Saturday, March 2, 2013

Going local... far, far away....

Just over two weeks ago, I arrived in the city of Brisbane in Queensland, Australia. WHAT?! It's been what feels like forever since I last posted an entry for this blog, and here I am telling you that, surprise, I'm living on another continent now? Well, yes.

I am currently studying abroad at the University of Queensland, St Lucia campus; I'm taking a Marine Geology & Palaeoceanography course, Environmental Management & Climate Change, Human Bodies Culture & Society, and Indigenous Australian Issues (Aboriginal Studies) courses. Last week was the very first week of classes, so there isn't too much to report; however, I love my schedule and my professors are absolutely wonderful. The accents help me to pay attention ;)

The reason I'm blogging about my study abroad experience HERE and not just on my Australia study abroad blog is because "going local" here is incredibly easy in some aspects. First of all, almost everything in the market is grown in Australia. Secondly, the food in the market that is not from Australia is WAY to expensive for my little college girl wallet to afford. Thirdly, I understand that Australia is almost the size of the U.S. so it's easy for me to be local by only using Australia products, but you must realize that the center of the continent is outback where almost nothing can grow, and many of the regions have climates that are too extreme to produce anything; in other words, I am not necessarily consuming from such a large area. For this reason, I am not basing my "local-ness" around a diameter so much as I am trying to keep the square-kilometers (metric, people!) to a minimum.

My first local ah-hah!!!

On the first Saturday I was here (I arrived two Wednesdays ago), I took a trip with my friends Lauren and Emily to South Banks. In South Banks, there are markets that line the pedestrian streets when you first disembark from the ferry (which we use to get up and down the river, and MAN does that thing fly). Local artists are primarily the stall-holders in this area. We walked up and down the streets and I purchased a pair of teal starfish earrings and refrained from emptying my wallet for all of the amazing art that surrounded me.

After quite a bit of shopping, our tummies began to grumble, so we went in search of a good restaurant for lunch. Finally, we stumbled across Grill'd, a burger restaurant with lamb, chicken, beef, and veggie burgers of various, creative sorts. What drew me to this restaurant was the big, red word "LOCAL" on it's signs hanging in the window.

It was a wonderful surprise when we made our orders that part of our purchase went to support local farmers in the area. Another wonderful surprise came when I took my first of the "Honest Hombre" chicken burger. (They even had gluten-free buns!! - OH! UPDATE! I have a gluten sensitivity! I've finally declared my food allergies to be gluten, soy, and dairy - and guess what? I don't have Crohn's disease!) Any way, the chicken burger had black bean chili, onions, fresh guacamole and a corn tostada between the two yummy buns.

I was full with the first half, and VERY satisfied with the second ;)

I planned to make another Saturday a "go local" saturday, but it rained elephants yesterday (as it has been EVERY DAY EXCEPT TWO DAYS SINCE I ARRIVED), so I opted for Wolly's to pick up my produce instead of the huge farmer's market that is apparently in West End.

I vow to go next Saturday rain or shine - unless it rains so heavily again that it breaks my cheap umbrella.


Oh yeah, and the beer's local too!

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