Monday, July 7, 2008

Expat musings #2

So we got to the house we had been provided with and all fell into a deep and dreamless sleep. (Twenty-four hours of screaming had at least tired out #4.) I imagine that my fellow passengers had arrived at their chosen destinations with stories to tell of screaming babies and bad parents to keep them busy at dinner parties for months.

When I woke up it was even hotter. Well I thought I better ring "home" and let them know we have arrived. I had no idea what time it was where I was, never back in the UK. ( Slight hiccup in the watch adjustment department.)

I picked up the phone and there was a silence, followed by a strange whirring noise. Apparently this is the dial tone in Australia, a sort of pregnant pause that you just feel you have to say " Hello, hello?" into, followed by a noise that sounds like the phone is broken. Seven years and I still get confused with the noises that issue from the phone. There seems to be no consistency with the noises, you just sort of dial and hope.

After several attempts, double checking with the phone book, waking a small child to see if he could work it out, and accosting a stranger in the street..

"Excuse me, yes you,... excuse me can you come and tell me if the phone is working? and how to dial it? ...Please? "

The poor man must have thought we some sort of care in the community refugees, but it goes to show that Orstaaaalins are basically friendly people. He was a great help, although he did keep his distance from us, and it gave my mother a bit of a turn when a complete stranger rang her and in an Australian accent said " G'day, yuritethere? earsyurgirl. " ( hello, how are you, here's your daughter). We didn't even offer him a drink, what with the getting of a plane and sleeping thing we didn't even know if the taps worked... can you drink the water?

In retrospect I was wearing clothes I had had on for two days, more or less, and had been asleep for eight hours, I must have looked pretty scary; and that was before Homer (a very large man) appeared (loomed?) behind him in a state of semi undress. MMM he probably thought he had been lured into an axe murderers den. We haven't seen him since, well not if he saw us first.

First thing my mother said, " Have you any idea what time it is here!". Well actually no, I don't know what day or time it is here, never mind what time it is there.

So I told her about the croc at the airport, with a quick aside into "They call that an INTERNATIONAL airport."

Next tasks, transport, money and food!


Milla said...

I've read quite a few of your blogs now and just adore child #4!

slh35661 said...

I can picture it now...because I have lived it. I was a very young mom, 18, with a baby and 5 suitcases and a stroller flying to England for the first time. I remember the same groddy feelings of wearing the same clothes and being time disoriented. Can't wait for the next installment. It is like reading a chapter book!