the best decision I’ve ever made in my life! I think it’s just because I have gotten to know myself so well. I literally have come to peace with myself and who I am. It’s great. I find myself being nothing but happy!! Really I can’t remember ever feeling consistently happy day after day in my life. Maybe when I was little but that was so long ago I can’t recall it. I’m perfectly content with my life and the direction it’s heading. I’m not worried about boys (so much. It would be unhuman to not worry at all.) I mean I really don’t like anyone a lot and I don’t even think I want a relationship right now.

            Some of the things I have learned about myself and in general include: 1. Quiet time and time to myself and having to listen to myself even though it can be miserable at times is critical for my peace of mind 2. I hate routine. This has been prevalent all along, however, I have just realized it. I’m pretty sure that’s why my gym routines never end up working out. Here I just do whatever I feel like doing. Run/walk/ classes. Even the classes differ in day and time every week. Different classes too. I think that’s why I love classes here too (school classes). I only have classes twice a week, leaving my week open to do whatever I want. At Ohio State it’s obvious b/c I never liked going to work on a schedule and classes so often every week at the same time drove me crazy! The only reason I went to work at the same time just about every week was because I knew my friends would be there so work was bearable then. 3. I can live without my family and I thrive independently. Don’t get me wrong I love my family and friends but I’m just so peaceful here all by myself that I love not feeling confined by my parents or anyone and always letting them now where I am or what I am doing. 4. I am an outgoing person. I didn’t realize this until Patrick and Molly about beat me down when I said I wasn’t. After thinking about it. Yes I am. I do tend to talk quit often and I’m not afraid to give my opinion on most issues. I think that when I was younger I was really outgoing and I loved my life then. Then I started to feel pressures to conform to be “perfect” so I became more shy b/c not talking seemed better than being judged in a bad way. I was afraid to show who I really am, which brings me to my next point. 5. I know who I am and I’m not afraid to show it because I think someone won’t like me for it. If they don’t like me than that’s their problem. I think I naturally have a very hard/bitch attitude and sometimes I don’t show it because I’m afraid a guy won’t like me.  Well eventually my lovely bitchy attitude will come shining through so they might as well get it from the beginning. 6. I love hanging out with guys. They aren’t all about gossip and they just simply want to have a good time. I’m adopting this policy and taking my days one at a time now. 7. I need to indulge in life’s pleasures more frequently. The Aussie’s big night to go out is Wednesday (b/c it’s hump day!) and then if they don’t have something to do they will go out on the weekends. But you don’t HAVE to go out on weekends. They usually just drink at each other’s houses and stuff too because it’s too expensive to go out all the time. I think this is great because they just do what they feel like doing and things turn out ok. They aren’t worried about always going out on weekends and having to party it up to have fun (well at least this is my impression I’m getting). Actually the more I think about it the more I think that a lot of people are like this just not people I tend to hang out with. I’ve been thinking that if I just chill my life out and go out when I want and do what I want then I will enjoy life so much more. 8. I’m a more peaceful person than party-get-drunk all the time person. I’ve know this but I’m just glad that I don’t feel pressure from the Aussie’s to be the latter person :)


None journally things:


            Well today we had an excursion in Northbridge. Nothing exciting really at all.  It was actually quit boring b/c it was a guided tour thing. Ugh stupid class today. Afte that though I was going into town and I got stopped to join a Congo Line b/c some girl was trying to make the longest line to win a free trip to Brazil. It was cool to participate in. I hope she got it! My friends were in it with me too but then 3 of them bailed. I don’t understand why they left. It’s not like we were waiting forever. Plus, if I was trying to get a free trip to Brazil I wouldn’t want people leaving my line!

            On my second assignment for Planetary Science I got another 30/30! I was soo happy. I didn’t think I would get another one at all. But I guess he liked it! I looked at all the other grades on the table too (haha yes they were all there, well those who hadn’t taken them yet) and I only saw one other 30. It made my night :D

            I’m actually going to stop here b/c I’m tired and I still have to work on my creative writing assignment. I don’t want to tire myself out with so much writing! Hehe Love you all <3


Sunday, October 11, 2009

One Hell of a Week

 So much has happened recently I don’t even now were to begin. I also haven’t finished writing about my trip yet. I have been so busy lately it’s really running into my great mood that I have had here. Well when I got back I realized that an assignment was due on the day I got back and the turn in time was before I even got back into the city. I emailed my teacher though and told him that I had been gone a week and couldn’t find anywhere what date it was due before I left. He just said thanks. I hope it’s not a lot of points off. Then last Sunday (wow it’s really been that long since I updated?) I remember I had an assignment due Tuesday. So I was up until about 5 in the morning Monday finishing that. Ok enough with boring stuff....


