So after I conducted my weekly scalp search for white hairs, caught up on my online news and drank my morning Diet Coke in a Dilbert mug, I realized that I, like many other Americans, am getting old. This is not ok. It is now 5:53 p.m. on a Sunday and I have already finished dinner, am packing my briefcase for work and am about to update my LinkedIn profile. In other words, I am ancient. I have no energy for a jog and no desire to binge drink like a normal young Aussie, so I decided to do the next-best "young" thing: update my blog. After all, since the businessmen and women of New Hampshire are just figuring out what a “blog” even is, it must be technology for young people only.
This is now my third entry and according to my survey results, my mom has still not read my blog. Thanks, mom.
Not much has happened to me since my last entry. Still no luck finding koalas or sober Australians, but I did find cheap diet coke - $14.98 for a slab of 30 cans. I also completed my first week at Burson-Marsteller, where I no longer have a corner office, personal Blackberry or dental insurance, but I do have a liquor cabinet filled with vodka, beer and wine. Who knew alcohol would improve (or at least impact) workplace morale so much more than American perks such as medical insurance or corner offices? My new colleagues are young, enthusiastic and incredibly talented, and while I already feel quite challenged, I’m excited to be a part of the team.
On Saturday I went to my first-ever AFL match, a semifinal between St Kilda (my hometown) and rival Collingwood, two local clubs and nearby suburbs of Melbourne, separated by only 8.2 km. Nearly 77,000 fans packed the MCG to see the Saints of St Kilda, population of 16,122, battle the Magpies of Collingwood, population of 5,494. So essentially, more than 3.5x the entire towns of St Kilda and Collingwood combined attended this match. That is nuts, and that is AFL, particularly here in Melbourne.
In fact, nine of the 16 clubs in the country-wide league, also called AFL, are from Melbourne. In contrast, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth all have only one club each. If I have learned two things about Melburnians in my third week here, one is that they are very serious about their meat pies, and two, is that they are very, very serious about their AFL.
So my third week is nearing an end and it was indeed a very productive week. I got tickets to the Caulfield Cup and upgraded my phone plan, but perhaps most importantly I received four invitations to join various anti-Sarah Palin Facebook groups – what an honor! I do miss California and all of you great, wonderful friends, but will see you all very soon. And won’t somebody fire Greg Robinson? Three weeks down, 49 to go.
Week Three Summary
Weather: warm & windy
New observation: Being "drunk" in Melbourne is completely different than being "drunk" in the States.
New activity(ies): AFL semifinal game at the MCG
New food: Australian mustard; Doritos Mexicana; Sultana Bran (Australia's version of Kellogg's Raisin Bran)
New word(s): going off like a frog in a sock; hit the blower; far out brussels sprout
New people: all of my new, sweet, smart and incredibly-talented colleagues at B-M
What I miss: San Francisco, breakfast tacos, Mormons, my car, my old friends at EVC, 3C1W