September 4, 2007

G'Day Cornell

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To everyone who knows me: Hey! Yes, it’s your favorite student/bartender/general Cornell staple, Renee Belisle, writing abroad from Australia and missing you all a ton. To everyone who doesn’t know me, you should have gotten to know me before I left, I’m a lot of fun and probably won’t want to make any new friends when I come back because my “friend quota’s” slots will all be filled with Australians and the occasional German by then. You can try, though. Thanks to my editor slash former roommate Rebecca B. Weiss for giving me this column: that was not act of favoritism whatsoever.
Quick intro: Renee Belisle, junior, HD major (Mrs. degree candidate), sister of Mitch Belisle, yes. Likes: People that like me, The Price is Right with Bob Barker, sarcasm, my girls (esp. Kathy), Cornell lacrosse, puns. Dislikes: Emo people, frisbees. Friends with: really cool people. Personal coolness factor: X-treme.
So Australia sucks. I’m in Brisbane at the University of Queensland, near the Great Barrier Reef where the weather is like Pleasantville, and I absolutely hate it. I hate sunshine and koala bears and legal drinking and happiness, too. (I’m trying to be emo. There are an inordinate amount of emo people here in Brisbane and I just want to fit in and show that I am unique and special, just like everyone else.) To help you understand the suck-i-tude of Australiaschool (one word), listen to this courseload: I have class Tuesday/ Wednesday/ Thursday, for three hours a day on Tuesday and Wednesday and for six hours on Thursday. I’m taking two psych classes, a class on Australia, and a class on coral reefs. For coral reef class, we just got our first assignment. We had to write a six-sentence paragraph on a marine animal of our choice, AND look up a source for it! UGH. I friggin’ hate this place. [Quick note — freshmen, that’s about as hard as Cornell classes. Six sentences per paper, max. You’ll love it.]
The “uni” I attend is a pretty tropical campus, lots of palm trees and tan-colo(u)red marble and a TON of tropical birds. Seriously, tropical turkeys are the squirrels of Brisbane. At the campus orientation we international students were told that one of the campus rules is “no kicking the tropical turkeys.” I totally hadn’t thought of doing that before, but after they said that, all I wanted was the satisfaction of kicking one of those plump, delicious little birds. Can you imagine that? PUNT! Ha!
Accommodation-wise, I live in a “flat” with five other people: a girl from Korea, a girl from China, one from Singapore, a guy from Ireland that pronounces “three” “t’ree” and a girl that goes to Duke (boo) whom I spend 18 hours a day with. She’s fantastic and heretofore known as Roomie.
For a source of income, Roomie and I have been hustling the bar dance contest circuit. There’s this one bar named Down Under [add “naming bars” to the list of things Australia is awesome at; we also go to a bar called Birdy Num Nums a lot — how fun is that to say?] that has a dance contest every Thursday that Roomie and I have entered and won twice, each time winning $100 in drinks. God bless the Aussies and their painful lack of rhythm.
Last Thursday when we were at the bar, I also met this week’s Aussie boyfriend, whose name I don’t know. See, what happened is that he called a few days after I met him at the bar (apparently my number was being thrown around like quartercards on Ho Plaza — CORNELL METAPHOR, yessss) and we talked for over an hour, so now I feel like I’m way too deep in to ask him who he is. But other than that, we’re pretty much in love. And he pronounces “controversy” as “con-trov-o-see”. Con-trov-o-see. You’re totally mouthing that right now. Or you’re doing it now, after reading that last sentence. Or you’re refusing to because you hate my witty and sarcastic one-sided banter. But you will learn to love it. Oh, you will.
My editor [I feel so Starbucks saying “my editor”] says I can only have like 700 words so I gotta play it safe and wrap it up (safe text is no laughing matter, kids). Until two weeks from now, my darlings. Oh, and by the way, which president was the least guilty? Lincoln. He was in a cent. HA! Punny. See, you love me already.