Once again I observe my hierarchy of procrastination. I SHOULD be working on an assignment due Friday for which I have done a mountain of reading (to translate my favorite phrase from Spanish) but have not be able to put on paper…So as usual I have deferred to my back up task of writing in my blog and I justify my horribly confused priorities by convincing myself that this entry could be the one that wins me a breakthrough for my thesis. But probably not. Still it is about time I wrote and sometimes the act of typing kick-starts the paper-typing mechanism that connects, or more accurately obstructs, the flow ideas from my brain to my fingers. Time will tell. In the mean time, what can I tell you?
Last week, the day after my previous blog entry, was Race Day. Let me contextualize here by reminding my readers that Australia is a country that is, in general, completely consumed and enthralled by sporty activities. The US most certainly borderlines that culture as well, but Australia blows us out of the water…ironically much like Michael Phelps and the US Olympic swimming team is doing to the rest world this “summer.” (I have not been watching the Olympics religiously, but I have seen some pretty cool races including the one where the Australian women’s swimming team won the relay. THAT was cool.) So anyway, Australian sporting events, even local ones, are really awesome to attend because everyone is really into them. One of these sporting events is the horse race, and in Brisbane on the Wednesday of Ekka, which is sort of a giant carnival/fair kind of thing that took place last week, there is a big horse race for which my residential college hired buses to transfer almost the entire population of the residence to the race track. Many of my peers arose at 6am to drink heavily before breakfast so they could be properly inebriated for the races. This plan backfired on many who became too intoxicated to actually get on the bus and go to the race in the first place. These individuals, as I understand it, stayed home and slept until dinner, at which point the people who were not too drunk to go to the race were returning home to inform their hung-over friends what they had missed.
Armed with a complete failure to understand the appeal of alcohol early in the morning, the information that the human body processes alcohol slowest at the beginning of the day thereby rendering early-morning drinking a poor decision, and most influentially, the desire to save money, I refrained from drinking that morning. I was, therefore, in a great position to observe all of the events of race day and remember them afterward. Here is what happened: What seemed like most of the University of Queensland dressed up in their best clothes, some in the style of My Fair Lady, and some (like myself) more casually, and piled onto various forms of public transportation in order to arrive at the race track. The college buses arrived before the gates even opened so my friends and I had plenty of time to walk around and get the feel of the race track before the first race started. We eventually staked out a picnic bench at which we sat, talked and munched on our bag lunches. At one point a guy in a nice suit walked over to our picnic bench and asked if we minded if he sat down. We said we didn’t mind and he said “Oh, good because I think I’m having heart palpitations.” We were a bit taken aback and concerned for his health, but were unsure what he meant by heart palpitations. Apparently he was as unsure as we were, but we all agreed it was a good opening line for charming a bench full of ladies, so he stayed for a while and talked. By the time the first race started and we decided to move to the grand stand, we had ascertained that Mr. Heart Palpitation’s name was Ben and he had also given us all nicknames based on where we were from. It was an interesting morning.
By the time the first race began it was after noon and since none of us were betting we just watched a few races and headed home. It was a good experience, if a little surreal. It was weird to see all of these university kids, many of whom were younger than myself, dressed to the nines at a horse race as if they had plenty of annual salary to burn on the horses. Some of my college friends put some bets down but as far as I know, no one won anything. I made it through the day having spent $6.50 in total including transportation and ticket. Not a bad day for me. It was cheap fun. 🙂
Last weekend was pretty uneventful. I spent most of it trying to get work done on my school work and ended up just relaxing for most of it. On Saturday I went with Victoria to the Anime club because they were offering cheap pizza and a movie, which turned out to be Princess Mononoke. I had already seen it but it’s a great movie and it was the first time I had watched it in Japanese with subtitles. That was cool. After Spain I will never complain about subtitles ever. Not that I complained before, but still, I am now convinced on the evils of dubbing. It was at the movie night that I realized that I had somehow contracted conjunctivitis. It sucked, but I caught it early and got it taken care of, so after a Sunday of isolating myself in my room so I didn’t touch things around college unnecessarily, I am back out there and my eye is much better now. Yay!
I’ve been comparatively productive already this week in terms of volume of reading that I have completed. I went to the library with Morgan on Monday, which is my day of no classes in which I get things done. Then after lunch I spoke to Mom and booked our hotels for when she comes to visit me in Australia. That visit is now as official as it is possible to be since Mom got her requested leave approved by work, purchased the tickets and now we actually have reservations for places to stay. I’m excited and so is she, but as Mom put it “I don’t want it to come too fast.” I’m sure she just said that for my sake since I clearly want to enjoy being in Australia as much and for as long as possible…but really, November cannot come soon enough. I need a vacation badly. I think it is my lack of appropriate vacation time that is contributing to my obstinate reluctance to do work…that said I think I better sign off to take another stab at writing that paper. Maybe my typing roll here will transfer to my analysis of First Wave Australian Feminism. *Fingers crossed*
Take care all and look for new pictures soon. As always, thanks for reading.