Thursday, 22 August 2013

Brisbane and back to the real world

This past weekend a couple of my friends and I visited other friends at UQ in Brisbane. A huge plus was that it was super easy to get to and the train only cost $4.
I actually think staying in hostels is fun too. Like a big sleepover with all of my friends. In a fun place.
Anyways, I got to Brisbane last thursday, ate some delicious mexican food (so many cool restaurants there) and then went to a bar called the Vic that had a few floors and different bars. Met some Germans. It was awesome. Although there was a giant fight right before my friends and I left. Bouncers here are oddly strict about who they let into bars, as they will turn people away on the spot if they seem too drunk.
Friday we toured the city, which is much smaller than i initially thought, and then explored and went to on take a quick nap in the Botanic Garden (there was free wifi there too).
For dinner we went to grill'd which has the best burgers i've ever tasted. Then went to a chocolateria with unreal desserts including macaroon ice cream sandwiches. I was so full i couldn't fit dessert in my stomach.

Friday night we ventured to a different part of the city, the valley, to a bar called the MET which has 5 floors and different bars on each floor. It wasn't super crowded or fun but a really cool place, plus I got in for free so I couldn't complain.
Saturday we took a ferry ride and went to a cool lookout spot called Kangaroo point. There was a beautiful view of story bridge. My friends Maddy who goes to UQ takes the ferry to school every day. Kinda cool but my seasickness might be an issue if I were her.

We then returned to the Botanic Gardens for a pb and j picnic and saw a wedding! It was really pretty and they had some good music. We met 3 little australian boys who were the ring bearers.

Saturday night in an effort to save money we cooked dinner at Maddy's apartment then went to the MET for a second time. It was packed! Not super fun or my scene though since it was a lot of dubstep music and people kept stepping on my ankles. We moved on later to a smaller bar that was less crowded where i proceeded to dance like an absolute fool and even worked up a sweat. Go me?
On Sunday, we explored South Bank, where Maddy's apartment is and where our hostel was and ventured to a Thai festival. So many people crowded into a tiny tiny space but the Pad Thai was worth it. So delicious.
Brisbane was a blast and I'm definitely going to try to go back soon.
After a weekend of eating and drinking and sightseeing, once I got back to Griffith I was ready to get back into the routine of being a real student. The fitness competition to attend 21 classes in 28 days started Monday, I'm 7 classes down so far and I got back on track with my lacrosse workouts. 
My friends and I have a small girl crush on this teacher at the gym named Maria who is an intense aussie with a super short hair cut that is dyed in the front to look like a skunk sort of. She always wears cool matching outfits and has awesome jams during her classes, which of course she sings along to. She said I can friend her on facebook. I might.
I've been spending more time in the library this week too, as I have two papers due in a couple of weeks. The paper writing process might be a nightmare as I haven't written a real paper since I took international affairs first semester of sophomore year.
The weather continues to get nicer and more beautiful, and Australia continues to get more and more amazing. And i'm almost halfway through my semester! Unreal.

PS there's a Margaret st. in Brisbane.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Byron bay and a little more

Just got back from a trip to Byron Bay last night, which is about an hour away in New South Wales. It was perfect. So beautiful and great weather and awesome people and a really cool beach town.
We went to the beach all day, out to a bar that had no dance floor but only dancing on tables, and did a beautiful sunrise hike to a lighthouse overlooking the water. It was a really awesome experience, although slightly scary while hiking at 4:30 am in the pitch black through the woods.
It was great to leave Griffith and the village for a weekend, and I definitely can't wait to go back.
A big group from UQ in Brisbane was also there and we made friends with Italian and Brazilian people and met up with GlobaLinks friends too who we are visiting next weekend in Brisbane.

Earlier last week my friends and i went to musical bingo. It was one of the most fun times I've had since being here, with most of the music during the game being 90's jams and throwbacks that were a blast to listen to. The dj picked me to do an air guitar contest which I then forfeited my spot in the finals to a 30 year old woman who had her husband there taking pictures of her. She ended up losing so I guess that was good riddance. Maybe I'll go back this week for revenge.

Sunday, 4 August 2013


I went to the races on Saturday, which was an absolute blast!

I took this picture crossing the bridge to Surfer's Paradise

Probably best that I didn't take very much money with me but one of my friends won $80 on a race.
People were totally decked out in fancy hats and fascinators and the horses seemed a lot smaller than ones that race at home.
After the races we took a bus to Surfer's Paradise and by 10pm I was ready for bed. I powered through though and had a great time.
Yesterday one of my friends with a car drove to Coolangatta to a town called Kirra with beautiful quiet beaches. The water was crystal clear with tons of sand bars. It was a perfect beach day.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

First month over!

After the first week of classes, two trips to the campus health center and quite a few new experiences, I'm sorry to report that I don't have too much to say.
I spent most of last week trying to get healthy after managing to get all of my roommates sick.
Then, last weekend my friends and I made another trip to Surfer's Paradise and the beach. One of my friends claims he saw a small shark while surfing. I'm still not sure if I believe him.

Last week was the Back to School party at the Unibar. We dressed up like nerds. And stayed for about 15 minutes but that's beside the point.

Speaking of the Unibar, the fact that it even exists is so foreign to me but pretty awesome. I went to a comedy show there last night, which actually wasn't that funny but still fun. I walked through there today at 11am and quite a few people were there hanging out playing pool and drinking pitchers of beer. Talk about the no worries lifestyle!

Classes here are an interesting concept. Lectures so far are extremely lightly attended, as all are recorded online. Students seem as though they can't be bothered by going to class. Very different from Skidmore. In my Creative Writing tutorial this week I found that the majority of students are gamers and theater majors. My teacher just wrote his PhD novel on his own fantasy world. Should be pretty interesting.

The campus here is very compact, full of windy paths and at times feels as though I'm in the jungle. I'm still getting used to the interesting schedule that I have here, which is very different from home. No classes on Wednesday or Thursday, with Tuesday Wednesday and Sunday being nights where people go out. Actually people go out every night!

This week I went to a few classes at the gym so as to combat the alcohol and cheap food intake. I met a girl who plays lacrosse in England. It made me realize how much I'm going to miss playing while I'm gone. Surprisingly, there aren't a lot of lax opportunities here. Hopefully I'll be able to find one. Fingers crossed.

Tomorrow is Race day, which reminds me of Saratoga. my friends and I spent the week looking for dresses and hats. I think it will be a lot of fun, especially given that the races start at noon and last all day long. Australians know how to have a great time so I expect nothing but a giant party.

I also booked my spring break trip to Bali!! I'm planning out my 10 day adventure currently, which will hopefully include an elephant ride, sunrise hike over an active volcano, trip to a monkey forest and batik art class. Can't wait!
I promise I'll have more to report after the day at the races and the weekend trips I have planned for the next few weekends. I can't believe I've been here for a month already. I've already had so many awesome experiences and met so many great people.
It's going by so much faster than I thought, and I know that in a few short months I'm not going to be ready to come home!!!