Pre-Pick Up Chaos

The family lands in less than 24 hours. I have been taking all the appropriate steps to be ready for their arrival.

That, of course, means that things have to go wrong.
Car wouldn’t start this morning. It’s got the baby seat in it. I believe I’ve got that sorted now. Had the NRMA come around, the guy was very nice. My car is now plugged into the wall, hoping the battery will be alive tomorrow.
There’s a parcel to be picked up from the Post Office. Naturally, every time I’m getting there, they are already closed… I’m just too slow.

Still, I cannot be more excited about the family landing.
We can suffer the heat together.

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I’m certainly in Australia!

These days of over 35 degrees Celsius are just a bit much. I’ve not been sleeping properly as it is and you compound the issue with the feeling of being slow cooked. Makes it a little tough. I have visions of Frosty the Snowman at the end of his jolly time, only I’m the very flesh and blood version.
Many things have changed. On the train to work, going down the mountains towards the city, all these larger, similar styled apartment and corporate buildings are reaching for the sky. My team has dramatically changed. There’s, I think, only 3 people still in the team from before. There’s some familiar faces, but they’ve moved in from elsewhere. All the new faces are pretty nice. I was impressed how quickly it felt like I was “home”. I was welcomed, people even bought gifts after hearing there’s a little one – these weren’t the old team mates either!
I’m in training, the team does many different work types now. Although that’s my normal working story, I don’t think I’ve been in a team that has just focused on any one thing. Maybe they don’t exist in the organisation.
I’m still searching for places to live. Have sent off a few applications. Then I have fill the places with stuff. Then with the people.

Busy and hot. That’s my return so far.

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Apparently I’ve now been writing for 4 years! Thanks for wasting your time here readering reader people.

Where am I from?

I’ve been in Australia almost a whole week and I’m getting conflicting views.

I’ve been told I sound like my accent has gone “full Australian”.
Yesterday at work, however, I met a German born Australian who asked where in Germany I was born. He was amazed that I had the German accent when I spoke English…
Later that night, I was at an art exhibition and my friends also asked why I was sometimes talking with a German accent.

To me, I sound like me.

I must admit that there have been many times before my trip to Germany, before I’d even been to Europe, that people thought I wasn’t from Australia. Dunno mate. Dunno.

Today the temperature will be 37 degrees Celsius and tomorrow will be 39…
A welcome of sorts.

Safe, Sound and Sleepy

38 hours from Frankfurt to Sydney. 17 hours in Shanghai. Not enough sleep at any point.

AJ, the best friend to have in any situation, picked me up with a sign he’d written in German that translated to him needing help, he’s a professional tennis player and will play for money.
We then drove to his place for the rest of the year. We were up until almost 2am before he really, really had to go to bed because he started work at 6:30am.
I woke up as he was doing his morning stuff, we spoke briefly and then I passed out again until my alarm at 9am. It was a hard hour trying to stay awake, I was so exhausted, my eyelids so heavy… I got through and then I got to Skype my family and Ingrid’s in Germany! I saw the fireworks that the residents in the area blew up. Mateo was awake, but falling asleep. His first new year’s celebration.

AJ’s wife came out with their baby, I got to hold her for a bit, while she ate breakfast. It was very nice, but of course it’s not like your very own baby. They are such a lovely family, always offering to help with everything. Truly the best of best people!

Now I’m preparing for work tomorrow. I have many tasks to complete outside of work. Number one is to get some money… without money I won’t be able to eat or do the transport thing, it all falls apart after that. Social rebellion… riots… apocalypse… zombie rebellion… rise of the apes… fall of the apes… rise of the cockroaches and they’ll never go down.

I want to sleep in Shanghai

Just writing first to let my families and AJ’s family know that I’m safe.
Last night I was in the area of Wiesbaden, staying at a friend’s place before the flight. He offered (and we tried) to eat Ostrich, kitchen was closed. We had a drink and went to the next nearest restaurant. I must say that the Rhein area here is beautiful, many castles, the water, the forests and generally everything compliments the place. Unfortunately the smaller towns are a little distant, it took around 30 minutes to get to the “next” restaurant. We ate very normal food.
The next morning went fairly well, my friend Morgan, drove me direct to the airport. My bags were checked through to Sydney and I had the pleasure of discovering Japanese whisky at Frankfurt airport! I tried 4 different types.
My seat rows were the first called, sweet… once in the air I discovered there was no whisky on the flight and after my first beer all they had left was red wine!!
We landed safely and I found Shanghai airport quite confusing. The signs are fairly vague and nobody really directs anything.
I learned that the WIFI doesn’t allow you to use Whatsapp,  it turns out all over China has this ban, which is why I’m putting energy into the blog.
I caught the fast train to the city centre, got a photo at 431km/hr and after quite a lot of walking, I had dumplings for lunch at Century Park. To accompany them was a nice black tea with lemon and honey.
Shanghai is easiestly the tallest city I’ve visited, but it feels dead, no pubs or bars, even cafés are rare, although there’s a Starbucks in every building. The people look disinterested. I did notice that the numerous KFCs were lacking fries, it could be a factor. My walking had me going to Fumi Coffee for a coffee and boy is the service there actually service! The coffee was also good. The place was too warm and I was close to falling asleep, so I decided to say goodbye to Shanghai and returned to the airport.
My feeling is that Shangai is the precursor to the future world depicted in Blade Runner: everything is big, advertising is all over and inescapable, there’s a lot of enforcement just being around and there’s this kind of city grime.

Ingrid and Mateo, love you!! xoxox

Frank’s English Night

Once a week Frank goes to a church operated class to improve his English and at the end of the year his class meets to have dinner together. Frank thought it would be good to ask the Australians along, particularly my dad, to test his teacher’s English ability.
The teacher piked. She said she was sick but Ingrid highly suspects that a person rarely let’s illness stop them on an event they organise.
We sat at the hat of the capital T formation of the tables. The lady nearest my parents put her lessons to use, introduced herself and explained how she travels every year, for 25 years, always to Thailand. Other than Frank, nobody seemed to talk English.
OK, not quite true.
A part of the event was a game using “joke” presents. A lady at the other end of the table tried to explain the rules in English and really made a mess of it. The sentences she was saying didn’t even make sense if you tried to replace it in German…
So that being said, my mum won a trophy. It’s a strange gift to get or win or whatever, but she got it. My dad won a guttering leaf filter and I won some biscuits.
It was something different, it was kind of fun, the pub got so packed that it got very warm and I drove Frank home at the end of it all.