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Car’s Travel Diary

Monday, 23 Feb 2009

Location: Australia

MapHelloooo from Newcastle!

Itís been a few days since Iíve writtenÖbut everything has been moving so fast that it feels like Iíve been here forever! We left Cairns, flew to Brisbane and the Newcastle, and my roommates and I are finally settled into our new apartment! I canít say it was a fantastic arrival because my luggage was lost, but they tracked it town and delivered it to my apt the next morning, so all is well now! I can say that my jaw hit the floor when I walked into it, it didnít even feel real. Our apartment is 4 floors; the first floor is a garage and a laundry room w. a washer and dryer. The second floor is a living room w. a balcony that overlooks downtown Newcastle, and our kitchen. The Third floor of the apartment is my roommateís rooms and bathroom, and the fourth floor is my room and my own bathroom! The one thing Iíve noticed most is how helpless we all feel without things we have every day at home like the internet and our car. We really donít know anything about the town and we donít know what to do with ourselves, so itís really forced us to walk around and meet people and see the area the good old fashioned wayÖon foot! Weíre about an 8 minute walk to a great brewery and weíre starting to meet a lot more Aussieís. In Newcastle, Wednesdays are the big night to go out; lucky for me my birthday is on Wednesday! The manager of the brewery over heard me telling someone that and told me to ask for him on my birthday and heíd buy me a drink! Everyone here is so friendly, and it seems like theyíre more interested in hearing about where I am from than telling me what itís like here! I didnít think people here would pick up on our accents as quickly as they do, but right after opening my mouth I get bombarded with questionsÖit was a little weird at first!

Iíve been trying to wake up early in the morning to go running and itís so fun running around town and getting lost and then finding my way back. It starts getting really hot here around 11ish so I find I can get a good run in if I leave our apt at 9:30. It hadnít really hit me that I was here until I went running one morning and ran through town and found myself standing overlooking Newcastle Beach completely breathless, not because I was tired from running, but because it was just an incredible view! My roommates and I went to Nobbyís beach yesterday, which is about a 10 minute walk past Newcastle Beach and itís funny to see so many guys walking around in Speedos! Or as the Aussieís call them ďbudgie smugglers.Ē Iíve had a blast listening to all the different terms here, some of them really crack me up. I had a huge awakening when I asked an Aussie if there was anyplace I could find a bagel here and he replied ďWhatís a Bagel?Ē I literally went ďWHAT?!Ē And he replied
ďIíve heard Americanís use the term but I couldnít identify one if I saw oneĒ I almost died. Culture shock number two happened when I went into a coffee shop and they handed me ďIced Coffee MILKĒ instead of Iced coffee. Yes thatís right, NO ICED COFFEE! I didnít really understand the whole Iced coffee milk concept, so I went home and brewed my own coffee and stuck it in the fridge for a few hours! (Dad I know youíre laughing right now haha)

Picking my classes was a process on its own. Here they not only take classes and labs, but they also take tutorials, so there are so many things you have to sign up for that canít overlap, itís almost impossible! I finally have my schedule sorted out, but itís frustrating because we donít have internet at our apt. yet, so I had to sit down and do it all at once, which took about 3 hours. After spending a week in the sun doing nothing but holding Koala bears and going to the beach, you can imagine how unenthused I was to be inside for 3 hours figuring out classes. I guess it will be good practice for when I start class in a week! Hopefully we have the internet at our apt. hooked up by then!

Well I canít really thing of what else to write about for now, thatís pretty much everything thatís been going on for the last 3 or 4 days! No pictures for now, my camera isnít with me. Iíll try to put some up by the end of the week assuming I go to the little café within the next few days and buy some internet time!

love & miss you all
-Car