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Sunday, April 26, 2009


It was ANZAC day yesterday. It’s probably the most important national public holiday in Australia and New Zealand. And in the land of the long weekend, uni’s closed on Monday :)

ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps that fought in Gallipoli Peninsula Turkey during World War I. Over 8,000 Australian soldiers were killed. The British plan was doomed to fail from the start and the Anzacs didn’t have a chance, although they weren’t aware of it when they went into war. The Aussie men actually competed of who gets to go to war.

I think it’s funny that in Australia attacking another country is considered to mark the birth of national consciousness. It’s like the US celebrating attacking Iraq. Well, maybe not exactly. To me it seems like the Aussies simply don’t have a special date to celebrate. They can’t really celebrate Australia Day because it is kind of controversial because of the position of the indigenous people. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s good to commemorate the sacrifice of the Anzacs, but making it such a big deal at uni… Finland lost almost 4 times as many men in the Winter War. (See, I have been listening in class! – Correct me if I’m wrong…)Not that it's a competition..

Anyway, so Anzac day is about commemoration. Dawn services – held at dawn, the time of the original landing – are held across the nation. However, it seems that today ANZAC is more about footy. That is, Australian football. Footy is neither like soccer nor like American football. I heard that the ANZAC day footy match is even more popular than the final. I haven’t been to a footy match yet, but I’ve heard it’s like American football but without helmets or such, and that the guys are hot. After the games started, footy is all the locals talk about. And the newspapers. If the front page news is about something else than footy, it must be something huuuuge.

The weather is terrible today and I’m not planning to step outside anymore today. It’s cold and raining and the wind is CRAZY. I guess winter is coming… :( It pisses me off, I can’t imagine that I travelled 20,000 km to find myself in Australia with a weather exactly like in Finland in autumn!!!

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Airlie Beach & The Whitsundays

No worries, I’m still alive. Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays were amazing and heaps of fun, but it’s also good to be back home in Melbourne.

We had a flight to MacKay, in northeastern Australia, on early Sunday morning. I wanted to have a relaxing, non-party weekend before that. On Friday we went to see Monsters vs. Aliens in IMAX, 3D movie theatre with the 3rd biggest screen in the world. It was amazing! The film actually feels so real that you feel like you can actually touch the pictures, although the film itself was pretty dumb :) One can only wonder what kind of medication the guy was on who wrote the story… Afterwards we went to Lygon street, ‘little Italy’ for dinner and later for a drink, so it was a relaxing evening.

On Saturday I was supposed crash at my friend's place, because there are no trains early in the morning to the city. However, she was going out to party. I told them that I’m definitely not up for it, otherwise I would miss the flight, like in Bangkok. But then my Californian buddy Ari called me, he had a flight to Brisbane early in the morning, so he had the same problem. So we decided to leave our stuff at Shanli's and go out with them. We went to Lounge and guess who was the last to leave and almost missed the flight - again!… I blame the bartender, who gave me this card that I could get free drinks with. At 5AM Shanli called me and told me to get my ass over to her place NOW or we would miss the flight :)

I have no recollection of the flight and in MacKay I was still quite drunk. We were going to catch a bus from the airport to Airlie Beach, the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands. First, we waited 2 hours for the bus. When it finally arrived, it was full and we couldn’t get in. The next bus was coming in 6 hours. Luckily, we weren’t the only ones who missed the bus. We got this German dude, David, to rent a car with us and drive us to Airlie. So everything worked out well and he wasn’t an axe murderer.

The next day we were going to jump on a boat and explore the dreamy Whitsundays on a 3 day sailing trip. At the meeting point we met 2 other Canadians (Airlie Beach was full of Canadians), and we hung out with them the rest of the vacation.

There were about 40 of us on board of Pride of Airlie, mostly Canadians, a few Americans and a few Europeans. It was a bit cloudy but still the islands looked amazing. The Whitsundays consist of 74 islands, of which only 6 are inhabited. So you really have the chance to find your own private tropical paradise there... :) Each of the islands is covered in rainforest and surrounded by white sandy beaches. There are also these exclusive expensive resorts for the rich and the famous with high security and you can only access them with a helicopter.

We stayed in South Molle Island, in this beautiful resort with a huge swimming pool, hot tub and a big bar. We weren’t allowed to take ANY drinks on the island. However, the guy from the crew advised us that we should take the drinks with us as long as we keep it discreet and don’t run around the island with goon casks (cheap wine) in our hands.

Well, we passed out after dinner, because we had been drinking all day on the boat (crazy Canadians!). The next day we had to wake up really early, with destination Whitehaven Beach that’s ranked as the 2nd best beach in the world. White silica sand and turquoise water. And finally the sun came out and we fell asleep on the beach. We woke up when it started pouring with rain and the boat came to pick us up.

