So I spent the weekend with a lovely couple from my church. Since I’ve been here, they’ve been kind of like my unofficial host family. This weekend, I didn’t have netball, so my schedule was freed up, and Monday was a public holiday (Queen’s birthday…happy birthday Queen Elizabeth); Australia is known as the land of the long weekend, but I, as usual, digress. On Saturday we went to a footy game (Australia-rules football [AFL]). I didn’t know all of what was going on except that the crows were getting whooped by the eagles (as would be proper in nature if a crow tried to take on an eagle I suppose),but yeah, Adelaide lost. L It was still pretty fun though. The teams colors are black, red, and yellow and since it’s a winter sport everyone was decked out in their black, yellow, and red scarves and knitted caps. The crowd wasn’t nearly as loud as I would have expected (comparing it to our uni’s football games), but I suppose that’s because the crows had already lost 3 games in a row (this was their fourth) so not as many supporters were out to cheer them on. So you’re probably wondering what the difference is between AFL and NFL. Well, looking at the picture above, you can see they don’t have the grid-iron gear, so your follow-up might be, well what’s the difference between AFL and rugby? My answer would be *shrug* because I don’t know the rules to rugby either. I do know that this one time, at band camp, no, this one time, in my house, when I was in Australia, I thought I was watching AFL on TV, but then it turns out the TV guide was completely wrong, as it often is here, and I was actually watching rugby, so I can say that there is a difference, because what I saw on Saturday was not what I saw on TV that day.
But let’s start at the beginning. Adelaide has 2 teams of which there is much rivalry between, from what I’ve heard. There’s the Adelaide Crows, and Port power. Port power doesn’t play much of a role in this story though, as the Crows were playing the West Coast Eagles, as mentioned earlier. Anyway, as goes tradition, and common sense, everyone takes the footy express busses to the games. When I say everyone, I mean a majority of the people, because those who don’t get stuck in the traffic of the people driving because they didn’t take the bus, and then it’s hard to find a parking spot once you get there. The bus from the stop we were taking was scheduled to start at 12:35 and come every 10 minutes until 1:05. We got there at about 12:37 I imagine because we saw the 12:35 bus leaving. So we went to the bus stop and began waiting with this other couple that was there. And we waited…and waited…and waited some more. Then, the guy that was there went to the bus website to find out why it was now 12:50 and the next bus had not yet arrived. And then we discovered that the apparently all the bus schedules had been changed to a half hour earlier, and so the 12:35 bus had become the last instead of the first. And then we found ourselves stuck in that traffic caused by those people who didn’t take the bus. It took quite a while to get there for that reason, and as we rolled in the crawling traffic, we felt even sorrier that we’d missed the bus as we saw the footy expresses cruise past us effortlessly in the bus only lanes. We were only a few minutes late though, so I didn’t miss much. The crows started off playing awesomely, and they were even winning by the end of the first quarter! And then we discovered that they had this unspoken rule that they were only allowed to play well when their goal was on the right side of the field, because the second and last quarters, when they were forced to switch, they pretty much forgot how to play. Or they were just really tired. Anyhow, from what I gathered, it’s like a combo of football, basketball, and just some random aussieness. There are 4 goal sticks, pictured above, and you score 1 point by hitting one, or getting the ball through one of the side ones, but you get 6 points for getting it through the center. If you score 1 point, the other team gets the ball. If you score 6 points it goes back to the center, where there is like a toss up (really more of a bounce up) and the players just basically run up and jump (in the epic moments they can jump off of another teammate…I’ve heard they sometimes get up to like 1.5 meters of the ground, that’s like 5 feet). You also have to really be in shape to a referee (called umpire here for every sport) because you’re running just as much, and when the ball goes out of bounds, it’s your job to do this weird backward over the head bending backwards throw in. It’s all very complicated you see. Oh, and there are 4 30 minute quarters, but instead of a timer, there’s a stopwatch, so most of the quarters went over 30 minutes and seemed to just end at random times. But it was fun. Oh, and I had a footy pie. J
I realize as always, that I have written much too much, so I’ll just say that the next day I went to Mount Lofty (the highest point in Adelaide) and Hahndorf, which is this German village, I had Turkish delight there for the first time, to add to my list of random experiences that are not necessarily Australian that I’ve had since being in Australia, and then today (Monday), I went down south to Port Elliot, then further south to the Prides’ farmland to see their goats (love goats!), and then even further south to Antarctica! Ok, so I didn’t quite go to Antarctica because the whale we hired didn’t show up to ferry us. Not at all…I went to the mouth of the Murray River. The Murray River is this river that travels the entire length of the eastern side of Australia (I think). At least it goes from South Australia to Queensland, which is far. But the irony of it is that compared to the size of the river, the opening to the ocean is quite small. And as Robert and I stood there looking at it, he points out into the ocean and is like, this is as far south as you can go here. This is the south ocean. If you go that way, you’ll reach Antarctica. But that was my weekend and it was quite fun. I guess I skipped Friday, but that was me finishing my breeding program on breeding guinea pigs for milk to make cheese (guinorino). And you wouldn’t want to hear about that…or would you?
Until next time, have a laugh: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1JRZJh7d0M