Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Cultural Experiences

Over the past several days, I have had quite a few "cultural experiences" here in Newcastle. I still haven't been feeling up to par due to my bout with what I like to call "Fijian Water Disease", but I've felt good enough to tag along to a couple of fun nights.

On Saturday night, a large group of us decided to go to the widely advertised Monster Truck Rally in Maitland (a small suburb of Newcastle). Now, I've never been to one of these shows before, but I was expecting the Australian equivalent of a Nascar Race. We were a little disappointed when it was more of a family event, and our cooler of beer earned us glances of negativity from Moms and Dads. We still had a great time, and honestly, how many people can say they have seen a jet powered van before? Now I have!

Then on Monday night, the Newcastle Knights (our local Rugby League team) had a home game against a team from Sydney called the Sharks. The rugby game was a great time, and the atmosphere reminded me of a high school football game at home. Rugby is extremely popular in Australia and I've had fun trying to learn all the rules. It took me about 3 months of confusion to realize that there are three different sets of rules: Australian, League, and Union. All with their own devout following. At the game we sat in front of some older Australian fans and we were entertained by there chants and taunting of the refs. They love their football as much as we love our football! The game is actually very entertaining and moves much faster than American football, but there's still no comparison to a good Clemson (or USC) football game.

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