Leg 1 - “Hardcore” Porn Down Under - Sydney, Australia
Aussies are an intriguing bunch. You think, oh they speak English with a peculiar accent and say funny words like rubbish, bloody, and mates - so I should expect minimal communication mishaps, especially after my experience with the angry Cantonese in Hong Kong.
First off, I am now totally empathetic to my mom’s constant failure to react properly to my sarcasm. Aussie sarcasm…90% of the time I miss it. There humor is interesting - dirty as a couple Aussie men we met at the Sydney fish market would say.
After a few ‘ello mates and exchanges of nationalities, one of the men - resembling Wolverine with his disheveled ruggedness and sun-kissed skin - asked with menacing mischievousness, “So have you experienced an Aussie kiss yet?” Nervously chuckling at his inquiry, I nearly expected him to smack a wet one on me right then and there with his burly beard scratching my face. I’m not one to judge, but they DID have two empty bottle of wine alongside their mound of seafood scraps at about 2 in the afternoon.
But luckily, my first kiss in Australia didn’t happen in the romance of giant lobsters and glazed eyes of fresh fish. He explained with his Aussie charm, “An Aussie kiss is like a French one…only down under.” Har har har, I hope everyone has a good laugh with that one.
What came next was a dialogue about hardcore porn and porn stars. Huh? These Aussies are way too bodacious I thought to myself…taking advantage of a little Asian foreigner in a fish market to talk about sex and porn; hardcore porn at that! Not long after, it hit me…they pronounce “pawn” and “porn” the same. What are the chances of that mishap…the Blogging gods were surely granting me with worthy stories to spread to my five readers. Much appreciated.
The Hostel Life
How many stars is your hotel, my parents ask as I clandestinely tried to apply for the visa I didn’t know I needed for my next day trip to Australia.
Stars? We are lucky to be staying at an international student hostel with above a 65% rating with Australia’s exorbitantly high cost of living. But I try to glaze over the fact that I’ll be dorming with 11 other foreigners for the next month in order to appease my parents. Even if it’s expensive, stay at a clean hotel, the rents say. Ok, mom…I ain’t made out of money.
If you’ve never stayed at a hostel before - whether in Asia, Europe, or Australia - they all have similar qualities: rackety beds with questionable stability and cleanliness, bathrooms significantly distanced for emergency midnight restroom necessities, and the permanent and powerful stench of unshowered guys that permeates from the living room and seeps into every convoluted hallways of the hostel.
Most expect our treks through mountains and visits to wildlife reserves create the “adventure” on our trips, but honestly, a lot of it happens in the hostel itself. Waking up to the wawawa-ing sound of didgeridoos through the window, only to find a naked Aboriginal man cawing like a cockatoo and serenading a group of foreigners…showering to techno music blasting at concert-volume levels…and turning the hall and running into a groggy-eyed, hungover European in his short short briefs.
In Sydney (at Woodduck Hostel), we had the comfort of a private room in exchange for a saggy mattress with metal tresses that squeak like mad mice with every nuanced movement of Kathy sleeping above and the scribbles “Jasminee/Joe/Joseph had sex in this bed”. On the contrary, in Melbourne (at Discovery Melbourne) we have acceptable beds, but are stuffed into a jail cell-sized room with 5 other people — those stinky males I mentioned earlier.
Guess you can’t expect everything to be perfect in the hostel life.
I do miss home, but what’s a world traveler without sacrificing a little comfort, Bath and Body infused abodes, and basic hygiene? Enjoy your clean, porcelain toilets and nicely febrezed houses everyone!
Random: When I went up to take the above picture of the room, I met a man from Colombia who is a singer and asked me to look him up on YouTube. Here you go!
Internal Dialoge of an Inexperienced Runner
Sure, I have an unusual ‘curiosity’ with needles, but I’m typically not a masochist. So naturally, as I abhor running more than trying to block out the disconcerting moans of my neighbor at 8 PM and studying for a subject as lackluster as accounting, I signed up for my first 10k.
