The one big problem about not having internet access when you go overseas is that you start to forget the way things happened! Like the clever writer I am, I totally took notes, I know, it’s tragic really, but everything was so awesome, and I wanted to share it all!
We left on the 17th of December, at 7am in the morning, but because it’s an international flight, we had to be up and there at 4am. It was hellish, I tell you. That time of day just does not exist for me. I walked around in a complete daze, with nothing on my mind but the fact that it was 4am and surely there were imaginary creatures around that were going to eat our brains. Isn’t that what happens at 4am? I was not particularly happy, but the excitement was still there. Although, you can’t really tell…
The day was really grey and overcast when we left. I’m always surprised at how you break through that layer of clouds into clear blue skies. Not that I saw a whole lot of it because I totally kept falling back to sleep. But I have an Oliver who likes very much to take photos, so everything I might have missed, he still managed to capture on film.
We arrived in Melbourne to more grey skies but warmness! We were only at the airport for a couple of hours, so we wandered around and set foot outside the terminal just so that we could say we’d been to Melbourne as well. Of course, as soon as we were outside we were totally excited trying to find all the birds that Australia is famous for. “Look!” Ollie said pointing frantically at the ground near our feet “an Australian sparrow!” So I outdid him by finding some interesting birds across the road in a grassy knoll. Yes a grassy knoll! It’s was grassy, and knollish. I have no idea what the birds were but they were not even slightly as colourful as I’d been hoping for. We could hear them, screeching in the trees but do you think we could see them? Nooo. Unfortunately, when you point your finger outside an airport terminal, a zillion taxi’s scream to a halt and vy for your attention. So we went back inside, sheepishly.
An hour later we were in Adelaide. It was hot. Really deliciously hot. Not so hot that you wanted to weep and thrash around about it, but hot enough to know you were finally, on holiday in Australia. We were picked up by Greg (Ollie’s uncle) and his daughters Fiona, and Melissa whose wedding we were there for. It was so nice to meet her in person finally, Greg and Sandy we’d met when they came over here once, and Fiona too, though she was a few years younger at the time. They took us back to the apartment in the city we were staying and left us for a few hours. It was so nice. Two stories and three bedrooms, so we all had our own rooms. Every day it was fully serviced which was really lovely. We went shopping for food that afternoon and were staggered at the prices of milk and bread. Everything actually, was much more expensive than we were expecting.
That evening we were collected by Sandy and Greg and Chen and Denis and taken to Chen’s for dinner. We didn’t get photos of this one, mostly because we were exhausted and by the time we got home, it was around 2am NZ time, though only 12.30am Adelaide time. Half his cousins turned up and I started to feel extremely overwhelmed. Ollie has a huge family, and with the tiredness, it was difficult to get my head around. But right from the very beginning, I was made to feel like I was family and treated exactly like everyone else. It was such an amazing feeling, to meet these people and to feel like I’d known them all my life.
Wednesday night is chicken and chips night. Chen and Denis have a son with austism. He is the most amazing cartoonist I have ever seen. His work is stunning and coloured using photoshop. He is extremely straightforward and fun. I’ve never met anyone with autism before, so it was definitely an experience. He shook our hands and said hello and then asked why they were having guests, although, he seemed perfectly happy with us being there once it was explained a little further. Structure and routine are really important for people with austism, so chicken and chips is Wednesday night. It’s expected and has been done for a very long time.
The convesation was so great. We talked like old friends and enjoyed one another’s company and then I was introduced to everyone under the sun. One good thing about having gone through a teaching diploma is that, you are used to being surrounded by people, and learning their names was not as hard as I was expecting it to be. We fell into bed around 1am that morning and exhausted as anything, slept like logs.