A Typical Day in the Life

Hey! Today I’m going to share what a typical Friday looks like, for me.

6:30: wake up and have tea

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Most mornings, I wake up naturally around 6:30. Since I have a big window in my room, the sunlight streams in every morning. I’m definitely a morning perso

n, and love starting my day with a mug of tea. I brought my own milk frother from home, so I can make my own tea lattes using Earl Grey or English Breakfast tea, milk, honey, and vanilla extract.

7:00-9:00: cleaning at Zama Yoga

I’m very lucky to live three minutes from a wonderful yoga studio called Zama Yoga. I’m volunteering there as a Karma Yogi, which means that in exchange for vacuuming, mopping, and dusting the studio for two hours each week, I get free yoga! It’s a great deal, especially because I’m a yoga fanatic… on a budget. For two hours, I wipe the kitchenette sink and counters, take out the garbage, and make sure the mirrors, walls, and floor are neat and tidy. My favourite part is rolling up the yoga straps, and making sure the bolsters (yoga cushions) and blocks are organized.

9:30-10:30: Hatha yoga class at Zama Yoga

After my cleaning shift, I do a yoga class. On Fridays, this class is Hatha yoga, which is a relatively gentle branch of yoga that combines strength-based asanas (postures) with poses that challenge my flexibility. After a series of sun salutations and other flow sequences, we reach the best part of class – the savasana. Savasana, or corpse pose, is normally done at the end of a yoga practice, and involves lying on the back, with arms and legs spread. It’s very restorative, especially with the use of a bolster. I’d hate to brag about this, but I’m pretty good at savasana.

10:30-11:30: prepare for school

After the yoga class, I head back home and get ready for my classes of the day. Sometimes, I have a snack, and other times, I catch up on some readings. Today, I focus on a sociology reading for a course called SOCY2179. This fascinating course focuses on the role of sex, drugs, and disease for human health. We recently completed a series of lectures on the history of sex; with the help of numerous intriguing readings, I can certainly say that my eyes have been opened with regards to sexually-transmitted diseases, social injustice, and how they have affected human health over the year.

11:30-12:00: go to school

Time to head to class! I quickly change my clothes, put on closed-toed shoes (once I wore sandals to school on a lab day, and had to go back home just to change into my sneakers), and pack my backpack. The ride to school is about fifteen minutes, but sometimes a little longer when the buses are busy.

12:00-1:00: Biology lecture

My only lecture of the day is called Arthropods and Human Health (BIOL3009). In this course, I learn about disease-carrying organisms, such as mosquitos, ticks, mites, and lice – and how they influence human health. I have a special passion for this field because I’ve spent long periods of time in Kathmandu, Nepal, and various cities in Cambodia. Prior to visiting these third-world countries, I did a lot of research into vaccinations for mosquito-borne diseases, such as malaria, Japanese encephalitis, and yellow fever. Before my trip to Nepal, I received six needles! Anyways, today we talk about a deadly tick called Ixodes holocyclus. This tick carries a bacteria called Barrelia, and can cause paralysis (and death) in its hosts. While it primarily targets bandicoots, I learned that Ixodes holocyclus is the most dangerous arthropod (insect) in Queensland.

1:00-2:00: lunch

Time for lunch! Today, I have cauliflower rice with some other veggies, and sliced chicken left over from the day before.

2:00-5:00: Biology practical

In today’s practical, I team up with friends to identify arthropods. We have to classify the insects, and then work on a report to submit next week.

5:00-5:45: study on campus

Next, I find a quiet area on campus. I’m particularly a fan of the Michie Building, which always seems to have comfortable, sunny spots. Today, I work on an assignment for my Health Psychology course. I am creating a presentation on an

intervention for chronic kidney disease, so I work hard to make the PowerPoint look organized and professional.

5:45-6:00: go to Harveys for dinner

Dinnertime! I hop back onto the bus and go to the valley, the suburb where the training centre is. I love walking in Brisbane, especially at this time, because it isn’t too hot, nor is it too chilly. It is also lovely to see the sun setting over the river.

6:00-7:00: dinner

Dinner today is at a restaurant called Harveys, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Their menu features snacks like pâté and charcuterie, as well as fancy soups, salads, and regal main courses. I also love their dessert listing, which includes figs with honeycomb ice cream, Catalan custard, semolina syrup cake, and more. I order the dark chocolate tart with caramel ice cream, dates, and crème fraîche after my main course.

7:00-7:30: go to CIRCA

After a quick walk down one of my favourite streets, James Street, I arrive at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Art. On the third floor of this modern, beautiful building is C!RCA Training Centre. I also change my clothes, putting on a leotard and capris leggings that protect the backs of my knees during poses that may cause rubbing.

7:30-9:30: training

I have been training in aerial arts for almost two years, mostly in the aerial silks (and a few months on the aerial hoop). My favourite apparatus is the straps, which requires a lot of shoulder strength, stability, and flexibility. While I’m very much a beginner when it comes to this challenging discipline, I’m very determined to improve my skills at the C!RCA Training Centre in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. Every Sunday, I take a private lesson with a talented, encouraging straps instructor called Ben. This trick, which is called a meat hook, is one of my favourites!

9:30-10:00: take the bus back home

Pretty self-explanatory. On the bus, I like to listen to music and look out the window, which helps me relax as I head back to Toowong, the suburb where I live. Today, I’m really feeling the upbeat tunes by Maroon 5, which I haven’t heard for a few years.

10:00-10:15: take a shower

I have a special sponge that I bought at a convention in Brisbane, and it always makes me excited to wash my face. Since I slop on the sunscreen every morning, it’s helpful to have a gentle exfoliant to clear up my skin. A cold shower always makes me feel refreshed, even if I’m sweating again after towelling off!

