On Wednesday January 26th was Australia Day (if you'd like to read about the history of Australia Day follow this link: http://www.australiaday.org.au/experience/page76.asp). Justin and I took the train into Perth CBD (Central Business District) and walked the 242 steps of Jacob's Ladder up to the main entrance of King's Park (a 988 acre/or 3.8 square mile park in the middle of Perth) where we walked around then parked ourselves in a spot to watch the fireworks. We got their fairly early, so just chilled, it was nice. They light off fireworks from boats on the Swan River as well as from the tops of some of the skyscrapers.
We got slightly eaten by mozzies (mosquitos) cause we forgot the bug spray, but you don't notice them much here, you just wake up with bites. It was a good Australia Day.
In other news, I have been in contact with a 5th year vet student from Norway named Kristine, and we finally met a few days ago. Even though she's a 5th year, she's my age cause she came here right out of high school. We went to IKEA, talked in Norwegian and English, and then went to the beach with Justin. The weather was starting to turn because of the impending cyclone (more on that in a minute), but we decided to go anyway, and we were glad we did. When we got to the beach it was cooler (it was bloody hot that day) and off on the horizon the weather was bubbling and frothing. The waves were getting a bit bigger and the siren to get out of the water was playing. We took some pics and then the siren stopped. We went down to the beach whilst joking about how we were being like those people you see on TV in natural disasters that everyone watching is like "why didn't they get the hell out of there!". It really wasn't bad, and when we got in the water we stayed close to the beach just floating the waves. The water felt great, and a handful of more people joined us, it was about then that a lifeguard came around with his megaphone and said "if you are in the water we cannot save you!" it was hilarious! They even put up no swimming signs, which we got a picture next to. :P
There was even some lightening far away! Anyway, Kristine and I plan on hanging out more whenever she has time (her schedule's more intense than mine) :) Oh, and she's from Sandnes, where I almost went before Valldal, which is interesting, so we both speak nynorsk! Exciting. :P
About the cyclone, there was a level 4 cyclone headed towards the area south of Perth, and was expected to be here Sunday (a few days ago) and was to be a 1 or 2 category when it hit. We were getting excited cause neither Justin nor I had been near a tropical storm before, but it only came to a normal amount of heavy wind and some misting rain. Apparently there was some damage further south though. That was also the day that Emily (Justin's wife) got back from India, so we were happy that her flight came in ok.
Another fun activity was that Justin and I went to an outdoor movie, the new Tron; Legacy, and it was good. They have a few outdoor theaters here, one is in King's Park and the one we went to is in Bunburry Park on the other side of the river from King's Park. It was $9 concession (me) and $13 regular... a regular movie ticket here costs about $20 to put it into perspective. It's really neat, you can bring your own blankets/pillows/food etc. or you can rent these reclining bean bags for $6, and you can order pizza and beer/wine/other drinks there, and the pizza comes right in time for the movie, or you can order beforehand online and get it earlier. the sound and quality is really good too, and the best part about it all is that all of the proceeds go to children's charities (they switch them up each time)! Everyone who works there are volunteers, so it's a really neat way to see a movie.
I'll leave you with a few more pics from Australia Day and King's Park (you can visit the King's Park website to learn all about it!