Cheap Tuesday

I had already mentioned that the shopping centre near our house has a cinema. On Tuesday the tickets are cheaper, so I went today to watch Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows part 2 (awesome movie!), and what surprised me is that the ads before the movie were of the local business run in Redcliffe. There was not even one commercial of Coke, mobile phones, crisps or cars just some beauty salons, first aid courses and retirement homes. What an interesting idea! I’ll have to remember that when I’ll be building my own cinema (in my dreams).

P.S. I’m not going to comment on what’s going on in the UK. It just scares me and I’m afraid that something really bad must happen to stop that madness.

sometimes you just want to stay at home and watch films

Yeah, I had a lazy Monday. Both guys went to work and I wasn’t in the mood for exploring the area (I’ll have plenty of time to do that), so I watched the first series of Ricky Gervais’s Extras, went to buy some stuff at the shopping centre near our home and in the evening, when G. and then P. came back, we watched some TV. It’s starting to get to me where I am, when on the news they talk about Aborigines and the first place they show you during the weather forecast is Australia.

Today I also had my first homesick moment. When I was going through the shelves in a shop and checking out the prices of food here and how expensive it is and how I’ll have to be careful with my money in NZ and then I remembered a full fridge at home in Poland and saw an elderly couple doing the shopping together, I pictured my parents doing that and I started to miss them very much at that moment. I think I need to make a proper dinner tomorrow to console myself!

a bus driver

Yesterday I had this song in my head all day,

G. got a call from school, so he went to work. He’s a relief teacher. Sometimes he works one day a week, sometimes more often and he can choose the schools he wants to work at. He’s got a good life. For one day (6 classes) of his work he earns a half of my monthly salary. Imagine that! Poland is like a third world country.

P. is a bus driver and he works from Monday to Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a few hour break in between. Yesterday he came at about noon and took me to show me his work. I got a free bus tour around Brisbane and its suburbs.

The population of the city is 1.6 million and it’s located by the Brisbane River. Last year the financial centre of the city, which is just right by the river was closed for a couple days due to the floods. The city itself is pretty modern and still growing, great public transport, modern buildings and there’s a new bridge. The council house looks like a modern art gallery.

Town hall on the right

The suburbs are on the hills surrounding the city and riding through them is like riding in a rollercoaster in a theme park; the hills are that steep.

I liked the western suburbs the most. The houses are built on tall poles in the treetops. It’s as if the road was running through the hills and the houses were stuck to the sides of the hills and there was not enough ground to build a house on it, so they are on the poles.

After the tour P. took me to his friends for dinner. A group of more than 20 people who recently visited Israel got together to remember the trip and share with the stories and photos. The food was good. I had falafel and then halva. All in Israeli style, but there was one Australian accent. I tried pavlova. Yummm! It was a lemon meringue crusty outside, soft inside, very sweet and on top there was like thick vanilla custard and various fruit. There was also chocolate cake, but not as good as mine. 😉

a different song

First thing I’ve noticed when I got to my new home was a different song of the birds outside. I was even cheated by one bird which sounded as if someone was whistling, so beautiful song. I’ll have to record it one day to show you.

Second thing was that inside the house it was colder than outside, which is good, because you can hide from the heat. Winter here is like summer should be in Poland. Days are very warm and it gets a bit chilly in the evenings. However, the sun rises at about 7 a.m. and sets after 5 p.m. and both are like switching the light on and off.

The house has 3 bedrooms and a living room with a huge tv set (I’ll try to stay away from my friends’ DVD collections). One bedroom is my firend’s, G.’s, the second one is P.’s who is the owner of the house (his parents used to live here and he bought it after they died) and the third room is mine.

When G. showed me my bedroom, we had our morning coffee and went to get familiar with the neighbourhood. He lives very close to a shopping centre with a cinema and everything you need, but it’s still a very quiet and nice suburb. First thing we bought was a big bottle of L&P, my first essential New Zealand experience, actually (watch the ads: Stubbies and Swimming Pool Bombs). I would compare the drink to Polish “oranżada”, but I think it’s sweeter. It tastes of lemon and candy with more emphasis on candy and when you drink it you’ve got this impression of having a candy on your tongue.

