Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Oztrailya

Hi everyone,
It is 5:43 am, typically the sun is up and may as well be screaming 'get up its another beautiful day'.I have awoken from a fevered dream (ok maybe just a sweaty dream due to the heat and forgetting to put the aircon on) feeling guilty for not writing to you all for the last 9 months.
You may recall, from my previous emails, that we had travelled half way around the world through many foreign lands filled with awe and wonder (not ore and plunder as the first brits found when heading this way). On these journeys we met people from cultures vastly different to our own and forced them to carry our luggage and cook chips instead of rice/noodles. Finally we arrived in civilization.........well Australia and that was pretty much where our tales ended. You were not forgotten just merely neglected like a childs favourite teddy at xmas. But now the novelty has worn off, and once more i am content to grasp you by one leg and drag you around our living room of life. So please read on.

Upon arriving in Australia we had a bit of a reality check and threw ourselves into finding a job. At this point neither of us had worn long trousers for three months let alone a suit, and i think we both felt a little out of sorts with the whole interview process. Despite ranting to one future employer about the toilet habits of Indians and how fantastic it was that England had won the rugby world cup I quickly found employment in AAP (the Australian Associated Press). AAP is the news agency for Australia, their office block is one of the most dominant on the Sydney skyline (about the best thing you can say about them) and filled with thousands of people busily doing very very little. I was right at home. Saara meanwhile had secured herself a job with a medical company Draeger, a German outfit who sell boxes of stuff that constantly littered our house and garage. In all honesty i have no idea what these products were but i am assured they were important.
The first few months passed and we both got a little down. It is hard to be so far away from your friends and family and, despite their roots, Australian society/life is vastly different from our own. To cheer ourselves up we booked an old miners cottage in the blue mountains and, along with some new found friends, headed there for a June yuletide. I have no idea when this started but some enterprising person had realised that Australia is a hot country (this is especially true at xmas time, and while it is 40 degrees outside, the shops at xmas will still be filled with snowmen, reindeer and a fat bloke in the kind of outfit that would see him die of dehydration 30 yards from the shops main entrance) but in the winter, in the mountains, it actually snows!.......ocassionaly. So a tradition has been born where entire families load up the Utes and head off into the mountains. They cram into ageing hotels and croon away at xmas carols, stuff themselves with turkey and generally keep entire mountain towns employed during the off season. We arrived at our cottage, it looked beautiful. Perched on a hillside overlooking the mountains the wooden whitewashed cottage was straight out of a book. It was so typically colonial Australian from its corugated iron roof to its stained glass front door, you couldnt hep but fall in love with it. It was pretty cold outside (around 4 degrees c) so we descended upon the house and quickly realised that, with its ill fitting windows, drafty doors and lack of central heating, we were going to die of exposure in the mountains. The Australian weather god (if there is such a thing) took this opportunity to glance in our direction, see us in our misery, smile and bring forth a deluge of rain that would last for the entire three days. Yes we had traded our warm luxury appartment for a freezing cold wooden hut in the mountains on the only three days it had rained in a year. We kept our spirits up by eating fine foods, drinking heavily and playing board games. Richard (of Richard & Emma, the couple who had foolishly volunteered to freeze with us in the mountains) and I found a hidden stash of plug in radiators and fan heaters in the box room and three hours later we were removing our hats and coats. Things were looking up.
I awoke about 5 am on the second day and realised that the house had plummeted into a state even colder than the day before. This was puzzling as we had gone to bed laughing with glee at how we were heating up the entire mountain range with someone elses electricity. I stumbled around the kitchen flicking switches and touching radiators. Slowly and with much denial i came to the realisation that we had fused the house. Pulling on some clothes i headed outside in search of the fuse box, a cursory scout around revealed nothing it was evident i was going to have to venture down the side of the house. Now please remember we are in the mountains in Australia. Its a relatively safe bet that somthing is alive, deadly and making a home in the uncut grass down the side of our house. So at rougly 6:15am the rest of the street are woken by 'that mad pomme bastard' waving my arms and making loud noises as i stomp heavily down the side of the shack. I did manage to find the fuse box, repair the fuse (a bit of fuse wire wrapped around a bit of plastic) and save us all from hyperthermia. And that was pretty much xmas in the mountains.
We returned to civilization and carried on with our lives. We filled the weekends with the eternal quest for real ale ( i now know maybe 4 pubs in the whole of NSW where i can get a decent pint), attending wine/jazz/beer festivals and eating in little cafes all around Sydney.The first appartment we had rented (a little 1 bed on the river) was beginning to feel too small so we relocated to our current property. We are further out of the city but we have a large 2 bed appartment on a \'resort style\' complex complete with swimming pools, tennis courts etc etc. When we moved in I gave up turning up to AAP ( i would say work but i doubt anys been done there since 1957) and went and studied I.T. I am at present in the middle of exams (though i have already passed 2 and am now a fully qualified MCDST (so there)). Saara recently resigned from work after being offered another job with a small medical company owned by a british expat, she seems happier already.
Today we are off to a place called Port Douglas. It is on the far north eastern stretch of Australia (north of Cairns) and the gateway to the barrier reef. We will spend 8 nights relaxing in the wonderfully named Radisson Treetops hotel. As far as i am aware it is not in the treetops like some ewok village but im sure it will be lovely none the less. Port Douglas is, of course, right in the heart of crocodile country so if we are never heard from again i just want it to be known that in the event of our untimely deaths at the jaws of a crocodile, I very much want the scaly bugger hunted down and turned into shoes and handbags.

Love to you all

Keith & Saara

10 Comments:

At 7:48 PM, Blogger rebekah said...

i enjoyed reading that immensely

now just sit still a second while i tie you down to this here chair so you guys dont leave again

dont worry - i'll still give you food and let you go to the bathroom

just you know no going anywhere
;)

 
At 11:12 PM, Blogger Keeefer said...

:)

Its good to be back, if you are going to tie us down will that be with rope or cuffs? Rope kinda chafes a bit....mind you so do handcuffs....how about i just promise to hang around will that do??

 
At 8:42 AM, Blogger Wudas said...

Great post. I know an American who married an Aussie and moved to Austrailia. Her lifestyle is different than anything I am familiar with here. They actually relax. You paint a great picture.

 
At 12:13 PM, Blogger Keeefer said...

Hi Wudas, glad you enjoyed it. I will post about my trip to Port Douglas next, that was a crazy place.

 
At 2:09 PM, Blogger Kelly O said...

I never thought we would all be so glad to be pulled around the living room by out legs, but pulling our leg has always been your specialty. Welcome back.

 
At 4:10 PM, Blogger Shannon said...

Finally! We missed your great posts! Your trip sounds very interesting.

 
At 12:44 PM, Blogger BeckyBumbleFuck said...

I love it when a Britsih man gets put in a dangerous wilderness. The result—inevitably—is a f. hilarious bit of writing...nice job Keeef...
*please more*
;)

 
At 9:19 PM, Blogger rebekah said...

well i think i'll be able to take your word then

but if not

the cuffs go back on

 
At 11:50 AM, Blogger Keeefer said...

Im glad you enjoyed it BBFK. I am trying to find the time to write some more, so hopefully your pleading will bear some fruit.

 
At 6:50 PM, Blogger Cristina said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Kaylee

http://www.thinkpadonline.info

 

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