Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dreams and Papers

It’s so strange because I remember almost ALL of my dreams here. At home I never remember any of them. At home I swear I don’t even dream most nights. Here though I remember at least one dream every night and it great detail. It’s so crystal clear sometimes I swear it happened for real. They all aren’t about the same thing either. Some are scary, some are sad, some are funny and some are just pointless. It’s so strange though I can’t figure out why it’s different here.


Well I really don’t have much to update because I have just been working on school work and getting my papers done so I don’t have to worry about them the rest of the week. My parents are coming Wednesday and I’m meeting them in Sydney! I’m soo excited! Not only to see them but to experience the east side of Australia.


My friends and I made pizza together Friday night and watched a movie. I’ve been watching so many movies since I’ve been here. I’m not used to watching so many movies but I like it. I need to catch up on my movies. I usually have no idea what anyone is talking about when they talk about movies haha. Yesterday we went shopping and I bought the cutest peach colored dress. I love it! :)


It’s different here because they use a different referencing system than in the States. I use MLA at home and here they like the Chicago style. They also don’t limit pages but the amount of words. All of my papers are 2000 words. I think it’s roughly 6 pages.


Oh something I actually learned from my movies: Australia was attacked in WW2. I never knew that. Their north (Darwin I believe) was attacked and they lost the most amounts of people then than any other time. I learned that from the movie Australia.


Today is Curtin’s Open Day, which I’m pretty sure is the day they have high schoolers come and check out the school. And theirs is so much better than ours. They have dj’s everywhere and they have those huge bouncy blow up things along with this rope bouncing thing. It looked like a lot of fun. I probably would have done them but it was raining when I went on campus today. :(


That’s all I got! 

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Aussie Slang

 I have learned so much slang in the past couple of days. Well actually all just yesterday  mostly but Aussie’s shorten EVERYTHING. I joined a group on campus called Curtin Volunteers (CV!) and so yesterday we went to a class where it was foreigners learning to speak Aussie slang. I’m pretty sure I learned almost as much as they did! Even though I hadn’t heard of a lot of them it was still really easy to figure out what they were. Some I had absolutely no idea. They had to do a worksheet and I was supposed to be able to tell them the right answers. I knew them all except 1 or 2 and eventually an Australian girl came into the room and she was told to go “help the American” (AKA me). Because I had to ask a couple of them hahaha I didn’t care though. Some of them I’ve heard before they just use them a lot more here. Here’s what I learned:


Get cracking – get working


Arvo’ – afternoon


Tute – tutorial class


How’re ya going? – How are you or what are you doing


To take the piss – means they are getting teased


No worries – don’t worry about it, your welcome, everything is good


Top paddock – the top of a barn


Flat out – very busy


Mum – mom


Prezzie – present


Ta – thank you, thanks


Coldies – beers


Chuck em’ – put them


She’ll be right mate – I’m okay (my friend)


Stubby – bottle of beer


Bloody oath! - damn right!  - not used much anymore which made me sad b/c I like it!


Snaggers – sausages


Still kicking – still cooking


Whatever ya reckon – whatever, I don’t believe you


Boon (?) – think blanket


Jumper – jacket or sweatshirt


Cheers – thank you


Getting pissed tonight – getting drunk tonight


Piss - beer


There were so many more but I don’t remember them! I hear Cheers all the time and No Worries. Mate it usually only said by guys and Sheila (pretty girl) isn’t really used anymore. Cussing isn’t as prohibited here. Teachers say Fuck and being called an Asshole is more of a teasing thing than anything serious. They also refer to beer as piss which I think is really funny. They have a lot of nicknames for all things alcohol and food related. They also shorten city names like Fremantle is Freo. They also use the term Love here.  A lot of their slang is from the British.


That’s all for now. I’m going to go read some chapters :(  


Sunday, August 9, 2009

I Love Chinese People

Sorry I haven’t updated in a while but honestly not a lot has been going on lately.  Since classes have started it’s like things have changed a little. All my friends have classes during the week but I don’t. So we haven’t been doing a lot lately because of classes and homework and stuff. Even though here I feel like I don’t even have half of the homework I normally have. I realized that classes here don’t require as much homework. They are all about the tests and papers here. Only one of my classes has weekly assignments and they aren’t even collected. They just check to make sure you do them. And that same class is the only class I actually have a final in. For my Planetary Science class our entire grade consists of is attendance and 3 papers. Papers! For Planetary Science? I understand papers for my writing class and my Australian Studies class but Planetary Science? Oh well, it’s easier for me so I’m not going to complain :) Fortunately, since I don’t have a very busy life, all my homework is getting done. And I actually want to do it. Well, ok, not all of it, but it doesn’t bother me like it normally does to do it. That could be also because I actually like my classes. That really helps I realized because then you don’t care to go to class and do the assignments and what-not.