Wednesday my new Aussie friend Chris (yes the one from the blog before for those of you who know). Actually I’m going to talk about my previous blog a little before I go into this story. My previous blog I know I said I was embarrassed. I’m really not embarrassed by those of you who I know read my blogs. Like Yiayia and Papou, Yiayia, Aunt Mary, my parents , sisters and good friends. It’s just that my blog is public (I guess I could change it but I don’t think I want to, thinking about it though) and I don’t know who reads it. I guess I should have just said I don’t want certain people to catch what I say. Then I would be embarrassed. I have no problem sharing that information with most of you and I’m glad most of you thought it was the best part of my blog. I thought it was too... of course it was because it was the only part that had to do with feelings. Those are always the most interesting ;)

Anyways, Wednesday Chris showed us this club place in downtown Perth. It was called Carnegie’s and it was so cool! It was Wednesday night so they had half priced cocktails and a whole menu of drinks. This menu was like 3 pages long. Things like Long Islands, Georgia Peachs, and even a lot of drinks I’ve never heard of but they were good too :) Chris brought a friend and our German friend Weibke met us there so there were about 7 of us. We would buy drinks and let each other try them because we’ve never heard of a lot of them. They played music and we drank, sang and danced all night long! I don’t know if it’s because guys were with us or because it’s just not common here, but we were on the dance floor for about half the night and no guys came and danced up on us or anything like that with any of us girls. I wasn’t really paying attention but I didn’t see it happen anywhere all night. There was one guy who asked Patrick if we were dating though and when Patrick said no the kid asked me to dance. I said no because he looked about 15 and i just did not want to dance with him at all but the point is that I didn’t feel grossed out all night and the one time a guy would have danced he asked. I think that’s great! I HATE going to clubs and bars on campus at OSU because guys always come up to you and just start dancing with you and most of the time I don’t want them to! I like just dancing to be fun not anything gross like they do. They sing too but not like they do in Australia. I’m pretty sure we sang just as much if not more than we danced. I just absolutely loved it! I want to go back again!

Friday night was Oktoberfest. I guess Oktoberfest like originated in Germany and for those of you who’ve never heard of it, it’s just a big drunken party. It was put on by a student organisation that puts it on every year through campus. They had 5,000 tickets and sold out of tickets. This thing was HUGE. Everyone upon entry got a free stein and they had two different bands playing. We pretty must stayed at the German band the whole night because even though we couldn’t tell what they were saying, we ilked their music and they were the funniest to dance to. We weren’t really sure how you danced to them so we just jumped up and down and kicked our legs. It was a ridiculously good time. Only Molly, Patrick and I went because Sara doesn’t drink so she didn’t want to go. Which I don’t understand because she goes out with us to bars and stuff and like Wednesday she had one drink but when it comes to the biggest and best party of the year she doesn’t want to go? Confusing. Anyways, it was one of my favourite nights here by far. Carnegie’s is my second. We met up with our friend Drew and the four of us just had a blast. Everyone that I’ve ever met on campus was there and even people that I really haven’t ever talked to before I made conversation with lol. There was a German guy to there that we met who barely spoke any English at all. We didn’t talk to him for long haha

Yesterday Patrick, Molly and I went to Freo to go to their markets. I got a henna tattoo on my right wrist and I loooove it! The girl who did mine had a tree on her right hand and for some reason lately I love trees. So I fell in love with it but I wanted something small just to begin with. So I got the Hindu symbol for meditation, relaxation and like worship. It’s pretty and I love it! I never would get a real tattoo and this lasts about 3 weeks so I’m very happy with it. I was thinking about looking up how to make the henna so I could give myself tattoos whenever I wanted. I’m sure it can’t be that hard to mix together. It turns out brown instead of black too so I think it looks better.

Hanging out with Molly and Patrick so much lately has really made us closer I think. We seem to be getting along very well and I just love it! I brought it up yesterday to them but I think one of the reasons I’m so happy here is because I’m hanging out with guys more. Back at home I never hang out with guys. I find it hard and just an annoyance basically. But here I would say 50% of my friends are guys. And for some reason, very recently, I’ve been talking and hanging out with more guys then girls or about even. I talk to Chris and Patrick just about every day and I love it. Guys carry so much less drama than girls do and they just seem to be in happier moods naturally more than girls do. I think I easily feed off of guys positive energy and that’s one of the reasons I’m so happy here. They don’t bring up stupid topics or gossip a lot. They just want to have fun. And I love it! I’m making it a goal of mine to start making more guy friends when I get back to the states. I’m sick of always hanging out with girls haha I will say though that Molly never gets on my nerves. She’s too easy going to be any kind of annoying :)

Well I was up till like 5 again last night working on some assignments. I still have some more to do. For my Creative Writing class we have to start a rough draft of our story and I’m not sure what I want my story to be. So I need to start working on that. I have a couple of ideas but none seem good enough so I need to get cracken! Oh and did you know that they sent a missile to the moon? They were trying to create dust to see if they could find water and stuff.. I guess they did. I wonder what future findings this will bring! Love you all!! <3

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Crap... part of the last blog wasn't supposed to be in there. Part of it was from my journal and I guess I forgot to edit that part out. Please disregard the first paragraph of the last blog if you got it on email. I'm so embarrassed :I Thanks!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Best Trip Ever!!

