Tie your wallaby down, sport

Me in a couple of months.

Today, I got it. Four little words: Offer from Monash University.

Since applying for an exchange there I’ve been frantically waiting for a reply, wondering what I would do if I wouldn’t get in. Since I already have the plane tickets and the Strokes tickets, I figured I would go anyways and spend six months surfing. Am so relieved: now I also get to study.

For some people, Australia seems to be Shangri-La, a place they adore even if they’ve never been there. Some people seem to grow up with a huge urge to go there. Me, I’ve always wanted to go to America, both south and north. I’ve figured Australia is kind of like a exotic Britain. I hope I won’t get letter bombs in my mail now, but honestly, being there a couple of weeks last year didn’t change my opinion that much. I liked it a lot, though. And I’ll learn what Australia, or at least Melbourne, is about soon enough when I move there. A couple of Australian exchange students told me that Melbourne is probably the most “European” city in Australia (it’s funny how people think of Europe as one entity). I’m actually quite jazzed about it, Melbourne being the culture capital.

I don’t know a lot about Australia. First off: I have seen Mad Max, Priscilla and Baz Luhrmann’s Australia. Have read a Garry Disher crime novel. Other than that, here’s what I think I know:

British colony of prisoners founded by James Cook. Hence there are Cook memorials everywhere. Has the same Queen as that Brits have. Have treated the original Australians, ie Aborigines, very badly. Is a humongous country. Tasty waves and beaches on the east coast, rougher on the west coast. Desert in the middle. Tropical in the north. Home of AC/CD, Cut Copy, Architecture in Helsinki, Baz Luhrmann, Peter Weir, Guy Pearce, Errol Flynn, Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman, Heath Ledger, Hugh Jackman, Iris Murdoch and Kylie Minogue. Sport-crazy and easy going people.

Will learn more about Australia. Will see Rabbit-Proof Fence, Jindabyne, Two Hands, Somersault, The Sound of One Hand Clapping, Beneath Clouds, Little Fish, Gallipoli and Romper Stomper. And maybe read some guidebooks, too.

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