Sunday, February 22, 2009
Two O-Weeks in a Row! aaahh...
Me and sean arrived at our uni the day before mandatory o-day (orientation day) for international students so that we could settle in. OMG my room was incredibly dusty. good thing i brought wet wipes with me so i could wipe down everything. there was also a dead moth on the carpet in the corner, the deadbolt didn't work and my window curtains didn't close all the way. the dead moth is still there. that's right. i dont like to pick up dead things. especially ones with wings and or lots of legs. *shiverr...* the dead bolt was repaired the day after and the window curtains the same day. its all good. im living in mid ex and sean's top ex. that means i live on the middle floor of the extension wing. they abbreviate everything here. sean's room is alot hotter than mine but his floor is also quieter. everyone goes thru my floor and at night when you want to sleep, theres also lots of loud and (prolly) drunk guys gong thru my hall. its connected to the main building and the packard wing, maybe that's why. the packard wing, or as they call it here, the people's independent of packard is the self catered wing of bruce hall. so they have a kitchen and stuff to cook their own food.
i get catered, with means i get meals everyday lol. the only thing with that is that they have REALLY short hours for mealtime. and mealtimes are REALLY early. im getting used to it now that ive been here for 2 weeks now. you see, breakfast starts at 7am and ends at 9am. no brunch here, not like crossroads where its open all day almost. lunch is an hour and a half long and if you miss it, well, i guess all you can have is cereal. and they only have skim and soy milk! wth? dinner starts at guess what time? freaking 5 pm and lasts until 6:30pm. during the first weeks, it was really hard to get used to having dinner so early. the sun was still shining brightly, good thing there's lots of tables right outside the dining hall. the dining hall isn't small either. it has really high ceilings and lots of light comes thru. there's also a podium and a high table with a grand piano in there. oh and of course, lots of paintings. the high table is like the one in harry potter where all the professors sit. the three chairs in the center even have high backs! definately cool. food here is ok, i think ill get tired of it soon. their salad bar is really bad. ive taken for granted the ones at xroads and ckc. *sigh*
not only is there a resemblence in the high table in harry potter, we also have academic gowns! theyre long and black with huge sleeves, like the ones you wear at graduation. we dont wear them everyday haha, theyre for special events only. we also get a bruce hall polo shirt. everyones gets a blue one with the bruce hall crest on it. lol it looks reaaally preppy... esp if you pop the collar =p the SRs (senior residences = RA) get red ones and other ppl get black ones and there's also bruce hall jerseys, shorts, the like for athletic stuff, interwing and interhall competitions, no doubt. bruce hall has quite a number of wings, mine is the extension wing, and theres several other halls (dorms) on campus. they're all on the same street going down. i guess i live on frat slash dormitory row, if there's such an equivalent. at bruce hall, we also get free laundry. theres a big laundry room and the first time we did laundry there, all the machines had (wet, but clean) clothes in them. omg there was wet clothes everywhere! ppl! take your clothes after youre done washing them!! geez...the cool this is that its no coin operated!! oh theres a blank space where the coins WOULD go. lol its pretty weird how you just close the door and it works! =D very excited about that! we also have clotheslines here and ppl actually use clothespins(remember what those were?) and use the sun, ah glorious sun to dry their clothes. ppl are very green here. in everyroom we have a recycle bin for paper (including a rubbish bin of course), all the toilets are water efficent (half flush or full flush), the showerheads are water efficent, all the lights have stickers reminding you to turn it off when youre done, the outlets have a on/off switch, we recycle wasted food at the dining hall, its pretty neat. i mean, i see berkeley doing only SOME of these things but australia as a whole it seems are waaaaaay ahead of us. i mean, even the hotels have half/full flush toilets! the people that live on my floor, at least the ones whom ive met, are all international students hailing from germany, china, the US. oh and ONE girl from melbourne but shes chinese and speaks with practially no accent. no real australians. =( sean's floor has a healthy mix of both. iono why it turned out this way. actually the girl living down my floor is from the eap program like me! but she's such a socal girl: white, blond and obnoxious. (i dont talk to her). when i moved and had the floor meeting during my 2nd o-week, alot of ppl still hadnt arrived yet. im looking forward to the next one so i can see everyone together and get a better picture of my floor. ok, so why 2 o-weeks? the first week