Well, I'm alive. That's a good start. For those of you following along, the last news was that I was at the airport, preparing to embark. Whether I would actually make it out of Boston was questionable, as if you'll recall, we were on the tail end of a "potentially historic" blizzard. It appears that I made it out just in time, because I hear that Boston just broke the record for most snowfall in one week (with more on its way!).
So, alive. After three flights (two of them over twelve hours), about five hours of sleep, and some deft maneuvering away from overzealous flight attendants who wanted to gate-check my carry-on, I landed in Melbourne. Lessons learned: 1. Jack Black should never be a romantic lead. Never. Ever. Ever. (Seriously, who thought that was a good idea?) 2. Take the food when it is offered. You never know when it will show up again. 3. Flying for 30 hours is miserable and I'm never doing it again. (Sorry guys, I guess I'm stuck in Australia...) 4. Try to avoid packing carry-ons, as well-meaning people in uniform will try to take them away...
...Which is a tough lesson to follow, as when I got to the baggage claim, I found that my checked bag had not arrived. So, damned if you do, damned if you don't? (I can now say that my bag has a 100% failure rate at arriving on time when I travel internationally. Hooray! Also, the bag showed up...three days later.)
I planned to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed upon arrival, but as it turns out, jet lag is a real thing. So instead of doing all sorts of exotic Australian things, my number one activity over the past week has been sleeping. Only over the last three days or so have I managed to stay awake from morning until night, which, as it turns out, is significantly harder than you'd think.
Anyway, I made it. Things I've learned in Australia so far: 1. EVERYONE gets a nickname. I introduced myself at soccer practice earlier this week as Rebecca. There was a collective nod, and then, "So, Bec?" Le sigh. I'm here for five months. I'm going to have to join them, aren't I... 2. The ebook lending program from my library is AWESOMESAUCE. So many books! So little time! I just finished up The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and am thrilled to report that it is fantastic, and that I wasn't lying during all my months of recommending it to customers as "I haven't read it, but it's supposed to be fantastic."
Unfortunately I haven't seen many super-quintessentially-Australian things yet, most likely due to the fact that the majority of my week has been spent snoozing. It's my mission this week to hunt down some kangaroos though. (And no, kangaroos on animal crossing signs don't count.) In lieu of pictures of the local wildlife, I considered posting a picture of the enormous mosquito bite I got yesterday (one of many), but decided against it. Now if you'll pardon me, I need to go take a nap. More exciting updates next week maybe, if I'm awake.