(The crazy that planted the idea of running this in the first place)
With minimal training and the unfortunate bodily consequences of restaurant week, I created the most badass rager playlist I could think of and prayed to God UTPD wouldn’t have to scrape me off the floor at mile 3.
Everyone says running is more so a psychological battle. And though my lack of mental commitment and self-discipline resulted in a harrowing one hour, it made for pretty amusing internal dialogue.
*Last Dance by Avicii pounding through my headphones* - I can do this, six miles ain’t that much. The adrenaline should start pumping soon. Lezzgo!
YA! Look at the fireworks and burnt orange confetti, this is awesome! The 8:30 pacer just passed me, expected.
Oh God, help me please. I’m tired. I’m the only one sweating. I’m not going to make it. My right calf is twitching. Would I be a total loser if I started walking right now? How do people MOVE SO FAST?
My lungs feel like they are punctured with a thousand holes. I’m literally going to die. Why am I still the only one sweating? Why are people smiling; is this FUN FOR YOU? *mental middle finger* Bye-bye 9:30 pacer.
I’m REALLY DYING. Every step is hell. A man with a baby stroller just passed me, and so did a dog. Why am I so pitiful. Gotta at least act like I’m running while passing all the traffic and police cars. Don’t want to be THAT girl they report to keep on watch for potential fainting.
1st Water Station
How do people drink water while they are running? Let me try. *Spill all the contents of my cup on my shirt* Awesome. Too embarrassed to go back for a second cup. Great, parched as hell.
*Turbulence by Steve Aoki* Halfway, let’s go Michelle. Close your eyes, don’t think about how slowly you’re going or all the senior citizens that are whooping your 21-year old ass. Lean forward and run. Imagine bungee jumping and skydiving in New Zealand next month for adrenaline.
Just be responsible and reliable before your God everyday. Then He will be with you and walk with you… And people today can see Him through/in your life’s journey. Enjoy your today, do your best for everything, and do not worry about result. After all, all are not yours but God’s. Therefore, enjoy being His kid in His world with Him. Your life will be wonderful adventure.
And the Buzzphrase of the Semester Goes to…
…Senior Scramble, defined by the erudite Urban Dictionary as - ‘The last-ditch attempt among college seniors, especially during spring, to find new hook-up partners or consummate a long-standing crush.’
I must admit the first time I was introduced to this phenomenon, I scoffed and thought it was a mere marvel of conglomerated Asian organizations. Sorry, AACM.
But as run-ins of newly coupled “best friends” clandestinely studying at coffee shops and Instagram photos of recent boyfriends and their food becomes ubiquitous, I can only conclude the reality of this so called senior scramble.
Personally, the concept of investing in a relationship with only two or three months of school left is counterintuitive, but hey, what do I know about relationships?
I guess I see some rationale. Girls trying to milk the free movie and dinner perks of a college boyfriend, while boys desperately latch to the girls who can actually cook them a decent meal after seven semesters of ramen and scrambled eggs. Girls inveigling for free rides downtown after seven semesters of begrimed E-bus rides, while boys just need some arm candy to show off in the Greek-infested bars. And both, just trying to get some uninterrupted cuddle time before they risk moving back in with their parents.
I’m kidding for the most part. What would a Michelle Chu Tumblr post be without some snarky cynicism?
Regardless, as college students, I see no problem in frenetic, relational fun; it’s our allotted time to be a little irresponsible and spontaneous. My bigger concern is when life’s senior scramble kicks in, because if history repeats itself, I will be scrambling.
The several months before we turn 28, I already foresee random Facebook messages from past MIS project partners trying to “catch up,” ”now funny, then depressing” memes of being single inundating Twitter, and a plethora of “accidental” drunk texts from people you never talked to in your business frat.
Oh, brother. Scramble on kiddos, for the real life scramble is only a short times away.