Paris in Motion

Paris in Motion

Paris in Motion is a spectacular stop-motion video of scenic locations throughout Paris set to the hauntingly beautiful ‘Angel’ by Massive Attack.

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Abracadabra

David Copperfield (Picture courtesy of The Extraordinary Project)If you are like me, you dread being called up in public during a live performance but lament it if you are not one of the chosen.

Last night we went to watch David Copperfield live at the Hollywood theatre in the MGM Grand Hotel. I have seen Copperfield live before, he came to South Africa many years ago, so this was not my first time seeing the legendary magician flex his card tricks. However, because we enjoyed his performance so much the last time, we decided to do it again, and boy did I get my money’s worth.

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Blogging on the Go!

Look I really do love to blog, but I never seem to be able to make the time to do it. Or when the inspiration hits, I’m never near my PC to get the dirty work done. However, that is all about to change!

For quite some time I have considered mobile blogging. Unfortunately, the WordPress mobile website is far from satisfactory. At least, that was the case with my previous Nokia and Windows Mobile devices.

I haven’t mentioned it to you all yet but I have made the move back to the iPhone. Yes I know, I was really negative about my original iPhone 3G back in 2008 (which I still haven’t been paid in full for after I sold it) but that was all pre-iPhone OS 3.0. Now, with my iPhone 3GS and the latest iPhone OS, I feel like I can see colours again!


For years I wished for a WordPress application for my previous phones. With the iPhone, my cries were answered.

The post you are reading now has been compiled on the WordPress iPhone application. It is pretty good. Not perfect, but acceptable enough for me to actually want to use.


For a free application it really is not bad. All I really miss is having the ability to justify my text, check my spelling, insert video, and place and position pictures or photographs into my post. However, those are features I suppose I can do without, for the time being.

Anyway, this was just a short and sweet post about the fact that I am back into the mobile blogging scene. Hopefully this new application will allow for a more organic blogging experience.

Until the next time Milieunairs!

(Update: I bought a new app called BlogPress and have edited this post with it. It cost $3 but it appears to be worth it)

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It’s Britney, Bitch!

Britney Spears - Circus Tour Memorabilia Even before we arrived in Australia, I knew that Britney Spears would be bringing her ‘The Circus’ tour to the land down under. However, I never thought I would actually get a chance to attend the concert.

For starters, Britney’s last show in Melbourne was on the 13th November and we were only set to arrive in Melbourne on the 16th. Furthermore, tickets to the event were not exactly cheap, ranging from stadium seating at $250 (R1700) per person to the insanely priced ‘Love Seats’ for $1500 (for two tickets –> R10 000 ). Consequently, chances of me attending Miss Spears’ performance were pretty thin.

Or so I thought.

Through a fortunate turn of events, Britney had actually extended her tour due to popular demand, adding three extra shows to her repertoire. One of those shows, as luck would have it, was in Melbourne.

I would be lying if I said that I was not excited at the possibility of watching the princess of pop perform in the flesh. After all, like the Queen (Madonna), it is not as if Britney would be making her way to South Africa. So it was pretty much a ‘This Is It’ kind of scenario.

Amazingly, my parents ascertained that this would be a fantastic experience and wholeheartedly agreed to buy tickets to the show. Not only that, but they even allowed me to opt for the ‘stool’ seating, which is directly behind the ‘Love Seats’ and, as it turned out, was literally a meter and a half away from the stage.

Britney Spears - Circus Tour Tickets

Without a doubt, ‘The Circus presenting Britney Spears’ was the best concert I have ever been to. I am unable to truly relay how awesome the experience was. The circus elements to the show, alone, were worth the price of admission; from acrobats, to martial artists, clowns, mimes, weapon artists, magicians… you name it and it was there (animals excluded). In addition to the circus element, I have never before been privy to a live performance with as much pyrotechnics and stage theatrics as this. The ‘wow’ factor was simply phenomenal. I do think that the experience was made just that much better courtesy of our seats which, as I have mentioned before, allowed us to be almost within two arm lengths of the pop princess.

Britney Spears - Circus Tour Performance

Contrary to the controversy surrounding Britney’s performance in the land down under, I can honestly admit that I would watch it again. So what if she lip-synchs? Anyone who has heard of Britney Spears knows that she is infamous for lip-synching (along with many other famous artists). So this was really of no surprise. In my opinion, if you want to hear an artist sing, buy the album. If you want to watch them perform, go to a concert. Whether they sing ‘live’ or not is irrelevant. With that said, it is worth noting that Britney did sing at least one song live, the ballad ‘everytime’. To all the naysayers who think Britney Spears cannot sing, let me tell you, this chick has a good voice. As a matter of fact, she actually sounds better live than through her recordings. So it is a shame that she does not perform ‘live’ more often.

Britney Spears - Circus Tour (Performing Everytime, Live)

Considering how close I was able to get, I was quite surprised to realise how small Britney Spears actually is. She is tiny. Then again, I am 6’4”, so a lot of people are smaller than I am. After two kids, she does look very good. While I’m on the topic of her body, it is worth noting that she is rather fit. She has good muscle tone; most definitely what could be described as a dancers body. So she is not petit and does appear to have some extra junk in her trunk. I think the biggest surprise to me was how small her boobs were. For those who know we, I’m a boob man. Britney has a good handful, but not what one would expect after all of the boob job debates. Have a look for yourself, in the album below.

I am truly so thankful that I could have this opportunity and would like to send a huge ‘I love you’ and ‘thank you’ to my loving parents who made it all possible.

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

 

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Becoming a Melbournian, one step at a time.

Cow Up a Tree - Docklands, Melbourne It certainly has been ages since I last wrote a personal post. To be frank, I always find writing about myself to be the most difficult. Not because I do not have anything to write, as I often do, but because my most recent life events have been somewhat too personal in nature to share with the world. Now I know that those are the kind of stories that make blog’s thrive. However, I had to take a step back in order to protect those closest to me by abstaining from aggravating any and all gossipmongers. More out of respect than courtesy, mind you. One day I may reveal all that has happened, but only time will tell. For now though, I wish to focus on the future and what has been happening over the last week.

As I have mentioned before, I have been neglecting the personal posts with which my blog was originally built on. Believe me, I actually feel bad about it. I love sharing my experiences, whether good or bad, and listening to people’s opinions. Or lack thereof. Consequently I will attempt to revive the personal aspect of Hans’ Milieu.

Okay, a quick recap of the last week:

Hans Haupt - Melbourne Nov 2009 I am actually in Melbourne, Australia, at the moment. I arrived last week Monday. The flight was pleasant with a total travel time of around 16 hours (including transit and flight times from Sydney to Melbourne). Actually, I wonder why there are no direct flight to Melbourne? Considering that the flight has to fly over Melbourne anyway. Very odd. However I have heard that Virgin will be flying direct to Melbourne from next year. Thank heavens for that as it will make travelling just that much better.

