Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Springtime in Cairns

Thus far in my time Down Under I’ve picked up a few bits of Aussie slang, and some interesting tid-bits about their culture.  Two that I hear most often are singlet (a tank-top) and jumper (a jacket, sweatshirt, or coat).  Another interesting one that I picked up from volleyball is that Weet-Bix is their equivalent to Wheaties.  When someone’s serve doesn’t go over the net or they miss a really easy set they say that the person must not have had their Weet-Bix for breakfast or they need to eat more Weet-Bix.

I still go to volleyball pretty much every night and there’s usually not a whole lot to say about the games since you all don’t know any of the people I play with regularly and those that I meet who are newcomers.  I wish I could turn the following tale into something really interesting, but as you can imagine it’s all such a blur now that I’m not sure it’s possible.  Some night I’m going to have to take my camera down to the courts and take a photo so you all can “picture” where I play every night.  Anyway, earlier this week I arrived at VB and sat under the pavilion to survey the courts and see if any of the teams were short a player, see if I knew anyone so I could join in, that sort of thing.  I hadn’t been there long when a new team formed and although I only knew the name of one of the guys, I knew the faces and style of play of most of the other players.  When they asked to join, I said with some hesitation, “I probably shouldn’t, you all are too intense.”  But, if you don’t join a team the first chance you get, you sometimes end up sitting and waiting for quite awhile, so I joined them.  There was one guy on my team and one guy on the other team that both spike and serve the ball really, really hard.  I managed to get through one game, and it should be noted that I was quite tired and I’m certain that had something to do with the following events.  Regardless, one minute I’m playing and the next minute, almost in slow-motion I realize that the ball is being spiked right at my head.  I think I had been trying to move out of the way, because I realized that the crazy, intense guy is being set the ball, but apparently, I didn’t move in the right direction.  SPALDING!  It hit me directly in the right side of my face and knocked me to the ground.  It’s one of those things that you always imagine would hurt like crazy, but thankfully it didn’t hurt as bad as I would have anticipated.  I was just glad I didn’t end up with a black eye or something.  Definitely didn’t make for the most enjoyable evening of volleyball I’ve ever had, but at least now I know I can "take the heat" I guess.

Last night was one of the enjoyable nights that make me keep returning.  Pukari was there when I arrived and Clement came a few minutes later.  Scott and Cindy (Taiwanese brother and sister who I've played with many times, they’re great fun) were already playing with some friends of theirs so we were able to jump in with them right away.  There’s always lots of banter and laughter with their group so I like to play with them.  We were playing on the court closest to the water and I had the perfect vantage point to watch the full moon rise.  It started peeking out over top of the “mountain” and was incredibly large and bright.  The reflection off the water was absolutely picture-perfect and I was so bummed I didn’t have my camera to try and capture the moment.  It was beautiful Tuesday night as well, but I was playing on a different court as it rose, so I didn’t get the same effect.

There was some drama at the hostel yesterday while I was at work and one of the girls in reception got fired and I had to change rooms today.  It’s a smaller room, but I still don’t have to share it (there was a possibility her and I were going to have to share), so I’m certainly not going to complain.  Teaching yesterday was still a bit difficult, intonation is very hard to teach!  There aren't exactly rules for it and of course there's always exceptions.  The students did pretty well with it despite my inability to explain it very well.  Anyway, we went to the Botanic Gardens for their field trip and had lots of fun.  The gardens have a wide variety of plants and flowers and is beautiful to wander through.
 It’s also near the Tanks Art Centre so we stopped in there for a quick look.  There are about 5 or 6 old water tanks that the city council changed into art exhibits or performance centers a few years back (hence the name), and the one tank had a free art exhibit we visited before we had to catch our bus back into town.  I really enjoyed some of the pieces, and would have liked to have stayed a bit longer, but here are some of my favorites:
The top photo is looking into the entrance of Tank 4

The photo on the right is supposed to be the "Australian" Buddha:
Beer, Meat Pie, Thongs, Singlet, and Lifeguard Cap
 The students have their graduation ceremony and BBQ on Friday, and since I don’t have to work I’m going to go back so I can say goodbye to them all.  They’re very sweet girls and I wish they were staying so we could hang out more.  Oh well, that’s part of traveling – meeting people and saying goodbye before you’re ready.  In other news, I got my first paycheck and it was almost exactly the cost of changing my plane ticket, so that was good.  Plus, Shoko said that they didn’t pay me over-time or whatever for the Saturday that I taught so they’ll add that to my next pay.  I’m still looking for another job to help supplement the 1-day a week I get at Nova, but I’m still not having much luck.  

No comments:

Post a Comment