So it surely doesn’t help my effort to write shorter posts when I don’t post for a week… but I’ve just been so busy! I started my journey to Australia last Monday, on the 31st of August. My parents flight to SF and then onwards to Sweden departed at lunch time from LAX, so when they went to the airport I joined them, despite the fact that my flight to Brisbane didn’t leave until almost midnight. It was okay though, I went and bought myself something I’d been eyeing for months: a pair of noise canceling headphones. With just the push of a button all outside sound went away so I spent the entire day listening to music, reading or watching the new season of Fear the Walking Dead with not a single thing disturbing me. It went surprisingly well spending 13 hours there.
(also a warning, the formatting on this post looks a bit weird and it looks like photos are loading but they really aren’t…)
I finally got to check in the late afternoon, and was assigned seat 75G. A quick googling told me it’s the very last seat in the entire plane. I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to recline my seat all the way back, especially since it was a 14 hour nonstop night flight, but I didn’t need to worry. The plane was fully booked, but in my row one guy was seated on the opposite side, then there were two empty seats and then mine. I couldn’t believe my luck when those were the only two empty seats I could see, so I could easily stretch out and sleep a bit more comfortably than otherwise. It was right next to the bathrooms at the back though, but thanks to my new headphones I didn’t hear a thing beside the very low music I had on to block out any noise that might come through.
I got a bit too excited when I discovered the entertainment system though, SO many good movies! I just watched one though, with my dinner and then slept for a few hours. I woke up in time to watch another movie, have breakfast and then it was time to land. I never thought 14 hours would go by that quick. Such a good flight to be honest.
In the immigrant forms everyone has to fill out one of the options said “have you been in the wilderness or near freshwater in the last 30 days” and I just couldn’t lie. I’ve seen too many episodes of Australia’s border protection to take a chance on those. Turns out that was a good choice since the line for “Nothing to declare” went around half the airport while the other one was really short. A dog sniffed my bags, they asked if I had washed my shoes and then I was let through without them even looking. Wow, that went a lot smoother than I expected.
My friend Reese picked me up at the airport and we went and had breakfast. I did arrive at 6:40 in the morning after all. After some downtime at his place we went down to the water for a walk which was nice. The weather here is so nice, obviously early spring is a very good time to go to Brisbane. It’s mostly like the perfect Swedish summers day.
I was pretty tired though, since I had flown 17 hours into the future. Back at Reese’s house I fell asleep every other minute all evening until I finally gave up and headed to bed at eight. I was asleep within seconds.
The next day we met up with Reese’s friend Matt to go sightseeing and go see a movie. You can tell that Reese really knows me when he planned this day. We took the bus to the city and then got on a boat so we could see the city from the river. There was a little rain but other than that the weather was really nice.
In the afternoon we saw the Australian movie Holding the man which was really good and sad. Once again I was really tired that evening and fell asleep so quick. It’s hard staying awake late but I had a very early morning the next day so that was actually good. Reese is a pilot, and is attending an aviation school nearby. Some others were going to fly in formation early that morning, and I was invited to tag along. I have never been on a plane that small before but it was a lot of fun.
It was me, the pilot Lisa and a Canadian lady in our plane.
So much fun! We went up and down much faster than any roller coaster I’ve ever been on, and it was crazy but fun.
Afterwards we drove down to Surfers Paradise where I’ll be housesitting for ten days at the end of September for one of Reese’s friends. It was the perfect location really, close to the beach and they have a dog and a cat so that should be a lot of fun. It will give me a lot of time to try to plan the rest of my stay here in Australia too, so that’s very good. The entire coastline down there is so beautiful, from Surfers paradise to the Gold Coast which is where we were headed next.
As it’s Father’s day in Australia today (Sunday) we were heading to his parents who live on the Gold Coast (which is a city on the east coast, so that is the actual name of the city, not just the name of a coast like we would say that we live on the west coast and it would be more of a description than an actual name of a place. The more you know…)
His parents has a really nice house there, and I got to meet them and the dog, but unfortunately no koalas. They have been known to hang out in the trees surrounding the house, but no one at that time. While Reese made rocky road for his dad I borrowed a computer and booked my relaxing holiday for the upcoming week. I’ll be going a bit further up the east coast to Hervey Bay where I’ll be whale watching, and going to the world’s biggest sand island. I’ll also mostly be doing nothing at all which I’m really looking forward to. It’s looking to be the perfect summer’s weather according to my standards, sunny and 25 degrees. Ah, I can’t wait!
Anyway, that night we went out to dinner and I got the full Australian family experience which was fun. It’s a lot different actually knowing someone here and staying with them, as I get a more normal experience than I would have otherwise. I like that a lot. He also has such a great family, so that helps too.
The next day we were up early to go to the farmers market and I’m SO jealous of their market and their pick of organic veggies and fruits. Most things have to be imported to Sweden since it’s so cold, but they really have it all here since they have so many climate zones.
After some coffee and with fully loaded bags Reese and I headed back out on the roads again. We were going to Currumbin wildlife sanctuary nearby, to take a look at koalas and other animals. I’m always a bit unsure about any type of zoo’s, but this one has a big hospital where they care for thousands of wild animals each year and it’s completely nonprofit so all the proceeds go straight to the hospital. Most people working there are volunteers as well so that is also a good sign. I got to hold a koala which I loved, it was so soft and cuddly. I wanted to keep it but apparently they don’t make very good pets. Too bad, but at least they had a lot of them so even though most were sleeping, a lot of them were active too. I got to hold Caramela, look at that cutie!
I also got to pet a kangaroo and see a lot of different type of Aussie animals. We went to a bird show and a show with sheep shearing and I got to hold a big eagle too. Such a good day! I was bouncing around like a little kid most of the day, just being super excited about being there.
We also went for a walk while waiting for the Aboriginal dance show to begin, had some ice cream and walked up the elephant rock.
It’s so funny that they actually have an ice-cream that’s named Golden Gaytime…
Today Reese has been at work so I’ve been watching some tv and doing basically nothing at all. Tomorrow I’m getting on a Greyhound bus to Hervey Bay, but apparently the buses are much better here than what I experienced last time. I’d never dare to drive here, I can barely remember which way to look when I’m crossing a street! Why do people have to be so special and drive on the wrong side of the road, just be like the rest of us… 🙂
Other than that… I’m struggling with the language. Supposedly they speak English here, but not really, it’s Australian. There is a huge difference. Half the time I have no idea what people are saying to me, from having understood like 98% in the US I’m not at like 50%. They just speak so fast and so weird. And don’t even get me started on the slang… but I’m guessing I’ll be fluent in no time. Otherwise I’ll just keep doing what I always do: smile and nod and pretend that everything is fine. Or just pretend that I understand no English at all and just speak Swedish all the time, always a good idea.
I think that’s all for now! G’day mates!