That Saturday (the 9th) was the Lunar New Year so the Chinese students threw a huge party. A big part off it was dumplings! After watching some of the students make dumplings for a bit, they invited me to try. It's not nearly as easy as it looks! You have to get the right amount of stuffing in the wrappers and they're hard to seal! By the end of the night, my dumplings were almost as good as the ones made by the Chinese students! I was pretty proud of myself. It was also sort of a potluck and a bunch of the students brought dishes that were native. Chinese Chinese food and American Chinese food are very different. I think I like the Americanized version just a little better.
Then, Sunday morning LaCole, Srini, Abhi and I got up early and rented a car to go wine tasting in the Barossa Valley. It's only about an hour away and there are a ton of vineyards around. Our first stop was Jacob's Creek. They had some really nice wines and I bought a bottle of Fiano. We also had a nice lunch out on the patio. About halfway through lunch a huge gust of wind came across and knocked out all of the lounge chairs and some of the chairs that were at the other tables. It was crazy. Our wine, food, and my camera survived so all was well. After lunch we visited 3 or 4 other places including one that had an AMAZING cider. We bought a case of it and split up the 6-packs. It was a really awesome day.
|LaCole, Abhi, and I before our lunch came|
|Abhi and Srini|
|All the wines we tasted at Jacob's Creek|
|Abhi in front of a huge cask at another vineyard|
|All 4 of us at Jacob's Creek|
|Srini, LaCole and I|
|With Abhi instead of me.|
The next week was pretty uneventful. I joined a gym and got 3 free Kickstart training sessions which were pretty good. I've since signed up to train with Michael regularly. He tells me I'm doing "Heaps good" and is all about giving me an "ass whoopin'" He's really funny though and is keeping things interesting and different so it's all good.
Since I became friends with Abhi, LaCole, and Srini, they started inviting me out to do stuff all week. Tuesday we went for cheap "fancy" pizza. $8 for what's normally $18-20 seems good to me. On Mondays it's $6 and apparently that's the regular day to go. We also checked out Duke, a bar/club on Currie St. and Balcony Bar which is right on King William. It's nice to finally have people to go out with and hang out with. Abhi lives at Urbanest too, so it's suuuper convenient.
Since everyone started turning in homework, I was really busy last week. The students here are spoiled compared to in Pittsburgh. They whine much more about grades and argue for every little point. It's very unbecoming. They also don't really respect the concept of office hours. I have specific time set aside for each of the classes to answer questions/clarify etc. Most of the time, very few people come during those times but they'll show up at any other time of the day. It's distracting and when I tell them I'm busy they ignore me and sit down anyway. They're going to be in for a huge shock when they get to Pittsburgh...
Then, this weekend was super hot. It was in the high 90s all weekend. On Friday was the Fringe Parade opening "4 weeks of Frivolity and Fun" Basically performers of all sorts have shows going on every single night. It's a boho/hipster/artsy-fartsy kind of a thing but there are music acts and comedians and dance troupes and all other things. The parade was quite ridiculous, lots of costumes and fun. After the parade we went out to check out a bunch of the opening night parties which were not as wild as we thought. However, there is a park that gets converted into "The Garden of Unearthly Delights" and across the street another that this year is called "Gluttony". We wandered around Gluttony and they had a silent dance party which was totally wild. The way it works is you pay $10 for a set of headphones and then you dance. Everybody is listening to the same thing but to the observer it's mostly silent. It sounded like the most ridiculous thing ever but it was actually awesome! After LaCole went home, Abhi and I stopped for gelato for the walk home.
Saturday I spent all day on campus and then came home and tried to make homemade buffalo sauce. It didn't taste like the real thing at all and I was really disappointed. I had a quiet night in after the frivolity of Friday night. Sunday was ungodly hot as well, easily 99-100 so I mostly hid out in the aircon. I did laundry and showered twice because it was so hot. I then met up with a new friend at a coffee shop and we ended up wandering around the Garden of Unearthly Delights. It was really cool! I need to go back with my camera.
Today I spent ALL day grading the databases assignments and I'm barely halfway through. It's going to be an exhausting day tomorrow. Hopefully I can get them all done.
No weekend plans just yet, although Saturday night is Jon's 21st birthday party.