Picnics at the park

A picnic set-up.

During my first few weeks in Adelaide, I was amazed by this thing that the locals seem to do.

I learnt that any time it was sunny, they would enjoy a meal, read a book, have a conversation, etc. at the local parks. That was very amusing to me as a girl who came from the tropics. Your neighbours would think you’re a mad person for willingly wanting to have your lunch on a patch of grass while it’s hot out. I’m not saying Malaysians never have picnics, of course we do, but not when it’s sunny because the sweat and the mosquito bites are enough to keep us inside. 

As winter overstayed it’s welcome this year though, I now understand this eagerness to spend some time under the sun. Waiting for a sunny day to come lately feels like waiting for an eclipse – it happens every so often and when it does, it only lasts for a moment. So when the weather app promised 18-degree weather and clear skies, you know I had to call a friend and have a picnic at the botanical gardens.

Here’s what I usually like to do while having a picnic:

1. Bringing along some snacks and a cold drink is a must! If I’m in the mood, I’ll prepare a platter – usually consisting of some fruits, chocolates, some bread and a selection of spreads, or maybe even a sandwich. If not, sushi is always my go-to. Oh, and I can’t forget my boba. 

2. When I’m with a friend, I like to take this opportunity to truly communicate with each other, phones away. Uni can be very hectic and when most of your friends are from different faculties, you know how tough it can be to find a time to hangout. Catching up with my friends with a side of people watching and being surrounded by nature never fails to make my day. 

This reminds me, the Student Wellbeing team will be handing out picnic packs (yes, food included!!) for Mental Health Month on Friday 7 October, so grab this opportunity to finally have that long overdue hangout with your friends. 

3. Sometimes I like to spend time with myself too and if I do, then the characters in the book I’m currently reading will be my company. For me, reading in the park or the beach is the best way to read – it’s not too quiet and offers just the right amount of distraction that I don’t get bored out of my mind nor do I feel the need to pick up my phone. That’s why you will never catch me doing my readings in the library. 

With the beautiful parklands and beaches that we have here in Adelaide, how could you not want to spend those sunny days outside? Even our very own green and shady Barr Smith Lawns is a great place to have a picnic and wind down, especially during those peak exam period. 

Tagged in What messes with your head, picnic, spring, mid-semester break, mental health month