For those who are unfamiliar with my families ‘Australian’ history, all you you really need to know is that we have been planning on immigrating for the last 8 years. Well not really ‘planning’ per se, more like procrastinating. This year, however, I finally had enough of all of the indecision and took matters into my own hands. Thus I kindly told my parents, in the nicest way possible, that, if we could afford it, I would like to continue my Masters and Doctoral studies at Monash University in Australia. A logical move, considering that I am a Monash University Alumnus and already paying exorbitant international student rates, since that was the only way for me to be able to do my Masters at Monash University in South Africa. As a result I am currently enrolled as a Master’s student at Monash University’s Clayton campus in Melbourne, via external candidature (which allows me to stay in South Africa). Unfortunately, it is as complicated as it sounds.

Hans and Terrence - Melbourne Nov 2009 Considering my current academic situation and our continued, but never fruitful, desire to begin a new life in Australia, it makes perfect sense for me to spearhead our Australian move. However, it is proving to be quite a lot harder than we originally anticipated. More so in terms of finding a place to live than actually obtaining entrance to the country (for me anyway). Subsequently, the last week has been focussed on finding me a place to stay while I am in Australia pursuing my studies. Needless to say, ‘house hunting’ is incredibly tedious and rather tiring especially since options are rather limited, courtesy of the strengthening Australian dollar and constantly weak South African Rand. Regardless, I do have hope that we will find a moderate place in a respectable location.

In other news I spent some time with my cousin Terrence, who is currently in Australia via Monash University’s undergraduate study abroad program, I managed to watch New Moon (review coming soon), got tickets to Britney Spears’ Circus Tour for this coming Friday *school girl scream* and have generally been having a wonderful time in Melbourne; further experiences that I will continue to write about when I have the time.

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

 

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Gaijin Tomodachi Tachiyorimasu (Laura & Troy’s SA Reprieve)

P1040818Recently, a good friend of mine returned to South Africa for a brief 13 day reprieve. Laura, along with her fiancé Troy, have spent the last two years abroad in Japan teaching English to the natives. Although they have both been enjoying the unique experience, they, like Dorothy, could not wait to tap their heels because, no matter how short the stay, “there is no place like home”.

If you are wondering about the title of this post, it is supposed to translate into something like: “Internationalised Foreign Friends”. For all I know it could mean “Tasty Octopus Nipples”, what with the dubious reliability of some of the Internet’s ‘translation engines’.

My poor Japanese skills aside, it was great to be able to spend time with both Laura and Troy. Thankfully we got to see them a few times before returning to Japan.

The most memorable evening took place on Saturday night, 8th August 2009. Upon my recommendation, myself, Mik, Nicholas, Laura and Troy, made our way to the Nelson Mandela square in Sandton City. Those of you who know me personally, can attest to the fact that I always like to try new and exciting places or events. As a result, I managed to persuade almost everyone to try Lekgotla), an African styled restaurant, with the hopes of getting to eat a gastronomically unique dish. We were not disappointed.

P1040800Lekgotla is Tswana for ‘the meeting place’, and what a meeting place it is. The place is beautiful. There are no two ways about it. Think traditional African symbolism meets modern European contemporary art. The perfect place to bring foreigners for a taste of African culture.

Thankfully we arrived before the dinner time rush and were thus able to procure and be seated at one of the restaurant’s exclusive ‘gotla’ – one of only two hut-like structures that are able to seat eight people comfortably.

To be frank, the food was simply spectacular! All the way from the Crocodile Carpaccio, Peanut Butter Calamari and Vetkoek starters, to the Ethiopian Coffee Steak, Glazed Pear infused Ostrich fillet and vegetarian platter main courses, and finally all the way to the stomach distending three Crème brûlées degustation dessert; not a single dish was a disappointment. Honestly, a part from being absolutely divine, the food also served as a form of entertainment value for the evening. Discussing the strange delicacies and varied tastes made way for interesting conversational elements and, in some cases, the food prompted ‘hands on’ action as well as the often unexpected, and rather loud, oral expulsion of digestive gases. It was definitely an evening to remember!

Furthermore, throughout the course of the evening, we were constantly impressed by the level of service, but even more so by the welcomed yet unexpected amenities. To begin, we were all offered a cleansing vanilla infused hand wash, with vanilla scented towels to boot. Our hands smelled delicious, unfortunately they did not taste that way. After that a cart was brought over with an opportunity to try out a traditional ‘cocktail’. After come impressive bottle work, we were handed the crushed ice, vodka, honey and lemon juice cocktails. Although the drink sounds like something which could clear ones sinuses, it was actually rather good. A short time later, after the starters, we were given the chance to bare tribal markings upon our beautiful visages. Unfortunately, no one was keen to have their face painted, no matter how ‘unique’ the experience on offer was. Next time though! To top it all off, we were eventually asked if we would have liked our shoes shined. Once again, no one obliged. Although this time it was not for lack of trying, but merely because no one was wearing shoes which could have been shined. To conclude, the service at Lekgotla was excellent. From the moment we arrived we were greeted warmly and made to feel as if we were the only people there. Granted we were at the time, but the level of service did not decline even though the place eventually filled up faster than a rush hour taxi.

As a result, Lekgotla is the perfect place to take foreigners and it is the ideal location for individuals who are willing to embrace their ‘African’ roots. We would give Lekgotla a rating of 9/10.

In essence it was really very good to spend time with everyone, especially Laura and Troy. They have both grown tremendously as a couple and we are all looking forward to their big day – possibly in 2010. We miss them both quite a lot, but we are immensely thankful for the time we were able to have together. The venue just made the experience that much better. After all, nothing is better than creating highly memorable moments, with unforgettably awesome people.

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

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Across the sea we go…

I do not really know how to start this post. I usually prefer writing about events as they have happened, or at least on the same day as the events occur. However, as I am sure many of you know, that is often not always possible when travelling.  Right, so I shall start from the beginning, the day we left for our holiday…

What an eventful day it was, Sunday 22nd march 2009. Everything was packed, my mom and myself were ready. We both knew from the start, however, that going abroad this time would be quite different. Why, you ask? Simply because this is the first time that my mom and myself have travelled abroad, for an entire holiday, without my dad. Needless to say, it has been strange to not have my dad around to share the experiences with us.

Upon arriving at the airport, my mom realised that she had forgotten Mireille’s 40th Birthday present in the glove compartment of my car. She then proceeded to rant in the rear of the car, half chewing off my ear in the process. Evidently I was at fault, because I was obviously meant to use my latent psychic abilities to miraculously envision that she had placed the present there. After calming my mom down, my dad agreed to drop us off at departures and then go back home to fetch the present. We were early, for a welcome change, so we were not pressed for time.

After being dropped off, my mom and myself battled our way to the appropriate flight counter, all the while holding close our possessions for fear of being mugged. Seriously one would never think that the world is in a recession with the amount of people which fly abroad. Once reaching the counter for Air Austral, we were incomprehensibly politely informed that our flight had been delayed… by six hours! Thankfully we live less than 10 minutes from the airport. Before I could say anything else my mom, like a ninja in the night, took my mobile phone and dialled my dad – she obviously did not want to wait in the airport anymore than I did. My dad was at the gate of our house by then, but turned around to pick us up. After 10 minutes of further confusion, with the useless airport staff simply ogling at the tourists and offering no intelligible information, it was discovered that passengers had to check in immediately, since the flight would be closed within the hour, and that passengers were required to remain in the airport. I was like “Oh hell no”! I would much rather be raped by a Gorilla then wait in transit when my house is less than 10 kilometres from the airport. Anyway, my mom, once again, called my dad to tell him we needed the present since we were going to remain in the airport. By that time my dad had just entered the airport parking lot. Nevertheless, he paid the unnecessary toll and drove home… again. After several more minutes, the check-in process started. Upon arrival at the counter, I clarified that we did not need to stay at the airport and that we could check-in and go home. I slowly removed the blunt teaspoon from my wrist and dialled my dad, for the umpteenth time. Shame… my dad was at the house, again, but promptly returned to pick us up, without complaint. Kudos to you daddy! While we waited to be picked up, for real this time, my mom and myself watched some idiot’s car get towed. I laughed… a lot. That is what you get for being a moron, parking in a disabled zone and then leaving your car unattended. I was really glad that the Johannesburg Metro were actually doing their job for a change and not just assaulting innocent individuals, which is usually the case.

We all spent the afternoon at home, relaxing before having to go the the airport again.  I was blogging, of course, because you know how I would most likely make love to you all, well not all of you, only the hot ones because I need to keep my virtue, and that is when I wrote: Stroking metal ‘cocks’, sucking ‘marrow’ & hitting the floor with ‘Tequila’ (or The Upper Palatte ingests: Mama Tembo’s Cafe). Later that evening, my mom and myself bid farewell to my dad and made our way through the security checkpoint.

[As I write this, I am being chowed by mosquitoes. Damn… I have counted, and I kid you not, about 12 bites. Argh… I am itching like crazy *swats senselessly at thin air and then runs around the garden muttering like a hobo with half a bottle of whiskey, proceeds to dive in pool, appears to find some relief, then immediately exits pool, squealing like a school girl, upon realising that the specks of ‘dirt’ at the floor of the pool are dead spiders*. They may be dead, but they are spiders none the less and still freak me out. For those who find themselves irresistible to Mosquito's, like moi, try out these ‘home’ remedies which may be able to cure your newly developed love bites]

As is the stereotypical nature of woman, my mom shopped through the whole of the Duty Free area. Well, until I forcefully removed her from the shops so as not to miss our flight. Upon boarding the aircraft, I was mentally preparing myself for cramped sardine like seating, crying babies and the obligatory deodorant free tree hugger which always, without fail, sits up-aircon from me. However, to our immense shock and surprise, we were placed in business class, row 01 no less. Damn… I knew I should have played the lotto before leaving… ah well. As human nature dictates, we did not report the error and merely accepted our new seats as good fortune, a meant to be scenario. Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, I completely lapped up every moment of business class: the champagne, speciality cheeses, chocolate truffles, three course gourmet meals, free condiment bag, and last, but not least, the hot and very sweat French airhostess whose job it was to make sure I was a pleased passenger… in almost every sense of the word *wink*. C
onsequently the flight flew past, perhaps a little too quickly, and we appeared to arrive at the St. Denis airport in no time.

I cannot believe how quickly time has flown. My mom and myself have been in Reunion for an entire week already. It only feels like we have been here for a few days. So what have we been up to? Truth be told, my mom and myself decided to take it easy and relax this time around. After all, this is not our first time to the island, so there is no real need to visit and participate in all of the usual touristy stuff (we did it all the first time around). Regardless, we have already gone to and explored, again, the towns of St. Denis, St. Giles and St. Eau. I am not sure if that last one exists or not… I may be high on Mosquito venom or something… I’m not sure… Whatever [UPDATE: Yes, it does exist but I think it may be spelt as St. Leu]! My point is that we have not just been lazing around, although that is all I did today *smirks satisfactorily*. Consequently, I have managed to buy some pretty cool stuff like rubber vases, a photographic tree, a ‘red’ limited edition Xbox 360 controller, some trendy French music and a pot of delectable Belgian chocolate shower gel (I just want to lick myself all over when I use the stuff… and no… sadly, it does not taste like chocolate, much to the detriment of my taste buds). Speaking of taste, I have been eating and trying a variety if new dishes and edible items on the island.

My mouth. When I am not blabbing incessantly in broken French, this is where a majority of my new experiences this holiday have taken place. The best part of knowing and staying with family who live in a foreign country, is that they allow you to experience the true culture of the locale being visited. Since I am always open to new palate sensations (a la The Upper Palatte

), Mireille and Didier decided to whip up, among other things, a batch of bread fruit chips and some bread fruit mash. Bread fruit, from what I have gathered, is quite versatile and can be made into a variety of edible concoctions. I have been vehemently assured that this is the fruit that Robinson Crusoe would have survived on. I can believe it too since the mash and the chips were great. I ended up eating most of them, to Mathilde’s dismay. After the bread fruit, we had a chance to try the Pitaya fruit, also known as, because of the fruit’s scale like ruby surface, Dragon Fruit. The fruit is appropriately named because its exterior made me think of Thorn, Murtagh’s dragon, from the description given by Christopher Paolini in Eldest, the second book of the Inheritance Cycle. As it so happens, I am currently in the process of reading the third book in the series, Brisingr. Wow… that was quite a geeky mouthful, was it not?

While we are on the topic of palate sensations, I would like to mention that I can now successfully scratch Stingray off my endless list of dishes/delicacies to try, before I die (I love how that rhymes). When I saw Stingray as an option for a meal at the St. Denis harbour, I could not resist placing my order, I just had to try it. So what was it like? It was absolutely divine! The stingray itself had a strange yet rich texture and would simply, and quite literally, melt in my mouth (as clichéd as this sounds, it is the truth). Of further interest, was how the flesh would just slide off of the cartilage-like-bones which, to me, ended up resembling something of a macabre Japanese fan, or maybe a vagina whispering eye… depending how you look it it?!

In my opinion, the best part of the holiday is that I am able to practice my French. I really do want to be fluent in this language. In my opinion, no other language offers the same level of sensuality, eroticism and romanticism, like the French language does. For instance, you could be calling someone an effing putrid moron who likes to let his/her chocolate starfish snack on dildos, and, without a doubt, the recipient of your ‘tasteful’ message will assume you have given him/her a welcome compliment. Such is the nature of the French language. I love it! My goal is to one day take the French translators exam and become a certified translator. I know that it will take time and a lot of effort but I do believe that, in the end, I will benefit greatly from it.

Until the next time Milieu Pals.

[Just a quick note. before finishing this post, my mom and myself were carted off to Tante Monique’s house in St. Leu. At the moment I am absolutely stuffed. As is customary with our family, my aunt cooked enough ‘crunchy duck’, among other dishes, for an army. After which I was loaded with more French cheese and delectable pastries. Then, before I could say anything else, my aunt brought out these chocolate cup cake things… but man are they good. I managed to eat two… by which time my stomach was already aching from the enormous amount of food that just kept coming my way. They were totally worth it though. Furthermore I have managed to create an ad-hoc connection between my laptop and Bernard’s PC, thus I now have access to the internet… Yay!]

