Hello from autumnal Melbourne! It is crisp and a bit chilly out, with lovely warming patches of sun here and there. Thursday night I went out with a couple friends, and did some dancing. Friday morning I bought bread from one of my favorite bakeries in town, and checked out the design building on campus, bustling and full of funky architectural details. Midmorning brought with it torrential rain, so Helena and I did what any reasonable people do, and went to eat donuts. We watched from inside a cafe as the rain formed rivers in the streets.
The rest of the day entailed errands and homework, and then that evening a group of us went to Nando’s, a popular chicken chain, to all get together before some people went out of town. There was endless laughter and delicious sweet potato fries. We finished the night with a movie.
Saturday morning I went on a lovely run in the morning when the sun was out and coming across the marvelously detailed houses that line boulevards. There were so many bikers and people walking along, making the most of the morning. I went to the market with Laura, and we talked about how amazing it is that we live so close to such a huge, well acclaimed, vibrant place (basically, we will just plan on living there until we leave Melbourne).
That afternoon I went to a vegan festival held in the Royal Exhibition Building, just a small walk away from home. It was filled to the brim with vegan food and eco-conscious and cruelty free clothing, makeup, and other goods. It was cool to see such a huge community gathering, and even though I’m not vegan, it was quite inspiring and exciting.
The night finished with walking to get gelato and watching planet earth with some friends. Sunday was very calm, mostly spent doing homework and errands. Helena and I got coffee and walked down by the river, which was gorgeous per usual. Meanwhile, the mother’s day flowers I had finagled with Aidan’s help arrived to my mother and grandmother successfully. I wanted to be sure to express my love to these amazing women despite being thousands of miles away.
Monday brought with it another lovely morning and run, as well as a tinge of sadness as it was mother’s day at home, and I thought about how much I missed my family. I found an amazing and refreshing park not too far from where I live, filled with native foliage and all sorts of birds, right in the middle of the city. The day finished with an excursion for street art, where we heard about conservation of street art.
Tuesday after class, Helena and I went to the aquarium. It is downtown on the river, and has an eclectic mix of animals, not just fish, but also crocodiles and penguins! There was an amazing section where the tank crosses overhead, and you can see the undersides of humongous sharks and rays swimming above us.
The day was finished with planning a trip to Brisbane not this weekend, but next. Lexie and Helena and I are excited to enjoy the sun and see some koalas, and I’m excited to increase my experience in Queensland! Since there’s not quite as much going on in these last couple weeks of school before finals ramp up, it’s the perfect time to leave the city.
The last couple days have been pretty chill, but I have been worrying quite a bit about figuring out my summer, made more complicated by the fact that my last final is quite late, the 21st of June. It’s an interesting time, because as people at Whitman finish up school and drive off into wheatfields made golden by the sunset, I have an uncertain future and finals looming. I am absurdly happy and content in Melbourne, but it seems like a pivotal time, heading into senior year, and it is hard to not be home for it. Wednesday afternoon I had a tutorial for Australian Wildlife Biology, and borrowed my friend James’ official lab coat! I also made pizza with Jaimie for dinner, and mailed some letters I had been meaning to send.
Yesterday morning I went to a coffee shop with Jaimie and Nicole, and had an amazing croissant for breakfast. They are also traveling this weekend, so it was nice to have the morning with them. I had class, checked out some more cool buildings on campus, worried more about my summer and the future, and then went out to a bar with a couple friends.
Today was fantastic. I had a relaxed morning, which is rare for me, bought some fruit from the market, and met Helena and we went back to the donut place (yes! I know! Donuts twice in a week? Yes.). The sun was back, in fuller force than it has been for a while, so after I dropped off my haul at home I took a walk to my newly discovered park.
I parked myself on a bench, watched various birds flit about, and did some organization and homework. Helena met me and we headed home, where I finished the night doing more work so I have a head start on the weekend. As it turns out, I’ve gotten my work back from midterms and it largely did well, so I just have to keep up that work heading into this next chunk of assessments.
Here’s to golden sunsets from an egg-yolk like sun, to never knowing how to dress for the crazy Melbourne weather, to friends who will listen to me when I am at my most stressed. Here’s to a city with parks freckling its center, a million good places to eat, and even more to run through. It’s been a little bit of a mess of a week, but we’re going to hope that mess leads to success? I hope to make the most of every minute of the rest of my time here, but also to just live, and not beat myself up if I don’t.