            All of my flatmates don’t come out of their rooms as much as they used to and it kind of makes me sad. Laura doesn’t come out as often because she has a cold and she doesn’t seem to be getting much better fast. Ok, warning, I’m going to go on a rant about Laura again, but she just teaches me so much I can’t NOT talk about her. Haha Well we were talking about being sick and she was telling me that she went to the doctor and that they doctor told her she had a cold and not the flu. She said the doctor told her the difference so I thought she understood. Then she kept saying that she had a disease and that she didn’t want to spread it to other people. I tried to explain to her that a cold isn’t a disease and, of course, she didn’t understand at first. I told her that a disease was like what she had except VERY serious and something that is very threatening to your health. I said, “ You have a cold, which is like the flu but less severe.”  She said, “well what does that mean?” I was like, “well it could mean a lot of different things. Like you have headaches, runny nose, sore throat, belly aches, fever maybe.” She still looked a little confused and then it hit me. She thinks “cold” refers to her temperature. Haha. So then I added, “ HAVING a cold doesn’t mean that you ARE cold. It’s just a term we refer to when we are talking about someone who is partially sick. It has nothing to do with the temperature of your body. It’s just a term we use.” And then I saw realization spread across her face. Yes! I finally helped again. It really made me feel good actually. This conversation lead to one where she taught me that in Chinese they don’t use words like that. They have about 3 BILLION characters and each character has one specific meaning and not many. So when they talk there is no confusion to what they are talking about. Which I thought was quit interesting. And smart. But when were would all my fun be if I didn’t have to explain half of what I say to Laura? Lol


            Oh Laura. I just got done eating breakfast one morning and she comes in and pulls out the cake mix. I asked her if she was making cake for breakfast and she simply replies, “ Yes I don’t feel like cooking today.” Haha I didn’t say anything. I did find out though that she still doesn’t use any form of a measuring device and now mixes all of the ingredients straight into the baking pan instead of wasting time with a bowl. Oh that girl. She eats cake for breakfast and wonders why she is sick. The Chinese are so funny.


            Speaking of Chinese. My guy Chinese roommate told me that he prefers American Football to Footy. I didn’t understand why because I think Footy is sooo much more interesting not to mention or physically challenging. Hello they don’t wear any padding and they run the length of a football field constantly. But he likes American Football better and supposedly he watches a lot of it in China. I asked what kind of sports are popular in China and he said Table Tennis. Mostly sports that don’t require a lot of strong physical strength. Just quick movements. Which made sense to me. He then told me that they love the NBA. That completely surprised me! I didn’t know they showed NBA in China! I asked what team he liked and he said that he liked the Lakers. And you have to know this guy. He always talks very calmly and never really loud in a steady even voice. So after he told me he liked the lakers and yells, “KOBE BRYANT IS AWESOME!!!” (along with hand motions), I died of hysterical laughter on the couch. It was probably the funniest thing I have seen in a LOONNG time. I’m seeing the Chinese in a whole new light and I’ve come to the conclusion that I love the Chinese.


            My friends and I made dinner last night at Molly’s house. We made fajitas and had chips and salsa. It was very good. I also learned how to made guacamole and can proudly say that I should know be able to do it efficiently. :) While we were waiting for the chicken to marinade I thought them how to play Eukure. None of them knew how! Can you believe that? My mouth fell open when they informed me of this news. However, after I taught them they said that we should take another shot at playing because they liked it. So that was good! I was afraid I wasn’t going to do a good job explaining it especially since I was the only person who even had any idea at all how to play but I must have done ok. It took about a half an hour but I think they all get it and liked it! They will need more practice of course but I can say, mission accomplished!


            Unfortunately also our trip that we had planned through the school to travel up north and see a bunch of fun sites was cancelled. :( However, they are trying to book it through another traveling agency so we can still go so hopefully that will happen! Funny thing is that all of my friends got the email saying the trip was cancelled but I never did. Oh well thank goodness for friends! We also looked up different places to go today on our last break. We are mostly debating between Bali and the Northern/Ayer’s Rock Region.