10:15-11:15: study or do my assignment

I’ll be honest, I probably don’t do as much studying as I should at nighttime. In reality, I’m probably browsing social media or watching YouTube videos; in my head, I’m revising my notes on the social determinants of health. Well, it’s the thought that counts, and at least I thought about studying.

11:15-11:30: text my sister, wind down for bed

My sister, who lives in Canada, is currently in her senior year of high school – she is graduating soon! Seline is my best friend, and my number one favourite person in the world. We text each other way too much, whether it’s about books, movies, school, or something only the two of us understand.

11:30: sleep!

I fall asleep within ten seconds of lying down and closing my eyes. I actually tested this. Good night!

First Impressions of Brisbane, Australia

Before my direct flight to Brisbane (15 hours nonstop from Vancouver!), I had a lovely meal with my family: Mom, Dad, Seline, Grandpa, and Mimi (aunt) and Charles (uncle). My aunt and uncle had just returned from Kathmandu, Nepal, that very day, so I was very lucky to have a meal with them before I jetted off to the southern hemisphere.

I split a Joeys classic with mom: salmon, quinoa, veggies, radish, as well as a great pesto shrimp flatbread. For dessert, I savoured apple galette with maple ice cream, chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream, and a great caramel parfait with sponge toffee.

Not too long after, I arrived in sunny, beautiful Australia. I was welcomed by Margaret, my mom’s friend from several decades ago, and her friends Bill and Carolyn. Bill and Carolyn greeted me with a delicious vegan lunch, which consisted of noodles, bok choy, vegan “chicken” made of soy and gluten, carrots, and soy sprouts. On the side, we had corn soup, and then large mugs of green tea. What a great way to say hello to Australia!

I had the opportunity to check out my new room (very warm!), unpack both of my suitcases, and then take off for some exploring around the neighbourhood, which is called Toowong.

Brisbane is such a spectacular city. I feel like it has the charm of a quieter town, but the big-city excitement of places like Toronto. On my first night, I went to CIRCA, where I did a few hours of open training at the circus gym. I will share photos soon!

Saturday morning was exquisite. I enjoyed breakfast at The Corner Store Cafe, where I devoured:

  • 1 smoothie with banana, acai berry, coconut water
  • flatbread filled with lamb, hummus, pickled turnips, 2 fried eggs, 2 pieces halloumi

All I have to say is W-O-W. I’m not a huge fan of lamb, but this was hella delicious with the crispy fried halloumi, creamy garlicky hummus, and luscious runny egg yolks.

On Sunday morning, I feasted on a papaya boat topped with coconut vegan yogurt. The vanilla bean flavour in this coconut yogurt was absolutely divine, and I loved how the tanginess of the raspberries contrasted with the creamy flesh of the papaya and rich yogurt. While the vegan yogurt didn’t have the signature sour tang of regular cow’s milk yogurt, it reminded me of coconut whipped cream in the best way possible. I can’t wait to have more later today.

Aside from the deliciousness that is coconut yogurt, I got a Go Card. Although it’s not as convenient as flashing bus drivers a student card (like I do in Waterloo), the Go Card is much better than dealing with cash. Plus, as a student, concession fares!

I had my first aerial straps private lesson on Sunday. It was my first time touching a set of straps, and I had quite the workout. My wrists didn’t like it very much, though… as you’ll see in a moment. These are aerial straps. While I am nowhere near this skilled, I am very determined to improve the skills that I’ve been introduced to, and look forward to increasing my stamina, strength, and, sadly, my pain tolerance.

I was always confused when people talked about having a high pain tolerance for aerial straps, but I get it now. Both of my wrists are bruised, the skin has rubbed off in many places, and yesterday, some areas bled and leaked watery fluid. My fingertips, which you can’t fully see in the picture, also bled quite a bit (due to the amount of pressure in my grip). Then, there’s the muscle aches and pains, though the abrasion is much worse than muscle tension, in my opinion.

After my straps lesson, Margaret and I drove down to the Gold Coast, where we enjoyed a fabulous lunch. I ate:

  • summery smoothie with banana, mango, peach, passionfruit
  • small balsamic salad with grape tomatoes
  • melt on Turkish bread with mozzarella, ham, wild mushrooms

The beaches in Australia are truly something else. I was rendered speechless by the blueness of the waves, the warm breeze, and the soft, fine, powder-like sand. I could wander here for ages!

Sunday passed too quickly, and before I knew it, it was Monday, and I was at school for my first day of Orientation. The University of Queensland is easily one of the most beautiful campuses I’ve been to. I went to the school’s pharmacy, gift shop, and book store. I look forward to picking up one of the hoodies for Seline, who loves hoodies.

Speaking of Seline, the two of us are, again, slightly extremely obsessed with the Maze Runner series by James Dashner. I thought my obsession had been cured (hehehe) after seeing the final film of the trilogy and spieling all my thoughts into a Google Doc, but Seline’s newfound interest in the film caused my addiction to resurface. :’)

Back to Brisbane! Truly, truly, an incredible city. I had the opportunity to visit the museum, which was free (yay), and walk around some quiet streets like Bakery Lane. The Queensland State Library was also beautiful.

That night, I had dinner at Tartufo, an Italian restaurant where I devoured:

  • pasta with smoked mozzarella, Italian sausage, fried eggplant, tomato, basil, parmesan cheese
  • 1 chocolate fondant with mascarpone cheese, Belgian dark chocolate shavings, vanilla gelato
  • English breakfast tea with milk and sugar

Then, it was dark and time to go home. 🌃

Have a gorgeous day!