When I first arrived to Melbourne, the heat attacked me fiercely. I was expecting a dry heat, but it was very humid. It actually reminded me of the warm humid weather in Haiti. My plane arrived and I was driven to a residential college by the airport pick-up service. In Melbourne, dorms are referred to as colleges. Each college has their own library, dining facility, gym, church, and recreational room. During the drive, I noticed that cars were driving on the wrong side of the road. The driver also sat on the right passenger side in the car as well. I could already see that Australia would definitely be a change that I would have to adapt to.
When I first landed in Australia, the drive from the airport made me very skeptical. I did not see all the beauty that everyone mentioned about Australia. The houses appeared worn out and ragged. Additionally, all the buildings appeared to have the same architecture and no individual charm existed. My expectations had not been met and I was feeling discouraged. I participated in a program for International students called Welcome Week and they guided us around the city in Australia. After the tour, I was astonished because I really got to see the beauty in Melbourne.
My friend Patricia from Holy Cross also came to study in Australia for the semester. The school booked our flight the day before the Welcome Week Program commenced. As a result, when we got to the college, we decided to head out and explore the surrounding areas. We are staying at Queens College, which is located between both of our permanent colleges. Fresh cut grass and a medieval style architecture embody the architecture. My room is a fair size with a vast closet space ! Patricia, two other girls, and I ventured off and we walked along Lygon Street, one of the popular streets in our neighborhood. The street is filled with many family style bakeries and restaurants. After the walk, we decided to head back to the college, but we got lost! We ended up going to a gas station and asking for directions. The man was really nice and gladly pointed us to the right direction. We made our way back to college and we went straight to dinner. The food lacked flavor and the portions were much smaller than what I was used to. Their drinking glasses were small and resembled larger versions of shot glasses. I refilled my glass about three times to quench my thirst. The college solely presented water with a lemon or orange flavoring. At Holy Cross, I am used to a plethora of different drinks ranging from sodas, juices, and sport drinks. This was definitely a change because I rarely ever drink water except when working out!
After dinner, I went to my room and video chatted my best friend Coralie and close friends Aury and Marcos :) I was so happy to see their faces because it was a long time since talking to them after I got on the plane. Afterwards, the girls and I decided to go out and get our first legal drinks! We were unsure of the destinations for the good bars, so we ended up going to a restaurant called Copperwood, where we simply ordered drinks. Kat, another exchange student, and I ordered a tequila based cocktail while Patricia ordered a Strawberry Daquiri cocktail. We did not even get carded. It felt great to finally be able to legally buy a drink. Kat and I thoroughly enjoyed our drinks, but Patricia hated hers. Since she didn't like it, the waiter did not make her pay for it. After the drink, I became really tired because it was the same day we had flown in and I was still very jet lagged, so we decided to head back to college. We went back and I just went to sleep. Tomorrow is going to be the start of Welcome Week and many students will be joining us at Queens College!