Omg where to even begin.


We had to leave our flats at 6 in the morning for the taxi to take us into downtown Perth. The trip was meeting at 6:45 but we didn’t end up leaving till about 7:30. We were lucky enough to have a brand new bus but at about 8:00 we had already broken down twice. At 8:01 set out again and at 8:01 we broke down again. Literally I’m pretty sure we were on the road for a full 30 seconds haha. But Peter (our guide) seemed to be somewhat of a mechanic so he fixed it and we were on our way!


 The first thing we did was stop at the Pinnacles desert. From pictures and whatnot I always thought it was just a place with a couple of rock looking things that and you could just simply look at them. Well all of the pictures I must have been looking at were very misleading. It’s literally a desert of them! There was soo many! It completely took me off guard. And surprisingly there is even like a little museum you can go into and look around before you go see the Pinnacles. It tells you about them and how they think they might have been formed. According to the museum they think they were either trees that have been destroyed and then were made into rocks somehow (I forget the term they used) or that they are just deposits of the earth and were simply made. All of them aren’t uncovered either. Hills cover a lot of them and they don’t go digging them up they just wait for the land to expose them. So they were between hills and they kind of did look like rock trees but not all of them. Anyways there were some in really funny forms and they were really cool to look at.


After Pinnacles I’m pretty sure we stopped at a beach to eat lunch. Just about everyday for lunch we had sandwiches and it was funny because they lettuce we used had sand all in it. It was funny because you would eat your sandwich and then hear yourself crunching sand, even though I really couldn’t taste it. The last day thought we had a Sausage Sizzle, so that was fun After lunch, or maybe before, pretty sure after though, we went sand boarding! It was sooo much fun! At first I was hesitant because I thought it would be a lot different or harder then snow boarding and even though it’s not the same, it’s basically the same. You don’t go as fast, I mean you still go fast but you tend to go more to one side also. They hill wasn’t very big and people were definitely leaning. The first time I went down I didn’t go fast at all because I didn’t put any wax on the bottom of the board, and you need to do that I guess. The second time I loaded the stuff on and I FLEW. Molly, Sara, and I were racing and even though I got a push, I didn’t need it. I was at the bottom when they were about half way down. I might have started a tad bit earlier too though but the wax definitely works lol You are supposed to sit in a Titanic pose (when Rose has her arms out the side in the front of the boat) and if you start to drift to one side put your hand down to straighten you out. Well I did good and went straight the whole way down :) And at the end I almost got pummeled by Sara but funny enough Molly crashed and burned before she could reach me. Haha  Definitely good times. On the other side of the sand dunes was the Indian Ocean too. It was tiring walking up and down the dunes but definitely worth it!!


That night we stayed in a hostel. And it was always how I pictured a hostel. Big rooms and not so nice. I mean it wasn’t horrible but bunk beds and everything. It wasn’t bad though and we barbequed out on the grill that night. There was another group there with the same company we were on and their guide helped us cook because Peter (ours) claimed, “If I cook you’ll all end up sick and with the runs”. Haha so we always had to cook ourselves. But that night we were making Teriaki chicken and we put everything on the Barbie. I mean even the noodles lol. He just threw it all on there and cooked it and it was actually pretty good! That night we slept with 9 in a room and some people snored on our trip so it was a little hard to sleep and it was cold but tolerable.


On my trip there was people from everywhere. Most of the people were older too or my age. There was a guy from Poland, he was about 27. A couple from Poland, who were in their early thirties I think. 6 people from Germany, four girls and two guys. They were all my age or a couple years older. Two of the girls are actually au pairs here in Perth so I think we will be hanging out a little. They were so nice! One guy from Mexico. Three girls from England.  Two other American girls besides my group (Me, Molly, Sara and Patrick). And one Aussie! The whole group got along GREAT! I’m pretty sure everyone was bummed about it ending. Some of us got together the night we got back and hung out for a little bit because most people are leaving. The Auz is from the Perth area though so I think we are going to hang out with him too. It really was a great trip because of the people! I will update more on the other days later because I don’t want this post to take 100 years to read. And I have to go to class :( I will say though that this trip definitely didn’t make me want to do school work anymore.


Love you all <3

Friday, September 25, 2009

Short and Sweet

Hey Everyone,

Well I'm currently very tired and I should be in bed because I had to get up at 5 in the morning tomorrow but I wanted to update everyone. The reason I have to get up so early is because my friends and I are going on a week long tour up north. We will be traveling the coast of Western Australia and will be stopping at many locations. I will update all of you when I get back of course though :)

Today Molly, Sara and I went to King's Park because they were having their annual Flower Festival. It was a lot smaller than I thought it was going to be and it wasn't really a festival. It sort of was because they sold things but mostly  you just walked around and looked at all of the pretty flowers they grew. They had flowers from all over the outback and some of them where completely new to me. I'm not a flower person but I will say that these flowers were very beautiful. They did sell some some things at a small tented location near the end but it wasn't like a normal festival. It was still fun though. 

