Friday, 23 January 2015

How ya goin?

If you think there is a better time for me to write my first blog post than when my wife is alternating rounds of bug spray with mad (yet skillful!) waving of a hand vacuum to oust the bedtime swarm of flies from our room, then you'll be disappointed, because that's exactly what is happening right now.

Our nine bags (140 kg) in our new room!
As disastrous as that sounds, I have to confess that our journey to (and in) Australia has so far been quite smooth and uneventful. After hauling our nine bags through the Sydney Airport and onto the bus to Canberra, we really haven't had to work very hard; these flies are the first obstacle to befall us, and to be honest, they're the smallest flies I've ever seen, like teacup pig-flies, and my mom and dad always said 'don't sweat the small stuff'.

Speaking of sweat, today it reached 31° C at our home in Canberra (for my friends in the US who don't know Celsius/Fahrenheit conversion, that's about 138° F...take my word). Today was also my first chance to try my hand at driving in Australia! Well, I did drive for a bit last April when we were here for Ben and Nat's wedding, but apparently, getting used to the driving differences isn't just like riding a bike. You can get the hang of going the wrong way pretty quickly because it just makes sense when you get into follow the flow of traffic, but the controls feel very awkward to me. I walk to the left (wrong!) side of the car to drive 75% of the time, and once I'm in the car, it takes me a solid minute to reorient myself with where things are before I can start it, and even then, I continually hit the windshield wipers when I'm trying to signal, and I smack my right hand into the window when I'm trying to reach down for the gearshift, which I frequently jam into an unintended gear with my clumsy left hand. Every time I screw something up, I am momentarily paralyzed in thought, trying to analyze what in the world I just did, then fix it, then avoid driving into head-on traffic; without Katira's help, I certainly wouldn't have survived! So, even though 31° C isn't the hottest I will experience down under, when combined with the constant vigilance required for me to not be an involuntary car assassin, I definitely needed a dry shirt when we got home.

Earlier, I said that our trip has so far been smooth and uneventful, and I need to amend that; it certainly has been smooth, but there have already been so many wonderful events:
     -we opened our first new Australian bank account
     -we played our first Aussie round of golf together at what will probably become our home course
     -we had a wonderful home-cooked meal with our gracious hosts on our first night here
     -we haven't died
Many more awesome events to come :)

Australian Word of the Day (WOD): arvo - afternoon; "Make sure you close your windows in the arvo so no mozzies or teacup pig-flies can get in and muck around!"  

First round of golf at Belconnen Magpies Golf Club! That tree behind my head
 is in the middle of the fairway on #1, and there were plenty of magpies, and
even worse, Cockatoos, which will mock you while you're looking for your ball

On the Manly Ferry last April, soaked from a rocky voyage. Note
the Harbour Bridge over my shoulder and the Opera House left
of the bridge

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