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Let me tell you a ‘rising’ story…

When we travel abroad, I always seem be susceptible to random erections which, most embarrassingly, occur during the day, in broad daylight and after utilising some mode of transport. Look, do not get me wrong, I love having an erection. I feel it is, somewhat, the epitome of a being a man. It is such a natural thing and it just feels good… no, great *begins to reminisce of the feeling… then quickly calms down*. Okay, I’m going to stop there, since there is no other way for me to carry on describing ‘the feeling’ without sounding homoerotic.

Obviously I know why men are supposed to get erections and how it happens, I am a man after all. However, what some people may not realise, is that we, as men, often do not have total control over our members, with particular reference to obtaining a ‘hard on’. Seriously, erections can occur for no other reason than, for example, holding in your almost bursting bladder, or perhaps, just releasing a pent up yawn and stretching harmlessly (your body that is, not your penis… because we all know where that ultimately leads to).

As I have previously mentioned, these ‘random erections’ usually occur when I travel abroad. As a result, and as Murphy’s law would have it, the golden rod often, if not always, makes itself apparent just as we arrive at our destination and need to disembark from a vehicle. I mean… come on. Consequently, this results in yours truly, performing some rather odd and disorienting movements, making me look like a hyperactive geriatric, in the hopes of camouflaging my noticeable ‘inflammation’. Thus far, I seem to have successfully avoided any awkward confrontations with family or anyone else for that matter. Whew!

I must confess, I did Google ‘random erections’ for this post. Unfortunately I did not find out anything I did not already know, just the standard information about how it is normal and how you need to love yourself… blah blah. It is not like it is a special ability or anything *grin*. However, I did stumble upon this YouTube video (or rather several) which offers a perfect example of how men do not have control over our members, even in a professional setting. Please be aware, the following video clip is NSFW (Not Safe For Work).

 

Perfect example of a random and uncontrollable erection.

There is another video, of  a similar vane, of Jean-Claude Van Damme getting ‘happy’ on live television. Then again, placed in his situation and doing what he was doing… who can blame him?

*UPDATE* As the interverse would have it, my blog post regarding ‘erections’ was right on the money. Apparently they are back, and as ‘hard’ as ever! Here are a few more ‘lengthy’ links:

Until the next time Milieu Pals!

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Twilight… en Français?

This evening my mom, myself, Mathilde, Romuelle and Mireille decided to go and watch a movie. The movie in question? Twilight! Yes!

Thankfully Twilight was the ‘French’ movie of choice, since you all know how much I love the Twilight Saga. Consequently, I was able to understand about 90% of all the words within the film. Not too shabby, hey? Regardless of the language, the message is the same. I still found myself becoming enthralled within Bella’s world and wishing, against all odds, that they would succeed, and we all know that they do in the end. Really, I so want to be Edward. I would love to be a Twilight vampire. Not only does he get to ‘mac’ the hot Kristen Stewart, but he is also super fast, strong, intelligent and ridiculously good looking.

Anyway, this is just a quick post because I felt that I needed to share how the movie had reinvigorated me. I feel all giddy and happy on the inside… I am still grinning like a fool on the outside too. I really am a sucker for chick flicks/feel good movies. One of the coolest parts of watching the movie again, especially after having read the entire saga, was that I was able to spot Stephenie Meyer in the movie. I really had no idea that she had made a cameo appearance. Seeing her in the film was just an added bonus and a welcomed surprise.

One thing I have noticed about the French is that they always seem to have to change everything. From what I have gathered, it is a cultural thing… something about being proud, keeping the language true, blah, blah… whatever. As far as I am concerned, they just like to be difficult and always want things their own way. What I do know is that when they do change the title of something from English into French, the original meaning is usually lost. Unsurprisingly, the books in the Twilight series have completely different names in French. Twilight is known as ‘Fascination’, New Moon as ‘Tentation’, Eclipse as ‘Hesitation’ and Breaking Dawn as ‘Révélation’. Interesting translations, don’t you think?

I have included the trailer for the French version of Twilight below, so you can have an idea of what it was like to watch the movie completely in French.

Twilight – French Trailer

While searching for the French trailer on YouTube, I came across this pretty nifty fan made trailer for an Anime version of Twilight. You can check out the ‘what-if-Twilight-was-an-Anime’ trailer here.

I am still working on the ‘holiday’ post but I hope to have it up within the next few days. So stay tuned!

Until the next time Milieu Pals!

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Family Matters -> Turbulence -> Home Sweet Home!

Hey Milieu Pals,
 
I’m finally home, but read on to find out what happened before I arrived… there is quite a bit! Hope you enjoy the last post of the Aussie Files! 
 
Peninsula and Berwick
As you all know the main reason for me being in Aus land is because I am part of the SRC at Monash South Africa. However, that is not the only reason for our visit. Apparently we are the pioneering group of International students to have been a part of the Future Leaders Program, which Monash wishes to Internationalise. We were actually accepted into the Leadership program via a Scholarship (cool hey) and have even received a certificate for our participation. It will look really good on my CV and I have been very privileged to be part of such an endeavour.
 
Well during the week we visited two other campuses of the Huge Monash University. On Monday we went to the Peninsula Campus and then on Wednesday morning we went to the Berwick campus. Each of the campuses is very different yet each is very similar to the South African campus. The reason for the similarity is because each of the aforementioned campuses are still relatively new. The Peninsula Campus has been around for about 15 years whereas the Berwick campus has only been in existence since 1994. Each of the Campuses have Unique architectural designs, just like the SA campus. Obviously the campuses here offer greatly enhanced facilities even though they are only a few years older than the SA campus.
 
I have photographs of all of the campuses, so you will be able to see everything. Ultimately though, of the campuses I have seen, I would like to stay at either the Clayton or Caufield campuses with my creative side leaning slightly more towards the Caufield Campus. Unfortunately we were unable to go and have a look at the Gippsland Campus, but we were told that if we really wanted to know, we should consult the internet as it is basically empty at this time of the year.
 
Overall I have had a brilliant time, which gets better and better, and more than ever before I am very proud to be apart of the Monash Family.
 
Family Matters
I mentioned before that I was trying to see my family who reside in Aus land. Fortunately I was able to, all be it for only a day and a half. I was not able to change my ticket home because it was apparently bought at a special price and because it was a group booking… yeah I know… that sucks! Regardless, I purchased my tickets to see them and so my Aussie adventure continued!
 
At least I was able to see both of my cousins, Dominique and Michelle, because Michelle decided to visit Dominique in that same week. That made life much easier for me as I was thus able to fly only to one place and see all my family in Aus land. Now, getting there was full of problems, let me explain.
 
Late Wednesday night (1 Dec) I started packing my bags for my trip to see my cousins which would take place on Thursday (2 Dec) at 11am. Needless to say, there was a lot to pack and my luggage was bound to be heavy… really heavy!
 
Early Thursday morning, after trekking around the Clayton Campus (which I must reiterate as being huge) to get my laundry from the dry cleaners, I finally made my way back to the residences. Time was running short and I needed to be quick. SO I scrambled up to my room, shoved the rest of my clothes in my bag, attempted to shut it and made my way to meet Mileena and Pierro who took me to the Airport. Once again, they are such lovely people and I was so glad that they were around to help me.
 
