I suppose anywhere you go there are phrases and idioms to learn, but I'm finding some of the ones here especially interesting. For instance, after greeting someone, they'll ask "How're ya going?" (not "How're ya doin'? or How's it going?). And, a woman doesn't "get" pregnant - she falls pregnant (i.e. She decided to fall pregnant. -or- She fell pregnant.) Also, if someone invites you to supper, don't expect a meal. Supper here means dessert. An announcement was made that we'd have a pot luck supper after a Church meeting the other day - and it was all cookies (actually - here, cookies are called biscuits) And, yesterday I went swimming with a friend and when I changed into my suit, she said, "I like your costume." They call it a "swimming costume" here.
Below is an interesting recipe from the "supper" the other night:
Mars Bar Slice
4 Mars Bars
4 oz. butter (at least this measurement isn't in grams, like usual)
4 cups rice bubbles (a.k.a. Crispy Rice Cereal)
Choco bits to melt for the top

Melt Mars bars and butter together. Combine with rice bubbles. Press into slice tin. Drizzle melted chocolate over top. Refrigerate, slice and serve.


Friday 10 October 2008

Took the train north to Michelton and had my first six hours of motorcycle training. (Two in the classroom, four on the pavement) I have to admit there were times when I found myself thinking, "What in the world am I doing?!!" - but on the whole it was fun and I'm looking forward to my next class on the 24th. At the end of class I was exhausted, but exhilerated at the same time.


Wednesday, 8 October 2008
Today I rode on the riverboat, Miribel, down the Brisbane River to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. At the sanctuary I held a koala, got up close and personal with kangaroos, emus, Australian brush turkeys and more. I also got to see lorikeets, kookaburras, a dingo, lots of "flying foxes" (bats) and many other indigenous aussie animals. Fun!

Then, on the way back to Brisbane, I got to take the helm of the Miribel for part of the trip! Bonus!! I never thought I'd get to man the wheel of a riverboat. Loved it!


Sunday, 5 October 2008
The jacauranda trees are all in bloom.
We both have callings at Church, now. I'm the Relief Society Enrichment Leader and Bob is going to be working with the 10 and 11 year-old boys, helping them meet their "Faith in God" requirements. Should be fun for both of us!

Yesterday (Sat.) I went to a Yoga-in-the-Park activity from 7 - 8 a.m. and the woman who taught the class invited me to go to the gym with her tomorrow to see whether I'd be interested in one of their classes or not. I'm wanting to take either yoga or pilates classes - and try to get myself back into better shape. I'm looking forward to getting more fit.


Wednesday, 1 October 2008
At Church Sunday, they announced the opportunity to help at a local charity that provides services to young people (ages 12 - 24) who have cancer. They are preparing for their big fundraising drive - selling colorful bandanas, pens and such. Since our apartment is empty and I have no other commitments right now, I took the bus to the Brisbane headquarters for CanTeen in Fortitude Valley and spent a couple of hours helping box up orders. Met some very nice people there and told them I'd be back later in the week.

The biggest scooter dealer in Brisbane just happens to be located a few blocks from CanTeen, so I stopped by to check out the Vespas and other scooters. Because of my height, I've found there are few bikes I'm very comfortable on. The one that seems to fit me well is a Sym Mio - but I'm still considering. I did learn of a good training class I enrolled in and am looking forward to taking that on Oct 10.


Photo of the entrance to the Thornton Street Ferry stop - just down the hill from us.
Friday, 26 September 2008
Today I got the official Australian visa sticker in my passport and also got my Queensland driver's license. Am getting more familiar with Brisbane's central business district as well as the suburb of New Farm to learn about local shopping, etc.


23 September 2008
It's Bob's birthday and I arrived in Brisbane about 6:30 a.m. One of my bags didn't arrive with me, so it took a while to leave the airport. (Customs was pretty quick, though.) The huge time difference took it's toll, though, and I slept a lot the first couple of days in country.

Our apartment, on the 20th floor of the Goodwin Apartments in Kangaroo Point, is small but nice and in a good location. We're only about a mile from Church and the temple. And, Bob walks down the hill each day to catch a five-minute ferry ride across the Brisbane River to go to work.

We have an air mattress to sleep on plus a table and folding chairs that we'll move out on the balcony once our things arrive. The ship carrying our belongings is scheduled to land in port here on Oct. 7. We hope they won't keep our things in quarantine too long, but have been told it could be up to a month. I know I shouldn't complain, but it's difficult to be comfortable with such minimal creature comforts. I'm managing to prepare meals with one small pot and one skillet - and we have two plates, two cups, two bowls, etc. . . It's a bit like camping out - on the 20th floor.