Week 7 Aussie Slang Lesson: Tracky Dacks = Sweatpants/ joggers

I have been in Australia over 50 days now, and my program is just about halfway finished. When I hear that in numbers, I begin to panic, because I haven’t done everything here that I intend to do. So much to do, so little time. It’s funny thinking back to before I left, when I felt that 4 months was so long; now, I am begging time to slow down.

The Goldie is warming up as spring is creeping into summer here. Evenings are now a soft warmth with touches of humidity to kill the normal chill of an evening breeze. Many of us are working on our first (of two or three) assignments for classes. As these assignments are 25-35% of our grades, I have to take extra time to study. Nonetheless, I’ve still been able to go on some adventures despite the extra studying I’m putting in. Sometimes, those adventures are small. On Tuesday, for example, my roommate decided to make flautas and puppy chow for family dinner the following evening, so at 9pm, we went to Cole’s (one of the grocery stores here) to gather supplies. Upon our return to the apartment, we made the decision to make the puppy chow right then. By 11:30pm, the puppy chow was finished and delicious. We did get some questions about why the floor was sticky the next morning though (powdered sugar mishap).

She thought the bag was closed when she started to shake it…

My flatmate, Carol, and I decided we needed a change of scenery for studying on Wednesday, so we tried a new cafe close to our apartment. It was called Morena and had lots of couches, hightop tables, and a bookshelf full of free books. I enjoyed an iced chai there, and we discussed the differences between ordering drinks in America versus in Australia. Typically, an iced drink in America means a drink with ice in it. In Australia, an iced coffee would be a coffee with vanilla ice cream inside the cup; so, I’ve had to learn to ask for a chai over ice to get a cold chai. This difference is complicated by the fact that some cafes use the term “iced coffee” for a coffee with ice or ice cream, and you need to specify. I have not tried ice cream in a coffee yet, but as I am not a coffee drinker, I think it will much improve the taste of coffee to me. Or perhaps, I will be upset that the coffee is ruining the taste of the ice cream, haha.

That evening, Emily made flautas, and they were amazing. We have established a sort of “family dinner” schedule where we have people over once or twice a week, and we all take turns cooking meals we enjoy for one another. This has been cost-effective, as food is very expensive on the Goldie, but it also has become something to look forward to throughout the week. It has become an evening of laughter, community and a place of comfort. We enjoy comfort food, catch up on our days, then we play board games or go swimming. Family dinner is one of my best recommendations for if you are studying abroad.

On Thursday evening, a group of my friends from our program decided to go to a restaurant just off campus and play trivia, which they host every week. Suffice it to say, a group of Americans playing Australian trivia did not go well. There were some questions about American pop culture, but all I took away from that is Australians know our culture, and we don’t know theirs. It may come as a surprise to you, but we did not place in the top 3. I don’t think we were last though!

This is a Blue Bottle Jellyfish that washed up on the shore.

Friday’s have become our beach days. After a solid 8-10 sessions on the water, I feel that my surfing has improved. My balance on the board is getting better and I’m getting better at popping up to standing. Unfortunately, the waves haven’t been great the last few days. They are large and ominous, but once they crest, they die, so there is nothing to ride in on. It was rather cold and windy, anyway, so we stayed on the sand and played spike ball.

I finally have a photo of me surfing that isn’t wiping out!

We tried our hands at an escape room Friday night, and we did all escape, but one team did it faster than the other. I saw no differences between the Australian escape room and the one I did in the U.S, but it was a fun way to spend an evening.

On Saturday, one of our friends from Bond offered to show us around since he has a car. He is an Aussie who goes to Bond full time. He met a couple of my housemates in class, and he invited our entire apartment to go with, so I got to tag along. He took us to the Currumbin natural pools, a spot out in the country side with woods surrounding the water. We had heaps of fun swimming around and climbing up the edges of the woods to cliff jump. It was quite frigid in some parts of the water, but there were no snakes (unlike the 7 foot snake we saw on the road last week at Spring Brook), so I was content.

I believe this is a scrub python based on research.
The natural pools
We all were taking turns leaning back behind the falls, so you could breathe in the space behind the water. It looks really funny.
My lovely roommates 🙂

The next two weeks should be pretty busy with midterms, but I have some exciting adventures planned. Stay tuned, and thanks for reading.


Maddy B

Published by Maddy Baughman

Class of 2024 English and Language Arts Elementary Education Major TEAN Gold Coast, Australia

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