I feel like I still haven’t realized that I am in Australia. In my mind I hype up places I haven’t been to, thinking that they will be crazy different from everywhere else I’ve been, when in reality they are just places, with people, living their lives. If anything, the big difference for me is being in a city.
Their buildings are very pleasant to look at, some are old and have beautiful architecture, and others are very big, modern, and sleek looking. Looking both ways while crossing the street is a constant challenge for me, I have to forceful make myself look right and then left, which doesn’t seem like that big of a deal but believe me it is a very awkward feeling after doing it the other way around for so long. Luckily, I have the Australian accents that surround me to remind me of where I am.
The Aboriginal group visit was very interesting. I don’t know if it a bad thing to do, but I was constantly drawing parallels and comparing them with Native Americans. They are very in tune with the earth and they have a great respect for the natural order of things. The thing that I admired most about them, is that at the end of the day, although the world and technology have changed around them, they still hold onto their traditional values and beliefs.
The peace garden was also an enjoyable experience. I have only ever grown four different things in my garden and it was amazing to see how many plants and the wide variety of them that they had. My favorite little fun fact I learned at the garden was that since they have a language barrier between most of them, they painted a picture of what the plant was onto stones so everyone would know what was planted there. I think that their vision of unity is an amazing thing, and I think that what they are doing is important, so I have a lot of respect for them.
At first I really wasn’t sure what to think about the scavenger hunt. Cities terrify me and getting lost easily is a special skill of mine. Luckily, I only felt panic and disorientation for about the first five minutes, because I had my group and we were able to work together to figure out what and where we had to get to. In the end it turned out to be super fun and a very good way to learn more about the city.
I actually kind of forgot about where I was because we were so busy sleuthing for the next item on our list. The further into the hunt we got the easier and more casual I found it to talk to people in the city. My favorite thing about the scavenger hunt was that it forced you to pay attention to details of the city that you might otherwise look over, like the statues, signs, businesses, and foods they have.
My favorite item that we had to find was the underground tunnels. This was because while searching for it I ended up learning about a bit of the history. Our hotel used to be the old treasury building, and I find that super cool. Once we actually found the underground tunnel though, I was super creeped out. I’m one of those people who likes the idea of spooky and creepy things, however I still get freaked out easily. I quickly got over it though, and was able to admire it. Don’t get me wrong, other things on the list were fun to find too. Like the secret bars, I couldn’t believe it when one of my group members put their hand on a wall only to have it move and turn out to be a door the led into a bar where two bartenders were nonchalantly preparing to open up for business.
Our group dinner was a great way to end the day. We all got to talk about the things we found and people we ran into. Everyone was very tired but it was the kind of tired that was well earned.