fantastic. Well, I guess now that I sit here in an internet cafe in Mumbai, I should put that into past tense. Australia was fantastic. I can't believe that I went almost two weeks without blogging, or logging onto the internet. Wow.
Due to my side trip in Uganda, I only spent a short 9 days in Australia, and will definitely go back. It is a massive country, so I don't feel too badly missing the lot of it because even if I had spent months there I could never have really seen it all anyway. That, and it gives me a great excuse to return. :)
My friend Jill came and met us, which was really fun. Let's just say that she is not quite the backpacking type (self-admittedly) so Rahima and I enjoyed a few of life's finer perks, such as real hotels, and really felt quite like tourists on vacation for a week. It was amazing. Jill got to laugh at how Rahima and I have gotten this far in life and stil have no idea what to expect from 4 star hotels and their staff. What is the difference between the concierge deak and the bell desk anyway? Answer: Doesn't matter. Everyone employed there is meant to help you. :)
So we started off in Sydney, where we were also spoiled by my Dad's friend's daughter and husband. (Did you follow that?) So my dad lived in Australia for a few years before moving to the US, and some of his friends from Austria stayed there. So David and Kirsty took us sailing around Sydney harbour one day, had us over for a bbq another day, and just generally took good care of us showing us some of the tourist areas with a nice balance of local flare. David was sure that we got to see the authentic kangaroo scrotum bottle openers, etc. in the tourist shops.
We rented a car and headed to the Blue Mountains for a quick hike and some great scenery, then down to Canberra to stay a night with Robyn and Gus, my dad's friends. We got a quick tour around Canberra the next day, then continued down the coast for the next few days, eventually arriving in Melbourne, where we spent about three days. Very, very fun.
I have to say that I could listen to Australians talk forever and not get tired of the accent. I love that they say, "How you going?" instead of "How are you doing?". I love that "Good on you" means "Good for you", and yes, there were quite a few people who really do say "G'day mate!". I ate kangaroo one night (delicious), and my new favorite Australian dish, the incredible Spaghetti on Toast. No joke. It's actually on menus and stuff. It is as if Australia is the land of frat boys and bachelors. Anything put on toast becomes a legitimate meal. Australians are quite entertaining and always willing to poke fun at themselves. That, and there was an international comedy festival being held in Melbourne the week we were there, so we got to see a few comics doing free shows and that might have influenced my perception of all Aussies being funny. ;)
So, sadly, I left Australia but I did wake up in India :) My fickle soul (or as some call it, ADD) is now enchanted by these new surroundings. We will be here for about three weeks, spreading our time between India and Nepal and trains. :) When they built Asia they shouldn't have put Mumbai so far away from Nepal.