Ok I guess its a little late to be doing a “first impressions” post since I did arrive almost a week ago, but better late than never.
A brief summary of my week so far: I spent the first few days settling in and just exploring Melbourne (which I do everyday), had an exchange student orientation last Friday and met ‘heaps’ of people (even someone in my Food Chemistry class!), went to St. Kilda’s beach on Saturday where there are tons of ginormous jellyfish, made my second trip to Queen Vic Market (the huge farmer’s/flea market) yesterday, and today I visited the Kraft R&D Center and saw where Vegemite is made!
So yea it’s been a pretty eventful week…tomorrow is the orientation week (or ‘O-Week’) for the rest of Melbourne Uni so I’ll get a tour of the campus, figure out my schedule, and see what clubs I wanna join.
Here are a couple first impressions of Melbourne and Aussie culture:
There are sooo many Asians here. When I got here literally half the people I saw were Asian…like Vancouver.
There are sooo many Americans here. Most of the people I met in my building at first were Americans. There are also lots of internationals, and I’ve met people from places like Lithuania, Jamaica, Malaysia…the list goes on and on. I’ve only met one Aussie on the floor above me and a couple Aussie ‘freshers’ at orientation.
I could run around this city all day. There are so many great parks to run in, and every street takes me somewhere new. One mistake I made while on a morning run: using a water fountain. For some reason they’re all really strong and I got hit right in the face. But it happened to a friend to so it’s not just me.
I can’t decide which side to walk on. This has led to many awkward dances with Aussies and walking down the up escalator once.
The coffee is amazing here. Instead of drip or percolated coffee, the standard is a ‘long black’ which is similar to an Americano but better (they call a straight espresso shot a ‘short black’). It’s also really expensive though. Melbournians are really big on breakfast so there are tons of cafes around the city too.
Aussies are really nice…even in Chinatown. Case in point: I was shopping for an unlocked cell phone in Chinatown and wasn’t sure if I should buy one in a store. The owner suggests that I shop around because I can always come back. Wait…she let me get away?
Australian English isn’t the same as American English. I’m still getting used to all the little nuances. I’m also really conscious of my American accent when I speak too.
That’s all I can think of for now…I’ll be posting pics on facebook once it stops screwing up.
Oh and if you’re wondering about the blog title:
(my dad made me use it to carry my cash on the plane) and
(Natalie Tran on Community Channel…a fellow Aussie!!)
Hope you guys are well!