Born On The Fourth of July

Okay, so no, I wasn’t born on the Fourth of July, but yesterday I had the opportunity of celebrating the 4th here in Australia, and I must say it was the best one ever. There’s nothing like celebrating a holiday in a place where it doesn’t exist with new friends.

One of my new friends on this trip, Jacci, has a close family friend named Mick who lives here in Sydney, and when he realized we’d be here missing a big holiday in the States, he thought it’d be the perfect excuse for a party, and man was it. A group of us met at Jacci’s apartment, where we waited for a taxi arranged to pick us up. After a bumpy, 20-25 minute ride, we arrived and were shown around the area. After getting some tunes on the stereo and settling in, the cooking/feasting began.

Now I can tell you, I have never been so overjoyed at the sight of food being cooked, nor have I ever been this full in my entire life. There was so much food at this party. An open grill pit was laid out with coals and soon slabs of pork (think bacon strips about a centimeter thick) were set on the grill plates to cook. It smelled so good. And as soon as they were ready, they were put on a plate an passed around for us to eat. And eat we did. This is basically how to first round of eating went starting with pork, then quail, then grilled goat cheese, chicken kebabs. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL. I think we have the wrong idea of how parties should go in America, because this was the best party of my life. Anytime I get to stand around and be served continuous food, is heaven, and that’s how I was feeling last night.

Some friend’s of Mick came by and brought salads, potatoes, rice. There was SO MUCH FOOD. I ate new things like EGGPLANT, and lamb. Capsicums (peppers!), lamb and chicken kebabs, and MORE goat cheese was grilled. And fresh sweet prawns (large shrimp) were laid out it bowls for us. By the time we finished our sit-down meals, most of us students were so full we could barely move. It was great to get to interact with local Australians. There was great conversation about culture and fun stories. Everyone seemed to be from different ethnic backgrounds, many from Greece and surrounding regions, and one lady who was a very proud Lebanese. It was a great time, and despite all the eating, we STILL had to make room for the cakes brought for Gabe’s 23rd birthday, which is actually today (July 5), but we felt it was appropriate to celebrate it while everyone was together.

But the party didn’t end there, Mick had asked us all about the 4th of July a few weeks early when he was planning the party, so he was even prepared with fireworks for our American enjoyment. It was a lot of fun watching things pop and explode. It felt really great to have a get-together like this being so far from home and family. Apparently there will be another big blowout for us near the end of the trip where there will be even MORE food, including roasting a lamb on a spit. Being that I was so full my stomach still hurt this morning, I’ll be planning ahead before this eating adventure.

Best Fourth of July EVER.

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