Well I think I'm going to try and get some rest before I have to get up. In about 4 hours. Oh well, hopefully I will be able to sleep on the bus! 

Love you all and I will talk to you again in about a week! <3

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Perth Mint

Today we Today we had an excursion for my Australian Studies class at the Perth Mint. So far it was my favorite excursion for many reasons. One, they had a lot of jewelry there, which actually surprised me a lot but after thinking about it made sense. They do a lot with gold and what is good to do with gold? Make it into jewelry of course! Two, it was the most visual thing we went to that I haven’t ever seen anything similar to before. Three, I learned the most at this excursion than I have anywhere else.

            The best thing about the Mint was that we got to see a gold melting!! It was something I will definitely never forget! They had to heat the gold up to 1300 degrees Celsuis, even though it melts at 1064 degrees, because it cools rapidly and they need it in a liquid form for a while to be able to do anything with it. After about 20 seconds of taking the pot of gold (I forget what the pot was made of!) out of the furnace it dropped 100 degrees. After taking it out of the furnace and talking to us about how he has to work quickly, which he definitely wasn’t moving quickly, or the gold will solidfy, he poured it into a holder to make it into a block form. Watching him pout the liquid gold into that holder is something I will hopefully never forget. I’ve heard the term liquid gold before and I always think of it as a thick liquid, something similar to honey but I was very mistaken. This gold was beautiful. That’s really the best word to describe it. It was a very bright yellow, it was actually a neon yellow and it almost hurt my eyes to took at. And it’s definitely not thick; it looked like water jumping around in the holder. If it were clear and not neon yellow it would have been easy to mistake it for water. As soon as I saw him tip to holder back to stop pouring into the block holder, the gold moved around in the holder and the word Water popped into my head. After getting it all into the block form it started to cool and fast. As gold cools it turns from a neon yellow into a vibrant, neon orange and we got to watch this transformation take place within a matter of a minute. It was the coolest thing! I never would have thought it would cool that fast. I mean I serious saw it turn from a watery substance to something that was thrown out of its container onto the table in less than two minutes. Using special gloves he held the block up to us to see. It was a complete solid! No dripping off the sides, it didn’t bend or give at all, it was a complete solid. Using his gloves he then ran it back and forth across the face of the block and fire shot out of the block wherever his finger was. Seriously! And he did it repeatedly and his glove never caught on fire (probably because they were fire proof) but it was spectacular. I don’t know why that happens or how it can possibly happen but it was one of the coolest, unique things I’ve ever seen in my life. He then threw it into a huge tube of water, which by the sounds it was making, made the tube boil and when it pulled it out, the block had transformed into the metallic looking gold you are used to seeing. He also touched it with his bare hands because by this point it was cool enough to touch. Definitely one of the most impressive things I’ve ever seen in my life!

            Also at the Mint I found out that is you took my weight in gold and went to turn it in for money I would be …. Priceless. Haha sorry I just had to say that because I thought it was funny. I would really be worth approximately $2,690,000! That’s a lot of money. 

            One of the rooms in the building had an actual gold cube, block (the real name escapes me at the moment) bill maybe?, that you could touch. Well of course it was enclosed and had steel bars around it so no one could steal it but it was still neat to touch. I tried to pick it up because it looked like you could but I couldn’t do it so I thought that my eyes were playing tricks on me and that the steel bars were really holding it down on top. Well after I touched it a man touched it and then picked it up and commented on how heavy it was! I was like What?! It can’t be that heavy it’s just a block, it was a little bit smaller than a water bottle without the top drinking part. So I just thought I was being wimpy and not really trying to first time so I tried again and no I wasn’t being wimpy, it was HEAVY. I’m pretty sure I almost pulled a muscle in my arm but I picked it up for a couple of seconds :) That little block weighed 13 kilos (if I’m not mistaken), was worth $220,000 AUS dollars and was 13 times denser than water. The density had to be why it was so heavy!  

            At this Mint they have gold that is 99.9% pure gold. The purest gold you can find in the world. You know in the stores when they say something is 24 karat gold, that usually means it’s about 99.5% pure gold. I thought that was an interesting fact. And when you see big chunks of gold together and not just little bits at a time, it really shines. I mean it’s beautiful. It really looked purely gold not rusty gold. I couldn’t do anything but stare.

