Tuesday, September 25, 2012

AFL Grand Final Week in Melbourne

Spring has finally sprung and I am really looking forward to some warmer weather after my few months of winter! As you have probably already guessed from the photos in my previous blog post, I am in Melbourne, Australia; land of kangaroos, Crocodile Dundee and these awkward looking pick-up truck mutations known as yutes.

I said goodbye to Italy in June after experiencing an amazing year living in Lodi and taking every opportunity to travel around the country. I will miss the home of Ferrari so very dearly and I have to thank the people who I came into contact with while I was there a great deal for showing me how to truly live with passion and helping me to understand the team that I have loved my entire life more than ever before. In the past year I have gotten closer to Ferrari than I ever dreamt was possible, I have made some amazing memories and I have been reminded that anything can be achieved if you believe in it and single-mindedly pursue that goal. I know that I will be back to Maranello someday soon and I am looking forward to that day with all of my heart.

It’s been tough moving to Australia and I would be lying if I said that there weren’t obstacles but who ever said that following your heart was easy? Thankfully I can now say that I feel settled in Melbourne and have begun to look forward to the fantastic amount of events that the city has to offer and also learn more about some of the things that are uniquely Australian.

At the top of my list of fascinations has to be what the locals here simply call “football” but the rest of the world refers to as “Aussie Rules”. The most confusing thing about “football” has to be the name since apparently only people in Victoria call it football, the rest of Australia calls rugby “football”. Lost yet?

If you can get past the name and the ridiculously short shorts that all of the players seem to wear, try understanding the rules. Am I the only one who wonders how a team can still score points even if they don’t get the ball in between the designated posts and what’s with the referee throwing the ball in backwards sometimes and then other times simply smashing it into the ground like a mouldy watermelon?! Why are there so many birds in “football” and why is one of the teams known only as the cats? Not the wildcats, not the tiger cats, not even the slightly agitated cats…just the cats. I could go on, but before I begin dissecting the random words that commentators use to describe various plays (for example: “Ooooh he soccerd it!” What does that even mean?!) let me just say that I am absolutely in love with this game!

I found out recently that Aussie Rules is in my blood and even though it was only a distant cousin of mine who once played for Collingwood, I definitely feel as though the revelation warrants me learning a little bit more about the sport and perhaps even trying it out for myself. Who knows, maybe someday soon you’ll see me violently thrashing my hands around like a lunatic in the stands of the MCG or maybe even prancing about on the Brownlow Medal red carpet. Stranger things have happened.


The Australian Football League (AFL) Grand Final takes place this Saturday and all throughout the city, locals will be proudly sporting their colours of allegiance. There is even a parade on Friday and the tourist information centre boasts a large banner that features the AFL trophy on it. I can’t wait to see who emerges victorious this weekend, whether it’s the hawks or the swans. I’m putting my money on the swans simply because I reckon that in the wild a swan could absolutely take a hawk, I’ve been chased by one before and those things are bloody vicious.

Put some shrimp on your barbie, it’s going to be a cracker! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)

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