On the way back to Perth, we were all thrilled to make it back “home.” Being apart from everyone else I’d come to love for a week had not been as easy as it should be! Saturday should have been spent studying for exams, but instead I was reunited with my favorite people, and spent the night on our Farewell Boat Cruise. I made it through the video of our pictures from our semester without crying, but did get a little worked up when I realized that the “original 3,” Margaret, Brandon, and I were sitting together. We’d traveled unknowingly on the same flight into Perth, and now we had almost made it through the entire semester! The boat cruise was a success, except that somehow there were meat pies instead of the promised pizza on the menu for dinner…
Sunday was also spent doing more important things than studying. When I finally made it out of the bed, I rode to the grocery store with Ashleigh. She asked me if I wanted to drive her car, and there was no way I was going to say no! I had been looking for this opportunity all semester. I just drove around campus, but it was still challenging to make the turns and stay on the other side of the road. The windshield wipers and turn signals were on opposite sides of the steering wheel, but I only turned on the windshield wipers once during the excursion. Success!
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were actually centered around school, as I had two exams during those days. Exams at Murdoch are not taken in the classroom that your lecture is in, but in huge lecture theaters or the gym, with hundreds of other students from other classes. As Margaret put it, it seemed as if we were at Hogwarts about to take our OWL exams: very serious and structured.
When Thursday rolled around, Margaret, Ben, and I realized we were all almost completely out of any substantial food sources, and went to Coles. As Margaret and I were checking out the selection of milk, I picked up my usual Coles brand, low fat milk. As we examined the expiration date together, I suddenly began to tear up. My milk expired on November 24th, the day that we left Perth. As Ben rounded the corner onto the refrigeration section, we were still hugging each other wishing we could stay in Perth forever. When Ben walked over and we told him the sad milk story, he unnecessarily told us, “ You know, milk goes bad pretty fast. It’s not like a can of soup you can leave around forever; it’s going to expire really soon.” Thanks for being so sensitive Benno.
Friday was another great day, spent on the beach with the ladies. It’s obvious that from this point on that many emotional moments are going to come up. As we were lying on the beach, listening to the waves and Amanda’s iPod, I looked over to see Annie crying. This next week was going to be impossibly hard.
Friday night started our last full weekend, and we made the best of it. A well-known DJ was playing at Metro, then the night ended with Margaret, Malcolm, Eric and me at Hungry Jacks aka HJ’s aka the American version of Burger King. Earlier that week I had realized that I hadn’t eaten a burger the entire time I’d been in Australia, so I treated myself to a high-quality fast food burger and some of Margaret’s milkshake. Couldn’t have asked for a better way or better people to end my night with.
Saturday was another time for another tradition to another end of another semester. We had our final “family dinner” on Saturday afternoon. The atmosphere was far from our normal, as people were much more focused on when everyone was leaving than our get-together. Thanks to Malcolm, there were a few jokes and the melancholy silences were kept to a minimum. The semester was definitely coming to an end, and my milk was getting closer and closer to expiring.