Monday, August 29, 2011

Classes, church, bus fail, food

Well, classes have started...  9am every day this week we have Music with a professor from Houghton who lectures via Skype.  So far it's been about music in general rather than Australian music in particular, which I think is a little weird since it's only a week-long class.  But it's been pretty interesting.  Some of it just goes over my head, and sometimes there's this horrible echo on Skype so you can't really understand anything, but there have been a lot of YouTube clips of different types of music from around the world, so that's been cool.  In the afternoons we have another class, Engaging Australia Culture (I think...), but we don't really know what we're doing for that one yet.  Yesterday we talked about different stages of adjusting to a new culture and intro stuff like that.

Let's see... on Sunday we went to church, not the one where we had youth group but a different one, Southgate Wesleyan Methodist, I believe.  It was kind of in the middle of nowhere and was a big square building, not particularly church-like.  There was a peacock in the front when we pulled up--they're wild here.  The service was pretty normal; we sang some familiar songs and some new ones, Prof. Kettelkamp preached, and that was about it.  Afterward we had snacks and tea and chatted with the Australian people.  An older man told me about his grandsons and how to make pumpkin soup.

Back here that afternoon, we didn't have anything to do and wanted to do something exciting, so we decided to try taking a bus for the first time.  We walked to the bus stop and waited 10 minutes or so for the bus to Victoria Point, where we'd gone shopping the first day.  When the bus was in sight, we all watched and waited expectantly for it to pull up and stop.  But, as we all stood there, waiting and watching, the bus drove right by us.

Of course we were all like, "What?  What was that?" especially because the next bus wasn't for another hour (they run the least on Sundays).  Then we saw that on the sign for the bus stop, beneath a picture of someone waving to the bus, it said "Hail driver."  So, realizing our mistake, we headed back the way we'd come to the other close bus stop, deciding to take a bus in the other direction, where there's another shopping center.  When that bus came into view we all waved frantically, and were very relieved when it pulled over and stop.

But then, after talking to the driver for a minute, we realized that that bus wasn't going where we wanted to go; the bus we wanted didn't run on Sundays.  So we finally gave up and headed back to the college.  It was pretty sad.

But after a little while of sitting around in the lounge area, some people got a ride to Victoria Point with one of the Australian students here, and Adam, Nora, Bekah and I ended up biking there, led by the only American student here, who's really into biking and was happy to show us the way.  It was a nice ride there, all downhill.  We bought a few groceries--everything was closed but the grocery stores and Kmart; things shut down around 5 here, it seems like--and then we had to bike back.  All uphill, this time, with our groceries.  It was exhausting, but we made it (walking up the last hill helped).  And we'd had our adventure for the day.

Yesterday Prof. Kettelkamp drove us to Victoria Point--he'll be doing that every Monday and Thursday, which is nice because I was expecting to have to pay for the bus every time we wanted groceries--so Nora, Adam and I went and got even more food.  The three of us have decided to cook together, and now we should be set for a while with food.  There was a community dinner last night for everyone at the college, and we ate burgers with fried egg and beetroot.  It was different, but good.

Class time... more soon.

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