Thursday, March 13, 2008

First Impressions

G'day Mates!

I landed in Sydney, Australia this morning….after a loooonnng 15 hour flight from San Francisco. I must say I have a new understanding of the watery expanse we call the Pacific Ocean. The flight left 10:20pm on Saturday night, and we arrived in AU at 7:50am Monday morning. Needless to say….Sunday disappeared somewhere in there!

It wasn't until after I had gotten off the plane in Sydney that I was told I needed to claim my baggage, go through customs, and navigate the jam-packed international terminal to get to a shuttle that would take me 6 miles to the domestic transfer airport. This slightly conflicted with the emphatic reassurance from the ticketing agent at SFO who told me not to worry at all about my baggage and that they would be pushed through to my final destination. So I ended up frantically at the end of a HUGE line of people who found themselves in the same situation as I had, and I was the second to last person to board the plane. But, I got here!

It's 98 degrees Fahrenheit and I already have a sunburn! But I love it so far; the whole atmosphere is different. People aren't in a hurry to get anywhere, and it kind of feels like everyone's on vacation-- even though it's Monday!

My aunt Lisa was there to meet me at the airport, and we made a first stop at IKEA (right outside the airport) before heading to the restaurant. It was so cute, as we were walking out a little 2 or 3-year old boy suddenly popped up beside me. I hadn't heard anybody near us, so when I noticed him walking out with us I stopped and looked down, "Oh! You must have lost your parents!" His eyes got really big and he got this wide, mystified grin on his face and couldn't stop staring at me, but wouldn't say anything. The more I talked, the bigger his grin! I could tell there was laughter in his eyes; he was just so in awe that he couldn't manage to do anything. It turns out his mum was right behind us and said, "Oh, he thinks you're so funny."

Then at the restaurant I met the chef, Andrew, and he said my accent was very strong, stronger than Lisa's. So it must be. I guess I better just get ready to be laughed at for the next three months!

Geoff and Lisa's boys Jozey and Lachlan were waiting at the restaurant when we got there, about 1:30pm. Apparently they were very excited to see me, and Jozey, who's 14, found a way to take a half-day off school for it. J I thought that was so cute. Lachlan's just a few months younger than me and this is my first time to meet him because I was in Belgium when they all came and visited in Oregon. They're really fun kids, I know we're going to have a lot of fun!

I have a few pictures that I was going to attach, but because of some internet problems I'll have to send them hopefully tomorrow.
Cheers!

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