After arriving at the airport, Mileena accompanied me to the check in counter. It was there that I was greeted by a really stuck up chick! She weighed my bag and… ‘shock horror’… it came in at 34.5kg. She promptly told me that they do not accept any luggage over 32kg… I simply looked at her and thought: What the hell, how can you NOT accept luggage…. Anyway, after arguing with her for a bit, I took my bag and opened it right there in the Airport. Luckily I had a smaller cabin bag. I took out my toiletries, 2 shirts, 2 pants and some underwear. I then left my big bag with Mileena and took the smaller bag back to that chick. I said that I would take it as hand luggage. She weighed it… and what a surprise, she said I couldn’t do it because it was 9kg and they only accepted 7kg in the cabin… by now you can imagine how I am fuming! I just looked at her… one of my infamous death stares… and coldy told her to check that luggage in. She looked at me and said "What about the other bag?"… this is where I lost it a bit and said "What do you think? How could I possibly take both bags?!". She just looked at me and then checked me in. I tell you… some people! Anyway, I left poor Mileena behind with my bag, but she insisted I go otherwise I would have missed my flight. Thankfully she managed to get all my stuff back to the car… LOL!
 
After the mad baggage rush, I was feeling rather down yet filled with adrenaline. Well, it was time to fly. The flight seemed good at first. I was flying on Virgin Blue, a part of the massive virgin empire. However, there was hectic turbulence for most of the flight. Think the Coco-Pan from Gold Reef City (A theme park ride that often resembled a huge ship that sways from side to side) and the feeling you get from it. That funny ‘butterflies in your tummy’ feeling when you drop. That is what we all felt during that flight and one too many times for my liking. When we neared the Maroochy Dore airport we were notified that we couldn’t land because of bad weather… just great. So we circled for about 45 minutes before the pilot declared that we were going to be diverted to the Brisbane airport. The problem with that, was that Maroochy Dore is 2 and a half hours from Brisbane by bus… oh joy! So 20 minutes later we landed. Just when we were about to get up and leave we were told that the weather was clearing up and that they were just going to refill the plane and take us back… how crappy is that. We could have just stayed and circled a bit more around the other airport. The other main reason was that we couldn’t catch a bus because the roads to Maroochy Dore towards Noosa Ville (where my cousin lives) were closed due to flooding. Anyway, after 45 minutes of waiting we made out way for take-off. Then, just as we were about to leave… we were called back by the tower to the parking bay… you know, I mean really?! We were then notified that the pilot’s shift had ended and he was to be replaced… just think of the irritation on board of the plane. After his replacement we made our way, for the 3rd time, to Maroochy Dore airport at the Golden Coast… finally! Upon arrival it had taken me almost 5 and a half hours to get to a place that should have only taken me a maximum of 2 hours. Regardless I was just happy to have finally arrived.
 
Chad, Dominiques husband, was there to pick me up. After 30 minutes of driving we arrived at their house. The house is beautiful. Most of you don’t know this, but my cousin is an artist. With that in mind I was not surprised to find her house looking like something from a catalogue. She had also put all her art up to create a ‘mock-gallery’ which really worked. After walking through the door, I was greeted with: "What are they feeding you, you’re so tall. Have you been standing in Manure?"! After all, they had not seen me for almost 5 years, so that was to be expected. I was then showered with hugs and kisses… family, it doesn’t get better than this.  I also got a chance to meet 4 new cousins, cousins bore from cousins! LOL!
 
Dominique and Michelle each have 2 children and since they are my cousins their little ones are also my cousins. I had not seen three of them before (saw Michelle’s son Ried a few years ago when she visited). It was great to finally meet them all. They are all beautiful and so loving.
 
The weather in Noosa Ville (the area in which Dom lives) is incredibly hot and humid… I was drenched from sweat even though it was overcast and raining! LOL! We all had a large family dinner that night, then sent the kids to bed, played video games and stayed up until the early hours of the morning chatting about family, love and life. It was brilliant!
 
The next day we decided to go to the beach. Granted the weather was fairly miserable (an often unique concept to that area of Aus land as it is often incredibly hot and sunny in that location) but we made out way to the beach anyway. Once there we set up base camp and watched the kids take a dip in the sea. After a short while, it started to rain… and rain it did! While debating about whether we should leave, a blinding white light lit up the sky… that simple act of nature allowed everyone to quickly make their decisions… it was time to leave because ending up like fried chicken by lightning was not on anyones wish list!
 
We eventually made it home whereby we all relaxed a bit, played with the kids (who kept running after me and chanting "Hansie, Hansie, Hansie…") and had lunch. The time for my departure was nearing and we could all feel the anxious anticipation.
 
The time had finally come and I was to leave. Honestly, I filled up with emotion. I had only really been there for about a day and a half but I loved the contact with family, especially with my cousins who i so dearly love and their beautiful children. I teared up and so did they (only after seeing me… yeah I know… LOL) and we all embraced one another for the last time. Kissing, hugging, sharing an incomprehensible bond which even the little ones joined in… but it was time to leave. After the sorrowful goodbye, Chad took me to the airport and helped me check in. After he left I went to the boarding gate… only to find out that this flight had been delayed by 40 minutes… why me! LOL!
 
My Departure
After finally arriving back in Melbourne, Pierro and Mileena picked me up. I made my way to their house and spent over 3 hours packing my bags. We ended up separating all of my clothes from my other ‘goodies’ into a box that weighed bout 15kg’s… this way I would not get too penalised for weight and could thus send the additional package back home should I have needed to.
 
After packing my bag, Pierro took me back to the University whereby I made my way back to my room and slept. Early the next morning I got up, triple S’ed and went to the Airport Shuttle Bus! Everything went as planned and my luggage went through without a problem… why? Because it was a group booking, thank goodness for that!
 
All of the flights were great, especially the final flight home. Why? Because the flight was essentially empty and were all able to take as many seats as we wanted and could sleep like we were in first class! LOL! I never slept, I never can on flights! LOL!
 
Home Sweet Home
10 and a half hours later, after leaving Perth, I finally arrived back home in South Africa on Saturday 3rd December 2005. Obviously nothing in SA had changed… unfortunately. After getting my bags and making my way through customs… I saw my parents! They had missed me so much that my mom was crying her heart out when she saw me! I was glad to be home, even if only for them. We all embraced one another and slowly made our way back to the car, still kissing, hugging and showering one another with love!
 
The END!
I have finally reached the end of my Aussie Land Adventure. I hope you have all enjoyed reading about what had happened, and even though this last post may have seemed a little rushed, I’m sure you were all able to gather what had happened. If not, use your imagination! LOL! All 400 odd pictures are now up so if you want, you are welcome to browse through them all!
 