But it was great fun swimming, drinking goon and dancing in the ocean while it was raining! That night we actually managed to stay up partying quite late. I remember the security guard giving me head massages all the time because I had this huge headache all night. And I ran into Ari, who was on his way up the east coast. Such a small world again, at the same time we happened to be at the same tiny island...

On the third day we went snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef. As I know that some of you retards haven’t even heard of it, although it’s as iconically Aussie as the Sydney Opera House or Ayers Rock, I can tell you, or Wikipedia can, that it is one of the world’s seven wonders, and the largest coral reef system in the world, stretching for 2,600 km over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometers. It can even be seen from space, and it is the largest structure being made by living creatures. Anyway, the best place in the world to go diving.

We only saw a tiny part of it when we went snorkeling. But OMG it was so AMAZING!!! Rainbow-colored fish, clownfish, neon-colored fish, and the most awesome corals in the world! They were pink, orange, bright blue, so amazing, words can’t even describe… I got so carried away with snorkeling that I almost missed the boat and was left alone in the little island with only turtles as my companion. 

The rest of the week we spent in Airlie Beach, party town. One short main street is filled with pubs, shops, restaurants, palm trees and clubs. We couldn’t swim in the ocean at Airlie Beach because it was stinger season and we should have worn stinger suits. But there was the lagoon, a huuuuuge swimming pool. And for the rest of the trip, the weather was purrrrfect. And I’m more tanned than ever, yayyyyy, almost like a black person!!!!

We also got to know Carla and Ashley’s British and Welsh CRAZY flatmates and we played the stupidest drinking games and got ‘pissed off our trolleys’ with them as the Welsh guy would say!!

Carla, Shanly, Ashley and Chris went skydiving the next day. I have never EVER had ANY interest in scaring myself stupid and needlessly jumping off a perfectly good aeroplane.

The journey home was long, exhausting and uncomfortable. We had to leave Airlie on Sunday evening because, again, there were no buses the next morning. We had planned to sleep at the airport but we were kicked out because apparently the airport closed for the night. So we had to take a cab back to the town and find a hotel room. And there were HUGE toads and flying cockroaches everywhere, gross!

The weather’s been good in Melbourne, +20-25 all week. Last night we went to see the circus, Cirque du soleil, it was really cool but it made me really miss dancing. And I got one of my essays back today, the one about management theories, and I got a HD+! And I thought it was a shit essay! I can only wonder how bad essays the Aussies write lol, as I was the only exchange student…

PS. The comments page is finally working!!! ---> USE IT :)

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

The morning after...

There is no hangover that a bloody mary wouldn't fix... Sorry about the hideous picture, the so-called last night's princess :)

Anyway, on Sunday we went to the Melbourne Aquarium. I don't know if it was a wise decision to go to see sharks with that hangover. But the penguins were so cute!!! Walking in line, queuing to jump in the water! And there were dozens of them! :)Of course, my camera ran out of battery so I don't have many pics...

We cleaned our house for the first time! It's so shiny now!

Casa dolce casa...

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Party weekend

Weekend was crazy. Friday night we were going to celebrate my friend's birthday. She lives right in the centre of the city in this luxury apartment. The party got a bit of out of hand, too many jelly shots, and I took the last nightrider bus home from the city. It was the first time that I took the nightrider bus. They go on weekends from the clubbing districts to the suburbs. Of course, I missed my stop and accidentally went all the way to Dandenong, which is far from my home… So I hitch hiked home and got there around 6 am. I can’t even remember much of the night, but the girls told me that we had fun and we didn’t buy any drinks ourselves… So it must have been good!!!

On Saturday I went to Heli’s housewarming party. 

I didn’t feel like partying at all, but I bought myself a couple of drinks for the trip because it took more than an hour. You’re not allowed to drink in the trains but I’ve done it a trillion times anyway. This time I wasn’t quick enough to see the inspectors get in. The inspector  looked at my Finnish ID card and in the end said that if I just hand over my drink, he will let me get away with a warning.

drinking beer from a hosepipe... I didn't want to do but they forced me to!!

Here we go... This didn't end well.

It wasn’t the first time that I almost got a ticket. During the first days in Melbourne I took the tram without buying a ticket. I thought that it’s probably like in Helsinki, where they quite rarely check tickets. Well, as I came to learn, here they check tickets about every third time you take the train or tram. I spoke my way out of a ticket that time by saying that I just came to Melbourne and I didn’t know that I had to buy a ticket.

When I got to the party I was on a bad mood and didn’t feel like partying. But somehow, after a couple of glasses of punch, 1 beer pong and drinking beer from this tube (I don’t know what it’s called), I was on a party mood again. And as always, Shanli and me had to go to a club. We took a cab to Prahran and a club called Boutique. 

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