Thursday, 3 September 2009

Ship Out On The Sea

I'm here! It's been ages since my last post because I've been so busy, but I've heard through the grapevine that I have some avid readers in East Boldon, one of whom is about to reach the grand age of 79. Many happy returns of the day.

Last week was 'Frosh Week'. That's Canadian for freshers. Of course it was completely manic, but far more organised craziness than I thought it would be. There was a pack every student got, with a tshirt and fliers and a beer mug, and you got put into groups to do activities. Well. I was supposed to be in group 37, but group 27 adopted me, then I joined group 25 because a friend was there, then I kind of abandoned the groups all together, and the next day I had no idea where I was, but most people were doing exactly the same thing. Here's the schedule, with annotations:

Wednesday August 26th
16:30-17:00: Check-in on Lower Field
17:00-18:00: Dinner on Lower Field (a misnomer, it was impossible to get food)
18:00-21:00: Pub Crawl around Montreal (I never want to visit so many 'Irish Pubs' again in my life. This mainly consisted of 100 teenagers squeezed into a room meant for 20, downing really cheap beer - well, free because we paid for Frosh, but cheap for the organisers - in 2 minutes before being hurried to the next bar.)

Thursday August 27th
9:00-11:00: Brunch and Games on Lower Field (I slept in and ate cereal instead, because I knew there wouldn't be any food)
12:00-14:00: Scavenger Hunt (I meant to do this, but I got distracted watching North and South)
14:00-18:00: Dinner and Carnival on Lower Field (my friends and I pretended we were Jewish because the line for kosher hotdogs was really short, and they were so yummy. There were bouncy castles as well, but no one was going on them)
19:00-21:00: Boat Cruise on the St Lawrence (this was completely the highlight of Frosh week for me. It was so much fun, hundreds of people on a really big boat going down this really wide river with beautiful views of the city in the dark, and a really good DJ)

Friday August 28th
10:00-16:00: Beach Day at Beach Club (I didn't go because you had to be on campus for the bus at 8am. So I went across the road to my friends' house where they have a huge deck outside, and we had our own beach party there. I went grocery shopping as well. It was really fun.)

My room is really feeling like my room now, it's lived in. I need to vacuum though, the carpet hides dirt very well and when I moisturised my legs, loads of gunk stuck to them so I had to go shower again.

I love living in a residence without a meal plan - I've been cooking so much. One of my friends from across the street is a bit of a fancy cook, and we roasted a chicken on Saturday because it was only $5 at Marche Lobo (the cheapest grocery store I've ever been in; grapes are $1 and garlic is 35 cents for 3 bulbs and big tins of tomatoes are 99 cents and lychees are $1.99/lb and etc.) and we made chicken stock on Sunday and made risotto, and then he made chicken stock again a couple days later with a carcass he stole from his housemates, and we made soup. We've also made scallops, and quiche, and really, it's very fancy. I haven't eaten dinner in my own house since I got here though, usually we (me, and my two friends from the other house) visit our other friends who live off campus on the Plateau, about 10 minutes away. It's much nicer there, because there aren't 17 people all trying to cook dinner at the same time with three hobs and one sink... Yesterday their flatmate made apple pie and it was incredible.

I've changed my courses around a bit. I dropped Italian - it would be far too much work for something that I was only taking out of mild interest, and it was at the same time as the French course I got put in (I had to take a placement test, which was quite easy but I was stupidly quick about it and could have done better if I'd just checked it, and read stuff properly). I'm also doing Moral Philosophy (I haven't had a class in it yet, my first one is tomorrow. I'm really excited because I know nothing about philosophy, and two of my friends are taking it too). I've had two Prehistoric Archaeology classes and they're so much fun, the professor is really good. I know three people in that class, one of whom lives with me and another of whom is my friend who came here from Oxford with me, which is fun. I've also had two Old English classes, and I like them but I'm not certain I'll continue because with French I might have too many classes (there's officially not a spot for me in French, but I'm going to try to get in anyway). And I'm doing Environmental Anthropology, which isn't just about climate change but also how people respond to their environment, I think. I haven't had a class yet, but I've bought the books and they look interesting. The textbook for my Prehistoric Archaeology class is over $100!! That's quite common here, but I haven't bought it yet because I need to do some mental preparation to make myself pay that much...

This weekend is a three-day weekend because of Labour Day. Genius. The weather is incredibly hot, so I think we'll have a picnic or something on the mountain, and there's a plan to go to the Biodome, which is like a zoo but all enclosed with different themed sections. I think. I haven't been before. I haven't felt homesick yet at all, but it's still all the excitement of beginning school. I think it'll hit me in a couple of weeks, maybe. But I'm glad - being homesick would have ruined these first weeks and I would have hated that.

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