This past weekend I had the most incredible time enjoying the Australian coast and meeting people from all over the world – then Monday morning happened.
Friday through Sunday was a dream. I took the train into the city Friday evening after I was “off” of work (aka free from children) and met Leslie for some dinner and drinks in West End – a trendy, local area of Brissy. We enjoyed catching up, sharing stories of our nanny adventures from the week and meeting some interesting Aussie / South African locals. There was a Columbian man in the group by the name of Paulo who had us all cracking up. We called it quits at midnight though so we could get up early and topped off the evening with a donut and chocolate milk from 7-eleven – something I’ve never done in America and have no idea why.
Saturday and Sunday we spent in Surfer’s Paradise, a beach on the Gold Coast, not too far from Brisbane. We stayed at a really chill and tropical-themed hostel, where we shared a room with six other people our age from all parts of the UK and Austria. We got to know each other pretty quick and almost all of us participated in the hostel’s “Big Night Out,” basically a $30 pub crawl that took us to four different clubs and included five free drinks – super good deal and so much fun! We met a lot of people out that night, some of which we are going to try and keep in touch with because they are living in the same area as us. One girl I met is from St. Louis, au pairing in Brisbane as well, and knows James’ sister Audrey! Crazy small world!
I made it back to the city yesterday evening around sunset, picked some stuff up from the supermarket and spent the rest of the night eating and hanging out with Olivia, Hannah and their brother, Joey. When we went to get ice cream, all of them went into the supermarket barefoot… I thought it was hilarious but apparently it’s “part of the Australian lifestyle.” I like it.
Then this morning happened– woke up at a decent time, went into the city to go get some bank stuff straightened out, didn’t really get much straightened out and got lost twice. Tip: If you are traveling to Australia long-term, or any foreign country really, and open a bank account DO NOT bring a cashier’s check from your bank at home to deposit into your new one despite what your American bank may tell you – fun fact: it takes several weeks to process. Apparently checks aren’t really a thing here and it’s a whole complicated mess to get your money from them. I guess looking back the morning wasn’t THAT bad but at the time it felt like a classic ‘I’m not from here and I’m lost, someone help me’ kind of morning. I walked in the total wrong direction of the specific branch of the NAB bank I was supposed to go to at first and then later I tried taking the bus to the street Hannah lives at but ended up in a completely different suburb with a street named the same. Very confusing and totally not my fault. Just a typical Monday. Guess it doesn’t matter where you are – it will find it’s way to you.
On the plus side, I am safe and sound with my host family and am about to rest up for another week of childcare! Wish me luck!
(P.s. Go Gators! Sad I missed the first game day of the season. I miss my Gville peeps! Love you all!)