In the afternoon I was so sleepy, that I’ve decided to get to bed and slept from 4 p.m. till 7 a.m. the next morning. This bed is very comfortable!

I changed my time in my mobile to start getting used to this time zone. It’s hard when you live for over 30 years in one rhythm and then you turn it upside down.

The highlight of Thursday was a short trip by bikes to the waterfront of the Redcliffe peninsula and seeing all a bit richer people’s houses with their boats in their marinas next to them. Those people must have a very boring and unhappy life. 😉

Good thing it’s winter, because in summer that jetty is packed with people,

the flight

Finally I bought an adapter to plug in the charger for my laptop and I’m back to life! 😛

I’m in Australia and I’m staying at my friend’s in Kippa-Ring on the Redcliffe peninsula, about 20 km north-northeast of Brisbane, Queensland. I’ll write more about this place later, but first how I got here.

My last dinner in London were pancakes with white cheese and blackcurrant jam made by my sister. I’ll be dreaming about them every time I miss a Polish homemade meal.

We took off from the Heathrow airport on Monday at about 22:30. It was my first flight by such a huge plane and I was feeling lost. I got a bit confident when I saw this on the seats 😉 :

Shame to admit, but I didn’t know such simple things like how to turn the light on or where I should plug the headphones in. The screen was great, so when I finally figured out how to operate it, I listened to the latest Kate Bush’s album Director’s Cut (love it!) and watched Rio and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. I was overwhealmed by all that new stuff in front of me that I didn’t know what to choose. After the second film, though I was actually tired and thought I should try to sleep. However it was time for breakfast and soon after that we were landing in Dubai. It was 5 a.m. UK time, but 8 a.m. in the United Arab Emirates. I had flown for 6 hours and lost the night.

In Dubai I had only 2 hours to change the planes. Long enough to refresh myself and browse through the shops. I forgot about Australian custom restrictions and bought a box of dates. Luckily, they allowed me to take them with me later at the Australian border. I was a good girl and declared them.

Back to Dubai. I was amused to see those signs next to each other on the information board,

I didn’t have to wait long to get on the second plane and I was more educated this time. The screen was showing 13 hours of flight, so I had enough time to sleep and watch movies. Sometime in between those “activities” (because I wasn’t very active, you know?), I saw we had crossed the equator! YAY! (sorry for the blurry photos, but we had strong turbulences, like on a train or coach… in Polish terms. 😉 )

A couple hours after we took off in Dubai, we flew into the night. Here we still had had 7 hours till Brisbane:

I’d been travelling for that long by coach, but it wasn’t the same as it was by plane. When you travel by coach there are stops more often, you can stretch your legs, walk for a little bit until the next part of the journey. On the plane it’s difficult and the only walk you take is to the toilet and back. It’s even more difficult when you sit in the middle and not by the aisle. I had a seat between two people on the first plain, but I was lucky to sit by the aisle on the second. Believe me, there’s no point in taking the seat by the window. You can’t see anything anyway, because it’s a night or just empty sky and you have to jump over two people, who can be fast asleep, to make a pee. OK, I’ll finish with that my “travelling long distances by plane” philosophy.

We landed in Brisbane on Wednesday, 3rd August at 6:30 early morning (still Tuesday 2nd Aug 21:30 in the UK). For you, I left London ‘yesterday’; for me it was two days ago. Funny thing is, the time…

A bit of statistics: about 20 hours in the air and 17,000 km away.

I stood in a long queue to the passport control just behind… a Polish family. I wasn’t surprised actually. When I was finally able to go with my dates after being questioned by a custom officer, I took my bag, which I welcomed like a pet or a long time no see co-traveller, and left the airport building. I WAS IN AUSTRALIA!!!! 😀

Soon after that my friend picked me up and on the way to his home he promised to give me some essential Australian experiences. Apart from seeing the All Blacks vs Wallabies match, I don’t know what else that could be. 😉

This is my home for the next month: