Tonight was the RMIT Welcome Party. It was held at The Mercat Cross Hotel just outside the Queen Victoria Market. I had texted Lydia (the super awesome English girl I met yesterday) if she was going and could we walk together. Turns out her and Flo (aka Florence, the French girl I met the first day of orientation), Flo’s friend from New York Nicole and Lydia’s friend Veronica (who is from Norway) were all going together (they all live in the village as well). So I joined up with them and we all walked over together. About three-fourths of the way there we all realized that none of us new where this party was located exactly, just a ‘it’s near the Queen Victoria Market’…. To which we said “well, just keep walking and find it eventually.” A very nice Australian woman over heard and asked us where we were trying to go, she then proceeded to tell us that we were going the complete opposite direction and that it was half a block back and on the right. So about five minutes later we arrived. The first half of the party wasn’t all that great. We paid for tickets on the first day of orientation so we assumed that there would be food and/or alcohol. The was food (Pizza Hut pizzas…) and there was alcohol, but you had to pay for the alcohol, and it was insanely expensive. But since they had us all captive, people paid. I opted not to drink, but everyone else bought a beer (which they were serving in glasses and pitchers). We sat out on the balcony for a little while, which was very nice, but very windy. A few guys from Denmark that Lydia had met previously came over and chatted for a while, but they eventually ran out of beer and went back inside for more. Meanwhile, someone came over to us and gave us a pitcher of beer and walked away. And who were we to turn down free beer at a school sanctioned event. About that time, we decided to move inside since it was getting progressively windier. More and more people had begun to show up, but it seemed that everyone was kind of already in groups. So we sat together and chatted. Then Flo wasn’t feeling very well so she and Nicole left. There was a little bit of a lull. Lydia had said that she was determined to meet some English people because she had heard they were here but hadn’t met any. And as luck would have it, during the lull she went to the ‘toilet’ as they so eloquently put it and met an English girl, who in turn had a few English friends. So Lydia and I spent the rest of the evening hanging out with them. Unfortunately names were lost in all the background noise and music, but they were super nice and wanted to become friends and were hilarious. Around 10:40 (the party was supposed to end at 10) everyone decided to go to Section 8 (some super secret trendy bar), I had a headache (probably from all the noise with the lack of liquid) and decided to bow out. All the English people were super sweet and did the whole ‘we’ll find you on Facebook through Lydia’ and such. They sound like they all will be going out together a lot. And apparently the English way is to stay out until your told to leave, so they definitely stay out late. I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep up with the English, but they seem like heaps of fun. I’m going to have to start adjusting my internal clock to stay up later because everyone here is just getting started at 10/11 o’clock and at that time I’m usually ready for bed (or at least to be in my PJs). Anyway, the second half of the party was pretty good. I saw some other people I’d met the first day too, so that was cool. It was nice that it was all the international students because everyone was fairly eager to make friends and by the end of it you felt like you knew a lot of people, so when school starts you’re bound to see a few familiar faces on campus.
It’s getting a little easier to socialize with people and make friends. I’m hoping that by the next few weeks everyone will kind of settle into a routine of sorts and it wont be so chaotic.
Weirdly Facebook has been my saving grace because everyone has it, and along with it Facebook Messenger. And since the phone numbers here are weird, and the area code are all different depending on country and if your calling in or out, or a fair number of people don’t have phones yet and all that, it’s the one reliable way to contact people here. I never thought I would be so glad to have Facebook. But I am. I have a feeling it will fade once I’m back in the States, however, only time will tell.
Tomorrow (Friday) is class selection, so hopefully I get the ones I want. Then Saturday is the penguins! I’m a little sad though cause theres this thing called White Night in the city that seems super cool. The whole city is lit up with different light installations and there are lots of music and street performers and its this huge thing. But the thing is that it goes from 7pm Saturday to 7am on Sunday, and Steph and I wont be back from the penguins till about midnight. If were not completely exhausted from the penguins we’ll probably try to check it out.