Since I landed in Perth exactly two weeks ago, the time has flown by in an alcoholic haze of new faces and peculiar experiences. In a mere fourteen days I’ve managed to drink all bar two nights, swim with a whale, narrowly avoid a kangaroo attack, nearly pass out with fear cliff jumping, and get lost in the airport. Those are the things that stood out, at least.
Let me start at the beginning. I’ve got time to write for once, as I’ve managed to catch fresher’s flu, and have retired to my room while my friends glam themselves up and blare out music through tinny speakers. Thank god I’m too lazy to get up, otherwise I’m sure I’d be persuaded to go out- I have no willpower whatsoever…
I’m staying at Trinity College, UWA, which is a charming college situated right by the uni campus. The main accommodation is situated around a grassy ‘quad’, which caused my first navigational problem. Funnily enough, a ‘quad’ has four corners, and it honestly took me a whole week to differentiate one corner from the other. Suffice to say, I’ve desperately circumnavigated the entire quad before finding the dining hall- the most important place on campus, of course.
The food here is insane. Well, I thought it was good until I realised the menu is on a constant cycle of curry, chicken and pasta/pizza. They do mix it up by thinking up different variations of these three meals, sometimes combining all three (!). They mix up the order too. If I’ve done the maths right, there are three factorial different combinations (or is it permutations?) of meal choice. That equates to six, which isn’t even enough to last a week.
But enough of the moaning. The quality of the food is insane. We have twelve different flavours of ice cream after dinner every day, and on Sunday we get brunch. This includes waffles, a pizza maker, donuts, pancakes…the list goes on. I’ve heard that people typically gain 10kg here- fondly known as the “Trinity Ten”- and I’m certainly beginning to believe this! I’d better hit the gym soon…
Aside from the food, the drink here is quite something. I bought two bottles of voddie for $66 (!) the other day, and apparently that was a good deal- I expected it to last me at least a couple of months. I hate to say I’ve drunk them both already. However, I can be consoled by the fact that $66 equates to a mere six singles in a club…I really should be drinking the infamous “Goon” instead- a vomit inducing boxed wine- but I just can’t face a guaranteed hangover. But at $12 for five litres, it certainly does sound tempting.
It sounds like all I’ve been talking about is the important stuff (food and drink), but I have managed to broaden my horizons beyond the pleasures of the gastronomic. The other day we took an impromptu trip to the beach, and arrived to an empty beach and a cloud-ridden sky. Undeterred, we raced down the beach like madmen, before spending about ten mins chasing our elusive beach ball. I was in the process of being buried in cold, wet sand when someone mentioned that they’d just seen a fin out to sea. I laughed it off, and chided them for joking around. But I turned around anyway, like the gullible girl I am, and was shocked to see a black shape spouting water, about a hundred yards out to sea. We ran (again)- I soon stopped because I was out of breath- before stripping down to our underwear and leaping into the icy water. I managed to get engulfed by a wave almost immediately, but I battled on out to the whale.
It rapidly occurred to me that sunset meant that it was nearing dusk, and that dusk is known to be shark feeding time…it’s safe to say that I scrambled out of the water as fast as my numb legs would allow me. Nevertheless, I still maintain that I swam with a whale. I was, after all, in the same water as the whale (although I’m sure this can be applied to many situations!).
Slightly less exciting but infinitely more terrifying was a cliff jumping expedition we embarked on the other weekend. We arrived, feeling like intrepid explorers, and scouted out an appropriate jumping place. The rocks jutted out thirty-five feet below, looking dangerously rugged. This was made all the more worrying by the “no cliff diving” sign, and the fact that no one had actually jumped here before. All of a sudden I saw my plucky friend, unfazed, leap from the crag of rock. I waited for the screams. Luckily, none came, and she surfaced, laughing merrily. We all (tried) to follow suit, but the rest of us weren’t quite as brave. After a good few minutes of chanting (this really didn’t help!), I made the leap, narrowly missing the rocks below. Ah well, at least I didn’t lose my footing and end up landing in the water in a fetal position, something one of the guys unfortunately managed.
So, I’ve managed to tick two things off my bucket list in the first two weeks- I don’t think I’m doing badly. We’ve actually now booked a road trip to the Pinnacles and Jurien Bay, and have rented a swanky red Nissan X trail. Luckily I’m not driving, as I’d fear for the lives of all in my car…Wish us luck.
Tip: Ignore your FOMO and don’t get ill, and try not to eat your bodyweight in pizza and ice cream.