At last my password has been reset and I can log into this blog again!
In my last blog I left of having already moved into my house here, but I guess I should explain how that all came about.
The day I left Christchurch I spent all day either on a plane or in the airport because I had to go from Christchurch to Auckland to Brisbane to Townsville, with fairly long layovers in Auckand and Brisbane. Finally, I got to Townsville around 9:30 at night, picked up my suitcase and got free transportation (provided by my school) to the hostel I was temporarily staying at until I could find permanent housing.
After about a twenty minute drive, we pulled up to my hostel which had no lights on. There was a sign on the door to call the caretakers, which we did and shortly a man came out with a key to my room which I would be sharing with another girl. She was also an intenational student, from Germany, who happened to be studying at JCU for five months like me.
The caretaker showed me where I would be staying and the first thing I when he opened the door was that this place was kind of like a dorm in set up, with a big kitchen, tables, and a living room area with the rooms off down a corridor. Sitting at one of the tables was a super blonde girl who was to be my roommate. She introduced her self as Marieke, which is pronounced like “Mar-ree-ka”. But, since I never heard that name before and she didn’t say it slowly, it went completely over my head and I decided to avoid saying it as much as possible.
I unpacked a bit, it was so nice to have an air conditioned room because it was very humid and I was wearing jeans (good for the airplane, not good here) and then I went out to talk to Marieke. It turns out that while she is from Germany, she is actually studying in Holland, and her school and JCU have a partnership program which is why she is here. So not only is she fluent in German and English, but she’s also fluent in Dutch! Makes me wish I was fluent in Spanish!
We hit it off really well and decided that we should maybe try to find housing together, since we knew we would get along and “the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t kind of thing.”
The next day we decided to walk to the nearby shopping mall, Stockland, to pick up some groceries for the next few days. The walk was about 15 minutes and it was one of the worst walks I’ve done in a while. It was disgustingly humid out, two seconds out of the door and already we were dripping with sweat as the sun intensely beat down even though it was only like 9 a.m. Finally, we got out of the sun and into the shopping center only to find/ remember that it was Sunday and Valentine’s Day as well, so none of the shops would be open until 11 am.
We ended up going to McDonalds right next to the shopping center and sitting there in the AC for two hours until Stockland opened. Once it opened, we found out where I could get the cheapest phone to use while in Australia, which turned out to be a $50 unlocked phone I could use anywhere in the world as long as I buy a sim card for whatever country I happen to be in.
After we got some more groceries, we walked back to our hostel before we later caught a bus to the first welcome sessions for international students. They gave us packets of information, like how to log on the different students sites JCU uses eand tips to adapting to life in Australia. Then Marieke and I went home to cook dinner.
Our plan for after dinner was to go to McDonalds and use the free wifi there to look at houses to rent, because we were going to have someone from JCU drive us around to look at places at 1pm the next day. However, we just decided it wasn’t worth the walk in the humidity and we could just wait to do it the next morning.
(Cont in part 2)