             In their gift shop they had a lot of jewelry. I definitely wasn’t expecting that from a Mint place but there were bundles of it, and it was definitely expensive. Probably some of the most expensive jewelry I’ve ever seen in my life but by far the prettiest. I’ve seriously never seen more exquisite jewelry in my life and even though I haven’t been around that long to see tons of it yet, I think I know when I’m looking at some beautiful stuff. It made all of the other jewelry stores look average; even Tiffany’s didn’t seem as great. They had everything too. Engagement rings, pearls, crystals, opals, you name it. To say the least - I was in heaven.

            Ok last thing about the Mint and then I’m promise I’m done talking about it. The Olympic games were in Sydney in 2000, well of course they made some of the medals at this Mint! The bronze medals were made of a combination of things, the silver were obviously all silver, but the gold wasn’t all gold. In order for all the medals they make to be pure gold, they wouldn’t have any gold left basically. So they gave silver medals a gold coat and those were the gold medals. Sounds like the gold medal winners get jipped huh? Oh well they said, had to do it. Haha

            Just so this whole post isn’t completely about the Mint I will throw in another Laura story. The other night Laura was explaining to me that her teacher wouldn’t give the students the answers to an assignment they did that day, but she normally does. When I asked why, she explained that the teacher knows they are giving their answers to the students in the classes later in the week. In other words, they got caught cheating. Laura gave me the lecture that their teacher gave them about how it makes her grade look worse because the other students have all the right answers and so their grades are better. She was pretty concerned/confused about why the teacher decided not to give them the right answers anymore.

All I could say was, “Well ya Laura, you don’t want them to have a better grade then you because you gave them the answers. And it’s called cheating. That’s not allowed.”

Her answer, “Ya but in China we do this all the time.”

Me, “What?!!”

Laura, “Ya, students give each other answers all the time and the teachers don’t care. It’s common practice in China.”

Me, stunned into silence with my mouth hanging open.

Laura, “We do it all the time. At school when we take tests if you look over at other students paper, it’s ok. The teacher won’t say anything.”

Me, “You can just look off of someone else’s test and you won’t get in trouble?!”

Laura, “Yes, but not the whole test. If you look over maybe just a couple of times not for the whole thing.”

I knew China was different, but damn!

She then explained how big of a pain it was that you had to reference every resource you use in a paper because they apparently don’t do that either. Whenever they write papers and essays or whatnot for class, they never have to reference like we do. So she was very annoyed that she had to reference things here haha. Welcome to the world Laura.


That’s all I got for now. Love you all <3

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Country of Relaxation

Another update! Yay! Currently I am sitting outside on our porch looking at the think, gray clouds that aren’t letting any sun pass through. Despite the gloomy weather though, I’m in a fabulous mood! The weather here changes about as much as you change a baby’s diaper. Yesterday was hot and sunny, then it started to drizzle and then at night it became freezing cold. I went on a run yesterday right before dinner and walking back to my flat I slowed down because something caught my eye. I looked up and there was a rainbow! I looked even closer and there was another one starting to form right next to it. It was so pretty. I started looking at the different colors of the rainbow running them all through my head. I saw red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, and then I stopped because I was sure my eyes were playing with me, but they weren’t. It was a double rainbow. I’ve never seen one before but the colors started over again on the other side. It was as if two rainbows merged to make one massive rainbow. It was b-e-a-utiful! Something I will never forget! The rainbow didn’t last long enough for me to take a picture and show you though, that was the only bad part about the situation.


            Wow. I already have so much to say and throughout the day I am always trying to remind myself write that in your blog. And now I can’t remember for the life of me what any of those were! Maybe if I back track I will remember. Ok so yesterday Laura and I were eating dinner together and we started really comparing America to China. It was fun because it was as if all borders were dropped because we were asking whatever questions came to mind. She asked me what boys and I think are pretty on women and I asked her the same of course. Amongst other fashion/appearance gossip we talked a lot about eating/dining habits. In China, when you are dining and you are the guest, you always say you are full, even if you aren’t. She says you lie. It is then the job of the host to trying and “convince” you to eat more. If you say that you are not full and would like more it is considered very rude. She told me, and I confirmed, that in America you don’t usually lie like that and we take what you mean seriously. [Although even if you are full, you will still be persuaded to eat more, (and don’t pretend that isn’t true, Yiayia!)]


            Tuesday my Australia Studies class consisted of us talking about everyday Australian Life and watching a movie. While we watch the movie our teacher leaves the room, like she does every time. But what we talked about was really neat. I guess they have an obesity problem here? That’s news to me because everyone I’ve seen (well not everyone) but most of the people I’ve seen are far more fit than the majority of people I see in the States. Every once in a while I will see someone who is particularly very large but I didn’t think it was as often as in the States. I guess though a lot of them are more in the city and we don’t live THAT close to the downtown part of the city. I don’t know it confused and shocked me all together. Some of the stores here though are still very prejudice. They won’t let aboriginals into their stores or they will follow them around the store to make sure they don’t steal anything. We also talking about how Australia is like America about 20 years ago. Which is basically true. I mean there are signs of it. Like the prejudice thing and just the way they are starting to realize important issues that we have lately. I don’t know it just seems that they are starting things like what we have now. I know we had apartment style building long ago but they are just now starting to get those and I didn’t even realize it until it was pointed out to me. It’s strange that they don’t have them here but really they don’t have many, unless I’m just not seeing them. And I think this is only in WA because I’m sure Sydney has them all over the place.


