Saturday, November 12, 2011

21 Celebrations

It has reached the month of November- I would normally be snuggling under a blanket, drinking a cup of steaming coffee, pulling out the winter gear, and adding an extra 20 minutes to my morning routine to scrape off my car. But in Sydney it's all about shorts and tank tops, tanning, and having my fan on full blast 24/7. To say I miss air conditioning is an understatement- my room is literally the temperature of an inferno. I suppose I shouldn't whinge too much since I will be back to the cold in the near future...

My regular classes are finished and study mode has commenced. Once again, I'm the last to finish exams, but I can't complain as a celebratory party is in the works straight after I finish. Can't believe my first year is about to be finished- only 2 more to go! I unfortunately took a peek at what my schedule has in store for next year-first year is going to seem like a breeze- lots of required classes and straight into the research aspect of sociology.

My weekends have been filled with 21st birthday celebrations. To say people go all out for this milestone is an understatement. The all important 21st is a huge occasion not to be left un-celebrated. I find it a bit strange as turning 21 in the states entitles you to legally drink, and is much cause for celebration, but here that right is given when you turn 18- so turning 21 does not really change a lot of things. I suppose partying is the aussie way- so any cause to celebrate is necessary.

I'll spare you the details on many of the parties, but the one "classy" party I attended was for my roomie Cleo. Her parents flew in for the occasion and provided a massive spread of food at Blackbird Cafe- a gorgeous restaurant overlooking Darling Harbor. I've mentioned blackbird before because it provides a perfect atmosphere and amazing food. Once again, we were there on a Saturday night and got to see the free Sydney fireworks display.

The countdown is on until my friend Nick arrives in Sydney from Fiji- a little under two weeks! Hopefully I will be a pro tourguide and show him the best of the city. I am especially excited for our extreme adventure- skydiving! Yes, you read right- on November 30th we will be jumping out of a plane at 14,000 feet. I'm absolutely excited now, but as the date approaches, I'm sure I will be terrified! I promise to provide a blog about his visit and of course our extreme adventure!

In honor of all the 21st celebrations happening and the closing of a wonderful year in my life, I thought I would  list 21 things that I have learned/discovered this year...

1. Winter is Sydney is actually winter- not even a true Iowan could survive it without heat!
2. Australian accents do no rub off on me- sadly my accent has rubbed off on my aussie mates...
3. Avocado is not just for guacamole- it goes with nearly everything- absolutely love it now!
4. Sweatpants are acceptable at American universities- and not acceptable under any condition here
5. An umbrella should be in your bag at all times
6. Celsius is my mortal enemy- I don't think I will ever understand it
7. I can cook more than packet pasta
8. It is cheaper to buy shoes online from the US and have them shipped here than to buy a pair of shoes in oz
9. When paying for the bus, always have exact change- drivers are not too fond of 20 dollar notes
10. Simply telling someone you're American skews their view of you, however...
11. Being American gets you free drinks (if you're female that is)
12. Travelling opens your mind- and makes you want to see every corner of the world (Greece July 2012!)
13. Leaving those you love makes you love them even more
14. Skype makes everyone look unattractive- especially since all my Skype sessions occurred right after I had rolled out of bed
15. Napping is just not for old people- the younger generation needs a rest too
16. Flying domestic in Australia is the best- all the liquids you want in your carry on and not taking off my shoes- yes please!
17. Though pay in Australia is high, the cost of living is higher-hello employment!
18. Remember Old Navy flip flops and how perfect they were? Haviana flip flops- or thongs- are 10 times better
19. Living with 4 other girls is not a disaster when you have your own bathroom
20. When in doubt of correct aussie spelling- just add an unnecessary 'u' after any 'o'
21. The future always looks bright when you're in a place you love

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