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I Am... Mama and Writer

First Mama.  Then Writer.  Though, of late, the latter has consumed a great deal of time as I work to get things in order to potentially be ...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Saturday Soliloquy #5

Part 5 and Final: Australia

One of the purchases I made before I left Perth was a didgeridoo.  It was the most expensive decorative item I’d ever bought for myself to that point… and still to this point, too.  Unfortunately, much of the actual (not just sentimental) value of it was removed when the tag snapped off during the packing process when we moved from Virginia to Florida.  It was a result of having the Elder’s Quorum help us move.  But how can I be mad about that?  I mean, I was mad.  But I had to let it go because they helped us so much.  I mean, I don’t think we could’ve loaded the moving truck in time to actually move if it wasn’t for their work for us.  And we didn’t have to pay for their time and effort.

I also bought some other omiage… what are they in English.  Oh, yeah, souvenirs.  I bought Jessie a really nice boomerang (mostly decorative) and a bullroar/outback telephone/bush phone (also very decorative).  I bought t-shirts and ash trays (because they looked cool).  I bought less expensive boomerangs and other less expensive souvenirs.  It was pretty fun to make those purchases, but also expensive.

For my trip TO Perth, I traveled the southern edge of the island continent.  For my return to Sydney, I would travel the northern edge of the continent.  I wanted, very much, to go to Uluru, but because I didn’t have enough time to travel there and get to Sydney in enough time, I had to nix that plan.  The funny and rather odd thing is that normally Uluru is a big red mound-type hill.  The year I was there, it was covered in grass because there had been so much more rain there than normal.  So, instead of a red mound, it was a green one!  I didn’t get to see it with my own eyes, but there were many people who shared this interesting bit of information with me and anyone else they could talk to about it.  It was that strange!

My first stop after leaving Perth was Monkey Mia.  It’s a tourist destination with a dolphin that visits the shore each morning.  When I went, the dolphin had a calf.  I didn’t get to see either up close, but I did see them.  It was neat to see a dolphin in real life and in the wild, for the most part.  I think the only time I’d seen a dolphin before was when I went to an aquarium… I think that was in Australia, too, but I can’t remember for sure.

Monkey Mia also had lots of pelicans.  I hadn’t seen a pelican in real life before, so that was pretty cool, too.  The one very uncool thing about that little vacation was that I was foolish and got a horrible sunburn.  It hurt for days and days and made riding a hot bus very uncomfortable!

From there I went to Broome, Western Australia, I think.  I’m pretty sure I stayed in a hostel there because of the timing of buses, but maybe I only changed buses.  The next place I know I stayed in a hostel was Darwin, Northern Territory.  The bus pulled in quite late in the evening and then I had to catch the next bus early in the morning, so I literally only spent the night there.  I don’t even remember what the city looked like – except, I think, that’s the city I felt like I was back in the USA because it just seemed like a city in the States.  Since I had traveled by bus in the USA before, I actually had a direct experiential comparison.

Still, I wanted to investigate the town.  I didn’t get to, though, of course.  On to the next stop.  Brisbane, Queensland was nice.  If I remember correctly, I remember feeling like that city was very similar to what I’d heard about and seen (pictures and movies) of some southern cities in Florida.  Since I live in Florida now (2012), I can tell you I think I was spot on.  Of course, I think the comparison would be even more accurate of Brisbane to Miami or something like that, but still.  It’s pretty similar.  Palm trees, pastel colored buildings, very open and spread out… that kind of thing.

Newcastle, New South Wales, was a stop, I think, at which I had to change buses.  I’m not absolutely sure about that, though.

I do know, for sure, that I returned to Sydney!  J  I also returned to the hostel I first stayed in because it was just that cool.  It was the Sydney Central Hostel on Pitt Street.  I think it would be super neat to return there with my family.  I’m sure I would have a much more enjoyable time with my children and husband than I did alone!  I liked it, but it wasn’t super enjoyable because I felt so very lonely for someone(s) with whom to share the experience(s).  I guess that’s why I remember those girls who befriended me in Adelaide and Katrin Henn so well.  I wish I could remember my Adelaide girls’ names.  ahwell

There was a big market in Sydney that I enjoyed perusing and visited twice, I think.  The whole area was very neat.  There were so many places for shopping… they were all close together and all too easy to meander from one area to another.  I’m pretty sure that it was on this trip to Sydney that I made the trek out to see the Sydney Opera House.  What a very neat structure!  I mean, I knew that from pictures, but seeing it in person was definitely worth the walking time and effort to get there and back to my hostel!

I remember the hostel in Sydney being a great place.  It was clean and orderly.  The staff was young, so they were distracted, but they were kind.  I think it was at the Sydney hostel that there was a locker room area where you could pay to keep your bags secure until you could get into your rooming area (and keep extra bags even when you were in your room).  I had to pay extra, but it felt good to know they would be safe in their little locker (or, at least, I believed they would be safe).
My return to the USA was, as I recall, uneventful.  The airports were still under tighter security than ever before or since, I think, so that was stressful.  But I didn’t have any problems with flights being super late or missing a connection or having to sleep in the airport (which I did have to do on my return to surprise Jessie back in October).  Oh, I just remembered something about that.  There was one point at which during the whole process of trying to get back to Virginia that I sort of met another family trying to get back to the same area because their son was set to graduate from some military school or another.  We were basically in the same boat.  I don’t remember why, but I ended up almost driving with them to another place to catch another flight, I think… but I felt absolutely sick about it (after we were already on the road), so I had them bring me back to the airport.  It was at that point, I think, that I ended up sleeping in the airport.  It was absolutely nuts!
I was definitely glad to be back in the USA.  I felt very different, though.  Reverse culture shock, upon returning to the States from Japan was rough.  The reverse culture shock really was not so much a problem this time around, but I was still coping poorly with the after effects of the destruction of September 11th.  I felt like I was horribly altered… changed in a way I felt like everyone should notice… yet it seemed no one really did.
It’s only been very recently that I realized a part of me died as a result of that False Flag.  The part of me that died was not a terribly good part, necessarily… but it was the lighter, easier going, more fun loving part of who I had been.  I became much more serious and goal oriented after my experiences surrounding that September than I’d ever been.  I also became angrier, I think… angrier because I felt this constant looming sort of unsafe feeling.  I still feel it.  I’ve just gotten used to how it feels… and, more importantly, I feel God’s Peace and His lifting power.  I guess, it would be more accurate for me to say that I know the sense of impending danger is constantly sort of looming, but the burden of it is not upon me the way it was back then.  Our Heavenly Father has that kind of authority… to relieve us of burdens in ways that may seem small to the understanding of men, but which are truly miraculous!  Anyway…
I guess that’s all for the story/stories of my time in Australia.  I hope you’ve enjoyed it.  I think I’ll move along to… or move back in time… to my trip to Japan.  My time in Japan and Australia are the two stories Ria asks me to tell most frequently… those two and my wedding and birth stories.  So, that’s what I’m planning to write.  Next Japan, then probably I’ll consolidate some pre-published (on my blog) stories about meeting Jessie and getting married, then share or re-share birth stories for each of my children in Saturday Soliloquy.  Probably, I’ll share whole stories all at once in the future… we’ll see.

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