            Wow I didn’t think I had a lot to say but I guess I was wrong! Hope everyone is fabulous!! 

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I love cooking!

These past couple of days have been more interesting then I’ve expected. Yesterday in Australian Studies we learned a lot about the Indigenous People. They are sometimes referred to as the Aboriginals but I found out yesterday that you really shouldn’t call them that. The correct term is Indigenous Peoples. I never knew that the Australian government (just last year I believe) apologized to them for treating them unfairly and that they are a big issue within Australia right now. I guess they only make up about 2% of the population here but they are a huge subject. They are being able to claim lands back that they believe were taken from them as long as they can show proof of the land. They have to do things like demonstrate that they still hold their rituals and show a tie to the land. I don’t know how hard this is but I guess it’s been proven. I guess this isn’t hard for them because they don’t believe that they control or own a piece of land. They believe that they are a part of that piece of land and what happens to it also happens to them. So you can see why they are very upset about their land being taken from them. Most of the Indigenous People you see around though are not the friendliest. They yell at people and are almost seen as hobos on the streets. They are more likely to have been to prison or juvenile detention centers than whites. Just some interesting facts my teacher told us.  In my class we also watched Crocodile Dundee (spelling?) and it was a pretty funny movie. It really did portray some dead on Australian stereotypes.


            I know I have been talking about food and cooking a lot lately but I just realized today or last night that I love to cook! It doesn’t bother me at all. (Except I get a little impatient sometimes.) I don’t know if I love it just because it’s new and I haven’t done a lot of it before or if I really do just like it that much. I mean it’s kind of in my blood. OK, not kind of, it is, but… I can imagine I will be doing it a lot more when I return home :)


            Oh and Laura now loves cake it seems. She was baking one this morning at about 10 haha. I’m pretty sure she ate it for breakfast. She told me that this time she made icing for the cake but she put too much milk in it and it was really runny. She ate it anyways. She was surprised at how sweet it was.  This morning when I couldn’t remember how to make scrambled eggs I asked her if she remembered. She didn’t understand me at first and then she said that when she makes eggs she puts olive oil down first. I told her no that’s not how I make it and she was like “OH REALLY?!” I mean she was soo surprised. I told her that I think I’m supposed to put milk in it but I couldn’t remember and she was flabbergasted! Haha cooking is so different some places. OMG listen to what my Chinese roommate, who’s name I still can’t figure out how to say, eats for breakfast. He has two pieces of jellied toast and bologna and makes it into a sandwich. I know it sounds disgusting but he’s eaten it quit often.


            I went on a run this morning and right when I got back, I wasn’t even in my room yet, Laura stopped me to ask me if “I have the habit of exercise.” I understood that she meant do I exercise a lot or basically everyday. She told me that she wants at exercise partner to exercise with and I told her that I would be happy to run or walk with her whenever she wanted me too. I don’t know how often she exercises but I guess we will find out!


            Today my friends and I are going to finally go see Harry Potter. I heard it wasn’t anything amazing but I’m still pumped to go see it! It’s $14 over here for a movie. Can you believe that? It better be good. 

Monday, August 3, 2009

Fun Baking Stories

Crap, crap, crap. THE most embarrassing thing just happened to me!! :I To cut to the chase I about passed out today after my spin class. Err. I’m so mad at myself about it actually. Well I singed up for fitness classes at the rec center here and I thought I would try a spin class because I’ve never taken one before and I’m sure they are a really good workout. Well I was right about the really good workout part. Throughout the whole workout I was kind of feeling funny but I thought maybe it’s just because I haven’t ever taken a spin class before and that I haven’t really worked out this hard in a while. Well after the class she had us stand and stretch. AS SOON AS we were done stretching, and when I say soon I mean right after the last stretch I turned my head and my vision went black. It was as if I told my body not to do anything silly until the workout was over and it listened and jumped at the first opportunity. Well so since I literally blacked out I sat down and I think if I wouldn’t have I would have passed out. But then the girl I made friends with in the class was asking me if I was ok and if I needed anything. I told her I would be ok if I sat there and I had no idea what I needed. She got the teacher and she thought my blood sugar was low so she got me a sugar packet to put in my water. She was even going to run out to her car and get me something but I told her not to worry about I would be fine. Caroline (the friend) got me more water and was even late for her class to stay and help me for a couple minutes I later found out. People around here are so nice. The teacher wouldn’t leave me until I stood up and walked out the door. I was soo embarrassed. I kept saying thank you like crazy and I told her I was embarrassed because this has only happened once before (even though it was a little different) and I couldn’t believe it had to happy today at my first spin class ever. She told me that she worked us harder today then usual because there were a lot of regulars in the class so that probably had something to do with it too. Ugh. Anyways, I’m fine now! My head still kind of hurts but that will go away. And now that I think about it I probably shouldn’t have written this because I don’t want people to worry but this blog is about my adventures here and this is definitely one of them. But really there is no need to worry I’m fine now and I now what I need to do from now on to prevent it. The teacher gave me some advice. So as they say here in Australia, no worries! :)


