Sunday, July 19, 2009

B5: Melbourne Exploring

("All [buildings] are Victorian-era and sweeping staircases and ornate stained-glass windows are the norm." - Excerpt from Lonely Planet [The Nunnery])


I am currently staying at the Nunnery Hostel. I was a little disgusted at first… sharing a room with11 other people. Now I love it. For only $30 AUD a night, I enjoy complimentary breakfast (Brekkie), the company of tons of Melbourne Uni students, and a great staff (they call themselves “the nuns”, but I don’t know if they are actually nuns). We had pancakes, Australian style, which were more like Crepes. Even the French girls were surprised. The place is so homie, that one of the ladies has been staying for six (6!) months.

I share a room with six other French girls, and a guy and girl from Holland. Most of them are frantically looking for housing, bustling in and out of the hostel. They are incredibly friendly, always inviting me to lunch or out on the town. Last night a group of us went out.

(My hostel room. It was scary at first, but now I like living here. [The Nunnery])

We first went to dinner at a little Asian restaurant and we talked a good while about culture (sports, drinking, geography, compulsory language requirements in America, housing, you name it). Everyone was very talkative and there were never really any awkward moments. The most interesting things we talked about were the “Typical American” tendencies.

The French and Holland students observed that “Typical Americans”:
-… don’t always act like they do on the OC, Sweet 16, or Desperate Housewives (Uncle Ed’s favorite shows).
-… like, use the words “like” and “um” too much. (Ex: “Like, we went to this place, and like, um, had some fun, like, lots of fun.”)
-… are immature about drinking. Since the rest of the world can drink at 16 (like Holland), it is surprising for other cultures to see us American kids (under 21) running around like banshees drinking their brains out here in Australia.
-… don’t take the driving privilege as seriously as other countries. The fact that we can drive before drinking seems backwards to them.
-… only play the “typical American drinking game with the big red cups and white rims and ball” (beer pong). They don’t think it’s that great.
-… are pretty clueless about the world around us, like languages, capitals of countries, politics, etc.

Grandma Sevilla: I wear the phase-2 leather jacket you gave me every day because it’s the only way that I don’t look like a “Typical American”.

We went to a club called the “Night Cat”. It was salsa night… what a coincidence. I watched the insane moves of all the other salsa dancers and even had a couple dances myself. Outside the dance floor, I got in an argument with a Texas exchange student about the 3-count salsa tempo. I had a lot of fun but I’ve decided that I’m going to need to repeat the “Beginning Salsa” course or have Auntie Chrissy re-teach me.

Anyways, these last couple of days I have just done some housekeeping stuff (paperwork for the apartment, opening a bank account, buying a new cell phone [after putting my old one in the wash]), and looking for research opportunities. I even “exercised” my right to a free seven day gym trial. Everything is in Kilos so I have to walk around the gym with my phone so that I can convert all the weights. I put on too much weight on the decline bench and had to have a local pull the bar off my neck. A couple days ago, I even went for a swim, but had trouble because they circle swim on the left side of the line (Auntie Amy, it drove me crazy)!

It’s hard living out here and I get lonely. All your comments are a little gut-wrenching, but I love hearing from you all. Keep the comments coming. I miss you all.

Tomorrow is Orientation for study abroad students. Hopefully I get my Metlink Train, Tram, Bus, Subway card!

Until then,

Mikey Doo

(Gelato on every corner. Ah! [Lygon Street, Carlton])

(The traffic, near my flat, into the city. The line is much longer than the picture will show. [Nicholson Street, Fitzroy])

(The fountain in Carlton Gardens. The iMax theatre, art gallery, and the Melbourne Museum are also in this park. [Victoria Street, Fitzroy])

(The rooftop fire escape of the nunnery. This is my third cup of tea today. [The Nunnery])

(Toitle trying to eat my Aussie Delight pizza. I can't decide if I like the pizza or the Aussie Delight Burger from the cafe around the corner better. Aussie just means "with eggs" and other breakfast foods. [Umbago Coffex, Brunswick St.]


  1. Mike!

    This blog is great. I love reading about Australia through you. It sounds like you are having a great time there. The guppies miss you here but we are proud of you and hoping that you will find your team there and pass on the guppies secret plays... like blue jay, baritone and richard carnes, i bet they don't know that here we play with 2 pointers, you should enlighten them and bring back any new Australian plays for us to run. lol. Keep up the blog its great to see how everything is going!

    Micaela & the glaring guppies

  2. MIKEEE!
    This blog is awesome! It is so cool hearing about Australia. I miss not having you around, because there is no one to collide into while chasing a volleyball and no one diving all over the court! haha. :) have fun down unda and good luck at orientation tomorrow!


  3. Hi Mikey,
    What is the origin of the "Nunnery Hostel"? Sounds like it might be an interesting story.


  4. I bet you like the hostel because of the cheap price and free breakfast. :) Its good to see that you are still getting your exercise in...are you working on your portion control too? ;)
    We miss you sooooooo much! T-toe has started to get some preliminary contact from colleges and I wish you were here to experience that with her and the family. (since you and were not good enough to get contacted by anyone). :) Keep the blogs coming!

  5. Keep those blogs coming. It's incredible that you are doing all that you're doing! Hope Gma Sevilla is in on these blogs, too. She would love it.
    Love you,
    Gma H