Sunday, March 27, 2011

Here's to salsa, music and dancing, and enjoying life!

So, in coming to Adelaide, I was told many a time to be sure to enjoy myself, and not spend too much time studying.

By now I'm sure I've mentioned, over and over, how much time I spend at school, head crammed in the books. (And how much I love the bike ride in between!) But still, I'm really trying to structure my time so I can also ENJOY LIFE!

We were discussing this over drinks last week, myself and several classmates, about how these days there's a new kind of acronym to describe people, like yuppies (young urban professionals), or BINKs (Bilateral income, no kids): NETTELs... No Time To Enjoy Life. Bleh. How horrible. What is life for, if not to enjoy? Especially if you are lucky enough to be born into the world of comfort provided by so-called "First World" countries. Yes, it's important to work hard, but equally important to prioritize what else is important, and make time for those things, or else life keeps passing you by.

Like visiting friends, taking dance/music/capoeira classes **this is a personal blog, ;-)**! learning how to cook with the seasons, reading the newspaper.

I know, I'm very holistic, very hippie-esque, or homeopathic... But I think the key to life is to enjoy the now, because that is truly all you have.

Of course, I am the worst offender I can think of. Those who know me know that I spend hours agonizing over the slightest decisions. I weigh the pros and cons of every aspect. I become an expert on comparison shopping for any purchase I make. It gets to be ridiculous sometimes, and I get frustrated with myself. So I really try to focus on prioritizing and try not to waste time- but it's really an ongoing battle.

Anyways, this weekend was interesting in terms of productivity.

I got almost no schoolwork done. (There is a mini-Akemi inside my head running in circles and tearing her hair out, completely stressing over practical exams coming up in TWO WEEKS!!!)
But I did finish postponing my taxes and making the estimated payments (took me 5 hours to figure that one out. If anyone knows anyone who can help me figure it out when I get home, please shoot me an email!)
And we cleaned the fridge! That didn't take 5 hours but it really was a colossal job. I believe that fridge may not have been cleaned since it was brought to this house, however many years ago that was, probably in the 70s. Yuck!
So all in all, it was a productive weekend.
I just have to stay positive that I will end up studying everything I need to know and sticking it all in my head, just in time for the exams. I am POSITIVE I will be FINE!

And, we went to a salsa show! It was fantastic! I can't wait to take some salsa classes and go dancing, it looked like so much fun! I'd been a few times in the past, and when I lived in San Francisco I used to go quite a bit, but I want to start to put some effort into making dancing (of ANY sort) and MUSIC more a part of my life.

So here's some shots of us fooling around with the samba dancer headresses...



And here we are enjoying life some more- eating chocolate for dinner at the Chocolate Cafe!


And here I am, putting more music into my life! Last week there were some random pianos strewn about town.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Continuing on

It's raining again now, I love the sound of the rain.
The weather is warm and tropical, humid and muggy.

We went to the Amazing Bodies exhibit today- it's the one with the plastinated real bodies. They had a lot of animals, but not a lot of humans, which is what would have been more interesting (to a bunch of physios!)


Then we went to the Farmer's Market nearby and tasted delicious cheese, olive oil, toffee, macrobiotic cake, sausage, pesto...


A peppermint chocolate macaroon for Nailah! ;-)


Bush Tucker ice cream was really really good- I tasted almost every flavor...
Kakau plum, Lilly Pilly/Wild Ginger, Rosella, Lemon Myrtle, Wattleseed, Desert Lime- and more, all native to Australia. This is exactly what I love about visiting other countries! Native flavour...



A little horse.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Time flies

Wow, I can't believe it's been a week and I haven't been posting. Things have gotten pretty busy here. The reading is piling up and distant due dates are starting to materialize out of the mist. As is the imminent vacation at the end of April! I started researching trip possibilities to finally see something else of Australia instead of just Adelaide!

Don't get me wrong, it's a nice little town. Quaint.


The houses all sport a fancy little trim, which gives them a lacy, New Orleans feel.




Except for our house, which looks something like an cement block.


And this is the street. Junction Lane. Sounds different than how it looks...

There are little things that have started to grow on me. For instance, the magpies... I finally found out the name of the bird that makes synthesizer noises.


There are lots of other really cool birds here though, including the black swans. I've never been one to be a birdwatcher, but here the birds are so exciting- it feels like you're in the aviary at the zoo!

The sunsets are pretty fantastic too, although I miss them almost every day bc I'm in some exercise class or other. I've been a regular at Zumba, and I've been to a couple of the Brasilian dance classes at Soul Capoeira. Phil has caught the capoeira bug and signed up for two classes a week...



One thing that I've found to be really cool here is all the cars that have snorkels! What a random, bizarre thing, but so normal for everybody here! Kind of like the drive-through liquor stores I guess.


