January 22, 2010

Life in the Goldie.

We’ve been living here on the Gold Coast for about 12 days now. I’m sorry that I’m just getting to this part my the journey now, but I have a strong aversion to moving out of chronological order. Please bear with me.

We arrived to Brisbane International Airport, and after an hour long coach bus ride to Robina (with all of my luggage safely in tow!) we made it to our new home. Nat and I couldn’t be happier. We live in a complex of condo-like homes called University Place, right on University Drive, and at the end of the street? You guessed it - Bond University. It’s quite a handy location. We found our house easily, maybe the fifth unit on your right when you enter the complex, conveniently located right next to the pool. We let ourselves in and it was so great! We were wondering who our roommate would be, because we didn’t hear any of our peers on the bus say they were living at 25 University Drive. Well, we sighed, she’s bound to arrive soon enough.

Brief interjection - Here’s my address since many have asked:

Cassandra Papia
25/1 University Drive
Robina, QLD, 4226

Ps: Mail might take over a week… Moving on...

So we poked around a bit and noticed that some of her belongings were already in place. Had she been here before us? There was even food in the fridge. A half-eaten box of Tim Tam’s and Vegemite… some subtle clues as to what we were in for. Then shortly there after waltzed our roommate and our lives would never be the same. The feisty and enterprising Katherine Law. Or as we now call her - Australian Diva Sungoddess, Swag, or simply Kat.

Kat is… a character. But we’ve learned that there is definitely more than meets the eye. Standing at about 5’10”, she’s the tannest Dutch/English/Aussie I’ve ever seen, and her presence is thunderous. She has absolutely no filter. If something is on her mind, it’s out there for the world to hear. She had her friend Kirsten with her the first time we met, which was such a helpful dynamic for a first impression of Kat. Kirsten is from the Sydney area and was on holiday with us for a few days and she is so sugary sweet. Extremely polite, friendly and lady-like. Kat and Kirsten… night and day.

Sample quotes:
Kirsten: “I don’t really drink.”
Kat: “HA. I do.”
Kirsten: “Oh, I’m totally not a racist.”
Kat: “BAH! I am. F***ing Asians.”

So there you have it. Kat is very rough around the edges and seems not to change that for anyone. It’s really funny and safe if you’re on her good side, but cross her and you’ll be sorry. I said to Nat, “I’m so happy that we live with her, because in any other context, she’d scare the hell out of me.” Very true. She’s a force to be reckoned with. But since she’s so straight-forward, we have some of the funniest quotes ever written down. I’ll have to post some soon. She’s a riot.

Her majors are Sports Science and Business and Commerce. I can tell that at the heart of it, Kat is a really bright girl who hides behind this tough party facade. We had a serious conversation at the beach the other day and she told me her grades and some really personal family stuff. Honestly, I think you just need to get Kat alone and in the right context and she softens right up. I’m happy to report that Nat and I have already done such a work on this girl. We do everything together. Beach, pool, grocery shopping, working out, cooking, cleaning… everything. We went out to a club one night to pacify her begging (and because it was Kirsten’s last night with us), and she was so great. Since she was driving, she didn’t drink at all and had the car pulled around out front at 11:45 because we said we wanted to be home at midnight. It’s obvious that even though she’s wild, she’s very respectful of those who are different than she is, and values her friendships (made obvious by her close relationship with the sweet and lovable Kirsten).

On our fridge we have a chart. It’s affectionately titled the “Ass-kicking Olympian Workout Regimen” and it has all of our daily activities listed with their times, and all three of our names in columns for all of the 14 weeks this semester. We’re to initial in the cell everyday we stick to the schedule - a little reinforcement and accountability.

Monday - Circuit Boxing
Tuesday - Yoga
Wednesday - On your own
Thursday - Spinning
Friday - On your own

When it’s our free days, we can try another group class (like Pilates of water aerobics) or go running or strength training on our own. The deal is, if we miss a day during the week, we are to make it up over the weekend. And we are to participate in every group exercise class at least once during the semester. If we miss one, then we have to take all the ones we missed in one day. We try to go together as frequently as we can on our free days too for the extra support and company. And Kat absolutely loves it. Nat and I have morphed her into a scheduled athlete with a balanced diet and an early bedtime, who only goes out partying one day a week! We are champions! This is such an incredible feat, especially for under two weeks. And tonight we crossed a new bridge, we prayed at dinner ;) She absolutely was not ready for that one, haha. Maybe it’s too soon…

But the routine is: classes all day, work out, swim in our pool (to combat the lactic acids) quick showers, make dinner, eat dinner, clean up after dinner, collapse from exhaustion. It’s so great because the sun mixed with the exercise, it means we’re wiped out at like 9:30. We go to bed so early. It’s awesome. I’m so glad that we cook and eat together though. If we didn’t, I would be so sad and mourning the loss of my Dexter community even more. But we have a quasi replacement thing goin’ on over here (obviously not as awesome, but it’ll suffice).

I just finished the first week of classes, but before they started, we had a pretty solid six day vacation. It was literally as follows: “I’m bored of the pool, let’s go to the beach now… the sun’s going down at the beach… want to go to the pool again? Okay. Let’s watch Princess Diaries. Let’s watch Cars, again. Pass the chips. Can you put sunscreen on my back? This is the saltiest ocean I’ve ever been in… Put Rihanna on. Put Third Eye Blind on. Put Usher on, again. I hate wearing normal clothes. I haven’t worn a bra or underwear for three days, just my bathing suit. Did you brew more iced coffee? Don’t worry, I’ll make some now.”

We were living the life.

Then classes started and life… didn’t really change that much, haha. I really should start doing homework soon. This weekend, I promise. So that’s what it’s like here on the Gold Coast! About an hour from Brisbane, fifteen minutes from the high-life of Surfer’s Paradise and 10 minutes from about four beaches, the livin’ is easy and the skies are blue. I liken it to any coastal city in Florida like Miami, Tampa, or Sarasota - except cars are coming from every direction and crossing the street is a near death experience almost every time. I believe that drivers here are worse than in Boston. They drive so unbelievably fast, hate pedestrians and never “give way” (yield) like the signs tell them to. And there are very few traffic lights, but roundabouts/rotaries every twenty feet. It only adds to my fear and confusion.

There you have it! I’ll update soon with some classic Kat stories, our trip to Byron Bay, and a run down of my classes. Gotta get to bed - surfing lesson at Burleigh Beach in the AM! I anticipate that some stories should come of that as well.

Much love.


  1. oh man. i got to stop reading your blog in class.

    seriously. i had to work so hard to not crack up. im sitting in animal behavior and we are talking about the research and i just snorted so loud that everyone is now looking at me like "what a weirdo". :) oh well totally worth it.

    ok now im in the apartment. and anna is here and we were just talking about how to send you postcards from lovely wenham. wouldnt that be awesome to get some GC paraphernalia? i know....we're awesome. :)

    ok and more Kat stories. those are my fav. i think i would really like her. dialogue = priceless.

    ok got to go eat chili.

    writing soon.


  2. Best paragraph is the description of what the vacation dialogue consisted of. Awesome.

    ps. somehow I feel more connected to you when watching Flight of the Conchords.


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