Alright readers, strap in and get comfortable, this post is going to be a doozy!
Monday: As usual, I had the day free but was very productive. In the morning, I did my chores and laundry. In the afternoon, Claudia and I went down the street to the Queensland State Library so we could get some homework done and do some internet research for class without using up our precious wifi. We were there for several hours and both got a lot accomplished for our classes; I found several academic sources to use in one of my major assignments for the semester, so I felt very good about my work. By three we started heading home, but it was a gorgeous day, so we ended up treating ourselves to ice cream bars from a convenience store and walking down to the river to relax and enjoy the sun. It was a day well spent.
Tuesday: An absolutely beautiful, sunny day that made me wish I didn’t have to go to class. In Drama, we explored a play called The Female of the Species which was very witty, funny, and (of course) feminist. When I got out at 1 pm, I had decided that I wasn’t going to waste the afternoon and skipped English to go home (sorry, mom). I decided to go to the Streets Beach to lie in the sun and read for a few hours. Luckily, the lecture notes and readings for my class are available online, so I didn’t really miss much.
Wednesday: There were no students at Nudgee Beach, as it’s the end of the term for the schools here. I ended up mostly doing odd jobs in the office all day. I did, however, get to pull a bait net with Kerry; he needed some small fish to feed to the larger crabs kept on site. We ended up pulling in mostly Todos, but we did catch some of the fish we actually needed and a live blue blubber jellyfish. Kerry picked up the jellyfish and let me touch it, before handing it to me to release back in the water. It was really awesome; the body felt pretty solid actually, but was also kind of slimy and squishy. Before we left, I made sure to return all the Todos that we dragged up on to the shore back to the water; I’m a no fish left behind kind of girl.
Wednesday evening, the girls and I all gathered around the TV to watch the second to last episode of The Bachelor. There were only three girls left at this point, so there was a lot of suspense. One of our favorites ended up getting booted though, so it was down to a girl we really didn’t like who we didn’t want to win because she was awful, and a girl we really liked who we didn’t want to win because the Bachelor is awful. It was all very conflicting.
Thursday: The people at Nudgee offered to take me to the Australia Zoo along with the class of Aboriginal students and pay for my entry. I wasn’t going to pass up a free zoo trip, especially since I haven’t actually been yet. I was very excited, even though the morning of it was kind of drizzly and overcast. When Garry and Phil arrived at the train station to pick us up, they announced that there was a severe thunderstorm warning for the afternoon, so we would not be going to the zoo. However, we would be going to the Queensland Museum and Science Center for the day instead. I would have had not problem with this at all, except that the museum we were going to was right down the street from my apartment. Essentially, I got up early to ride the train for forty minutes to be shuttled home and taken to a museum I’d already been to. Unfortunately, it couldn’t really have been avoided, since the decision was made just after I’d gotten on the train.
The museum ended up being fine; I actually got to see the Aboriginal exhibit, which I hadn’t seen the first time around, and revisit some of the exhibits I had already enjoyed. Garry and Phil did feel really bad about what happened, and promised that I could come to the zoo with the class when they go at the beginning of next term. I’m sure I’ll get to the zoo eventually, so I couldn’t be too mad. I ended up getting out around 12:30, and since I was able to walk home quickly, I got to have a relaxing afternoon. All in all, the day turned out pretty good, but different than expected.
That evening was the airing of the finale for The Bachelor. One of our friends from Germany reserved the media room of our apartment and made a bunch of party snacks with his friends for everyone to enjoy. A group of us hunkered down to watch the drama on the big screen, which was a lot of fun. In a surprising turn of events, the girl we liked ended up winning the whole thing (we’ll see how long that actually lasts). Luckily, the first season of the Australian Bachelorette airs this week, so we won’t have to find something else to do with our Wednesday/Thursday nights.
Friday: I went to my philosophy class in the morning. Since my tutorial (which is normally at 1 pm) has had about 4 people in it the last two weeks, my professor told us to come to the first tutorial instead so we could have a better discussion. In the end, he decided that there would only be one tutorial at 12 pm for the remainder of the semester, so I will now get out an hour earlier on Fridays (yay!). I was able to do my grocery shopping for the week on the way home and still get back fairly early.
Most of my friends went to Melbourne for the weekend, but Carla and I decided to stay home. We made the most of it by going out for Japanese food and sushi for dinner, getting frozen yoghurt, and seeing the movie American Ultra. The food was great and the movie was totally strange, but very entertaining. We got to talk a lot and just act silly, which was really nice. She’s a good friend and I hope we keep in touch after we go home.
Saturday: The best day of my life. The other intern I work with at Nudgee (Wyatt) and I went to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary for the day. The sanctuary is filled with animals that are native to Australia, so we spent hours looking at birds, emus, tasmanian devils, kangaroos, wombats, platypi, and, of course, koalas. We went to the koala talk, where we learned about the special marsupials and about the sanctuary itself. Founded in 1927, they went from having 2 koalas to having about 100. We also went to a raptor show where the birds were trained to fly just over your head; it was absolutely awesome! Wyatt packed us lunch provided by his host family (he’s staying at a homestay for the semester) and we had a lovely afternoon chatting and enjoying the wildlife. We spent some quality time in the free range kangaroo exhibit, where we even took a few fun selfies.
The absolute best part of the day was when I got to hold a koala (many of you will understand how excited I was for this). Her name was Violet and she was precious; I can compare the experience to holding a very furry baby, as they only weigh about 7 pounds. It was amazing and fantatic and a huge check off my bucket list!
That evening, I tried out mom’s meatball recipe for the first time. I would call what I accomplished a success, and popped them in the freezer to be used when I would try making sauce.
While at Lone Pines, Wyatt mentioned that Comic Con was in Brisbane that weekend. After a quick search on my phone, I found that it was not only in Brisbane, but at the convention center not two blocks from my apartment. On top of that, Mark Sheppard and Jim Beaver from my favorite TV show Supernatural were going to be there. There was no way that I couldn’t go, so I wasted no time buying myself a ticket that very evening.
Sunday: I went to church in the morning, which happened to be the sacrament of confirmation for twelve local students. The Bishop was there and it was a very lovely mass. When I got home, I quickly ate and changed into something more Comic Con appropriate and walked myself to the convention center.
Comic Con was the freakin best. Mostly I walked around and looked at different vendors, who were selling everything from artwork and games to clothing, costumes, and props. I also went to two panels: one with Jim and Mark where they answered fan questions, and another about making comic books into movies. The first was very entertaining; Mark even left the stage for a while and walked around the room giving high fives to babies. The two guys were very charismatic and witty and it was a pleasure to watch.
I saw a lot of different cosplays, including more Deadpools than I could count, Slenderman, Kim Possible, and just about everyone from Game of Thrones. I also saw a remake of the Delorean from Back to the Future, which was pretty awesome as well. The overall highlight was getting to meet and take a picture with Jim and Mark. I hugged them both and couldn’t stop smiling; best 30 seconds of my life, right after the koala.
After an amazing day, I spent my evening redecorating my room and motivating Carla to write an essay.
Present: As I reflect on how great this week has been, I’m making homemade tomato sauce from mom’s recipe. I promised my friends some authentic Italian cooking and I do not plan to disappoint. This weekend was the best I’ve had in Australia; it’ll certainly be hard to top!
Until next time, friends!