WE’VE SET SAIL!
Hello everyone! You might have heard about me from a previous blog post by Tom. I’m Jisun Kim and I will be the other education officer on this expedition. Yay!
Originally, I was supposed to have been posting blogs before our first day of sailing… but preparing for the trip and “Australia” has not been too kind on my already hectic and jumbled life. (Or it could be my procrastination… nahh. 😉)
The trip coming here definitely had it’s really high ups and super lows of the lows. I wish I had some before and after photos of the plane ride to show, but my excitement prevents me from remembering to take pictures sometimes… haha;;; The entire ride to Australia took about 29hrs. 29. Twenty-nine. TWENTY-NINE. But that’s including all the layover times between flights so technically it was about 22 hours of flight time. Either way I felt like a used dish rag when I got to the hotel. Gross.
Some of the highs of the plane ride:
- Nobody sat on either side of me during the 16hr plane ride from Dallas to Sydney! 😀 I got to lay down sometimes which was AWESOME.
- I had a vegetable pie from a shop called pie face (no picture sorry 🙁 ) and it was SUPER yummy and delicious. I can’t remember what it was called, but it was definitely a indian cuisine inspired pie and tasted somewhat like a tikka masala… IN A PIE. I will most likely get it again on my way back to the states.
- I got to catch up on a few movies that I missed (Furious 7, Mad Max, etc.)
- I SLEPT A LITTLE ON THE PLANE. It might not seem like much, but I am a terribly light sleeper, especially on planes. My extremely sensitive motion sickness doesn’t help either. (Extremely sensitive motion sickness + 2 months on a boat = does not bode well for Jisun… but I’ll get to that later)
- I sat next to a really nice person from Sydney to Perth! I think her name is spelled Saraswati. I remember her name distinctly because both our names have the same theme of WISDOM. She was very easy to talk to and even helped me get to the correct taxi loading zone. (I’ve had encounters with swindlers and possibly kidnappers trying to leave airports before. Thank god for Saraswati!)
That being said, a lot of the highs are influenced by the super lows of the trip… :
- I LOST MY SUPER ULTRA CUTE TRAVEL PILLOW. It was hanging from my backpack, but by the time I got to the Dallas to Sydney flight, HE WENT MISSING! It was a gift from my best friend Emily and the guilt and loss of the pillow put me in super depression mode for the next 2 days. 🙁 But of course, I couldn’t sulk forever so I made like a bridge and got over it. I can always buy another super ultra cute travel pillow another time, right? (hint hint Emily.. teehee)
- CRYING BABIES EVERYWHERE. Not just babies, older kids who just kept fighting with each other or with their parents. It was RIDICULOUS (please imagine this word in a high pitch tone to properly convey my frustration). I have never thought older kids (7-12) would cry SO MUCH. It wasn’t even about the discomfort of the plane ride… blurgh.
- SO MANY LOST ITEMS. The travel pillow got a separate line because it was just so devastating to me considering it was the first lost item, but I’m not sure if it was just my terrible luck (or my inability to take care of things as my mom puts it) but I lost a lot of other sentimentally important items. I lost my phone about twice at the airport but thank God for those kind hearted souls who turned them in.
- My watch AND phone broke. I didn’t even realize it broke until I got here because apparently the only time I check my watch is exactly at 10:27 and never occurred to me that it was broken until I got to the hotel. Again it was a gift (from the parental units) and made me super sad. The phone was definitely my fault for being so clumsy. It’s not TOO bad considering its still usable and the screen is visible. But of course with my stupid luck the screen cracks right on top of the front camera so I can’t take selfies anymore. Never really took selfies anyway so I guess it doesn’t really matter 😛
- Keeping in contact with friends and family. I’m not sure how to put this but I was able to keep in touch with friends and family back home thanks to T-Mobile’s free roaming service! (Unlimited data and texting babyyyy) This should have been one of the highs but it was really so sad to say goodbye SO MANY TIMES the past 5 days in Australia. I miss you guys so much it hurts.
But the last 5 days has been just an absolute blast for me! (at least the non-working hours lol) I got to meet all the science party and spent a lot of time just getting used to the environment. I was really worried I might not make any friends (it was like middle school all over again >_<) but everyone here is so friendly and SO HILARIOUS. I’ve been laughing so hard I might have misplaced my belly button somewhere (korean saying.. haha).
Millie and Hideko 🙂
My roommate, Hideko, is so nice and super cute. She’s so innocent and pure-hearted it’s hard not to make fun of her lack of pop culture (?) knowledge. SHE DIDN’T KNOW GANGNAM STYLE!!! My theory is that she came from some distant planet far far away to take over the world. But, who knows? I’ve also got to know Millie who is my age (a rare pokemon amongst all the other post-doc and doctoral students; you can check out her blog by clicking her name!), Eun-young “unni” (another fellow korean :D), Briony (who’s just super cool and chill) and lot’s more! Oh, and I finally got to meet Tom in person! I think I can remember most people’s names so far, but there still are a few that I have trouble remembering names of. Curse my terrible people skills!!
HALLELUJAH FOR MODERN MEDICINE! I’ve been taking Dramamine (motion sickness medicine) fairly consistently to tame my symptoms. The boat’s been really really rocky since we passed the slow zone (there’s a technical term for it but I forget) and I’m sure if I hadn’t been taking these pills beforehand, I would have been bedridden and nauseous for the rest of my LIFE. That reminds me – thanks guys for the survival kit! (You know who you are <3)
It’s my first official day of working and so far I’ve used 2 hrs of my 12 hour shift. I have the night shift (midnight to noon) so that my roommate can have the room all to herself during my shift. I’m still feeling a little jet lagged so it should be okay, but I’m sure by the end of my shift I’ll pass out in my bunk. Hideko and I weren’t so lucky with our room placement but I’ll try to talk about that in a later blog if I feel like it. Oh, and that reminds me – let me know if you guys want me to talk about anything specific like the rooms, food (a lot better than I thought), or various parts of the ship (like our BEACH!). It’s technically WINTER down here in Australia, but the weather was very beautiful during the day and relatively cold at nights and mornings. I’m not sure if it’s because we’re getting farther into the ocean or the air conditioning blasting, but it’s FREEZING here in the office. But I guess it’s better than dying from heat stroke.
I have SO MUCH I want to share, but this blog is starting to get longer than a thesis paper (kidding). If you want more updates stay tuned for my next blog (hopefully tomorrow or the day after.. or frequently by popular demand? hehe) and please check out our facebook, twitter, and instagram!
It’s so weird seeing the cars and PEOPLE driving/walking on the opposite side. I tried to get in the wrong side when getting on the taxi and I’ve bumped into so many people (I was always taught to stick to your right). Weird.