We finally got our stuff that we sent from Nashville 90 days ago. 90 days without a guitar was the most I’ve gone since I started playing. I’m determined to never let that happen again. One good thing is that it has made me want to practice again. I was definitely in a music funk and this has allowed me to break free and love music again. Hooray!
So, I made another trip out to IKEA yesterday now that I can see what we actually sent here. I had honestly forgotten. There is something very empowering about driving in another country. Especially one that drives on the opposite side of the road. Empowering and frightening. Very frightening. I don’t really feel “safe” until I’m home and the car is back in its spot. But then I feel like a young lioness that just attacked its first prey out in the wild. Well, something like that.
The hardest part is the fact that everything in the car is also opposite. So, I occasionally turn on the windshield wipers while trying to signal a turn. Okay, I do this all the time. But I’m getting better. Sean’s cousin gave us some great advice when he was here. He said that when he was in Ireland he imagined a little leprechaun sitting on his left shoulder saying in an Irish accent, “stay to the left, stay to the left”. As funny as this sounds it is absolutely brilliant advice. Now I have my own little leprechaun I like to call Seamus that tells me to “stay to the left” whenever I need him. Which is all of the time.
We use a car share called GoGet. It’s great. We pay a monthly fee and then book the car online whenever we need it. Gas, maintenance, insurance is all in the fees so we don’t have to worry about anything. I just walk across the street to the car, use my card to activate the locks, get in and go! So, with public transportation and GoGet we get to keep our travel expenses down. Awesome! More money to do fun Aussie stuff.
IKEA is always fun for me. I usually get a coffee with lunch and just sit and people watch. You see all kinds at IKEA. It reminded me how different the views on children are here. Several times we have been out and about and seen kids running around, screaming, playing, and no one says anything. They fall, they get up, they hit each other and all this time I keep waiting for a parent to step in and say that the kids need to be quiet or something but it never happens. It seems this is a country that refuses to grow up so why wouldn’t they let their kids be kids? It’s kinda great. An adjustment to be sure but kids are always playing and asking questions and moving around, learning about the world.
A kid around the age of 4 or 5 was walking behind his mom in IKEA, fully transfixed upon staring at me. I smiled and he smiled back just as he smacked his face into a chair. Hard! I grimaced but still smiled. He looked at me then looked at his mom who didn’t pay any attention to him. He smiled back at me and continued on as if nothing had happened. I have seen something similar to this happen in the States and the reaction from the mom was immediate. “Are you okay?” or “You’re alright.” But definitely an acknowledgement of something happening. I believe you would only get this reaction in Australia if there is blood involved. No blood, no foul rules apply here.
Funny thing is that I just read an article in the paper about parents who are becoming too doting on their children. They want parents to back off and let the kids learn. They are worried this will create a generation of whiners and entitled kids. Sound familiar?
In Australia, everyone is entitled to a “fair go”. After that you are on your own. Seems that they teach this from birth.
Here are your random pics o' the day:
|Manly surfer at Manly|
|Manly Ocean Walk|
|Surfing by the rocks|
|I do love koalas!|
|So, you're saying these aren't tennis balls?|
|New flights from Sydney to the Gold Coast so let's make sand art in the middle of Circular Quay|
|Amazing detail. This is all sand!|
|Opera house at night from the water|
|Our packers were great...at putting boxes in boxes.|