“How's it going? (or in Auzzie speak, 'how're ya going?)”
“Are you settling in?”
“Have you seen kangaroos?”
Of all the questions that landed in my in box this week the kangaroo one is the easiest. Each evening a group of roos converge in the field across from where we're anchored and nibble their way across. I should have pictures—especially of one mama roo and her ridiculously giant joey. With his great head and long ears poking from her distended pouch she looks beyond uncomfortable.
But I've been remiss in taking the camera out. Which means I haven't taken pictures of the roos, or all the amazing bird life, or the sugar cane fields, or the toothless men wearing too-tight t-shirts and 'stubbie' shorts, or the heaps of signs that litter ever surface, and warn you against doing anything and everything, in lengthy, grammatically creative form.
“What are our impressions?” We're told Queensland isn't representative of Oz. That we're in a rural setting (one person said wasteland, but I thought that was harsh) and that it's normal that we can't understand the locals. But because it's remote and unsophisticated—fun here seems to consist of loading large people in small boats and fishing on the river, or heading to the local sports club for raffle night, where if you are lucky you may win meat—it's not as culturally interesting as we might hope. And the restaurants lack ambiance. And good food.
But we're going okay. We're not rushing through re-entry. Our biggest outings are to the grocery store, or the ice cream shop, or the laundry (it seems someone invented this crazy machine that actually washes clothes for you!). Most of our time is spent on chores, or work, or on each other's boats. We're socializing. A lot. Especially because we're acutely aware we'll all be going our own ways soon, and because we have nice food to cook with again. Affordable nice food.
Yes, we were told that Oz is god-awful expensive and maybe once we leave the hinterlands it will be, but so far it's only marginally more dear than Canada, and some things are cheaper. Kangaroo meat for example. And Australian wine. The things we've noticed costing more are books and marinas. But honestly we haven't shopped much. We still feel far too broke to do anything as frivolous as shop for something non-essential.
Our current plan—as much as we have one... is to head out of here with C4 in a day or two and hopefully catch up with WGD and Discovery. Along the way to Brisbane it looks like we'll have a few nice things to keep us busy, but soon enough we'll settle into Brisbane and start the next phase of life in Oz: rebuilding the kitty.