Write Tonight?

I am in the midst of dealing with our first ever "shaped" internet usage!  "Shaped" is a nice Aussie term for "you have used to much internets and now you must be punished!"  So, we have a plan for 100MB a month (yes, I know this is an extreme amount; but we download a lot so don't judge) and it is at lightning fast (I'm not being sarcastic - it really is crazy fast) broad band speed.  Once we go over our 100MB we get throttled back to a "slightly faster then dial-up" speed.

What that means....  Well, for one thing, it means that I downloaded too many movies the other day.  Also, this means that there will be no video-Skyping tomorrow for our Skype date with Joe's parents.  That is a bummer.  The only positive here is that our usage resets in about 24 hours - so, we only have to live with a pre-historic internet connection for another day.

Jennifer - I am dying to watch your You-Tube videos... I can get to "this is the part of the classroom" and then it stops loading and I have to give up.  I swear I will watch them Sunday night.

Anyway...  last Sunday (well, really two Sundays ago) - the day after the crazy rain, was a momentous day because it was my grandfather's 91st birthday.  Well, technically, his birthday was Saturday in the States; but I got to call him on Sunday morning our time and talk to him after his birthday dinner.  I've blogged about him before in this post about his time in Perth/Freemantle so you can go there and read up on the back story if you would like.  I feel so connected to him here in Australia and I think about him all the time.  It's incredible to me that I lived my whole life up to this point thinking that no one in my family had ever been to Australia.  Now knowing that he was here before me gives me this feeling of calm - like he checked it out for me to make sure it was ok for me to come.  I was so lucky to get married in Florida on the beach two years ago and I was even more lucky to have him there to walk me down the aisle.  This is my favourite picture of us from the wedding - I think I look a little like my mom in it which makes it perfect. 

So, I just want to say - Happy Birthday Coach!  I'm so glad I got to share in your day a little even though I am so far away.  Also, thanks for sharing in this wonderful adventure we are having - I promise, I'll make it to Freemantle while we are here and take lots of pictures for you!

Sunday was also the wedding day of fellow blogger C. where she married her Partner-in-Crime in a lovely ceremony overlooking the harbour.  It was an unfortunately rainy morning; but they made the best of it and managed to make the whole umbrella thing work.  Also, I've seen the "sneak peak" photos and I can say that wedding pictures involving umbrellas are super-dreamy.  I can't wait to see the rest when they are done because I think that they are going to be gorgeous.  There was a nice BBQ after at the local sailing club - it was very intimate, the food was great and there was plenty of wine.  It was a wonderful morning and it was an absolute privilege to have been invited and to have gotten to share in such a great occasion.

The week that followed was uneventful. I literally can't remember a single thing that went on during the week. I'm sure I did a ton of laundry - I made some yummy dinners - I walked to the shops a few times.  Actually, scratch all that - I just opened my batch of photos from that week and I beginning to remember more as I look through them.  Ha, who needs a photographic memory when you can just take pictures of everything you do and store them on your computer?  I'm kidding - well, sort-of... 
I have several pictures of beautiful Aussie scenery - the clouds, the flowers etc.  I still just can't get over how amazingly beautiful everything is here.  I really had to rely on the scenery and the beauty here this past week as I really struggled to be a "stranger in a strange land".  People here really seem to speak their mind about America - they do it a lot and mostly they do it in "joke" form.  They joke about the tired old stereotypes that they get from the American tv and movies that are consumed en masse here.  Usually the joking doesn't bother me very much; but there just seemed to be a lot this particular week. The worst part about it is that you can't respond to the joking without looking like a spoil sport with no sense of humor. 
So, on the days when I was so mad that I just wanted to fly back to the States to be around Americans that aren't egotistical crazies who eat at McDonald's every night (let me just interject that I am not saying Aussies are this way - I am just saying that this seems to be how many of them perceive Americans) , I had to use the scenery to pull myself out of it.  Also, a couple glasses of wine in the evenings are never remiss when you are in a bad mood!

*editing to add that at midnight the internet completely died and so here I am the next morning, praising Blogger's auto save function (ha, that's totally going to get Googled) because without it, this might be a very different (and much more angry) post.

A good deal of the week was spent trying to get ready for Halloween - We decided to have a Halloween carnival at work complete with Bobbing for Apples and also Donut on a String (which I shamelessly stole from Arvin's Halloween festivities last year).  Much fun was had by all; but it was a lot of wok and a lot of stress.  By Friday afternoon when I was setting everything up, I was pretty much ready to be done with everything.  With Halloween, with the people, with being new and not knowing what to do/where to go/where to buy things etc...  After the carnival, Joe was nice enough to take me out to a nice dinner and then, after we had had sometime to decompress, we met up with the work colleagues at a hotel (which is a bar) and continued the night.

Saturday was a very very quiet day - Joe and I weren't feeling too well after being out too late the night before.  We mostly just putzed around the house, watched a movie or two and vegged. 

Sunday was a Halloween party that we were invited to by a coworker. It was "fancy dress", which mean costumes here; but not everyone ended up dressing up.  I am slightly amazed to say that I dressed up as Bride of Frankenstein, complete with fright wig, fake eyelashes, white skin, stitches on the face and the whole bit and I have not one single picture of this to show you. Not a single picture....

I also have to add here that it has been raining constantly (ok, that may be a slight exaggeration); but it has been reminding me of winter here more than spring.  I am really ready for some blindingly hot sunshine.  I think that may help improve everything around here.

And that is all....
5 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    I didn't know that about Coach! Interesting!


  2. Gina E. Says:

    Glad to hear you are finding the Lucky Country so beautiful (well, Sydney anyway), sorry to hear some of the Lucky Australians aren't so beautiful. Yeah, our sense of humour is a bit different to the rest of the world sometimes. We delight in poking fun at each other as well as people and places overseas and it doesn't always go over very well with new or temporary Aussies. Even some of my American friends who have lived here for 30 years, still aren't sure sometimes whether to laugh or get angry about our comments!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    That's a beautiful picture of you and your grandfather ... I have to say that first!

    Holy Moly - I would just about pass out with internet like that! Is it like that everywhere in Sydney?

    And as always, those are some wonderful pictures you've taken!


  4. Vicki in Canada Says:

    In Australian culture, people are always laughing at other people - that's just how we are! If people are joking with you about your culture, that actually a compliment - it means that they like you and are treating you as a friend. It's when they don't say anything or treat you with distant politeness that you know they don't like you much.

    If it makes you feel any better, I'm also finding the culture change in Canada to be slightly confusing and overwhelming at times :) It will all be ok :)

    (Also, I think you mean 100GB, not 100MB!)

  5. Mimi and Joe Says:

    @ Julie - send me an email reminder and I will send you the War Patrol Reports he wrote - they are incredible!

    @ Gina - I think I am just a bit sensitive. The same people who joke so much will turn around in the next sentence and be overwhelming supportive. Really, I am very happy and people don't usually bother me too much - it's just that sometimes, I have a bad week and this is the only place I can whinge :)

    @ Mandy - thanks! Yeah, there are no "unlimited" plans here for anything! We even have usage caps for the data we use on our mobiles - and it is very expensive if we go over!

    @ Vicki - I was thinking about you the other day so I'm glad you commented. I'm sure you know that I am working in the office part time?

    Anyway, I'm glad for your comment- I've never heard it put quite like that; and it makes me feel so much better about the whole thing! I wish I could give you some advice about Canadian culture; btu I only ever went there to drink before I was 21 so that's all I know about it!

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