Published: February 21st 2007February 21st 2007
Orientation and House-hunting
On Monday morning, Trista and I headed back to Murdoch for our first Orientation activity - a welcoming and some important info. We then headed to the housing office, where I had made an appointment to get help finding off-campus housing. We soon learned there were about 100 international students without a place to stay in Perth, and only 1 lady helping them all. She took 5 of us on a trip to visit one place, and told us to come back at 4:30 to see 2 more. Clearly this was a seller’s market, and we were told to take the first place that looked liveable.
Trista and I decided to check the campus bulletin boards, and we found loads of places for rent. We called and made 2 appointments. One of the places was a whole house of 4 rooms, so we grabbed Shaun, another Canadian, to look at the place. Him and I set off into the suburban desert following Google Maps directions. We found the house, and it was actually pretty good. We expressed interest, and were told to come back at 4:30 to meet with the landlord (who was at work). Trista, meanwhile,
went back to the housing office at 4:30 to see the other places, and ended up saying she would take a spot she saw. Down to just 2 people, we had to turn down the house. But the second property I saw was very nice, and I am now moved into my new house. My new pad
Gloria rents the entire house from the landlord. She’s from Nigeria, and is studying at the University of Western Australia, over an hour’s bus ride from here. But she loves this house so much that she has stayed and dealt with the commute. My other roommate is a Chinese girl named May who attends Curtin, another University in town. She is currently joined by her friend Zara, who attends UWA, but she is moving out very shortly. They're all really nice people, and I haven't had a single problem yet *knock on wood*. February 13-15
On Tuesday, I attended an information session in the morning then moved into my new house. In the evening we had a free dinner for international students. On Wednesday all the activities were optional, so instead I went out and bought some food and some bedding.
Thursday morning I went for an information session about a NorthWest trip for Study Abroad and Exchange students only - it sounds awesome, and I definitely will be at the sign-up next Tuesday! Trista and I had planned to go to the beach that afternoon but unfortunately it was RAINING so our plan was foiled a bit. We went to Fremantle though, a small town just a 20-30 minute busride from campus which is quite quaint and on the ocean. We ate and walked through this little street market which was going on. Festival Day!
Friday was Festival Day! which was all hyped up but really was a glorified clubs day. I have to say, so many things about this school make me appreciate Waterloo. Their clubs selection leaves much to be desired. Although parts of it felt like home - half the clubs were religious, with 90% of those being Christian and 90% of the Christian clubs being filled with East Asians. And it's strange how Christian Clubs are the most pushy. Other than that there were a zillion environmental clubs, which was cool, although most of them didn't seem to do very much. One club looked like
STEP (the Sustainable Technology Education Programme), a club which I am a part of at Waterloo. So I went up and asked them what they do. "We meet and talk about energy issues!"
"But what do you DO?"
"That's about it..."
The conversation may not have gone exactly like that but you get the idea. Pretty useless stuff.
Other than clubs booths there was a live band which was quite annoying because it interfered with my ability to talk to clubs. Although that's also like Waterloo, where the ambient noise is provided by a combination of the DJ Club, Swing and Social Dance Club (although I will say they keep their music to a sane level), Gamers Club, and this term's newest addition, the Drum Club, which seems to serve no other purpose than to annoy.
There was also a petting zoo (??? are we 5???) and a bungee trampoline thing...
All in all, I was confused. And they ran out of hotdogs just as I went to get one. But the lady pittied me and gave me some free buns. I went home after that. Night out in Fremantle
Trista called me up around 7pm
to say her and her housemate were going out to Fremantle so I decided to join in. Her housemate is a German girl named Joanna who was very friendly. We were meeting up with a friend of hers, another German girl named Anna. She was also great. We went to a little restaurant on the main street in Fremantle and made fun of the way people were dressed. It was fun. We then went to the water and found a local brewery. We had a drink there and sat on the water claiming the fancy yachts. We had to take a taxi home because the Perth transit system makes no sense - the buses run TO Fremantle until midnight, but stop RETURNING from Fremantle at 7pm. If someone can explain how that works, please let me know. Luckily we could split it three ways, so it wasn't that bad.
There are more photos below