One thing I noticed a lot about the Australian accent, and the Chinese who are tring to learn English, is that they add unnecessary r’s ino words. Much like a southerner would do, where they say something like warsher instead of washer. It really bothers me! I want to correct someone every time I hear it. My teacher even says Aurstralia or Aurstralur instead of Australia. Laura, my flat mate, says idier instead of idea. When you greet someone goodbye too they always say “see you later” or “see you”, never “goodbye” or “bye” or even “see ya”. They are polite and I like it better than bye, because even though you probably won’t ever see that person again in your life, it’s more friendly and less formal. Keeps positivity in the air.


Oh I remember some of what I was going to talk about. My friend Molly just turned 20 this weekend. Sara, Patrick and I made her cupcakes for her birthday and surprised her with them! When then all made fajitas and guacamole together for dinner and it was delicious! Saturday we then went down to Fremantle (Freo for short, the Aussie’s love to shorten things) and walked around all the shops there and ate dinner at a really good, small town feel, Italian restaurant. It was scrumptious and I’m definitely going back to Freo since we didn’t have enough time to look at all of the stores. They all close down at 5 on Saturdays, ridiculous isn’t it? And they don’t open on Sundays. Aussie business hours are so different than back home. It’s like here they have to cram everything into the week so you are forced to do absolutely nothing on the weekends but relax. Very interesting, and relaxing lifestyle I guess you could say.


They also have a lot of cafes here. It’s great :) They have the same the same names for some things but they are different. Like they have a latte and cappuccino but I’ve been told by Molly, that they are slightly different. I don’t know how but I will find out when I get back to America.


Well I can’t remember what else I was going to say. Love you all <3

[Added Later]

I remember one of the things I forgot to say! A miracle, seriously. Anyways, I asked Laura why in a lot of Chinese pictures they aren't smiling. She told me that for her it seems rude to show your teeth while you are smiling so she doesn't. She said though that people in China do smile but I don't know how many of them do. She said that they might be smiling with their mouth closed too and so slightly that you might not be able to tell the difference. I believe this because in America we are expected to show teeth, if not at least smile big enough to tell, that we wouldn't notice just a slight smile on someone's face. I also asked her what the peace sign means (but I didn't say the peace sign I showed her what I was talking about with my fingers.) She said it means Victory and she does it because she doesn't know how else to pose in her pictures. She said for all Asian countries it means Victory and it's very common to use in pictures. She was shocked with a told her it was the peace sign. She said "but it doesn't look like a peace sign," which she's right it doesn't. I don't know how that became known as the peace sign but I think it's sensible that it means Victory for them because as she explains it "it looks like a V." I didn't ask because I didn't think about it till later, but it's funny that they use a sign that represents an English word. I'm not sure but I don't think the word for victory starts with the letter V, actually it can't since they use characters, but I wonder if it sounds like it. It's common amongst all of Asia too so even the Japanese use it. Really made me think about how popular the English language is. I mean I knew it was the common language for the word but I didn't think they incorporated it that much into their cultures. 

Laura also explained that in China they have professors from America come over to teach classes in English so they can improve their English. I don't know if it was an English speaking class but other exchange students in my program went to other countries and they all have classes in English. I wonder if most countries offer regular classes in English? That would be something interesting to find out because no college that I know of offers any class in another language, except to learn the language of course. 


Thursday, September 10, 2009

LOVE LOVE LOVE Australian Class

So these days are really flying by and I really don’t have an explanation as to why. I don’t feel like I do much and yet I thought I updated my blog just a few days ago, not almost a week ago. And last night I realized I am half way through my semester here. Amazing. The time is really flying by because it doesn’t feel like I have almost been here two months. I’m about half way through my trip (approx. 2.5 months left) and it’s so weird to think about! Sometimes honestly I do get pretty homesick. I miss seeing people I know well and am comfortable with. However, I think the time alone is probably good for me. It’s teaching me how to be even more independent and kind of putting things in order for me. So I can’t complain. Not that I would want to.

            Well these past few days I really don’t know what has been keeping me so busy. I’m continuing to cook, which is good for me and Laura is continuing to eat her cake. Haha. The other day I was cooking dinner and asked her if she had eaten dinner yet and she simply replied, “Yes I bought a cake at Coles”. I don’t think, and I hope!, she didn’t eat the whole cake for her dinner but I thought it was really funny that that was her main course. She amazes me. She will eat doughnuts and just sweets constantly. And even though I think she might have gained weight, she’s not 500 pounds!

