I probably shouldn’t be writing to you today given my mind is not really here. I would be lying if I didn’t say I was jealous of you who are home in the cold, but with your friends, family, and loved ones. I was told by more than one person that time which will really decide if I can handle being alone abroad would come in the third week. After the “honeymoon” stage, after the vacation-feel, after the initial excitement. When it really starts to hit the new world I would be living in. The different food, signs, people, atmospheres, bed, lifestyle, and smells. It has not been the easiest of trips and I am even in an english speaking country. I give so much credit to those who travel for extended periods of time to countries in which they do not speak the language. I already feel as if I am in a different world and I can still communicate with everyone around me.
I will not dwell on the negative however, there has been so much amazing that has happened as well! As of last Tuesday, much has happened at both my internship and this weekend.
Friday: Video Shoot! Oh my gosh I have gotten so lucky with my internship. This past Friday I got to tag along to a promotional video shoot for Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey. The whole concept is that there will be Jack Daniel’s reps going to bars, pubs, clubs, etc selling 2 Jack Daniel’s Honey and Ginger ale drinks for $10 (that’s actually a deal here!) and when you buy the deal, you get a buzzer similar to those restaurants use when you are waiting for your table. In a half hour or so time, everyone who buys this deal and has a buzzer will have a chance at winning a Jack Daniel’s Honey singlet (bro tank) or headphones. Which ever random buzzer goes off gets to go home with the prize. Fun right? Well they were filming this video and low and behold.. their third actress didn’t show up! =O So I got excessively lucky and got to put on the Jack Daniel’s Honey outfit and be in the video! (Pictures Below) We filmed at a large modern bar called The Argyle. It is in The Rocks which is the older more characteristic part of down town Sydney. We spent all day there filming and I even got free lunch of crazy fancy Asian food. I honestly don’t know what I ate that day. Some new animal was exploring my intestines though, not my fav. Afterwards, they let us have the poured film drinks and I got to try to the Honey Jack and Ginger ale. It was actually fantastic and something I would actually order at a bar! Later that night the two other interns who work with me at Brown Forman took a few of our friends back to the Argyle and we had a lot of fun. It was not a club with crazy lights and dancing, but was a very cool place to casually drink, listen to music, and hang out with friends. Not a bad day all in all.
Saturday: Can anyone say burnt? I was outside in the sun for 8 hours on Saturday! It started at 11 am when I went to Coogee Beach alone because everyone else was still sleeping. I hung out and laid out for 3 hours relaxing until more people showed up around 2 pm. Lindsey and I started exploring some tide pools and rocks with lots of sea life until about 3, when we decided we should start the famous Coogee to Bondi Beach walk along the cliffs. Best. Decision. Ever. You can see all the pictures below, but wow there were some amazing views. I have been made fun of here more than a few times for never having seen either of the west or east coasts of the United States but having traveled to Australia first. But I might have done it right. The views from the eastern coast of Australia are phenomenal. Lindsey and I walked AGES. The walk itself took two hours or so and was full of steps down and back up ravines. And even when it was over we got a little screwed over by buses and ended up walking another hour and a half to get ourselves home. However, it was totally worth it. We were enjoying ourselves and had no idea we were coming to the end of the walk and suddenly we come up over the highest crest yet to this platform overlooking the ocean and Bondi Beach! It was an AMAZING way to be surprised with our success and accomplishment of finishing with such a rewarding view (pictures below). We had a great day together and were more than a little hungry when we got back.
Sunday: So Sunday is probably a boring day for you, but a great day for me. After attending 9 AM Catholic mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral, I stalled until the Queen Victoria Building mall was open at 11. I treated myself to a nice cafe for Sunday brunch. I got a scrambled egg and bacon french baguette with a fruit smoothie and it was wonderful. Although I will comment that American’s do bacon right. Thick cut bacon is a slice of ham, not bacon. Anyway, after brunch I got to go shopping for souvenirs! At the mall itself I found gifts for my mom, Kelly, and my younger sister, Sarah. That was a lot of fun but I just wish I had the patience to wait until I get back to actually show them. After that, I was still in a shopping mood (which NEVER happens and needed to be capitalized on) and it was a cloudy day out anyway, so I continued to shop. But I went to Market instead. Which I think I mentioned in earlier posts, but I will explain briefly. It is called Paddy’s market and it is a place of clothing, souveniers, produce, jewelry, costumes, etc. Everything you could want really and for much cheaper prices where you can also barter. The best concept ever. There, I found t-shirts for everyone at home, some aboriginal crafts, a little bit of jewelry, and some great organic fruit from the produce section of the HUGE market. Pretty successful day. Later that night after all my walking, I did a short workout and watched a movie called “disconnect” with my roommates. Pretty good movie, but one that will make you mad at humanity too. haha
Monday: (Otherwise known as Today) was pretty cool too! I worked today, so that’s no fun. However, I got to do two pretty exciting things. The first one very few will share my excitement but that’s okay. I got to sit in on a country headquarters budget meeting! It had all the big guys from the head Sydney location and heads of each department in it. My supervisor (Bruce) led the meeting because he was going to be introducing the results and conclusions from the data model that has been run for the past three years on marketing activity and the sales volume of each brand and department. This is the same data that I am currently working on so that once all these people are comfortable with Bruce’s concept, model, and excel formula, they can use the updated data to make real decisions on what they are going to do for marketing this coming fiscal year. So freaking cool. I have never heard that many intelligent, passionate people in one room talking, discussion, and arguing the big questions of a company. Like what it’s direction should be, should the focus be volume or profit, how can we improve brand image, what if our Australia market needs to really differentiate itself from the Louisville brand because of the different market interests? Really the vocabulary and level of communication between everyone was so cool to listen in to. I took tons of note and got to discuss my questions and thoughts about it after. He really posed a few thoughts to me and really made me see so much more than I ever thought I would as an intern. I think he might have been impressed with what I understood, the questions I posed, and my arguments because after our conversation I got to have the SECOND cool thing of the day. FREE BOOZE! After our conversation he left and I continued on in my work and then he came back with a big box and asked what I thought of homework, being the good intern that I am, I said I love homework. THEN he set down the box and he had given me RTD’s. Which is not something the United States has. These are premixed drinks not like Smirnoff Ices. They are two different brands (ie. Jack and Cola) mixed to perfection and sold. These are only concepts in Australia and the UK, apparently the US market wasn’t interested. Anyway, my box of research includes 1) 4 pack Jack Daniel’s and Lemonade (they call sprite lemonade here) in bottle form 2) 4 pack Jack Daniel’s and Lemonade in can form 3) 4 pack Southern Comfort and cola cans 4) 6 pack Jack Daniel’s 1907 (another alcohol unique to Australia and not offered in the US) mixed with Cola 4) 4 pack Jagarmeister Ginger and Lime (Australian flavor) 5) Jagermeister Raw (energy drink). My task? Share with American friends and get input and feedback to share with the Australian office. Guess who just became the most popular person in the building?
So that was my last few days! Pretty cool and full of memories so I thought I would share with the world. Anyway, I want to again thank those at home for supporting me in my weaker moments. My volleyball coach from High School, Mrs. Stout, meant a lot to me this week when she went out of her way to reach out to me. Miss Taylor Smith made and effort to cheer me up and made me really happy. My parents continues support everyday has made all the difference. My boyfriends support and presence has made me smile every day. And last but definitely not least, my sister and her encouraging and updating emails have meant everything to me. I love you Sarah!
And with that.. Goodnight Australia!
Posted on January 20th, 2014 by Megan Funke
Filed under: Megan Funke