First Ever Time Out Of The Country! This summer, the summer of 2009, I was taken in July, onto an airplane for a few hours before waiting to board another for nearly twenty two hours. This, after painstakingly going through the measures of getting a passport on somewhat short notice, and finding a notary to officialize papers it turned out that we would never need. This was the beginning of my trip to Australia.
I slept on the airplane, mostly. I sat next to an exchange student on the longer ride, and we got along rather well, for strangers. Honestly, it struck me as strange, a student giving up her hard earned break just to go… back?! Later I would realize that maybe it wasn’t as crazy as I thought. Still, I felt somewhat lost when she and I parted in the airport. This was my first time going through customs, and I was brilliant enough to bring…. Food. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, I brought two bags of Japanese imported dried squid jerky (which I never ate anyway) into Australia. Along with some Runts. But who among us can survive without Willy Wonka’s treasured sugar? Surprisingly, they waved me and my cephalopod treats in, saying that they really only cared about stuff like beef jerky. Not squid. My Dad and I managed to find our hiking backpacks among all the other luggage, and we headed out, into Melbourne.
Honestly, I can’t remember much of Melbourne, other than that I got some of the best pants I have ever owned from a mall there, the store in specific, being City Chic, also found at citychic.au.com. I do remember going skiing for the first time in Bright, on Mount Hotham. I wiped out two snowboarders just getting on the lift. Mind you, I had only been on skis for about five minutes, and my father and his girlfriend, who both run on the black runs, are urging me faster… Not helping, really. I even managed to wipe the snowboarders out twice more just getting off the lift and onto the baby green hill! Needless to say, skiing was not a love at first sight sort of thing. I am the lump of white, on her rear, in the picture.
After skiing, we headed out to Sydney, and went to the Sydney Aquarium. My dear ladies and gentlemen, that was a love at first sight deal. I’ve always been fascinated with animals, marine or land, and this was like going to heaven… the marine way. I was able to see so many animals up close that I’d only ever dreamed of seeing on Discovery. I even saw some that I didn’t recognize, or know, but the shark tank held me captive. Their lazy circles mesmerized me, like a revised Circe. Out of all the places I visited, the Sydney Aquarium and Harbor were the most beautiful and engaging.
I was even able to gain something else from the trip, something I did not spend money on. The experience I got from being there was at first raw and confusing, but I learned to easily accept the way they led their lives different from America, the different terms for the same things, and the mannerisms. During my short three week stay, I was able to weave the things I learned into a beautiful but modest mental badge, both congratulating myself on my ability to adapt, and to remind me that I might always come across things that are different to me, and different as to how I was brought up.
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