            In my Planetary Science class, my teacher distributed back our grades for our first assignment. Well we had to turn in a hard copy for the assignment and then he printed off individual notes with the grade and just set them in the front of the class for you to pick up. I thought it was strange at first and I couldn’t figure out why. Then when he pulled up the excel spreadsheet he keeps of everyone’s grades up on the projector for the whole class (of roughly 75 students) to see, I understood. That would NEVER happen in the US. A teacher would never dare to let anyone else see your grade but you. To put up everyone’s grades up on the projector? That’s amazing. I’m guessing that it’s ok here because I turned to my friend and I said, “I’ve never had a teacher do this before” with shock on my face and she didn’t think it was a big deal. She really just didn’t say anything about it at all. This teacher has been teaching for the past 27 years too so I’m sure he knows what he was doing. I looked around the room too and no one else was looking around to see other student’s reactions like I was. So I knew it had to have be normal. Well the reason he pulled them up was because he couldn’t remember who had gotten good grades and we wanted to call the students out in front of the class. Probably to recognize them and so he knew who his good students were. Yes, I was one of them :) I received a 30/30 and at first I thought it wasn’t something hard to achieve. My friend, who got her grade before me, also got a 30/30. But when he was telling us about the grades, I guess we were 2 of 3 or 4 people to get 30s! He said that if he didn’t see anywhere to take off he didn’t. I did my paper on global warming and I guess he thought it was interesting because that was one of the requirements for the assignment. So that completely made my day on Tuesday. :D

            Monday in my International Management class I had my facilitation, which I think went pretty well. My partner and I got a group together and we just had to lead the discussion of the case study that was assigned for that week. Pretty sure we got good marks. My International Management class is truly fascinating though. I now completely understand why I picked this as my major. Because I am absolutely in love with it! I leave this class every time thinking that I could seriously have that class everyday and not get sick of it. I would gladly do the work for it and it wouldn’t bother me at all. I don’t know if it’s because we just learn so many cool things or if it’s because of the people in the class. We do at least about an hour of group discussions and then the rest of the time we usually do something related to another country so it’s interesting. And we do fun stuff, like on Monday some of the students had to do a skit of a business meeting between a Japanese company and an American company. These nationalities do business COMPLETELY different and we had to identify the differences and how to overcome those differences. It was so cool! I definitely picked the right major. And not only it is fun we learn cool things! Like the fact that Coca-Cola has a different website design for every single country it’s in. Which makes complete sense when you think about it because not ever country is going to think the same thing is attractive. For example, the Japanese (I think) think that black is the color of bad luck so there aren’t black borders on their website. They also like a lot of options so there is stuff to look at, read, and click all over the place and is scrollable. Ours you can see the whole thing on one screen and is very simple. Argentina’s was really colorful and had a lot more groovy looking pictures and designs on it. We also learn that some things that are normal for us are insults in other countries. We were shown some advertisements and promotions ads that completely busted because they were utterly offensive to the targeted country. Poor management is what that was. Haha

            Well I just finished my paper for my Australian Studies class. It was just a reaction to one of the excursions we went on. Simple. But now I can’t think of what else I was going to say and I think I need to head to bed. I hope everyone is doing wonderfully! Love you all <3

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Shoes and Bogan Bingo

Wow now I feel awful. Laura came into my room because she wanted to see pictures of my two sisters, since she doesn’t have brothers or sisters she was really excited that I did. Well she saw how many shoes I have and was flabbergasted. I counted and I have 14 pairs of shoes. Even to me this is a surprise because I’m not a big shoe person. Of the 14 I’m pretty sure I’ve bought about 6 here. Well guess how many Laura has?..... 3. Ya. When she said that I felt awful. And to rub it in at the end as she was leaving she points at my pile of shoes and goes “that’s how many I’ve had about my whole life”. 


Laura told me all about Chinese holidays. I guess in China they do celebrate Christmas but not like we do. They go shopping and maybe have food but nothing really big. Their big thing is either during the month of January or February, they celebrate the end of the Lunar calendar. And I guess because of this they sometimes end up having to January months, which doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t think she explained that part right but I thought it was interesting. They have about one celebration a month. They celebrate things like “women’s day” where all the women get the day off work. Teachers day, were no one goes to school.  Children’s day, which they just have a celebration for I think.  Their school semesters are also evenly spaced. Like their summer holiday isn’t longer than their winter one. They are the same amount of time. They don’t get off for Christmas either. They get off for the end of the Lunar Calendar. Most of their population (according to Laura) is non-religious, but those that are, are Buddhist. They also read the same way we do. From left to right. Not right to left or upside down.


