Thursday, June 27, 2013

Two English speaking countries, separated by a common language

I've stepped foot on Australian soil !!!

I think this is my 15th foreign country (see the rest here Countries traveled to ), and that number only seems like a drop in the bucket of all the places I want to go.

So bags were packed; an 85 liter backpacking bag and a regular school backpack fit everything I think I will need...

The flight here was not bad at all; I left LAX 10:30 pm and transit time was about 19 hours, so I arrived at local time about 10 am. Now some of you may be gasping, thinking that is an awfully long time to be in transit, but let me explain why it wasn't. So first, LAX on a late Tuesday night isn't so bad, security went fast and there was no cavity search, so I knew things were looking up. Once I finally sat in my aisle seat on the Air New Zealand plane and got situated, I was all nervous and such. I kept telling myself to breath and relax, and then the most relaxing thing you could imagine happened..... the safety instruction video came on. Now normally this wouldn't calm me at all, but guess what the video clip was a cheesy safety instruction video made by the one and only Bear Grylls -- only on Air New Zealand!!! Take a look here, and tell me what you think ??  Feel safer now? Thanks Bear Grylls  Air New Zealand became OK in my book, but they sweetened the deal with complimentary full dinner, complimentary alcohol, complimentary breakfast, my choice of new release movies on my own screen, and the friendlist flight attendants I've met. I think American airlines need to take a hint. Honestly though, after a 2 hour movie, dinner, and 2 glasses of red wine, I feel asleep for 10 hours! I woke up with 1 1/2 hours left til landing and breakfast on its way.

I had a 2 hour layover in New Zealand where I contemplated exiting the airport and traveling around New Zealand for six months. I want to go to that country so bad!!! But, I decided trying kangaroo meat was more important, so I went to my flight gate.

So upwards and onwards, after landing and standing behind some really smelly guy in the customs line, I was admitted to enter Australia...and I'm still smiling about it. I had a friend back home hook me up with this buddy and wife who live here in Melbourne (thanks smokin' joe!) and they were kind enough to pick me up from the airport, they are so sweet. I am staying here for a couple of days until I can figure out a place to live close to campus.

In the meantime, I have been running around with Walt and Lorraine who live in a suburb outside of the city. So far this place reminds me a lot of home, but there are some key differences. Like there are sheep everywhere and much more open spaces. They spell tires, tyres, and yogurt, yoghurt, and trolley is a shopping cart, and globes are light bulbs and that everybody is friendly. I learned that southern Australians talk much faster than northern Australians. That there really are times that I can't understand what somebody is saying. That I'm 17 hours ahead of home. That things are more expensive here unless they are goverment subsidized (some of those things include milk and eggs), that gas is like $6/gallon, the public transportation system is great, it is hard to find a regular sized black cup of coffee, and that I won't run in to TOO many spiders and other deadly creatures while inside the city.

So I leave you with this...Remember the old ad slogan, "Beef. It's what's for dinner." Well tonight's meal is "Roo. It's what's for dinner," so Kangaroo steaks it is!


1 comment:

  1. So glad everything has gone so smoothly for you - super awesome flight & some nice folks to take you in! If I had been in your suitcase, I may have parted ways in New Zealand also. Enjoy your roo dinner- and maybe next time you'll tell us all about your new campus adjacent apartment??
    - S.P.


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