I wish I could say I did something crazy last night, but I can’t. Instead I went to sleep at 7:30, er I mean 19:30, and then slept for 11 hours. Good news is though I woke up feeling completely refreshed, which is good because today was international orientation. It’s amazing how quickly I lose the ability to sit still for very long during the summer, so today’s six hour orientation was definitely a test. After we sat down, I quickly scoured over the schedule for the day and realized there was morning teatime. I got all excited because I thought it would be a freshly brewed out of kettle type thing, but I guess for 200 students that would be impossible, so we were just given bottled ice tea instead.

I learned some valuable things today during orientation. For instance, calling professors by their first names is encouraged – calling them professor or doctor is strange. I also learned some cool slang terms. Yes they actually had a whole PowerPoint on Aussie slang. Here are a few: thongs are flip-flops, tomato sauce is ketchup, and mosquitos are called mozzies. A good rule of thumb for Aussie slang is that they shorten a lot of words and then just add an “ie” on the end and there you go. We also had a police officer, fire safety guy, and a lifesaver i.e. life guard come talk to us. So not only did I learn about how to test my smoke alarm every month, I also learned how to properly show someone I’m drowning (laying flat on my back, fist in the air and waving it side to side; you don’t want to leave your hand open because that makes people think you’re just trying to say hi.)

After orientation, Devin and I were determined to figure out the train system. Needless to say it is such a good thing everyone speaks English because we had no idea what we were doing once we got to the station. I know it’s going to take some time getting used to such a big city, I just wish I didn’t automatically feel like I’m shutting down inside whenever I’m unsure of what to do. Like today, trying to figure out our train tickets, it felt like everyone else was moving at 1000 mph, while I felt like a malfunctioning turtle. My dad always used to harp on me for saying “huh?” whenever I didn’t understand what someone had just said to me, so since I’ve been here I’ve transformed my “huh?” into “I’m sorry?” So much more professional dontcha think? Anyway, I’ve had to ask people to repeat what they say multiple times because even though they speak English, everyone’s accent is so different. I’ve also caught myself joking around in an Australian accent a lot these past two days. My explanation for that is I think I’m subconsciously trying to force the development of an accent for when I come home. A shelia can dream right?


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