Saturday, November 11, 2017

My time in Australia - one year later - episode 1

Hey all! 

About a year ago, I was on the other side of the world, in Perth, Australia, starting to focus on exams and realizing that, it was done: my semester abroad was over. 

Now, of course, I made amazing memories there - I met the coolest people, saw amazing sights, surfed, swam with dolphins, saw the strangest animals... and saw a snippet of the Australian culture, which is something you don't really consider when not being from there. 

So today, I'm writing this blog post about little stories, anecdotes and cultural things that I experienced while I was in Australia. This is going to be the first in a series, as I feel like some of these stories can be quite long and I tend to ramble when I write! I'll try having these once every few days for the next few weeks! 

To start off, since today loads of Dutch people are celebrating the beginning of Carnival, I figured I'd tell you about an Aussie nerd party scene. 

Little Darling

Ok so this whole story felt like it wasn't real, but I can promise that it was! About a month into my sem abroad, I decided to go to an event on my own, without the group of friends that I made there - the Science Union Quiz Night. (To be fair, none of my friends there studied science). I had no idea what I was expecting - maybe a handful of nerds with calculators trying to outsmart each other. 

Oh, I could not have been more wrong... 

The first thing I noticed was the 200+ people in themed costumes, drinking beer and dancing with friends. Being small, American, and lost, I went up to the nearest person I could find who had a Science Union shirt and awkwardly asked if I was in the right place. He got really enthusiastic and said that I obviously was (even though it didn't seem so obvious to me) and made me join his team. I probably wasn't going to find any other team so I just agreed and sat there, to the far left of the stage where people were reading out questions, with a random group of 7 other strangers that all seemed to be best drunken friends, dressed as the 7 deadly sins (gluttony brought gummy bears, the legend!), except for one guy who was a lot more reserved and that I could actually talk to over the noise and chaos.

Once everyone settled down, the quiz night proceeded as one would expect - questions, everyone debating the answer, everyone groaning about the history questions, that sort of thing. Until they announced a Never Have I Ever round. 

As a person who is on the introverted side of ambiversion, with insecurities and an inherent fear of growing up, I can say for myself that I've had an exciting life, but not in the way that Australian students have. I guess that traveling and going to music festivals don't quite count as fun when you're a student. For this game, you had to sit down if you did whatever the judges announced. I stayed standing all through the game because no, I haven't missed class because of a hangover, I haven't stolen a car and I didn't even know what fairy bread was, so there was no way I could have tried it with cheese. They invited me and another seemingly equally "boring" person to the stage for a showdown and they kept throwing stuff at us that we've never done. They finally figured us out and asked us some super innocent thing that made me go offstage but made the other girl stay. I'm glad I didn't have to stay, because what happened after was even stranger, but was the most incredible thing at the same time...

The winner of Never Have I ever had to down a beer (of course) and had to start singing some song that seemed to be from another planet (early Aussie 90s) but that every person in the room knew more than by heart. At this point, this was a song in everyone's soul, that I'm pretty sure every Aussie knows and loves. Soon enough the whole room was sing-screaming "That's the way it's gonna BEEEEE, little darling, we'll be riding on the HORSES, yeah yeah!", leaving me utterly confused and laughing so hard that my sides hurt. (The song is here if you're interested!)

Then, after more question rounds, they made us do squats. And I don't mean a few squats just for kicks. No, this song was over 10 minutes long, and if we wanted our team to win extra points, we were not allowed to stop. It was hilarious and painful all at once. (Our table won TimTams, I was so happy haha!)

Another thing that is apparently super popular there (and maybe elsewhere too) is making beer can structures - I mean pyramids and skyscrapers and swords and empire state buildings. It's quite impressive when you've never seen it before!

In the end our team got 2nd, we won SO MUCH FOOD! We were 8 in our team and I still basically lived on what we won for a week (notably noodles, chocolate and more TimTams!) Oh, and supermarket gift cards! 

Needless to say, that evening was a lot of fun, a lot of discovery and by far one of my strangest Australian experiences! 

But I enjoyed every minute of it! I loved seeing how different student life was there from how it is here, and I would go back right away if I could!

And now there's no way I'm getting that song out of my head! 

I hope you guys enjoyed that and are having a great day! 

Stay bookish! 


1 comment:

  1. This sounds absolutely amazing! It's experiences like this that will stay with you your whole life :) I really, really wish I was able to spend a semester abroad but there just isn't room for it in my program if I want to graduate in 4 years. I'm so glad you got to do it though and it sounds like you had such an amazing time, Caroline :)

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

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