Monday, July 16, 2012

(DIS)Orientation Week Begins

& I'm not exaggerating the word "hike"
As promised, I spent the rest of my first week exploring the grounds a bit more and getting myself situated in my new home. The walk to my single in Christ College is quite the climb, especially when you are carrying a backpack full of groceries. I don't think I'll need to join the gym to stay fit. I'm kind of forced to hike everyday...

HOWEVER, I recently stumbled upon a community garden which is only half way down the hill. I haven't fully become a member yet, but as long as I volunteer 8 hrs a month I can get 30% off fresh fruits and I'm in. I've also noticed that the locally grown organic food here, unlike America, is usually cheaper than the crap food in grocery stores.  
~ more money + more energy (to spend on adventures) = double score ~

A great place to get local food/goods is at the Salamanca Market. It's about a 30 minute walk from where I stay -- SO worth it. It's held every Saturday and attracts vendors, musicians, and buyers of all kinds. It's just like being at a fair. I guess I was testing the waters a bit for my first time, I didn't want to drop too much money in one day. I couldn't resist some handmade lavender and eucalyptus soaps though. I'm amazed with how well Tassies synthesize science and art. You can find anything from potted plants that could sit in a magical garden to glass jewelry that is handmade to look like precious stones. If I'm going to fall in love with science, this is the place to do it.

Apparently street musicians also have to keep left.
It's also a great place to get into a wide variety of music. To the left are The Foley Artists. They brought amazing sounds and energy to the crowd, especially the children. I had to stop and watch a guy with dreads playing a bagpipe. Oh, and there was also a duo playing on a steel guitar and washboard.

It seems like the majority of people here just aren't afraid to be different. (Although it's probably just different to me as a foreigner...still hard to tell.) I'm regretting leaving all of my ugly thrift shop sweaters at home. Assuming Clarkies were the only ones, I thought I would look like a weirdo. Jokes on me, though, because those warm geometric jumpers* would do me quite well here.

It's been sort of quiet at the Uni the past week, but today was full of energy. I started off my classes with Cognitive Neuroscience. I think I learned more in one 2 hour lecture than 3 years of high school science. It would be a pretty rough unit considering the majority of the other students have already spent a semester on neuroscience... So I'm not sure if I will stick with it or switch out. It's an incredibly interesting subject, but would require loads of studying and memorization. I'll have to decide how much I want to learn in class versus how much I want to learn outside of the Uni.

Who's that girl with the pink hat & cool backpack?

In more exciting news, this week is "DisO Week" at the Uni. Traditionally, after orientation the student union hosts a bunch of events to welcome everyone back. Today there was a barrel*, which is basically an event where students can gather, get cheap drinks and have some bbq food. Despite the cold, it was so exciting to finally see some of the school's social life. I met some really cool Tassie girls and learned some new lingo. For example, a thrift store is called an OpShop* (short for opportunity shop?) and "fresh" or "crisp" is not as cool as it sounds to Americans. The US equivalent would probably be "newb" or whatever the kids are saying now...

After the barrel I popped my curry cherry at Dolphin Indian Cuisine (nothing fancy, just a take away place in Sandy Bay). We started off with an Onion Bhaji to share -- delish! It was similar to onion rings, but much lighter and with the added taste of chickpeas. For my plate I got a bit adventurous and tried Chicken Korma (cooked mild) instead of the more popular Butter Chicken. Mix it with rice and maybe some raitha sauce then fold it all in a garlic naan, and you've got an Indian taco. I won't say it's my favorite style of food, but I was pleasantly surprised by the mildly sweet yet rich spices.

I'd say DisO week has gotten off to a good start, and it's only begun! Looking forward to this weekend -- Friday there is ArtHaus, another barrel for the Uni held at the School of Art with music and art of course, and Saturday I will witness my first "butt" party at Christ College (if I can pull together a Disney themed costume).

I'll leave you with the Eucalyptus, where Koalas live!  (not naturally in Tasmania, unfortunately)


  1. Street fairs and fresh vegetables. And at this point, you have only been there five days? You are certainly making the most of it in a short time.

    have you been able to keep up your 8 hours a week for veggie volunteering? And is there a difference to vegetables grown there to what we have here?

    Indian food, huh? Have you tried it before or was that new to you?

  2. This post was about a week after my arrival! Gave up on the veggie volunteering... there's not much difference in vegetables besides what they are called. For example, peppers are capsicums.

    Indian food was completely new! I'm usually very picky when it comes to food..