Well, it finally happened: I saw a koala -- actually, quite a few -- and got to hold one!! I was obsessed with koalas for a couple years in elementary school and made lots of elaborate plans to visit Australia. And here I am! In Brisbane, Gemma, Julie, Amber and I went to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, which offers "koala hugs" in addition to much looking at wildlife. I kind of felt bad for the koala I was hugging, though; there were a lot of tourists hugging and it seemed kind of overwhelming. It's hard enough for me to tell how other humans with similar upbringings to me are ever feeling, though -- so I definitely don't trust my analysis of koala feelings. The staff also explained that individual koalas can only cuddle for 30 minutes a day and get every fourth day off (union rules!), which was reassuring. And I even saw a couple koalas deliberately climbing on staff! I was excited to learn more about them, too -- my pre-Wikipedia second-grade obsession didn't lead me to learn that they sleep 22 hours a day (wild!).
The koala sanctuary was a fun experience, and I found it worthwhile -- koalas are really, really, really cute -- but I think at our next stop I'll return to my habit of trying to avoid the more touristy activities.
In other news, the reason I haven't been blogging much lately is that my laptop's hard drive finally gave out last week -- which seriously hindered my website-making projects. Fortunately, I was able to find other computers to borrow, and in Sydney I got a new hard drive -- I've been installing Linux for the first time (as a replacement for the OS I lost when the hard drive died), which is exciting. It's finally working well enough for me to use the internet. Rock. I am so technically accomplished. :)