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Audrey: And it’s magic. If the music is groovy.

Do you believe in magic? Before this trip to Australia, I would’ve scoffed and said no. However, I
now have proof that magic exists. The most simple example of magic is the fact that to go home
I will be taking off at twelve in the afternoon on a Saturday and end up landing at nine in the
morning on the same Saturday. The magic of how that metal tube, a.k.a plane, stays in the air
aside, the time travel it takes to go home must be black magic. Another example of magic is the
fact that I’ve been able to communicate and be understood by Australians for the last two
months.
The language here has so many pitfalls for me, it’s a miracle that I can both understand
and be understood. Though there have been some miscommunications. For example, an
Australian was telling me a story about how she was giving bad news to someone, saying, “ I
think I gave him the shits”. My first reaction was, oh my God how did you know, was he wearing
white pants? Did he need to go get new underwear or something? It turns out that does not
mean what it literally translates too. I constantly needed a few extra seconds to translate in my
head a conversation about “thongs” to flip-flops. Because I think “ thongs” are a ridiculous name, I
stuck to calling them flip-flops and no one had a problem understanding me. I found, like many
cases, the language goes to the heart of their culture. For example, everyone kept trying to tell
me about “drop bears”. I knew they weren’t real, but there’s a cultural thing in Australia, that if
you like someone you try to pull their leg and be mean to them. I found it to be quite enjoyable
to tease someone ruthlessly and have them feel appreciative because you’re telling them you
care as you scream “you suck”. Another thing about their language it has many roots from their
mother country, England. For instance, color is spelled incorrectly in Australia, it spelled with u,
as mentioned to me as they ruthless told me how incompetent I am at spelling. Our countries
come from the same mother, but I think Australian and America would both agree, who needs
England?
All the wizards from Hogwarts must’ve been convicted as criminals and sent to Australia
because this country is truly magical. The scenery that I’ve experienced from the beaches to the
volcanic mountain under the sky full of stars has been breathtaking. And despite their incorrect
spelling, bizarre word choices, and sometimes difficult to understand pronunciation/ accent, the
people have been welcoming and kind. Their standup people, who immediately took me in and
began to tease me, in a way that shows affection. I’ve learned so much from my time here in
Australia. I will miss a lot of things and a lot of people.

Until next time
Audrey