And I Can Cook, Too

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

February 19, 2007


After two days simply trying to escape the heat, I was thrilled to finally have my first day of orientation. First of all, I was ecstatic to be getting started with my program. In second place by only a hair, I could not wait to spend a day in air conditioning. It was to be the third day in a row of temperatures above 105, and I’m fairly sure I’d lost at least ten pounds of water weight since my arrival.
Certain that orientation would not start before 8am, I decided to arrive on campus at quarter till, allowing me plenty of time to get to where I needed to go. I proceeded to the third floor of the Napier building, and it was still deserted. Not only that, but for reasons unknown the university had seen fit to remove all name placards and room numbers from the doors of the entire third floor. No problem, I came early on purpose, I’ll just sit on this chair here and read my book! And read and read and read. And read. At nine o’clock I sighed. Maybe I am in the wrong place. I resignedly decided to give it until 9:30 before giving up hope.

At 9:20 a man walked down the hall and into an office. Success! I knocked on his door and asked if he knew where I could find Barbara. He informed me that she probably wasn’t coming in today. I explained that I was starting the program this week, and couldn’t find any information about orientation. He explained that orientation started tomorrow. I explained that according to the website orientation started today. He explained that online student orientation started today, and on campus orientation started tomorrow. I explained that according to the website on campus orientation started today. He explained that everyone had been mailed a detailed orientation schedule and that I should read it to that I would know what was happening this week. I explained that I had not received said schedule and did he please have a copy of it that I could look at. He explained that he hadn’t actually seen the schedule because only Barbara has them.

We were at a crossroads. I was loathe to leave the building with at least a hint of where and when I was to report. He really just didn’t want me in his office anymore.

Just then, an older, gray-haired woman walked down the hall. He was saved! The woman was Barbara, and I was now officially her problem. A few moments later I left campus with the orientation schedule in my hand. It was 9:45 am, and 103 degrees. The library was closed, the museums were closed, the market was closed, and I’d already wasted $20 at the Adelaide Central Rail Station (and Casino). Then I had an idea – I raced back to the horrible hostel and looked up the nearest movie theatre. There it was right on Rundle Mall, with movies started at 11 am! Back to Rundle Mall I ran, straight to the address listed in the paper… and it wasn’t there. There wasn’t a movie theatre in sight. I asked around, and the general consensus was that there wasn’t a movie theatre around for miles. Dejected, I prepared myself for another round of Rundle Mall window-shopping. In and out of shops I went, until thoughts like “I’d love to take that with me when I go ho…” and “When Walter comes to vi” were screaming so loudly in my head I was fairly certain everyone could here them. I made a beeline for the horrible hostel and was almost there when I noticed an “open” sign where a “closed” one had been the previous two days.

It was the Bull and Elephant pub, and they had Pirates of the Caribbean pinball machine! I played pinball for hours, much to the amusement of the bartender, who assured me that I could stay as long as I wanted. I stayed until dinnertime, when I finally abandoned my game (I made it to the top three high score but I didn’t leave my initials because I don’t want to brag), and ordered a cheeseburger. A cheeseburger without the fried egg and beetroot that was advertised on the menu. Over my dinner, the bartender informed me that no-once could find that movie theatre. For one thing, it’s not really on Rundle Mall. For another, it’s cleverly disguised as a Hungry Jack. He continued to chat with me about living in Adelaide while I stretched my burger and cider until it was a reasonable bedtime. It might have been the best cheeseburger I’ve had in my entire life.

Covservation is key.


  • At 4:30 PM, Blogger Lora said…

    My oh my, Kristin. My oh my. Wow, this is so dang HUGE and you're doing so well despite the amazing odds it sounds like you're up against. I'm proud of you....


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