I will obviously continue to write in Hans Milieu, so keep checking back when you can. Before I finish this post however I just thought I’d update you all on my XBOX 360 status… unhappy and greatly disappointed. The company I ordered through fell through, which was to be expected, and now it looks like I will not be getting one. I will be searching everywhere on the web though, but reports have it that the world is out of stock until February-March next year. But please, if there are any International people out there who would be willing to help me obtain a console (the Premium Edition, not the CORE), please leave a comment with your e-mail address and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
 
Well Milieu Pals, my adventure is at an end, but my life is only at the beginning!
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Time is Short so make it Quick!

Hey Milieu Pals,
 
I’ve just been busy busy busy! With what you ask? Touring and shopping of course!
 
Not much has happened since my last post, other than a lot of transport woes… which I will elaborate on in a future post. Right now I am stressing about my flights, among other things, as I still have no idea what it is I will be doing with regards to visiting my cousins. When i know whats potting I will be sure to let you all know too!
 
My next post will be about Transport, Animals and GMT moments (Grating My T$ts)!
 
Before i go I just wanted to let you know that I may not be able to post on Hans’ Milieu from Thursday 1st December onwards until I arrive back in South Africa. Obviously I will try my hardest to update you all on what is happening, but I just thought I would let you all know.
 
I’m Missing you all, and like the title says, this was a quick post so expect my next post (whenever that may be) to be quite a lengthy one!
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Shopping Blues

Hey Milieu Pals,
 
It has been a while since I last posted, but I honestly have not had the time. It has been very hectic over the past few days but I now have a lot to tell!
 
Blues Ball
On Friday Night (25/11/05) we made our way to the Blues Ball. It is a prestigious event that has been held at Monash for over 42 years. It is in honour of great sportsmanship (which is a central theme here in Aus land) and thus awards those who have made an outstanding effort or have shown the most improved performance within the immense sphere of sports entertainment. At the event the most honoured guests are bestowed with either a Half-Blue or Full-Blue. Becoming a member of the Blues opens many doors for the recipients as the award is apparently internationally recognised.
 
The event was quite good even though I must honestly say that i was expecting more. To put it into perspective the Monash South Africa Spring Ball was simply better in many respects; such as venue and food. However that is not to say that the Blues ball was rubbish, it is just that from a university this size I expected more. Granted the food was delicious (a full three course meal) and the entertainment pleasant (a group of Music students expertly played jazz for the evening), it was just the venue. It was rather small and the air conditioning wasn’t working properly… so I was sweating like a pig!
 
For the event I wore my pure white linen suit, a pair of smart light-pink leather shoes, new white lady emblazoned belt, and a pink striped formal shirt. I looked quite smart, even if I do say so myself, and received a few compliments which is always good! LOL!
 
After the ball ended… the group wanted to go out and party!
 
Nightlife
Those of you who know me well will know that i don’t really like clubbing, I prefer to socialise. I’d rather go to a movie, for coffee, a restaurant or other smart and trendy place where individuals can just chill out (not like a pub). Well most of the group had gone out at least once of twice since they had been there, obviously I declined each of the other times because I’m not into the clubbing thing. This time I decided to be a sport and tag a long for the ride.
 
The time: 11:55pm; the place: corner of Blackburn and Normanby roads. This is what Australia is like. Can you believe the time… out on the street, the street of all places, trying to hail a taxi. At home in SA you don’t walk around outside after 6pm, actually, you don’t really leave the house at all if it is by foot, unless you have some kind of death wish! Anyway, we finally got a mini-bus taxi… No, they are not like the SA ones, these actually have real brakes that are not made of cardboard and also proper steering wheels that are not substituted by spanners (I kid you not about the cardboard and spanners my International readers!). So after eerily eyeing out this taxi, we all climbed in and made our way to Melbourne City.
 
It is strange to think that in some parts of the world, people can safely travel by using their public transport systems. Anyway, we arrived at this club, went in… and were disappointed. It wasn’t that great, rather dead and lifeless, but our group of girls had a brilliant time. After sitting around for a while with the guys, I decided to leave… first clubbing isn’t my thing and secondly this club wasn’t a good one so I really didn’t want to be there. If it was more like Vaca-Loca, Shukara, Sudada or Nightshift (Clubs from home) then I would have stayed. Anyway, Bobo accompanied me and we went walking down the streets… picture this now… two South Africans, in the middle of the night walking in the Middle of a busy city. In SA you would last 5 minutes. Well we walked around and came across a place called Lambs, which we had visited the previous day. It was crazy. All of these food places were open at 2am… I couldn’t believe it! I went in, had Baklava (one of my favourite desserts) and then we headed home. We caught another taxi. Granted taking taxi’s to Monash from the city to Monash or Monash to the city isn’t the wisest thing to do in terms of cost, but it’s quick and works; especially if you don’t know how to navigate around the public transport system.
 
We finally got home just a bit after 2am and then hit the sack… Saturday (yesterday) was going to be a long day!
 
Oriental Market… eat your heart out!
Saturday, glorious Saturday. That was the day in which we went to the Victoria Market a place that is similar to the Oriental Market in Sandton/Bedfordview, but it is like 25 times bigger. This market is huge… it even has separate departments for it’s various items and products which can be located through the use of signs or a map. Before the market though, we drove around the city to pick up Mpho’s camera (which she had ‘lost’ in a massive shopping mall, but surprisingly someone handed it in, amazing huh?!) and to the Nike factory store for Bobo to change some clothes.
 
After arriving we were simply amazed at the size of the place. It truly is very big. Lawrence (our tour guide, you guys should know this by now! LOL!) took us through a quick tour of the various departments before letting us loose! The time: 1:01pm; time left before departure: 1 hour & 59 minutes… let the shopping begin!
 
Granted we didn’t have enough time to thoroughly explore the market, yet two hours was enough to actually overview and buy what you needed, even if just barely.
 
I made my way through and bought various items but the thing is, I’m have rather poor ‘haggling/bargaining’ skills. I don’t like doing it, but have done it quite a few times this holiday and it has in fact paid off (get the play on words there, I ‘paid’ less so i got an amount ‘off’ the price! LOL!). The market was cool, but then we decided to go and chill out a bit before Lawrence had to head back home.
 
Self Exploration
At 4pm, it was time to leave. But I didn’t want to leave. The one thing that I have really wanted to do this holiday, has been to go off and explore the city, with my own time, and doing what I want to (some time alone). I therefore politely asked Lawrence if I could remain behind and find my way back home, to which he replied: "Yeah, of course you can. That is actually a brilliant idea, it is your holiday after all". He then proceeded to write down the route I should take to get home from the city itself. He is a really cool guy and has been very good to us.
 
After bidding farewell to the group (no one else wanted to join me… thank goodness) I hailed a taxi and asked to be taken to Melbourne Central (a shopping centre we had visited the day before). On my arrival I walked around the mall to JB Hi-Fi in order to buy a Canon Digital Ixus 750 digital camera for my dad (the update to the one I was currently using on my trip). I got there, haggled a bit and finally bought the camera with various accessories (like a 2 gigabyte flash disk)  for a very good price. After that, I made my way back to Melbourne Central and simply walked around a bit for a while, checking out the mall. Obviously I stopped at an EB games (couldn’t help myself) after which I then bought a New Zealand Natural (milkshake/smoothie).
 