BWS stands for Beer, Wine and Spirits.

I love that I can ride my bike everywhere! Everywhere except for the rock climbing gym that is. After Thursday, a few of us from class went down to the Garden of Unearthly Delights to have a couple drinks. It was much needed, this program is very intense, and it was nice to get to know people outside of the classroom. I think/hope it's going to be a regular thing- social support is very important for our biopsychosocial health!
Afterwards me, Silke and Marcus went to the climbing gym and monkeyed around a bit.

Today it's been quite warm, and tomorrow we might venture out to Womad, a multicultural music festival that happens in many countries around the world, and this weekend it's in Adelaide!


Addendum: Weather turned cold and windy... And price for Womad went up- $102 for one evening??? Silke and I opted to walk around and try the view from outside the fence, then went for a pizza- delicious, I might add!



This is part of the Fringe festival, which they are taking down today.


This is the local supermarket. The logo reminds me of the Simpsons somehow, it just seems like a cartoon logo.


This is me at school!


This is another building at school. What is going on in there?


Aaand, this is me and my Barbie hairdryer. Go ahead and laugh. It really works, what can I say.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Grandma!

Grandma is 90 on March 7th! Congratulations! Have a wonderful day!

Over here in Adelaide the weather has turned again, for the better... Beautiful, hot sunny weather! I managed to get my work out of the way early this morning and went this afternoon to check out the Garden of Unearthly Delights. It was allright... It's like a carnaval setting there are hot dogs and ice cream, and some rides that jump and spin. The main attractions were the performances taking place inside various tents. None of the acts were of any interest to us today so we passed on the shows, and just walked around in the heat and dust, which explains why I sort of got cranky halfway through. It was much nicer to ride the bikes home along the river. In fact, I really just sort of live for that ride by the river...

Hmm, another fun thing we did this weekend was to go rockclimbing outdoors with a few classmates... A beautiful location, a nice little hike in, and saw a koala by the side of the road- so exciting! It was like my first "real" Australian experience.

Ok, here are some pictures!


Here's the festival, people eating. The burgers were good!


Flying babies!


Ah, the peaceful ride home.


.

Black swans!


My bike! At the park next to the river.


My bike at Fat Chicken!


Hi Grandma! This was taken at where we went rock climbing outdoors.


This is where we go rock climbing indoors! And that's my friend Silke, from Austria.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Thrillseeker

Biking around Adelaide has been a dream. There are bike lanes pretty much everywhere. And there is a beautiful path by the river that I can take to get to school. That's one of the dreams that I've had since being a kid, was to walk/bike/be human-powered to get to school or work. And to go by a beautiful, peaceful, quiet river, it's amazing! The river will go all the way to the beach if you let it. I'll probably go this weekend. But for now I go the other way, only about 7-10 minutes, to get to school. The entire commute takes about 20 minutes.
So along the river there are grassy riverbanks, and shady trees. There are many people rowing. And just to make it interesting, there are black swans.
Riding home tonight from Zumba (!) I could see the silhouette of the swans, the sun setting in the distance, just like a dream!
Later in the commute is a section of bike path that goes alongside the road on one side and a park on the other. This part is usually deserted, and I can fly, standing up on the pedals, face in the wind, downhill all the way, into the setting sun... cricket fields surrounded by trees, smooth road, its one of the best parts of my day. I'm so lucky to have found this bike!

Also, I bought a travel hairdryer today. What was I thinking!!! I was thinking, it's cheap, it's small, it folds up, it's light and I can use it to dry my hair. Well it's a laughingstock! I WILL put pictures up this weekend, I promise! Imagine Barbie in her dream house, drying her hair. Well that's me, but my hair is brown. I got to show you this thing, just so you can laugh. The best part is the fact that it is bright pink, bright Barbie pink. Anyways, I did manage to dry my hair with it, it's small, it's light, and I don't think I can return it. Well that's what traveling is all about, right? Making do with less material and going all out for the experiences.

Speaking of less material, if anyone wants to send me any warm sweatshirts or blankets, please feel free. Winter is coming!!!

Let's see, what else. Oh yeah, I saw Black Swan. It was really good. It said so much in terms of being a performer, being a girl growing into a woman, growing up, having a crazy parent... I'm not going to say my life was that crazy but movies are supposed to be larger than life, aren't they? Sometimes we are imprisoned by the demands we make on ourselves.

And I'm finally catching up on Glee! Love that show! Not only do episodes get here rather late (they are just showing the Valentine's day episode now) but the tv in this house doesn't really work. So it's all about ten.com.au. Kind of like the Australia Hulu. Which doesn't work here.

Anyways, that's about it for now. Tomorrow we're supposed to go see an Aboriginal comedy act- I'll let you know how it goes.
Good night!