Thursday, February 28, 2013

Giant snakes and a BBQ

So much has happened in the time I've been here, but I'll rewind and include the highlights. (I'm finally figuring out why so many people who study abroad have such a small collection of photos - they're too busy living them!)

During the first week of orientation we experienced Market Day, where all of the clubs and societies set up stations and tents on the Great Court to advertise what they have to offer to the students at UQ. Lauren and I were a bit over-zealous, and in our excitement we signed up for PLENTY of clubs; I chose the Mountaineering Club, Students Against Human Trafficking, Beer and Rum Club (because they gave us a discount card to many restaurants in Brisbane), The Healthy Veg Society (because they gave us a discount card to many of the grocery stores), The Bridge (volunteer society), and QUEST. So far, QUEST, the exchange student club, has by far had the greatest number of events and benefits!

The first QUEST event was a night out at a Pub called Birdees. Lauren and I met up with Emily and our roomie, Christian, joined us as well along with a few of his friends. It was a long but fun night.

The fun continued the following day when QUEST brought a bunch of Australian animals to campus for us to pet and play with. The giant snake was beautiful, but it hissed as it constricted my arm - I didn't hang onto it for long...

There were cuter, more friendly animals like bearded dragons and this marsupial whose name I can't pronounce.

QUEST had also provided a barbecue the day before when they gave us free bread and sausages (a grill is a BBQ). I was so inspired by the delishousness of grilled food, that I decided to buy a BBQ myself! That day, I went on Gumtree (Australia's Craig's List), and found a nicely priced, beautiful BBQ. Susana's good friend Marti, who had a car and arms big enough to help me pick up the thing, took me to the seller's house a few minutes away. They were so kind and friendly, and they only sold it because they wanted something smaller for their apartment.

The next night, we broke it in. I hosted a barbecue here at my own house! Lauren and I bought the meat and Christian got some veggies and sides, and I grilled everything! Our guests loved the food and gave so many nice compliments about my cooking (little did they know, I'd never cooked half of that food on a grill... maybe a chicken breast, but that's it). It was wonderful to be able to play hostess and still relax at my home with amazing company.

Only one days later, we attended a party, but this time it was bigger - MUCH bigger. In fact, it was actually the biggest toga party the world has ever seen! There had to be well over 5,000 people there along with the multiple DJ's, dancers, free cups of Red Frogs (the worlds best gummies that are similar to Swedish Fish), refreshments ;) and popsicles.

Lauren was a pro at getting us to the front of the crowd and right up against the stage to watch the performance. Lucky for that, we were also sheltered by the stage roof from the pouring rain that soaked about 4,000 white togas.

A free shuttle took us to the "after-party" at Birdees once again, and we all split a cab home.

Only one day later, the pub crawl would commence.

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