The annoying things about driving on the left side of the road

As you all know, Aussies drive on the left side of the road (and say that they’re in fact driving on the right side and everyone else was driving on the wrong side). The weird feeling when being in a car took me a day or two to get used to. It took me a couple of days longer to get accustomed to looking right and then left when crossing a road. Once or twice, I nearly ended up waiting at the wrong bus stop. That might be a bit annoying, but I can live with it. What annoys me most, is another effect of people driving on the wrong side, an effect that is totally unrelated to any means of transportation…

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Parcels arrived

The two parcels from Austria arrived yesterday- „sain et sauf“ and faster than I had expected. My parents had to declare the contents of the package and wrote it onto the outside–clearly visible to anyone. Seemingly, the customs authorities did not have to open the packages, maybe because of the detailed description, maybe because they x-rayed the parcel. I don’t know.

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Mail and Parcels

A couple of people had their relatives at home mail stuff to them. From the others‘ experience: -Packages sent via airmail may take ages to arrive. (Surface mail will take even longer.) -It is better to send stuff with a service that provides a tracking number. -Sending stuff with UPS is damn expensive, but quite fast. -The Australian customs authorities search for food and other quarantined items and remove them. While sweets (like from Haribo) have come through fine, mayonnaise* and beef jerkey have been confiscated. *apparently there is no kind of mayonnaise here that is not sweetened. This makes mayo taste quite strange. As for myself, I am waiting for two parcels from Austria. They have tracking numbers, but apparently they are not tracked outside of Austria. The track and trace page says „Sendung wurde ins Ausland weitergeleitet“ (Parcel has been forwarded to a foreign country). Damn. Track and trace would have been interesting to see whether the parcels are stuck with the customs authorities or not. Even though the Austrian Post can be quite incompetent, I knew they’d manage to forward the parcels to another country. I hope they’ll arrive in the next couple of days.

Vorlesungen und andere Dinge

It took me a couple of days to get used to the way that lectures are held here at ANU. Most lecturers prepare their lectures as Powerpoint presentations or use Adobe Reader. This is very convenient for me because it allows them to offer the slides for download on the internet and I do not need to stare at the blackboard to decipher whether that scribbling on there is a p or a ? (or w/?). Also, ANU tries hard to accomodate those who cannot attend one or more lectures by sometimes offering recorded lectures (although that is not the case for those courses that I attend). Still, i’ts good to be able to download the slides in case I miss a lecture. The downside is that it allows the lecturers to skip over an immense number of formulas in almost no time.