Hello again,

I am  proud to announce that I got a broadband modem today! So now I can blog and put up pictures all I want from where ever I want. Well maybe not from the Outback but pretty darn close. Technology continues to amaze me when I can get internet through something no bigger than a thumb drive. Some of you have been asking about Chubby, JD’s faithful dog companion. She is chubby as usual and staying with his Mom and Dad. She is finishing out her shots and tests and will be out here in May for quarantine. Last I saw, she has developed a taste for Snickerdoodles so I know she is in good company.

Day 4

Once we packed our bags to leave the hotel we left them with the concierge and checked out. Our American contact here is a gentleman named Dallas (nope not from Texas. Chicago.) was coming to pick us up after he saw his wife off at the airport. We had about an hour or so to kill before he came to our rescue. We walked up the street to find one of the 40 coffee cafes near the hotel and decided upon Cafe Amici who’s emblem was two people, one with its arm around the other. These guys were very Italian and their boisterous attitudes added to the flavor of the breakfast. The coffee was hot and strong and the food delicious. JD had a bacon & egg roll and I had ham and cheese croissant. We sat there and read the paper while various people of all walks of life came scurrying in and out of the cafe.

Dallas came to pick us up from the hotel along with our 6 bags stuffed to the max and transported us to our new home. He is totally blown away that we found something so quickly since it took he and his wife 9 months! I didn’t feel perhaps that was the time for me to break out into explanation of the Law of Attraction and how my life just works itself out in the most amazing fashion. Another time, shall we? Not long later we were pulling up to our new home and unloading the baggage. He stayed and chatted for a while about how to get this and that cheaper than what it seems like. We don’t always realize that in the rest of the world, everything is negotiable. Even for the things that aren’t here, Dallas has found away around them.

One in particular that came in handy is the internet situation. Our landlord originally offered it to us at $200.00 a month and acted like that was a good deal! As it turns out if I was the type who downloaded lots of music or videos then yes that would be a good deal. The internet cafe here charge you by the time and the internet companies charge you by your volume. Since I don’t do any music or videos and its mostly email and facebook we decided to go with broadband mobile from Virgin Mobile. No contract and you can “top off” your account when needed. We decided to check out how much we use in a months time and see who is cheaper. I’m betting this way is.

After Dallas left we decided to check out the near by Thai restaurant. It’s only 2 blocks away which comes in handy for those curry attacks. They can be swift and severe but I think we got it covered. Pretty decent food and my lips weren’t ready to fall off after eating. I’m sure we will be back. We ventured on to the different markets to pick up supplies and that nights dinner. One thing about Australia is that the meat and bread is dirt cheap. We picked up two sirloin for $4 and 5 french rolls for $1.70. Grabbed a package of Soybeans to make edamame (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edamame) and presto we have dinner! Picked up a few things like detergent and sponges from the chemist and came on home. We ate out on the front porch and enjoyed the night air. The soybeans were frozen so this next statement doesn’t apply to them, but the beef and the bread was beyond good. When things are fresh they have an extra burst of flavor that you can’t get at the supermarket. Something dies in our food as it sits waiting for us to take it home. Something wonderful.

Day 5

The next morning I was awoke by the sunlight streaming into the window. I had slept like a brick in my new home and I thought that was a great sign. From the time we came off the plane to the day we left the hotel it has been overcast, rainy and dreary here. The fact that the sun was shining on the first full day in our apartment I though was another great sign. I hopped out of bed and made some coffee for the both of us. I was intimidated by the french coffee maker and instead of revealing my ignorance I did the unforgivable. I bought instant coffee. I know. I know. It was sacrilege and I should be hung from the gallows. I promise not to make the mistake again. It’s just a small jar of the stuff so it will be gone soon and I found a great coffee dealer who has 30 varieties of beans all up on the wall like works of art. I had also purchased some bananas the day before and I sat myself out on the porch again with my faux coffee, a banana and a copy of  The Lost Symbol (which is soooo good!) It’s about 7:30am at this time and the sun is already hot. I can still see the moon in the sky which is startlingly blue today (see picture)

I can see that I will need to get some major sunscreen for around here since by the time I finished my breakfast and read for an hour I already had a faint line on my chest from my tube top shirt I was wearing. My banana was a yellow that usually tells me in Walmart that it’s on the verge of being too ripe. I like mine more on the green side and always have to make my self eat them when they get too yellow or spotted and their skin gets really thin. I was delighted that the skin was not thin and the taste had that extra something like the beef did without being overly banana-ny. In fact I had two since they are so good for me. I hopped in the shower which I am pleased to announce will never run out of hot water. The geniuses that the landlords are, had those on demand hot water heaters installed that work like a coffee make. The water was good and hot and was enjoyed immensely. 

I had made a list of other things I wanted to pick up today so off we went. First though we went down to the beach and walked the commercial shops portion of it. We found another ice cream place and stopped for fish and chips at a small hole in the wall. One of the local fish here is the Barramundi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barramundi). It is a lot like the Rockfish/Striper in Virginia. It’s white, flaky and oh so good. It comes with fries that they call chips here and tartar sauce that has red flecks in it rather than relish. In fact apparently relish is hard to come by here. I haven’t figured that one out yet, since they have pickles. We stopped off at a bookstore to get a new book for JD who seems to read one a day. We came back home since his shoulders were getting red and I was craving a nap.  After a nap and some down time, we ventured back up to the markets to get stuff for dinner. I gathered the rest of my stuff I needed in the apartment and we got stuff for stirfry and more bread (it’s so good, it calls me at night!).

A note about other countries and cultures. Thank goodness the beef is really fresh. Thank goodness that we take it right home and cook it. Thank goodness I’m not overly squeamish. Cuz girlfriend measured out my beef with the same gloves on as she took my money with. If I get some rare kind of amoebic dysentery, she the first one I’m blaming…

JD cooked the stirfry and used some curry power that said hot but he insisted that it wasnt. It was very tasty and I cleaned my plate but I have found that if your food is hot it has the same effect on your lips as those lip balms that claim to plump them. My nose stopped running about an hour ago I think.

At any rate, I am feeling very much at home here aside from not knowing which way to look for cars when crossing the street and disinfecting my money. Tomorrow we are going to go down and actually lay on the beach…

Stay classy America.