On my way out I saw this very interesting place called Max Brenners. I made my way in only to be greeted buy a Willy Wonka type setting. The restaurant/shop was actually a Chocolatier. It was amazing! Basically this guy, Max Brenner, wants to create a Chocolate culture, similar to a Coffee culture. From what I could see, it was working beautifully and I will therefore definitely be making my way back when I can. I also couldn’t just leave without buying some of the chocolate (which is divine by the way) and proceeded to buy 5 boxes: two small ones (as gifts for Lawrence and Sandra who have been helping us around), two medium boxes (for my cousins that I will hopefully be seeing next week) and a large box for myself. The chocolate is fantastic but very expensive. Each of the chocolate cubes (essentially truffles) are like miniature works of art as each is decorate with an individually particular coloured pattern. Apparently I am the first person to by so much of the chocolates as gifts… and gifts they definitely will be (my poor bank card is feeling rather light right now)!
 
After Max Brenners I walked to Crowns which is this huge mega complex that has basically everything (movies, cinema’s, a theatre, a casino and so on and so forth). After crowns I went to this other mall (the name fails to be recalled) where I visited the Warner Brothers studio shop (so cool… spent up a storm too! LOL!). I then proceeded to Vito Cito where I consumed an Avocado Ritz and a gorgeous fillet steak with blueberry saute and potato fritters. It felt so good to be eating well for a change. Up until that moment we have mainly been eating at fast food places or at the cafeteria. While at the restaurant, which is built on the banks of the Yarra river that overlooks Melbourne City, I called home and some of my cousins.
 
After eating well, it was time to go home.
 
Transport
This was the first time that I was gong to use a form of public transport other than a taxi and it went quite well. I bought a two hour pass, for very cheap, and made my way to the relevant platform at the train station (obviously I had asked several people how to get back to Monash and thus made my travelling decision).
 
While waiting for the train, i was shivering my little ass off as it was freaken cold, but I survived. On the train I overheard a group of three guys talking about Monash. Now this is something I love about this Country. You can talk to anyone and they will respond or help you out. Well, I spoke to them and we all ended up chatting the whole way to our relevant stop which was the station at Huntington. The cool thing is that they were all going to the Clayton Campus and also stayed at the residences, so they accompanied me basically the whole way back home.
 
We ended up being a rather diverse crowd as our group of four consisted of a South African, a German, a Mexican and a Korean. We chatted about a whole lot of stuff, yet I can’t seem to remember actually getting their names. I simply said to them "Are you guys from Monash?" and off we all went. Once we arrived at Huntington I was really surprised to find that the others had actually chanied their bicycles to the posts just outside of the station. If you had to do that in SA, everything but the frame of your bike would be gone after  at least 15 minutes. They had left their bicycles there for the entire day… that is just so cool! After that, because it was so cold, the German guy offered me a coat he had in his rucksack. I mean… hello, I’m a perfect stranger yet they were treating me like they had known me for ages. All of the people in Aus land are like this which is why it is such a nice place to live. Apparently Melbourne is the second safest city in the world with Toronto coming in first.
 
After the 30 minute train ride, and a 40 minute walk (I couldn’t hail a taxi and leave them all behind as they each had bicycles) I finally made it home. I was dead tired and my calves were worn out… not to mention more blisters! LOL!
 
Another Day
Well, I have to be off, they are waiting for me, but I will be sure to write more when I can. Today we are apparently going back to St. Kilda to the Luna Park and then the St. Kilda Market. Later in the day we are supposed to go to The Shakers, which is like a Church youth group. I’m not sure if I want to go though because they say it is very similar to the Rema church and i don’t like how Ray McKauley has commercialised the Lords Name. Well, whatever my decision is, I will be sure to let you all know!
 
I’m missing you all Milieu Pals but remember to keep in Touch!
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Food Galore!

Have Milieu Pals,
 
I felt that the previous post was a little lacklustre in details and enthusiasm, partly because I have finally adjusted to Aus time and was rather tired at that time of the evening (11:30pm). So I have decided to post something quick…. oh my gosh… freaky moment… I’m busy eating an apple, and I’ve just tasted something peculiar. Guess what?! The seeds within the apple core have actually started to Germinate (I bet you thought it was a worm or something! LOL!)! That is so weird, I’ve never seen anything like this before… Aus land really is a special place.
 
Well, to get o the point of this post, I want to talk about the food of and in this country.
 
Aus-bese
I hope you understood my play on words within the title between Australia and Obesity, if you didn’t then now you know, if you did then you have taken the time to read through 14 words… time that you’ll never get back again! LOL!
 
Aus land itself really reminds me of America. The people are actually rather large here, not all of them, but there are quite a few, perhaps a few too many. I can understand why they are like this though and that is because of the portions of food one is exposed to when ordering a meal. Food here is rather cheap, especially in Aus terms hence people here eat very well for a minimum amount of cash. I have taken a picture of one dish (I hope to get them all loaded up soon) that was immense in size. To give you an idea, I ordered a Falafel that I couldn’t even hold properly with both hands. I haven’t been pigging out, however hard that may be, and have been trying to eat as healthy as possible. The last thing I want to do is come home looking like a balloon.
 
Sho!
On another note let me also just mention that there are a lot of good looking people here, both male and female. Also, the guys are HUGE! Not in weight but in height! Sometimes I feel really short amongst some of the people and I come in at about 1.95 centimetres (6 foot 4 inches).
 
They also seem to have an uncanny ability to dress well. That may be because we are in Melbourne, which is something of a fashion capital. The people also don’t seem to really care about what others think of them. They dress the way they want to and that’s that! The different sub-cultures are rather apparent within the Aus society, as by just walking down the street you can tell who is a ‘Koo Girl’ (upper class female individual), a rocker, a Goth, a fashion expert, a sports fanatic and so on and so forth.
 
In Aus land there are tons of Brands that I have never even heard of before but the thing is that a lot of the stuff just seems to be renamed to suit the Aus market. For example: Burger King here is called Hungry Jack.
 
Be back soon
I will hopefully be able to see my cousins next week but trying to change my tickets has been a real schlep. Well I’ve got to get going, have the Future Leaders program again this morning, then I think we are going shopping and this evening we have been invited to attend the Blues Ball, which is a sports awards dinner.
 
Keep checking back for more details Milieu Pals… as you make up a large portion of keeping my sanity intact and in check (the cocojins are GMT-ing me quite often)!
 
 
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Campus Life

Hey Milieu Pals,
 
I’ve been speaking about the different campuses that Monash has around Aus land and have previously stated that I really like Caufield. Well, I may have changed my mind about that.
 
Clayton Baby!
The Clayton campus is by far the biggest campus of them all. It is also the oldest and thus does not seem very appealing at first glance. However, despite its visiual appearance this campus is by far the best when it comes to facilities, especially for sports and exercise.
 
Today we ended up touring the Clayton Campus, visiting all of the departments etc. Now this campus is massive, it is seriously big. Clayton is home to 26 000 students, and that number does not include staff. They have tried to give the campus a very open and natural feel which is often apparent through the diverse quantity if tree’s and the bounds of open spaces between the different faculties. Apparently it is so big, that staff and members from the Engineering Faculty, for example, never actually meet staff or students from the Medical Faculty.
 
