Monday, September 29, 2008

Week Five

Five weeks in Melbourne and this fifth one has definitely been the toughest. Too many arguments, too little sleep, and too much stress. It's rarely a good thing when one's daily average of Diet Coke cans consumed exceeds one's daily average of hours slept, and such has been the case for the last eight days. I am, however, now known as "The Diet Coke Bloke" at my local grocery store, which if I understand Australian-English correctly, means everyone there enjoys and respects me.

It's September 29th and Greg Robinson is still head coach of the Syracuse Orange. We lost again, so my Official Greg Robinson Should Be Fired stance is entering its third week. As my mom pointed out however, there may be a worse team: her alma mater. My solution? Let's trade Greg Robinson for Tyrone Willingham and finish the season with new coaches. Problem(s) solved.

Back to Australia.

Grand Final 2008 was, as expected, a fantastic train wreck. The Hawthorn Hawks upset the defending champion Geelong Cats 115-89, in what was a close match for the first half. The second half and the nine hours that followed are a bit of a blur, but I did manage to spend $160 on multiple rounds of drinks, lose my bank card and end up in Sydney. You know it was a train-wreck-of-a-night when the last two text messages in your Sent Items folder are "Omg i jvr8 waottm get home" and "wgy ami n sydney!@". I did wake up safely in my own bed Sunday morning...with a GFC tattoo on my left arm.

Now people around here say that Grand Final Day is the most important drinking day in Melbourne, which says a lot considering each of my first 33 days seems to have been more than the quintessential drinking day here. Approximately 100,000 fans packed the MCG on Saturday and hundreds of thousands of more fans packed the nearby pubs and local bars. Similar to the Super Bowl, many Melburnians also held barbecues and house parties but unlike the Super Bowl, the game itself started at 2 p.m. and was on a Saturday, meaning hundreds of thousands here drank from noon until closing time. To see what that looks like, click here.

Binge drinking isn't the only thing wrong with Australia. While the U.S. has been in shambles recently, last week tragedy finally made its way to the Land Down Under: Brooke Addamo, the 17-year-old Werribee native and only good-looking contestant on this year's Australian Idol, was eliminated in what is the biggest Idol-related controversy since "White Wedding" only reached #36 in 1983. Not only has Brooke's eviction left me heartbroken and disillusioned, but it also makes me question whether music is worth listening to if Brooke isn't the one singing it.

So overall it was a pretty tough week. My equity portfolio went down 28%, I slept an average of 4.5 hours a day, and my beloved Brooke was eliminated from Idol. Additionally someone stole my two pairs of jeans from the community dryer and USC lost to a bunch of Beavers. On the plus side, I did get my first paycheck and my Angels and Dodgers are lined up for a 405 World Series. Baseball's back in the Southland. Things can only get better. And don't worry mom, it's a temporary tattoo. Five weeks down, 47 to go.

Week Five Summary
Weather: the spring flowers are a-blooming
New observation: Australian girls watch football
New activity(ies): AFL Grand Final
New food: Hungry Jacks
New word(s): arvo (afternoon)
New people: everyone I met and have since forgotten from the AFL Grand Final
What I miss: my messenger bag, Kanye West, Californians, baseball, crushed pepper

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