AJ Udom’s final post from Australia

Last blog today. I look back on this trip–from the plane ride, to going to school the second day in Australia, to the little trips we took to everywhere in South Australia, to today. I landed almost four weeks ago and was apprehensive of everything. Literally I could not stand to think of anything other than what some of my friends and family members told me that they thought they knew about Australia. Like, “deadly spiders are everywhere,” or “all the kids ride kangaroos to school,” or “all that they ever eat is barbecue shrimp,” and many many other stereotypes about Australia. I thought ‘I want to ride a kangaroo to school’ but I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I’m scared of spiders, but I didn’t expect them to be everywhere, especially because it’s winter here. Barbecue shrimp sounds cool. I didn’t have any while I was over here, but it sounds good. I was met with many surprises in my time here. I made a lot of great friends at school.

I found the whole trip pretty relaxing, but at the same time it went by way too fast. I feel like the whole trip started about a week ago. But a week ago we were on Kangaroo Island, staying in a house that belongs on a horror movie, fishing, kicking the footy (football), and seeing a bunch of animals on a farm owned by a crazy guy, who is also really funny, named Paul.  We also saw little penguins that don’t exist anywhere else. They are really tiny and cute, but don’t like people so they hide.

Schooling in Australia is a lot different than at Athenian. Everyone has a uniform, first of all.  Secondly, there are big differences in the way people act around each other in Australia than they do in Danville. A lot of things we call “rude” or “offensive” are just normal, everyday, run-of-the-mill language over here. It was a little strange at first, but I got used to it. Now it’s normal for me to hear things that we call “offensive.” I got used to life here in Australia, a little too much I think. I caught myself say “g’day mate” at some point. A lot of people say no one says that, but Matt does and it’s really funny to hear that that stereotype actually exists.

Anyway it’s time to get going. Flight leaves in a few hours.