Hey everyone! I really hope you have a good time back home in Sweden, but also here in Australia. I came back today from the famous Magnetic Island which was awesome and fantastic! We (me and many, many students from JCU) arrived on Friday to celebrate the full moon. It was an incredibly and wonderful experience to see the spectacular beautiful beach, lighten by the moon and the stars. It is a memory for life. On Saturday we snorkeled and also found a very beautiful and nice waterfall. Unfortunately I have no camera but imagine how the water rushes down from the cleaves, forming a pond where there is a lot of stones to lie on. We were about 10 people and each person was laying on one of the stones and almost sleeping. The snorkeling was good but as the water was murky unfortunately we saw nothing, but it was still fun to try it because I’ve never done it before. I have met so many incredibly nice people! I have so many friends who are helpful and incredibly nice! The time goes so fast and I’m still thinking of how much I will miss this! We had dinner together a few days ago, when Flavio from Italy, who also go by the Border Crossing project, cooked pasta (it’s was very good), and I was thinking that it was amazing how people (15 people from at least 8 different countries) with different cultures could come together like this.
Since my last post, I’ve had some bad luck in terms of housing (I still haven’t got back my bond money and it has been three weeks sense I moved from my first accommodation), and leaving things on the beach. I was robbed on camera, mobile, money, Visa card and driver’s license. Instead of writing about my bad luck I thought I’ll write a list about what you should think of before arriving but also while you are staying in Townsville:
– Waterproof packbag – (I bought two new books on Thursday, and on the way home the rain was pouring down and now it is very difficult to read these books)
– Do not leave things on the beach or anywhere else, keep track of your bag.
– Do not bring your iphone or any expensive mobile (it ends with that you wake up every morning, looking for your phone and finds an old cheap telephone and get sad because you do not have your beloved iphone anymore)
– Make a copy of everything – driving license, ID card, passport, – (I did only copy of my passport and now I regret that I did not do it on my driver license as well)
– Buy good shoes from home – shoes that you can use when you want to hike but good shoes that you can have when you walk or go to school. It is good to have flip-flopps but it hurts on long walks. I’m trying to find good shoes here and it’s very difficult, and now I regret that I did not buy any from home.
– Required Reading – Books you need for your courses – buy them from home! It’s very expensive here and it’s only one bookstore on campus and they take extra for everything basically. I have three books for my classes, there are few books in comparison to home when I had 16 books on one class but these books are very expensive and will cost me $ 300. I find them on bookstores in Sweden for the half price, I want to order them but it takes long time before they are here. It’s not always that they are available on the library and if they are there, you are just allowed to borrow them for two days! There are many books at the library but it is only for visual clarity it seems!
– Bring a good computer – I have a small one, but it’s good to take with you one that you can read on because it is also expensive to copy here. The library has also very good computers, but sometimes it’s nice to study at your place and read, but also to watch movies.
– Be sure to open a bank account here once you have arrived! – I did it as soon as I got here and I am happy today because when my card was stolen I could still be able to take out some money.
– Never trust on the transport system here! – The buses are impossible, it does not fit the bus schedule and they come and go whenever they want. It happens that you rush and run to the bus in the morning and in the end that you have to sit and wait two hours for it to come. I have learned to take the bus three hours before my classes.
– Buy a bicycle – I got one from my friend so I don’t know the prizes, but I know that every Monday morning, there are ads in the newspaper about cheap bikes. There is also a facebook page about cheap bikes but I have not checked it out.
– Be sure to ALWAYS walk on the right side of the road on the left side and always make sure to wait for cars to pass before crossing the road, it does not matter if it’s crossing point they drive anyway. Here is the biggest first – that means that man is at the bottom of the hierarchy in terms of traffic, then it’s cyclists and then small cars and so on.