Yesterday though my friends and I went to the bar by the shopping center near Erica (where I live) and it was a lot of fun. They had Bogan Bingo night and the two guys that were in charge of the event were HALARIOUS. They made jokes for certain numbers like 55 were two wheelchairs racing. And then they pretended like they were on wheelchairs and started racing. There were a bunch of good lines that they came up with. If you got bingo using the middle square you got a free beer! As long as you were one of the first two to get it that is. Molly got a free beer and we thought it would be a little pint but no, they gave her like a whole pitcher. So the whole table ended up getting a free beer. Then Sara won the air guitar contest and got us another pitcher. It was fun because we played bingo and got a bunch of free beer. At the end the guy came up and talked to us. He was about 40 and verrry nice. He was chatting with us about why he loves Americans (because we will talk Politics unlike people our age here I guess) and how he was just over in Vegas. Oh and if you don’t know what bogan is (because I didn’t), its basically like a redneck.


I really don’t have much else to update. I have to facilitate a group discussion for my International Management class on Monday and I am typing this update instead of preparing for that. But that’s ok because I work better under pressure. I will probably do it tomorrow. Even though it might not sound like I’m doing good in my classes, no worries, I definitely am! ;) 

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Great City of Sydney

My apologizes for not updating sooner. I didn’t feel like it in Sydney and then I had a paper to do, since I didn’t do it in Sydney, and I’ve finally gotten around to it.


Where do I even start with Sydney. I regret now not updating about it ever couple of days because I so much happening and I discovered so much that I’m probably going to leave out a lot and forget to mention a lot because I don’t think anyone is going to want to read a book about it. Lol


Well I will start off by saying that Sydney was simply amazing. Not only because I had my parents there with me, but because it was so cool to actually be there and experience everything that I’ve always wanted to. I’ve been seeing the Sydney Harbor and the Opera house for years, always wanting to see them for myself and I finally got to! We even went to go see some comedians, The Umbilical Brothers, at the Opera house and I think that about made my year. We took a tour of the opera house too, which was really neat. We weren’t allowed to take pictures of the inside of the stages and the performance rooms and such because of copyright laws. But I got some great pictures of the outside and the hallways haha.


There were so many shops there with high heels EVERYWHERE. I’m not kidding. I’ve never seen so many stores sell so many different high heels in my life. I guess I can’t compare to like New York because I don’t remember if they had that many there, but it literally blew me out of the water. It makes sense too because it’s mostly warm there throughout the year. They’re so lucky. The weather there was about the same as it is here in Perth. (Their winter isn’t really a winter at all.) Luckily, it only lightly rained a couple of days and even though some of the days were a little chilly, for the most part it was nice outside. The shopping was great because there were so many shops. And all of their stores seemed really nice. Not run down and one mall-ish area even looked Victorian looking and was beautiful!


We stayed in the business district and everyone there wore black. Black on black on black. With a little white of course. It was really funny. But according to my friend Molly, that’s exactly how DC is. It didn’t surprise me so much but it really surprised my parents how much black they wore. I really honestly  liked the black though. And of course the other people there not working or just being tourists like us were very colorful.


We came to find out too that Sydney is one of the most expensive places in the world to live. No joke. Everything there was about 3 times the price of what it should be. For the three of us we couldn’t find a meal for under $95 when we would sit down at a restaurant. On the up side, we did discover a really great beer though. It’s called Pure Blonde and it’s excellent. It’s low carb too but you can’t tell. We didn’t even realize it until we read the bottle. I liked it, both of my parents did (Dad even wants to see if he can get it at the restaurant), and everywhere we went there was always heaps of tables drinking it. Needless to say, it’s a good beer and it’s Aussie made. ;)


I went to a Casino for the first time ever, and found that I love it! Haha I had beginners luck and won $150 the first night I was there. The other two days we went I lost but not a lot. I had a lot of fun though and it really made me want to go to Vegas when I get back in the states. See what you started mom and dad? Haha


We went to a zoo and a water museum (I forget what they are called right now). But we saw kangaroos and koalas, which are both adorable. The koalas amazed me with how they can sleep with there whole body barely attached to this tiny tree limb. They were hanging on literally by their fingernails and slept just fine. We saw a bunch of cool animals and fish. There was a tube tank and we saw HUGE sharks and fish. I saw the most poisonous snake in the world and sea horses. Australia has I think 6 of the top 8 or 10 poisonous snakes in the world. There was just so much.. OH and penguins. They were sooooo cute! I never imagined they would be that cute in person but I wanted to snatch one and take it home with me!


They had these cool markets that sold a bunch of homemade jewelry. In Australia they have a jewel called Opal, which I guess you might only be able to find here. Anyways, they were beautiful and some of the shops sold them in the jewelry they made. They also made food right there, which was really good. One stand made these shoes with patterns that the aboriginals put together. They were all unique and very original. Very fascinating.


Well, I had a WONDERFUL trip and I was so glad that my parents came down to see me. It really made my whole trip to Australia and I came back to Perth in better spirits. Everything is great here. I hope all is well in the States!