27 June, 2009

Culture shock, swimming and shopping.

We're into day two of our holiday in Cairns. Today at least we've found the energy to do something. A good night sleep really helps. 

Our youngest was asleep amidst the noise and light at 5pm, we roused him for a banana for dinner and he was in bed by 6pm. He slept until about 7.30, as we all did. Our middle son had a good nap after lunch yesterday, so was very late to bed. David and I got about 10 hours of most welcome sleep. I was so tired last night that when I washed my hair I forgot to put conditioner in and today I feels like straw. Nice! 

 Today we went down to central Cairns, which is almost on the beach. There is a great pool-like area just off the beach called The Lagoon. For those from Brisbane, it is somewhat comparable to South Bank, but with more grass (!!!!) and trees. 

 Culture shock? I could show you a photo of all the shoes at the front door - we can hardly bear to walk inside with shoes on! There is no rubbish sorting, all in the one bin - that is a hard one. Australians come in such different colours and shades AND sizes. Some big people out there in bikinis who just shouldn't be! I'm not sure how formal to be in my speech sometimes and find myself apologising perhaps too much. That is the Japanese side of me coming out. Sometimes we're sprouting Japanese words too, even my 10 y.o., who for all appearances, hates the language. 

Other than that we're doing okay, although we had to work hard to persuade our boys before we left to swim, that Australians don't wear swimming caps and goggles if they are just swimming recreationally. The grocery store this afternoon was full of so much stuff, food I've dreamed about for years, and some I've never heard about. Couldn't find my youngest's preference for a calcium drink. He doesn't like milk, so we've been buying drinking yoghurt. Doesn't seem to be much of that around. 

For all those agonizing (is this the Australian or US spelling?) over yesterday's post, I did bring myself to decide on some chocolate, buying some Mars Bars. Decided we couldn't delay any long in introducing our boys to those. I also brought home Minties! 

 At the same time as all this frivolity, our friend is still looking for and applying for a house for us to rent in Brisbane. We're praying we'll be able to take out a lease by the 4th of July so that we can move in on the 9th when we finally arrive there. 

 My biggest encouragement these last two days has come from our 6 y.o. He is the one who has the most difficulty adjusting to new experiences. He like to stand back and check things out first. However, he is so excited to be in Australia. He is taking the new things in his stride. As we walked back yesterday, after sampling Australian ice cream (I had a White Magnum, for all those worried about my problem with chocolate yesterday morning), he declared that this could be our "Australian Adventure!" Obviously that mentality makes all the new experiences much more fun.


Hippomanic Jen said...

funny to hear it in reverse. I'd think of your "Missionary Adventure" I guess kids bloom where they're planted!

Mrs Q said...

Welcome back! We used to have drinking yoghurt available in the supermarket but they don't seem to sell it anymore. I can show you how to make it yourself using a yoghurt maker and some mixes (and a few tips about how to get it to work in winter). Enjoy the warm while it lasts because it's either thick frost or non-stop rain, dark and mould here.

Wendy said...

Thanks Mrs Q, I'll take you up on that offer, once we're back. In the meantime we'll have to make do. Found some Jalna that he enjoyed.

Jen, yes it is odd. They strongly consider themselves Australian, but there is so much they don't know about the place. Fascinating and frustrating for their parents!

Catherine said...

You'll find the drinking yoghurt soon enough _ I see it all the time, with all the flavoured milk. Aldi have some, too.

Welcome back!