was for international students. the second one is for everyone else. so there were events specifically for internationals students, then ones for bruce hall people, then the general events for everyone on campus. much to do. most of it involves drinking. XD *sigh* sooo...i have to admit, i was pretty bored these past 2 weeks. What have i done then? well, i didnt not go to anything. that would be pretty sad. i went on a bus tour of canberra, did the campus tour too, did enrollment- that one lasted a good half a day, lunchtime BBQs (not very good and they dont use hot dog buns here, just a folded piece of white bread XD), went on a scavenger hunt at bruce and civic, there was "speed dating", a bush dance, market day, lawn bowling and film screenings. those were interesting lol. sean and i joined the ANU film group. we got membership and we get to watch movies screen on campus for the rest of the semester. that's how we're going to spend our evenings for this semester lol because there is no night life cept for mooseheads (the closest pub to campus). oh and we tried to get gym membership so we could go somewhere to pass the time but it was really expensive! it was $200+ what kind of student has that kind of money?!!! i think ppl really dont take advantage of cal RSF memebership. its only when you go somewhere else that you realize how ridiculously inexpensive it was at home. seriously! who would pay that much?! i really want to be fit but that's waaay too much to shell out. lol ok back to events: lawn bowling was ok, i beat sean hehe. i was the only girl who went, there weren't that many ppl total anyway, but i felt pretty excluded cause it was the bruce boys who took us and they didnt really socialize with us or help us. then market day, which is like calapolooza(sp?) was the only time i saw (so far) any sort of large number of students gathering in one spot since i came to canberra. it was exciting, it was actually crowded! the clubs they had were diverse too! there was also lots of free stuff lol. bush dance was for international students. it was a buffet dinner and then the ppl from the international office taught us to bush dance. one of them i thought put it quite nicely: we learn to bush dance when we're in 4th or 5th grade, dont do it again for 30 years. (until they have to go up front and show everyone how to do it) hahah so it wasnt a very serious dance, kinda like a hoedown or something. you switch partners and do the same things over and over, involving clapping and skipping alot. =p oh and also the bar was free so i took the opportunity and had champagne. just like wine. alcoholy. speed dating was just bruce hall. it was intense! you get only a few minutes with each person, then everyone moves down one and you chat again! it was really loud too! my voice got hoarse lol from screaming that whole time. you meet alot of ppl tho and its cool cause i see them around and i know them somewhat. makes bruce seems smaller =) the cooler thing is that everyone was wearing their academic gowns so it looked like a harry potter scene or something! keke =D
the animals here are really big! if you walk around campus, dont look down because if you do, youll get freaked out by the huge ants walking around you everywhere. its really really scary. they are huge!! and their ant hills are huge! lol what i like best are the parrots flying around. theyre really shy but really pretty in bright red and blue feathers. =D its disconcerting to see such pretty birds flying freely. you'd expect them to be someone's prized pet, locked up in a cage. there's also cuckatoos (yes really!) lots of geese and rabbits and the occasional kangaroo walking around. ( i havent seen the last one yet on campus but other ppl say they see it outside their dorm)
ok now for some more differences:
fire brigade= fire station
yea i kno those are also the british versions, here for some candy examples hehe:
timtams=yummy chocolate coated wafers
mintys= white colored taffy-ish candy. bad for you, of course
the bad thing is theres a soda and snack vending machine like 4 doors down from my room. and i use it. XD
they use longer paper than our US standard of 8.5'' by 11'' they use A4 which is longer and a little thinner. so! all my folders dont work for it! and the whole thing about driving on the left side of the road, its not only that, but theres also other stuff because of that, that i never took into account. most obvious is that the steering wheel is on the right side, which means the passenger seat is on the left! really weird! i was in a taxi in the passenger seat all the while feeling like the space in front of me is awkwardly empty.... the other thing is that doors in buses and such open on the other side of the bus. people pass each other on the other side when walking on the road or anywhere, and even escalators are on the other side. lol at the mall, i catch myself cause i would go on the escalator on the rightside but it would the down escalator, not the up one id expect it to be.
alright, thats all so far, ill try not to have so many long posts but these were catchup ones, sorry!