Halloween, Melbourne Derby Day, Sydney and THE INTERNSHIP

It’s like I can hear the crowds cheering for my encore.

Which is my way of saying, “hey guys, sorry I haven’t blogged in an internet century.”

Lots of stuff has been going on, and I totally would have blogged all of these separately, but I have not had much down time AT ALL.

First order: Australian Halloween

Let’s be real, it’s got nothing on American Halloween. Which, in case you’re unaware, is really fun if you’re 9 or 19. Not much in the way of high school Halloween fun. But, I had fun with my friend Callie (who is from North Carolina) anyway. Callie is a huge patriot, despite being a confederate, and so we found the costume supplies for her to be America and me the very basic clothing required for Canada. We tried to go to Eagle Bar, which I have managed to avoid until then due to my suspicions that it was full of drunken jerks who would spill drinks on me and just served as a really annoying way to keep me up on Thursday night (because it’s freaking loud and right next door to my dorm). I was right. We didn’t stay very long, but we still had fun in our own right. Australians should really work on adapting this holiday properly into their culture. As a child it’s about lollies (Americans read; candy) and being the character of your dreams and as a young adult it’s about Adult candy (internationally read; alcohol) and still being the character of your dreams…you’re usually just a little more creative/clever at an older age.

As we know, Canada is above the United States geographically. This is a representation of North America in that regard.

As we know, Canada is above the United States geographically. This is a representation of North America in that regard.

Second order: Melbourne Derby Day

In Melbourne, there is a three-day event known as Spring Carnival. This is kind of like the Kentucky Derby, except in three separate days. There is an equivalent Triple Crown the horse can get. I knew I wanted to attend one of these days while I was in Melbourne, so I started vaguely following the races one night they were on television while I was in a bar. I noted that two trainers stood out to me: Gai (pronounced like the sexuality) Waterhouse and John P. Thompson. The one I really looked into was Gai. She is known as the “first lady of racing” because her father was a huge deal here as a trainer, and now she’s carrying on the legacy. She’s from New South Wales (where Sydney is) and she was granted her training license in 1992. This woman has been chasing the Melbourne Cup for as long as I’ve lived. Now, I didn’t go to the actual Melbourne Cup, but instead went to the slightly more affordable and lesser attended Derby Day, aka Gentleman’s day, aka AAMI raceday. I did buy a hat. I did drink the equivalent of a mint julep, a “Flemmington Fling.” I bet on some horses. I lost 33/50 dollars on those bets, but one of those wins was on a horse named Zoustar. It was only fitting. The people who attended Derby Day were dressed in their Saturday finest, and most were, indeed, fine. It was a great day and I’m so glad I went.

Callie and I in our Derby hats.

Callie and I in our Derby hats.

P.S.- Today was the actual Melbourne Cup and Gai won her first with her horse Fiorente. It was awesome. I was elated for her.

Left to right: Damien Oliver, the jockey; Fiorente, the runner; Gai Waterhouse, the trainer. Nov. 5, 2013, the three won their first Melbourne Cup (well, it was Oliver's third).

Left to right: Damien Oliver, the jockey; Fiorente, the runner; Gai Waterhouse, the trainer. Nov. 5, 2013, the three won their first Melbourne Cup (well, it was Oliver’s third). Photo courtesy of The Australian.

Third order: SYDNEY

So far, so good. I like where I’m staying, the people have been really nice and the city is great. Sunday I went down to Coogee beach which was nice – there was a wine festival going on. Oh, and a rib eating contest that I TOTALLY would have owned, had I known what they were asking for volunteers for. Funny story, my internship editor was eating ribs while I was watching and I didn’t know. Because I hadn’t met him yet. Stuff here is even more expensive than in Melbourne, though. I haven’t figured out where the closest Starbucks is…yet. I will, though. I did have a kebab (not the shish kind), which I was told was a must do. While I’m here, I will do all (probably most of) the touristy things, but my main focus is my internship. I’m going to a ballet at the Sydney Opera House (you know, that petal-shaped thing you see on post cards) in a couple of weeks, and I haven’t made plans for other things. But, again, I will.

Fourth order: Internship

I’m interning with a magazine called Great Walks. It’s well-known by people who do hikes in Australia, and pretty much unknown to everyone else. It’s a very niche mag. My (the) managing editor is Brent, and he’s so cool. He speaks super fast, but he’s great. Everyone else in the office is super inviting, too. The area where the publishing house is located is really nice and there are a bunch of swanky boutiques nearby. Yesterday, which was my first day, it was also my first day on the Sydney bus system, so I ended up getting on the right bus going the wrong direction. The nice bus driver extended his shift to help me get where I was going and he showed me where my stop was and everything. I just finished my second day and, though I am exhausted, I absolutely, totally, 100 percent love it. And I’ve mostly only been copyediting. I haven’t found out if there is an Australian Associated Press style guide. There is an AAP, though.  Brent takes Wednesdays off, but I’m going in anyway tomorrow, and I get to write my first story! I’m pretty excited. Oh, and I might get to go on an actual trip, test out actual gear and write a totally legit published story. In another country. In gloss. Needless to say, I’m super happy with where I ended up.

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