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.

Some Natives from North Germany

I’ve sent over a couple of locals from here to visit the Great Southern Land, so they can meet all my friends and family.  If you hear the German accent or German language near you, make sure you greet them warmly, help them in whatever way befits you and say “Moin Moin” in greeting!  If you do meet them, they’ll probably send me a Whatsapp picture with you in it, it’s like we’re together again!

I wish them all the best and I hope they enjoy their time in Australia.

Farewell Ingrid

What a hard day to get through.  Saying goodbye is easy compared to spending a day with a person you don’t want to leave but know they are only hours away from going.  Especially when the tunes you decide to play are a little too fitting in the melancholic connection.  I think this morning’s playlist included Dead Virgin, The Birthday Party’s “She’s Hit” and lots of Portishead.  I was going for ‘chilled out’ but I couldn’t help and match the sense of joy being lost knowing that this time has come to an end.

We went out for breakfast, Henri Marc gave us a delicious start to the day.  Ingrid claims to have had possibly the best coffee of her life, I think she ordered the Colombian one, but I cannot be sure because I lack an interest in such caffeinated dranks.  I love the face Ingrid pulls when she really enjoys the food, I saw it a few times during the trip and then I couldn’t help but use it to judge pretty much everything we had: food, beer, wine, coffee, chocolate, tim tams etc etc

Yeah, then the packing & sad music happened.  I don’t know if much else took place.

We got in the car and gave Penrith the horns.  I put on Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill because it’s one of Ingrid’s favourites.  Turns out there’s a few too many songs on there that can become tear jerkers and so sometimes when I checked on Ingrid, she was crying.  Basically the only option I had on the USB stick in the stereo was to change to Limp Bizkit hahaha

Sydney happened, Ingrid bought the final stages of Australiana: Boomerangs, soft toys of Koalas, Wombats, Platypii & I think an Echidna…  On our way to KFC (I had vouchers and neither of us had a lot of money) I mentioned how for my birthday I wanted to try this Colombian place, that should be nearby, out for food.  Ingrid insist we check it out.  It was really good.  Both our dishes had some kind of slow cooked meat, unless it always turns out that way…?  We also had Colombian juices, they were both nice, not anything too different from any normal juice or combination of juices you can get from most stores.
We returned to the car to move it to a better parking spot, and caught the train to the Airport.

I don’t think she cried the whole time.  Ingrid was impressed that I could take her all the way and wait with her at the gate until she left, neither Colombia nor Germany allow this apparently.  We win again!  We talked all kinds of things and the time passed quickly.  Too quickly for me.
I watched her board her plane, left the airport, came back to the airport just in case she needed a ride home and then, on the train back to my car I realised her carry on bag had my book that I wanted to read on this train!  We’ll just say it’s one of those things you do, so you have to see the person again.
Ingrid’s flight from Melbourne to Abu Dhabi is late…

I guess that means I’m going back to Germany to get that book!
Come back eventually for updates.

Post Queensland Summary

Another backdated post, not sure how it comes out to you few people who read here, no complaints?  No worries.

Our last few days in Queensland involved an amazing trip to Australia Zoo, no, we didn’t see any Irwins, we made it to South Bank Brisbane & graced Dreamworld with not only our presence but also our patience (lol).

Australia Zoo
If you’ve seen the photo in the previous post, Ingrid and I went to the wildlife park with my niece Mia & her awesome mother Kate.  Naturally there was a 3 car accident on the way in.  Queenslanders speed a lot, tailgate and avoid using indicators (I assume it’s a lack of intelligence thing).  We all hoped nobody was badly hurt, but there was a head-on element and combined with the speed of the road (ignoring the likelihood of speeding) anything over 50km/hr is generally lethal.  Look it up and stop driving like an idiot, please.
There wasn’t much of a queue to enter and the train/shuttle thing was just pulling in as we were ready to go.  The place is very different from what I remember – they have other worldly sections, it’s huge!  The shuttle took us to the African part, after showing most of every other part, which we’d walk back to.  No goading would make a rhino or zebra fight a giraffe, which is a shame, but understandable, I suppose.  After that we looked at the Asian section (perhaps South East Asian… will confirm in 100 years), then we got to the business.  Ingrid need to see, touch, taste & smell a kangaroo & koala, at least.  We could see koalas in their section, sleeping it up, the patting would come in a few hours.  Girls were squealing in the “it’s so cute” way at many furry things.  At one point some tourists were sneaking photos of me in, I saw you, you bastards, cover my entry cost!
After the big midday show, with all the birds and croc action, we all got to pat a koala, I’m not actually sure if that was before or after patting some kangaroos, except for Kate.  Every time she got close they seemed to take issue.  Mia even threw a stick or something, kind of at one (2 year olds throw like unco’s) and it didn’t move, but when Kate wanted to pat “Hey!” and it freaked the ladies out.  Kate had to take Mia home in the early afternoon, Ingrid and I planned to be out of there not long after, but we saw passed out wombats, some fairly still dingoes and a catbear/Biturong… never heard of it either, that’s why you have the gift of a link.
I think after that we went to the Botanical Garden in Brisbane, it was very small, but quite nice.  Stupid mosquitoes.

South Bank
Ahhh the elusive South Bank of Brisbane… we were delivered to Caxton St and had a good time, what will this new approach to the old problem of “getting there” show us?  We parked in the city center, paid for the privilege and walked there, that’s how we solved that riddle. I’m not happy about it, ok?  If you want to know something rebellious, know that we were late returning to our car and got no fine!
South Bank was very pretty, they even have a public pool, that’s kind of set out like a beach, with its own lifeguard and everything.  When we soaked our feet in the waters many drunk late teens were trying to sexually impress each other with dumb things.
We went to a Russian restaurant, because that’s what appealed to us out of all the Indian/Thai/Usual-in-every-place restaurants that was in the area.  Russian food is hearty and good.  It grows your back for mighty tasks.  By the time we’d finished eating we were late for the car.  Originally Ingrid convinced me that getting a fine wasn’t so bad.  Then I remembered that they can actually tow your car… that would be far worse.

Dreamworld
Our final day in Queensland saw us drive through Brisbane to the Gold Coast for a tipple in Dreamworld.  There wasn’t really any queue to get in, we figured because we were kind of early.  Turns out the park was kind of empty for most of the day.  Thank you school children!  One issue this posed was that the few people who were there all wanted much the same rides (I think 3 of the “thrill” rides were out of order), so while the queues were minimal at some rides, they were still present at the better ones.  Another, we would later discover, is that pretty much all the food joints inside close really early and we learned that if you don’t have at least 8 adults on a roller coaster, you cannot complete a loop de loop.  😦
At one point we ended up in the animal section and got to see more dingoes amongst the regulars.  We also got to see our first Tree Kangaroo and Bilby.  The Tree Kangaroo is kind of like a possum and kanga combined.  I’ve seen a bilby before and you can look it up if you want to.
A highlight was entering a “Zombie” laser tag game and then being forced onto the other team from Ingrid and then her getting the lowest score of the game – including the little children that played.  Her team won though.  The town was overrun with zombies and my team of defenders just couldn’t cope apparently.
Ingrid really liked the Tower of Terror rides, the giant drop and car thing. They were pretty deece.  Good times for all, except when we decided to get something to eat before we left.  Closed mate.  Closed.

Once all was done, we got in the car and headed to Byron Bay, where we would stay the night, warm, in each other’s arms, while a storm approached where we had left.