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Martha and Susan’s Excellent Adventures » 2006 » April

Archive for April, 2006

ANZAC Day

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

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Yesterday was ANZAC day. ANZAC stands for “Australia-New Zealand Army Corps”. It’s the day that ANZAC soldiers were dropped off in Gallipoli to fight the Turks in WW1. Gallipoli is a major, major loss for the Allied troups too. I think they got the location wrong, and the terrain was terrble, and the ANZAC troups basically got their asses whooped for a few months before making a fairly well organized retreat. The troups were dropped off in Gallipoli at 4:30 a.m. that day, so that’s when the first memorial service is. We did not go to that one, for obvious reasons.

Ziv and I went to the 8am service at Martin Square, and then there was this huge parade afterwards. I think every veteran for every war that Australia has every been in, plus their family members, was in it. Plus a bunch of marching bands and pipe bands. Plus the physiotherapists for the troups. Plus the army dentists. Plus the entertainment committees. And the cinema division. It was never ending! So after 2 hours Ziv and I gave up, found a coffee shop, and went to the Jewish History Museum, because in Israel it’s also Holocaust Day (Ziv’s from Israel). As expected, it was very good, and very sad.

Something weird? The international students here have never seen “The Princess Bride”! It has been decided that we need a movie night to bring the Indonesians and Europeans up to speed on what they’ve been missing.

Excitement of the day today: I get to be useful with my mechie knowledge! I’m helping build a 3D model of a swimming pool, totally unrelated to my project, but I feel useful, so it’s good. Later-o!

The Tassie Top Ten (according to Mars)

Sunday, April 23rd, 2006

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10. This is the only part of Australia that actually has 4 seasons. Right now it’s fall, and lovely.

9. Kraft Dinner, for the first time since I left Canada!

8. King Solomon’s Caves - imagine what the caves in Helm’s Deep would look like (we kept saying that everything was so amazing it was “like we were in a movie”. Are movies better than real life now? But the scenery was seriously amazing. Tassie is more like NZ than Australia apparently, hence we felt we were in LOTR all week).

7. The Henty Dunes near Strahan. Try to imagine seeing ocean, desert, boreal forest and mountain, all in one picture. It’s very bizzarre.

6. Wombats!

5. Ranbows! Everyday!

4. Never paying the advertised price for anything - taxis, vans, campsites. People just loved knocking the price down on things. If you stood there chatting long enough, they’d probably make everything free.

3. The climb to the peak of Cradle Mountain.

2. Fairy Penguins. Although apparently it’s politically incorrect to call them that now.

1. Tassie radio - the tagline for the new Paris Hilton perfume is “Why beat men off with a stick when you can just beat them off?”

Tassie

Sunday, April 16th, 2006

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I am back in Sydney crashing at Martha’s place with Nath after our fun week adventure of traveling Tasmania. So the trip started off with us putting up a posting that we were looking for two people to travel around Tassie to split the costs. This French guy Youssif ended up calling and came along for the trip. We took the spirit of Tasmania which took 11 hours to get to Tassie but was a fun experience. We ended just drinking a bottle of Gin and playing cards and meet some random Aussie boys going back to Tassie. When we got to Tassie we rented a car but to save money we got a standard car (which both nath and myself cannot drive so that meant Frenchy had to do all the driving- but he said he was cool with that) Not the best decision we have made. Turns out that Frenchy is a crazy driver and speed even after us asking him to slow down continually - I guest French guys don’t listen to women. But we are all alive and well- thank goodness. The first day we went on a little walk to see a gorge which was beautilful- so pretty. We then went to see a cave with glow worms- kinda cheesy but still fun. That night we stayed at Cradle Mountain where they charged us $41 dollars to camp - come on. It was rainy and windy so we couldn’t climb the summit which was disappointing but would have been too dangerous and we wouldn’t have seen anything. We decided to go to Strahan which was a really cute town did a walk around. After Strahan we headed to St. Claire Lake and did just a couple short walks as the weather still was not nice at all. and stayed at a hostel- so we could warm up. We paid for one and slept three in the room - good deal. We meet some more French guys who were really nice and chatty.
We booked it to Hobart (the big town) so we go to the information center and ask what there is to do in Hobart… apparently nothing really haha. Their is the Cadbury Factory which is suppose to be good but was all booked… who knew it was busy season in Tassie since it is cold and wet. So the information center was a bust so we went looking for a hostel and checked ourselves in. Meet a very nice girl Sofia from Sweden and we went out for fish and chips (not very good at all) and then went back to the hostel with a box of wine and played cards. She taught us a new game called shithead which is fun.

The next day we headed to Freycient National Park, but first I wanted to stop and do a maze. Well the maze turned out not like the tri-wizards cup at all, but it still was a lot of fun and we got a chocolate frog at the end (so that was kinda like Harry Potter). Then we headed to the National Park and asked the girl at information what is good to do. There was a hike to the top of Mount Amos which would take about three hours so we decided to do that, we also asked about camping and she said we could pay tonight or tomorrow morning….. we took option 3 not to pay at all and move the car before they opened at 8.

So we climbed Mount Amos which was so amazing!!! There was a lot of bouldering, and steep climbing but in the end the up hill climb was so work it. Amazing view of Wineglass Bay.

