Sunday, August 2, 2009

B7: Food, Food, Food

(The biggest collection of fruit that I have ever seen. This is just the entrance. [Victoria Market])


Back at UC Irvine, I arranged a chat with an Australian who went to Western Australia University just so I could get a feel for the academic differences between Australian and American higher education. He told me that the biggest differences were the professors and their teaching styles. He noted that, because the Australian professor’s weren’t solely in the profession for the research grant money, they focus more on teaching and allocating time for their students. Through my first week of classes, I can see what he means.

The first week of classes were great. All my professors are fantastic. They are fast paced, energetic, knowledgeable, and funny. Their dynamic lectures are inspiring and their enthusiasm radiates from every word. Even the discussion sections we have are fun to go to, especially my Globalisation (note the lack of the “zed”) class because my American perspective is often asked for. Good thing I have been listening to my Dan Carlin Common Sense political pod cast… Anyway, classes are great and I’m having a great experience.

Outside the classroom it has been all about food. Today I went to the world famous Victorian Market with my Cal friend. The entrance is lined with rows and rows of meat. Seafood, sausages, patties, brisket, lamb, anything you can imagine (literally… take a look at the picture). Then the cheese room, with at least 5 stands of different kinds of cheese. We had to hurry through the outdoor fruit market because of the noise. Noise from shoppers, from little kids and from the annoying sellers, shouting about the freshness and value of their fruits. We were then dumped into a section that was like an upscale swap meet, only 3 times bigger. Aboriginal style art on boomerangs, paintings and didgeridoos were everywhere along with the cheap belt buckles and stuffed animals. Grandma Sevilla, you would go crazy for all the seafood and Grandma Suzie, you would probably buy all the little aboriginal knick knacks (check out the picture). The market sure was bustling and I plan to go back and buy some true Australian stuff, but I have to make sure to stay way from the lolly shops…

(They really do have everything at the Victoria Market...Check out the sign. [Victoria Market])

(Wine Holders, Boomerangs, Masks, Didgeridoos, and coasters with aboriginal artwork. [Victoria Market])

Life has really settled down and I feel like I’m really getting a true Australian experience. I drink “heaps” of tea and eat “loads” of Tim tams. I’ve been to some parties and the food from the barbecue (barbie) is always fantastic. At the parties I’m either referred to as “Mike-O” (they shorten everything with either a “y” or an “-o”) or “California”. The most interesting conversations are about the Australian Football League (footy) and the American economy (they know more about America than I do about Australia). I’ve heard that the best part of Australia is the coffee and breakfast (brekkie) but I’ve just stuck to my bowl of cereal and wheat biscuits. The research is tough… he has me doing some work with some Matlab and Octave software to extract high probability words and phrases from documents… I don’t really know what I’m doing, but I’m working hard.

This week I’m going to a Mountaineering Club meeting on Tuesday and a rugby game at Olympic Stadium on Friday with my housemate (Steven, you would love Rugby and Footy). My friend wants to a rent a car and go down to the Great Ocean Road, so I’ll keep you updated on how that goes.

Sorry the lack of posts and for yelling at you guys for commenting in the wrong place.

Until next time,

Mikey Doo

(The Royal Exhibition Building and the Melbourne Museum. [Carlton Gardens, Fitzroy])

(From Left to Right: Boag's Draught Tasmanian Beer, Veggimite, Cadburry Chocolate, Tim Tams, Tasmanian Leatherback Honey, Wheat Biscuits. [My Kitchen]

(My room.)
(Australian Coat of Arms exhibit. The Kangaroo and Emu are Australia's most recognizable fauna. [Melbourne Museum, Carlton Gardens])
(Some aboriginal style canoes. They aren't really originals... most of the stuff made in the museum was made in the 1980's. [Melbourne Museum, Carlton Gardens])

(Champagne Ham Pizza and I forgot what my friend got. Something with too many vegetables. The restaurant was called "Colour of Earth" and they made some obscure, healthy food that Auntie Juanita would love. [Victoria Market])

(Good thing Alexandra wasn't with me, or she would have purchased this parrot too. [Victoria Market])

(Michaela, I still haven't purchased any candy. Can you believe that? [Lolly Shop])


  1. Tweet tweet!


  2. I want to hear how the rugby game was.Also, Micaela has me doing salsa class with her at the arc. It is suprisingly fun. You will have to show me some moves when you get back haha.

    - Steven

  3. GMA S and I would love checking out everything at the Victoria Market. Love reading about all of your experiences.
    GMA H

  4. Hey California...

    Is that BRIE on the pizza... wow, can you bring me back a slice of that? JK... I LOVE reading all your posts... each one makes me chuckle out loud (COL?).

    Keep them coming... Tissy!

    PS... Happy 21st birthday!! I would give many things to be able to cheers you on this day... but I guess cheers-ing Aussies will have to do! Hope it was great... I'm sure Kimmy and I will be taking you out upon you return!