30 March 2007

A Walk in the Park

Coming to a foreign country - even an English-speaking one - is a big jump. One might say it's not just a walk in the park. There are plenty of scary travel stories floating around to try and put you off.

Although not everything they tell you is true (seriously, you must have been kidding when you told me the food here is bad) there are some grains of truth.

The weather is cold. (That said, it was 19 degrees yesterday AND it was sunny and beautiful).
The women are fashionable. (Yes, I now have a strong desire to slip into some tight jeans, ballet slippers and a funky coat. Don't laugh. Seriously. There are hundreds of women here who look fantastic in those.)
The squirrels are cute. (But no photos because they are also fast).

And, well, relief teaching isn't really that easy. However I have only done one day of it so far, which in the scale of things is not many, in fact it is miniscule. Which means that I will have another try at it.

The thing is, I'm determined to stay here. London is beautiful and it is the best thing getting to know my family over here. I have yet to see Big Ben and shop at Selfridges and fit into a pair of skinny jeans. There will be more doing of things that scare me, there will be conquering of fear and there will be the money to pay for fabulous trips to everywhere in Europe.

27 March 2007

Beware the Tube

It was particularly bitter cold weather. Rugged up chin to toe, we had hustled into a tube and were defrosting inside the warmth of the carriage. The tube made a beeping sound. It was about to take off. More people jammed themselves inside and just as the door sped to close itself, a man leapt in.

Except that he didn’t quite make it.

The tube doors are tinted. We couldn’t see his body. We couldn’t see his face. All we could see was a leg, clad in brown woollen trousers and a flat manly shoe.

The train was taking off.

The leg was wiggling to escape.

The leg wiggled frantically but the knee was too wide. Finally the leg turned sideways and carefully but quickly extricated itself from the door. The door slammed shut.

We all breathed a silent sigh of relief and the tube glided onward.

25 March 2007

Brass Monkeys

It's the kind of cold here where you have to wear a thermal, two long-sleeved tops, a woollen jumper and a coat. And scarves actually have a purpose other than decoration.
I'm not complaining. It's not like cold here is unexpected. It's just that today I found the perfect way to express it.
My aunt said "Well it's all brass monkeys, isn't it."
What was that?
Apparently there's a saying here, "It's cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey." Brass monkeys indeed.

24 March 2007

On Plane Food and Exploding Rubber Gloves

So we arrived here on Thursday. Or was it Friday? Utterly bewildered.
And it's fabulous.

Hard to believe that somewhere in the space of 48 hours I have:
* Watched a man put a white rubber glove on his head in Sydney. Of course you know what happened next. Yes. He blew it up with his nose until it exploded.
* Eaten excellent Indian food with my hands. Something felt so wrong about this, I just couldn't stop thinking about the germs. (Still in Sydney).
* Watched 'Happy Feet' twice in succession. (Somewhere between Sydney and Singapore).
* Landed in Bahrain, which from the air looks like a gigantic sandbar with little cube-shaped houses and a handful of palm trees. Incredibly exotic. Chatted to an American woman in the airport who shared her jelly-belly jellybeans with me and told me she'd seen 11 musicals in 8 days in London.
* Left Bahrain, at 10pm Aus time, staring out the plane window at the bright hot sunny day. Sleep? Now? Not a chance.
*Flew over blinding white mountaintops covered in snow. (Don't ask me where I was at this stage.)
* Landed, FINALLY, in Heathrow, realising that after 3 8-hour flights I really am a million gazillion miles from home and I better damn well like it here because I am NOT getting on a 24-hour plane flight again for a very long time.

And by the way, aeroplane food these days consists of a gourmet three-course meal with cheesecake for dessert. But still. No more small enclosed spaces thank you very much.

17 March 2007

Goodbye Snowbart

L. and I went to the top of Mt Wellington to farewell this city and to imprint the amazing scenery inside our brains in order to ward off potential home sickness.
Ah, Snowbart. I will miss your saturday market full of yummy things to eat. (I will not miss your bratwurst sausages with strange cabbage toppings). Now, on with the packing and cleaning.

15 March 2007

It's Alive!

If you are reading this you will know that I have toyed with the idea of resurrecting the blog for a while.

So.... after many deletes and resurrections (this would be about the fourth rebirth) I have decided that the blog stays. A place for me to put up the odd pic to show my family that I am still alive and having a good time. A place to post the odd funny thing.

If you know me, you'll know that this is the second time I've been overseas to live. There will be no cheesy blog title ("Further Adventures of LexOnline") although I did consider it. If you come up with a better title let me know.

Here we go again, then: the craziness of living out of a backpack, of figuring out the public transport quirks of a strange country and deciphering those unwritten rules. Of missing the home country more than I appreciate it when I'm actually here.

Here's to having a crazy good time, meeting some nice people and throwing that coin into the Trevi Fountain in Italy.

It's me! Wineglass Bay, a week ago.