We found a good place to set up our tent that was pretty sheltered from the wind as we were right on the ocean. Turns out the French guys that we meet a couple days ago also ended up here so we camped together. As for our camp gear we didn’t have much and ended up cooking out of cans (classy) on an electric bbq - thus we had a cold dinner. We did see a possum who wanted our dinner and one of the French dudes caught a scorpion in a bowl. Cool to see but I wasn’t getting to close.

After the awesome time hiking around we went back to Hobart for the final night cause Nath and I had to catch a plane to Sydney in the morning. So we found a place to park the car by the airport and slept in the car- we finished off the boxed wine and tried to get a little sleep. And now we are in Sydney working, Nath is working at a Cafe and I am working as a housekeeper just like Blue Crush.

Happy Easter all

Certified!

Wednesday, April 12th, 2006

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WOOOOO HOOOOOO!

Today, I passed my Open Water Dive certification course, and I am now a scuba diver! I went ocean diving for the first time on Saturday, and it was brutal. I wasn’t brutal, I was perfect, the conditions were brutal. It was too choppy to go to the reef we were planning on going to, and the second dive of the day the water was so churned up you could only see about a meter in front of you. I thought “Man, I don’t know why this is addictive. All you can see is brown, sandy water, and the waves keep pushing you 10m back and forth when you try to get back on shore.” Then I went today, and things changed.

It’s beautiful! Absolutely beautiful! I don’t know what anything I saw was called, but I’ll make my own names up for everything. We went diving at Bare Island in La Perouse, and I met Bluey, the big, blue fish of some sort that’s all friendly with the divers and lets you pet him. Coral of all colours and descriptions, fish of all shapes and sizes, an octopus, an eel, a sea horse, star fish and little sea slugs. I was swimming in the middle of a giant school of fish, with the sun filtering down through the blue water. It was beautiful! I’m hooked!

Great Ocean Road

Monday, April 10th, 2006

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Nath, Mel and myself did the Great Ocean Road of Melbourne last weekend which was a blast. We rented a car which was ruby red so it was a good start to the weekend. I now know how to drive on the wrong side of the road and how to do round-abouts, but the weird thing about driving in Melbourne are the right hand turns from the left hand lane- a little confusing (I asked the housemates after the fact). So the Great Ocean Road is kinda like driving down the coast of Cali, lots of turns and its just beautiful driving by the Ocean. We didn’t have the best weather as it was kinda dull, rainy and super windy, but we got to see all the sites like the 12 apostels. The first night we ended up staying at a hostel in Apollo Bay but instead of staying in the hostel we just setup tent in the backyard (cheaper that way). Turns out in the middle of the night that it decideds to really storm, we thought the tent was going to blow away. But after a sleepless night in a wind storm we continue our journey and stop Port Campbell for lunch weird this bus of Chinese people pulled up and started feeding the seagulls- I guess they hadn’t seen them before. But the seagulls started to get aggressive and attacking them so they ran for it.

The second night we went to Port Fairy to find a place to stay- we knocked on this one b&b that had rooms available, the lady took one look at us and told us she didn’t have room for three people.

So we ended up going down the road and stopping at the angler club- surprise they had the whole cottage available!! so we stayed at the angler club, which was right on the water. We went into town and got some bait and fished off the dock- Dad you would have loved this place. Nath caught a fish but it got off the line just as she was bringing it up-so close. Instead we went to the fish market and got 5 different kinds of fish to try- so yummy. Also, Nath ended up find $170 in a drawer so the weekend ended up being paid for its self !!!Overall an awesome trip.

Pranks and Parties, and a few Potatoes

Sunday, April 2nd, 2006

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No prank this year actually. I just couldn’t top last year’s, and if I’d tried no one would have believed me anyways. But Randy came up with the title for today’s post, and it’s a good one, so it’s sticking.

The party was a housewarming party for Ziv and Tim. Ziv’s actually lived there a while, but Tim just moved in so they had a party. They’ll have another after Easter since this one rocked. Ziv had made home-made tzatziki and was practically force-feeding it to everyone, and then we started salsa-ing. Really drunk salsaing. Or in my case getting spun around. There’s a line in terms of drinking that has been set at the PV institute. It was set by this lady, Florence, who’s just about done her PhD now. At the year-end party she got ridiculously drunk (which is easy for her, because she’s this tiny little Chinese woman). My supervisor, Stuart, took the same taxi home with her, to make sure she’d be okay. She threw up all over him. So the line: puking on your supervisor.

Today Ziv and Roland and I went to a picnic in Centenial Park and played some cricket. After the picnic, we went to Bondi junction for free food. A strange thing in Australia: a lot of things close at 6pm. Including malls on Sundays. And their food courts. So at 6pm on Sundays, all the food stores just give away their excess food. We scored some turkey sandwiches and baked potatoes. Yes. Baked Potatoes. I think the highlight of my weekend was looking into that bag of still-warm baked potatoes, and then Ziv picking up a giant potato and biting into it. He ate over half of it. I’ve got mine for hash browns tomorrow. We need to get our technique down though. We were waiting for the free sushi. We saw the owners leave, and leave the left-over sushi on the counter. We weren’t sure if they were coming back though, so we waited 5 minutes. Then these other people came in a did a rounds of the court - they took the two full bags of baked potatoes, the two bags of sushi, and took off. Next week we’re going to beat them to the sushi! I’ll keep you posted on how it works out.