Last night Tiff and I had a dinner date in the city, and I had my first dumpling tasting experience. It was quite an effort to find a restaurant; one because the one Tiff originally picked was closed and two; Tiff doesn’t have the best sense of direction. For example, when referring to the northern part of the city, she calls it the top part; it’s one of the reasons I love her. We eventually settled on one of her favorite Asian eateries called Dumplings Plus, and seeing as I had never eaten dumplings before, I figured this would be the place to try them. Even though I burned my mouth on the first bite, the rest of the experience was quite enjoyable. I found I still couldn’t eat with chopsticks though, despite a steamed dumpling probably being the easiest thing one could eat with chopsticks because they are sticky. I honestly don't know how I made it out of that restaurant without a soy sauce stain on me somewhere becI also realized how stereotypical I was because the whole time I was thinking “I’m like Mulan!” To be fair Mulan was, like, my favorite movie growing up, so eating steamed dumplings like she did was definitely something on my bucket list.

Today Devin and I experienced our first Australian final exam and the only similarity I found between here and how finals are in the states were the scantrons. Our final was located at the Melbourne Showgrounds, so not on campus, and for some reason I felt like I was in the setting of the Hunger Games. It was kind of an overcast day and approaching the one of many massive buildings where our final was, there was a monotone voice over the PA system announcing that we had to put our bags in the designated bag room. I just followed the crowd because I literally had no idea where or what I was doing and I discovered that the bag room was located across the large field and under the stadium seats – that was the first weird part. The second weird part was how big the room was; there were 645 desks to fill and they were all perfectly aligned in their necessary rows and columns, organized by our student ID numbers. So yeah, when I say this place was huge, I mean it. The third and probably most disturbing part of the whole experience were all of the proctors. In the bag room they tell you to bring your valuables with you, but if you even think about putting them on your desk in the exam room – red flag alert, and you instantly get swarmed! For example, I had a guy next to me who had brought a folder and he had even placed in under his desk and they still took it away from him and I was even required to take the case off of my calculator. Oh and the proctors would come around as they pleased and snatch my cheat sheet – that you’re allowed – out of my hands for spontaneous inspection, regardless if I was in the middle of using it. I mean come on; in my opinion they were holding on a little too tightly. If someone was really that keen on cheating, they would have noticed instantly because there were about 50 proctors constantly pacing up and down the aisles; one was even switching between wearing and not wearing sunglasses to prevent us from seeing where she was looking. Oh, also if you want to go to the bathroom you had to take your student ID with you and leave it with the check in guy who sits outside the toilets, recording your time in and time out.

I’m really excited for this weekend because I get to go back to Sydney one last time. There are a bunch of us going – it’s one of those student trips – so I know it’s going to be a lot of fun. One of the festivities planned for the weekend is a Halloween cruise around the harbor, so naturally I need a costume to wear for it. I had my mom bring me a pirate outfit that I wore sophomore year of high school, hoping it would still look decent; however it didn’t, so I had to find a plan B. I decided that being a cat would suffice, as I have a pair of black shorts and a top, so all I needed to find were ears or something cat-like. So I set off early evening to shop, only to remember that for some odd reason, the mall, as well as the majority of shops here, closes at 5:30 during the week. That’s the only thing I miss the College Mall for: how late it stays open. Also Auntie Anne’s. Okay, so I miss two things. Anyway, by the time I left my place I only had twenty minutes to shop. However despite the odds, this story has a happy ending. I ended up finding a kid’s costume tiger package, equipped with tiger ears, a tiger bowtie, and a tiger tail. Looks like I’m being Tigger!

Also, please enjoy this picture of me and my poorly drawn out attempt at Indiana and its surrounding states. I was trying to show Tiff where Indiana was amongst everything, because like every other Australian, she has no idea where it is.


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