Tagged: geelong
FYI, Readers
| January 18, 2011 | 2:26 AM | Australia Today | Comments closed

In case there’s anyone diligently following this blog, you may have noticed from time to time I use the word “PICTURE” as a placeholder until I actually take the picture and/or upload it. I don’t forget about those, and have slowly been filling them in, and will continue to do so!

To make up for it, I’ll leave you with the following picture, which is the view from the Geelong Library, where I am right now.

Look for my post about my day in Melbourne, coming sometime tomorrow.


| January 11, 2011 | 7:54 AM | Australia Today | 2 Comments

Here in Australia, we’ve had two wet, rainy days. Though nothing compared to the flooding going on in Queensland, this kind of precipitation is apparently very unusual for this area at this time of year. The rain is a good thing for me, since it means the sun isn’t out to further destroy my skin. I’m happy to report my sunburn is improving, though my chest and my back are still in more pain than I’d like them to be.

Yesterday we had an excursion to Melbourne to visit three museums: the Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, and the National Sport Museum at the famed MCG (Melbourne Cricket Grounds). Because the day was so jam-packed, we didn’t really get to look around the city, but what little I did see has gotten me excited for my planned trip to Melbourne this Saturday.

Though we have to write a paper on one of three topics concerning our museum visits, the day wasn’t all work. I actually really enjoyed the Melbourne Museum, and wish that I could’ve spent more time there. Also, since I hadn’t picket the Sports topic, at the sports museum, I headed straight to the game room, which was kind of like a free arcade. You could kick a ‘footy’ (the ball they use in Australian rules football; it’s also the colloquial name for the game itself), a soccer ball, ride a bike, practice your archery, play a full sized version of whack-a-mole with lights instead of moles, etc. I was joined in the game room by most of my classmates, so I guess very few people are writing this particular paper on sport.

Today we had class as usual, learning about Australian landscape and then Australian politics, and then we went on yet another academic excursion, to the Narana Aboriginal Cultural Center. Because the essay topic I chose doesn’t concern this particular institution, I got to sit back, relax, and enjoy the visit. It was a cool place, with a lot of aboriginal artwork and artifacts. An Aboriginal man who works at the center sat with us for about an hour, answering any and all of our questions about Aboriginal life. He demonstrated how to throw a boomerang in theory (he couldn’t throw it because we were inside, and unfortunately he couldn’t take us outside to show us because of the pouring rain). He also performed for the class, playing the didgeridoo. He was amazing! I didn’t take a video myself, but my classmates did and I’ll see if I can get a copy or link to post here. In terms of my academic workload, I polished up my first paper and accompanying power point presentation tonight. I present tomorrow, though it’s only five minutes long. After that I’ll being work on my field report that I mentioned above.

Despite the rain, the weather has been in the high 70s. I can’t believe NYC may be about to get more snow. I’m getting much too used to wearing shorts…


Beach and Bollards
| January 7, 2011 | 12:07 AM | Australia Today | Comments closed

It has finally warmed up here in Geelong, with the temperature going above 80 degrees yesterday and nearing 90 degrees today. To celebrate the warm weather, we hit the beach yesterday. It was wonderful feeling to be lying in the sand in early January.

On the way, we took lots of pictures with some strange artwork that is scattered everywhere along the waterfront here in Geelong. They are called bollards, and they supposedly tell the history of Geelong. (Check out this website and scroll down to “Bollards Trail” for more information).

Then my housemates and I went over to another house with some other students from New York, and we enjoyed some tacos, burritos, and Australian beer (James Boag’s – “Tasmania’s Finest”).

Tonight I’m going to hit the town with the girls, but we’re not going to party too hard since tomorrow we’re leaving on our Learn to Surf/Great Ocean Road weekend! Pictures and stories to come on Monday!

Cheers ☺

Culture Shock
| January 4, 2011 | 11:28 PM | Australia Today | Comments closed

The first two days in Geelong were a bit of a culture shock for me, since everything closed at 5 – on the first day because it was a Sunday, and on the second day because it was a public holiday. Coming from the city that never sleeps, this was a bit hard to swallow.

The atmosphere is also very different. This is partly because Geelong consists of only about 300,000 people (though it is the fastest growing area in Australia at the moment). Whereas New York City streets are almost always crowded and bustling, sometimes I don’t see anyone else out. The lack of significant foot traffic (despite the fact that everyone walks everywhere) is evident by the way crosswalks work. Rather than automatically giving pedestrians a walk signal, the lights only allow for pedestrians when you press a button. Being from New York, I’m used to jay walking and crossing against the light, but I’ve been warned that laws against jay walking are actually enforced here (through a AUS$150! fine) and cars are not required to yield to pedestrians (while in the city, pedestrians always have the right of way) so I better wait for the little green man to tell me it’s okay to cross.

However, the lack of the hustle and bustle is also nice. I’ve discovered that Australian’s have a reputation for being laid back for a reason – they are! No one ever seems to be in a rush, and all interactions seem to be very casual. We don’t call our teachers in class professor or doctor, we simply call them by their first name. Though I’m not saying it’s better than the busy and soemtimes cold city (which I love) it certainly is a big cultural difference.