We’re settling in on our 2nd day in Australia and we’re enjoying how fun and surprising things here are for us. Australia feels like a mix of the world we grew up with and the tropical world we have learned to live in over these last 4 years.
We recognise lots of the tropical plants here, but it’s a wonderful new thing to see palm and banana trees right alongside shopping malls and busy (well maintained) roads. The roofs are all made of corrugated iron like PNG, but the shops and transportation are all like England. So many of these little things seem to contrast the two different worlds we’ve learned to live in and it keeps us on our toes. We’re careful not to assume too much and ask lots of questions!
I’ve stood open-mouthed in wonder for a moment two times already. Wondering around the dream world that was the shopping mall (even if I don’t care too much for the dream world of high street fashion!), and at the local village shop where I paid for milk and Weetabix with my contactless card and it just worked. It was instant! I couldn’t believe how easy it was to use a card – in PNG I’m so used to tapping my card, hanging out for 5 minutes while it thinks about it and signing bits of paper with my signature (for some reason).
Another moment of joy in the flurry of bus journies to and from the dentist was to find a fenced-off tree right next to the bus stop FULL of flying foxes. We’re familiar with them of course in PNG, but never this many in plain view and so close to the ground – (they’d become lunch!).
It all contributes to the feeling that this is all too nice for us. We feel like everything is too fancy for us! We’re too bushy for all this luxury! While Gerdine was in for an appointment me and Oscar went for an explore. We stopped for a sausage roll which was the best one I’ve ever had! We’ve found that the quality of food here is on a whole different level. What we considered fancy in PNG is nothing like food here! From the cafe we explore onwards in the sunshine towards a shopping center. I look at the watch and it’s time to find Gerdine again, but it starts pouring with rain – and we left the umbrella at the cafe!
So now I hike 15 minutes through the pouring tropical rain – a deluge we’re familiar with from PNG, but I hike on through a who knows how long it will last, it could be all day!
Oscar is sat on my shoulders getting drenched and I’m amazed as the drains on the side of the road fill up. We have to cross some big roads at pedestrian crossings and I’m stunned that the rainwater is up to my knees! The drainage here is really good!
Yesterday Oscar got to enjoy a playground here and we had a moment where we felt like we were on break but today is back to business. Both days we’ve been here so far we’ve been out at 8am to catch a bus into town for appointments.
Yesterday Gerdine had 2 dental appointments, today 3 and tomorrow Oscar has an ultrasound. So we’re back and forth a lot on the bus which involves lots of waiting at bus stops.
Oscar is doing great! We feel bad as to get out here we had a 6-hour layover it Port Moresby and now he’s getting 3 or 4 days of bus journies and waiting at different dentists and clinics.
The good news is one of Gerdine’s appointments found the probable reason for her tooth pain and we could book another appointment for the same day for 4 fillings. I’ve had to retreat back to the lodge with Oscar so he can get his nap in.
We got a quick bit of shopping in today. I had to buy a belt as my shorts are falling off me, this pair was tight when we left the UK – we’re bun nating (bone nothing) as we’d say in PNG. Gerdine is likewise looking for trousers that fit her slimmer frame now 🙂 The Kovol diet is producing results, time to enjoy the Cairns diet for a bit.
Lunch today wasn’t a hard choice – McDonalds 🙂 It’s been a year and a half since we had one and Oscar has never had a happy meal before. He wolfed it down and didn’t even notice we got a cool little book out of it.
This week looks set to continue to be a busy slog through appointments, but we’re hoping next week we can visit the Lagoon and take our time to shop a little. We want to find a little electric kettle that we can run on our solar system to save on LP gas since we drink so many cups of tea in a day!
So that’s us – in the honeymoon phase of adapting to a new culture. We daydream about what it’d be like to live here. We love the tropics 🙂