The worldwide Augustana College experience

in the land of oz…

In some ways, if I didn’t vividly remember the 14 hour plane ride to Sydney from L.A., I could be in any number of warm U.S. cities- that is, if I couldn’t hear anyone speak.  At least the language is sometimes familiar, I hardly hear English in downtown Sydney.  And obviously the Australians have a lot of different words than we do.  For instance, there are no restrooms, they’re frankly toilets; fries are chips; pop and soda are soft drinks; a gyro is a kebab; cell phones are mobiles; text messages are SMS messages.  If you want to say “a lot” of something or “many”, you would say “heaps”; like there are heaps of dogs at the park by our apartment (and there actually are).  I’m enjoying learning these, can’t wait to pick up more… There’s the ever famous “no worries” constantly, and “far out”, which is one of my personal favorites.  It’s used here in the same way it is back home, very enthusiastically, but I’ve heard it a number of times over the last few days- which is very unlike home.

The city itself is very pretty.  Parts seem like a cross between San Francisco, New York and New Orleans.  The colors and architecture of some neighborhoods remind me of New Orleans style.  The hills, the smell, the sunlight and the breeze remind me of San Francisco.  And the dive fast food restaurants all in a row remind me of New York.   Unlike U.S. cities, the transit system has been quite the challenge for most of us.  We all know how to get downtown and up to North Sydney… I’m not sure if anyone has quite figured out how to get home the proper way.  The buses strangely don’t return the same way they leave and we keep ending up walking a bit ways home.  There’s lots of walking anyway, which is nice, but not when you have 4 grocery bags in your hand.  We’ve done a lot of wandering, which has actually paid off as far as getting a better sense of the city, but still, getting home is always challenge, unless you want to pay for a cab.   

This week we start our internships; tomorrow we get ready for our interviews and learn how to get to our internship sites.  I guess this week is when things get a bit more serious.  Less no worries and more work, at least we have one more free day, I think I’ll spend it on the beach.

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