On a positive note though I went to the beach yesterday!! Yes it was warm enough to lay out! We laid out for a couple of hours and then the clouds came in and made it kind of chilly so we decided to leave. But it has been really nice here lately. Caroline today though told me that this weather is unusual for their winter and that their summer lasted really long this year. She said their summer just ended like a month or two ago. She thinks it’s going to start raining and be chilly soon and only be that way for about a month and then it will be nice again. Even if that does happen I still believe winters in Australia are sweet. It’s been a high of around 70 for the past weekish. Who is going to complain about a winter like that? Caroline said that she wishes it would rain because she misses it and she sounded like she wanted snow when I said Ohio gets a lot. Crazy girl.

Saturday my friends and I went downtown again and we checked out this area called Northbridge. Northbridge is supposedly the area were there are a lot of fun pubs or clubs to go at night. Well my friends and I thought it was sketchy. We’ve also had a couple of guys who have been there tell us it’s not safe to go with a small group of people and they think it’s nothing special and really sketchy also. We thought that since guys are usually what makes a place sketchy and they are telling us it is, that it probably really is and we don’t feel the need to go. Since we went there during the day too and didn’t like it we decided we definitely aren’t going. But we did go to the nice part of downtown and shopped. We ran into the Supreme Court of Western Australia building, which was kind of cool. We also saw the spot where supposedly Perth was founded. So it was a nice day.


I really do want to say though that I always thought I couldn’t cook very well and that I was the worse cook in my flat by far, WELL boy I was wrong! My Chinese roommate Laura, who cooks ALL the time, definitely can’t bake worth anything. I was watching tv in the living room when she first asked me if I’ve ever baked a cake before. Even if I couldn’t remember if I ever have, which I was pretty sure I had, I said yes. Because honestly lets get real, who can’t bake a cake? It’s so easy. I mean the instructions are on the box! Well I come to find out that I was wrong. There are people who baking cakes is not easy for them. Laura is definitely one of them. She asked me to help her so I did. Well the instructions called for adding the mix with an egg , water, and vegetable oil. So we got the egg. Laura then decided that we would use olive oil instead of vegetable oil because she didn’t have that. I told her that it wasn’t exactly the same thing and that it probably won’t taste the same or work in the same way. She didn’t seem to care so she used it. And obviously she opted out of using a measuring spoon because she just started pouring it into the bowl straight out of the bottle!! I was like WAIT! I then explained to her that usually when baking a cake you follow the instructions on the back and actually measure things out. I then showed her what a table spoon looked like and she continued to add more from the tablespoon this time. It only called for 3 tablespoons but I’m pretty sure she had more than that in there. Then I told her we needed water and yup she added water straight from the faucet. I then in great detail explained how important measuring things out is when you don’t know what you are doing. And I found out that in China they never measure. They always guess. Which I understand isn’t bad, when you know what you are doing!! She didn’t! She then added the frosting mix into the bowl instead of the cake mix. So then we just added the cake mix too. In the end her cake ended up tasting ok actually. No icing and it was a tid bit burnt but it wasn’t bad. Olive oil and all lol. OH! And the best part was that is was carrot cake. So when she added the cake mix into the bowl her friend said something in Chinese to her. Laura nudged her so I asked what she said. Her friend looks up at me and says, “Looks like shit” haha! Because it turned brown. It was funny at the time because I seriously thought that’s how it was going to taste. The next day Laura asked me if she needed to heat up her cake before serving it to her friends later that day lol


I love my flatmate Laura and I’m so glad I’m living with her. I wouldn’t have half of the laughs I’ve had here without her. She also makes me realize so much about myself. I get to learn so much about Asian culture and I don’t know I really don’t know what I would do without her here anymore. She makes me feel needed and I really like having her around.


Ok enough of my babbling. I had a lot more to say but I forget it now (surprise! Lol). I hope everyone is doing great! I miss you all terribly much!