Oz: Magic, Music and Markets

Wizards assemble! My busy weekend started Friday with a Harry Potter-themed pub crawl to which I won tickets through a company called Blue Elephant Promotions. This company successfully runs crawls through the UK and Ireland, and decided to bring them to Australia, which I think is pretty cool. My crawl started at seven (there were multiple time slots), which is a bit early to be out on the town, so it definitely was not as energetic as it could have been. Regardless, I received a hand-made wand and completion certificate, tasted magic-themed drinks and got to be surrounded by people decked in Harry Potter apparel, so it was still a pretty magical night.

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It only took 21 years and moooo-ving across the world, but I finally made it to my first music festival, Groovin’ the Moo. This is a three-weekend travelling festival that spans all of Australia to let the whole country come enjoy the beautiful vibes and pure talent provided by the performers. Something that I didn’t expect when I moved to Australia was to find new music and fall in love with it. When I found out my new discoveries were going to play at the festival, I knew I had to go. There were several bumps in the road from the start, but I made it there with my roommate and had the time of my life. The best part was that I was front row for my three favorite new artists and got to meet one. There will definitely be another post coming about this incredible time.

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To end the weekend, Sierra and I visited the Freo markets for the first time since the first time we went, which was all the way back in February. Our friend Shelby is really into crystals and their energies, and I talked to her a lot about her beliefs over the Southwest IMG_1678trip. I have been wanting to restart my crystal and stone collection, so I thought this was the prime time. She brought us to a few crystal shops and advised us to pick a stone with which we connected. I almost did not get anything, but then I saw a bag of gemstones meant for people with the Taurus zodiac sign and felt like it was the perfect option. I am excited to learn more about crystals and the belief system behind them!

Random luck brought me to something I never imagined I would participate in Friday night. Determination drove me to finding a way to GTM on Saturday, which turned out to be one of the best days of my whole semester. Curiosity lead me to purchasing some crystals at the lovely Fremantle Markets on Sunday. All these things added up to giving me one of my favorite weekends in Australia yet.

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Australia: Shopping at Garden City

Monday was all over the place from the start. I think I may have walked to and from campus about four times to sign up for surf and didgeridoo lessons, receive a partial refund and grab a surprise free bus token for the big night out coming up. I was really trying to organize my life Monday, but Monday was not letting me get anything done.

When a chance to go shopping in Garden City popped up with Jordan and Nicole, I took it. I figured I needed a new bathing suit and wanted to check out this mall. Fun fact: Hofstra University is located right outside of Garden City, NY and and there is a shopping center with the same name.

When I left for the mall, I did not expect to buy much. Let’s just say that there were a lot of good stores with great sales, and I basically shopped until I dropped. To be honest, although I was not planning on spending so much, I had one of the best days of shopping ever with Nicole and Jordan, so it was totally worth it. At least I got the bathing suit I needed! I found one store called City Beach that I absolutely adore, and it had incredible sales.

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Outside area at the mall

The mall was quite large, and I don’t think we saw most of it. I was surprised when we walked outside and there was a beautiful area with pavers and shrubs. Between the mall, the sales and the company, I could not have asked for a better originally unplanned day.

Australia: Fremantle Markets

As a continuation of orientation week, nicknamed “O-Week” here, the resident assistants had a “recovery breakfast” for everyone who went out to the club the night before. I find it so different that part of orientation week consisted of going out with our resident assistants; but the drinking age is 18 here, so the night life culture is slightly different from America. Breakfast was fantastic. There was a pancake station, fruit, cereal, eggs, sausage and many types of pastries.

During breakfast, we quickly decided to go to Fremantle for the day (Freo) to visit the shops and beach. Fremantle is a major port city in Western Australia with rich history and ornate colonial-era buildings.

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Upon arrival, there was a magician performing a show, and we decided to watch. Little did we know that Ethan would be volunteered by the magician to wear a helmet with four poles sticking out of it, upon which the magician spun four plates. It was quite entertaining.

The market reminded me so much of the Borough Market in London, with its green metal structure housing a myriad of shops and food stands. It was spectacular to browse the area, which I plan to visit again for souvenirs and gifts for family and friends.

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After our trip to the markets, we headed to Bather’s Beach, which is a small beach area surrounded by restaurants, Esplanade Park, and museums. It is also home to the Round House, which, opened in 1831, is the oldest building standing in Western Australia. We relaxed on the beach for a while, and then everyone decided to find a place to eat.

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The Round House

We then climbed up to the Round House, which is situated on a hill, and watched the sun set behind the calm waters.

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It was a fun day exploring the beautiful area and I can’t wait to come back. However, I definitely want to find a less seaweed and people-filled beach. The rest of the night consisted of me hoping I did not burn the flat down while cooking my first dinner on my own. All went well.