The first thing we did was have a meeting with various officials and Monash Alumni. Now, since I am the only Caucasian person within our total group of 12 members, it was only a matter of time before someone asked that inevitable question: "How can you be part of the group from South Africa, which is in Africa? I mean, you are white!". This very nice guy, Thierry, was the one who asked the question. He was semi-joking, but I could tell he was a little uncertain as he then proceeded to ask about where I ‘really’ came from and what languages I speak (he had a strange fixation about the Afrikaans language). Needless to say, all worked out well and he really was very pleasant and down to earth.
 
The campus is also slowly undergoing changes that will bring it to the visual standard of its sister campus, Caufield. That can only mean good things for the students of Monash University.
 
The only problem with the campus is how big it is. For example: to get to the Student centre from Howitt Hall (my dormitory block) takes me approximately 15 minutes and that is walking at a very fast speed. Trust me, I really was moving because when i arrived, my calves were engorged with blood and ready to go into spasms. I now know why the Aussies have such good well built legs, it is because they like to walk all the time and at Clayton, they are forced to walk.
 
We also went to the STRIP (Science, Technology, Research & Information Precinct) which is this massive building which houses many Australian companies which use prospective students for research and thus provide job opportunities. One example is whereby Monash itself has created a company which specialises in nano-technology and they are currently in the process of developing intelligent clothes that automatically clean themselves. It truly is very cool!
 
After our very lengthy tour, it was time to visit the PVC (Pro Vice Chancellor) Professor Richard Larkin. The meeting went smoothly with each of us giving our feedback of Monash South Africa and Monash Australia . Once done with the tea and cakes, demolished by our ravenous stomachs, we headed off to Williams Town.
 
William Who?
Williams town is a very small and cool place. It is similar to a place called Saint Kilder’s. Unfortunately I don’t know exactly where these places are, so i hope names will suffice.
 
We ended up driving around the suburbs again, in particular through Chapel Street and Oakland street. They are awesome little place, which remind me a lot of Italy, because the streets are packed with little boutiques, confectionaries and so on and so forth.
 
Touring Clayton and visiting the PVC took up most of our time so we only drove through those aforementioned streets. After lengthy bouts of driving we made it to a famous pizza parlor (can’t remember the name… to tired to think properly) where we feasted the day away (well night, but the sun takes forever to go down).
 
Overall we all had a very good day, especially considering all of the freebies that we keep getting from everyone all of the time! LOL!
 
 
Tomorrow we have the future leaders program again and then we are apparently going shopping… yet again… So keep checking back as I will be sure to update my blog  soon.
 
(P.S.: The Xbox 360 was launched on Tuesday in America and will launch next week Friday in the UK… I so hope I get one… LOL!)
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Off the Wall!

Hey Milieu Pals,
 
Today I finally had my first ‘off’ day… a day in which I am able to do whatever it is I want with my own time. So what did I do I hear you ask? Simple really… I shopped! LOL! Yeah I know, the Hans who never likes shopping went to shop. Well, it is different when one shops for themselves… because that is when it is fun! LOL! 
 
But before I talk about today, let me about yesterday! LOL!
 
Caufield
Monash in Aus land is huge, something I have reiterated time and time again. We were thus taken to another campus of the Monash brand, known as Caulfield.
 
The Caulfield campus is simply amazing. It has almost all of the facilities as that of the Clayton campus yet it truly resembles the Melbourne city and vibe. Some parts of the Campus look like works of art and exude a sense of retro-chic individualism. This is the university I would like to study at. Granted each of the campuses have their strengths and weaknesses, but I will take style over open spaces any day!
 
The student services office at Caulfield is truly amazing and is apparently considered to be at the forefront of student needs. Other competitor university’s have actually decided to adopt some of Caufields methods of dealing with students. For example: the student services offices look more like something out of a space age grocery store with each ‘teller’ equipped with all the necessary information and equipment needed to appease basically all o a students needs. You have to experience it to truly understand what I mean.
 
Basically Caufield is a modernised version of the Clayton campus even though the Clayton campus will eventually reach the level of modernism exhibited by the Caufield campus.
 
Most of the day was essentially spent on exploring the Caufield Campus.
 
I have good news though. I, along with Bobo, Mpho and Heather, were chosen to be interviewed by Monah Reporters for Aussie Newspapers and International Newspapers. How cool is that?! We even had our pictures taken separately from the rest of the group. We felt like celebrities… by the way, I now charge for my signature! LOL! When I get the photo’s or the newspaper clippings, I’ll be sure to post it for all you Milieu Pals to see!
 
Okay, now back to what happened today… LOL!
 
The French Man
I’m not sure if I mentioned Pierro, but I’m going to do it now anyway. Pierro is Aunty Mano’s old boyfriend from when she used to be on the ‘Island’. To give you an idea of how long ago that was just note that my mom and her siblings left Mauritius over 35 years ago. My aunt met up with him again when she went to visit her two daughters, here in Aus land, about a year ago. So they have been in contact with one another again since that time. Well, my aunt contacted him, who contacted my mom, who contacted him again, who tried contacted me, who I then contacted (if you don’t get that, don’t worry, just know that it was quite a mission at the time). After we finally made contact we agreed that he should pick me up from Monash at 10am Wednesday Morning.
 
At first I hadn’t heard from him, so I assumed that he may be busy. I then phoned to confirm the details and he told me that the number I had given him (got an Aus number now) didn’t work. Now Optus, the mobile network provider, sends you your number via sms once you’ve registered. In my jet-lagged state, I had been giving the number to people that the message came from, not the number within the message. Regardless I finally sorted out the error and plans were finalised.
 
He picked me up with his wife and we made our way to Chadstone Mall. The name of the mall is pronounced as follows: Chad-St-UH-n. They seem to ignore the ‘E’ at the end of the word Stone… oh well, only in Aus land. At least it is better than MAC (Mall at Carnival… yes that is the name of a shopping centre near Carnival city, a Casino, in Brakpan… I swear… only in Brakpan!).
 
Anyway we spent the whole day in Chadstone, which is absolutely massive. It is probably about the same size as Gateway, a massive shopping centre in Durban that is 1km long, or perhaps a little smaller. I basically went crazy and bought a whole lot of goods. All I’m worried about now, is if I will get penalised for going over my allowed weight for when i have to fly home!
 
Anyway, my day spent with Pierro and his wife (I can’t believe I forgot her name) was absolutely awesome. They are such wonderful people and remind me of home, very warm and caring. I really had a good time with them and would love to go out with them again. I hope I can soon assuming my timetable will allow it.
 
Well Milieu Pals, it is time for me to go. I’m not really feeling very well at the moment, I have a massive headache and still feel like I’m rocking on a ship. I hope to get this motion sickness sorted soon. remember to e-mail, sms and leave comments when you can, don’t be shy now! LOL!
 
Remember to check back soon!
 
(P.S.: I have sent my cousin my photo’s from the trip, if he gets them he will update my blog with them!)
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