These past few days have been a pain in the neck, as well as in the throat, stomach and head. I came home Friday after work with a fever (I knew something was wrong when it was a super hot day but I was too cold to take off my cardigan on a bus without air conditioning), and I haven't felt much better since then. The fever is gone, but I'm left with intense nausea, fatigue and a burning headache. I couldn't even make it through a full day of work today.
So far, I've missed out on seeing a Fringe comedy show* with Al (we couldn't find anyone to take our ticket last minute on Friday night), money from working a full day and several workouts. I did, however, gain the opportunity to sprawl across the couch this afternoon in my pajamas and watch the Oscars live on TV. Who thinks Sandra Bullock should host the Oscars next year? I do!
Backtracking to the weekend, I didn't leave my apartment at all on Saturday. I stayed on the couch and took my temperature every hour. On top of that, I watched several episodes of "Glee" that I needed to catch up on. Al played cricket all afternoon, and then he joined me on the couch. He later grabbed some food from one of our local bakeries for dinner (pies and pasties
, of course), and he surprised me with a Nutella heart-shaped donut.
You know it's good when you see the grease seep through the paper bag. We split it for breakfast the next morning. While every Nutella bite was a taste of heaven, I still felt super sick after eating it. It was incredibly rich, and I feel nauseated from eating everything right now. I have been known to eat Nutella straight from the jar, though, so I could see myself eating one of these again.
Before I go, I want you all to know that living by one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the city has a cost. There are bells.
On any given week, the bells of St Peters Cathedral ring on Sunday mornings at 10:30 and on Tuesday nights for bell practice. In February, however, there is a special bell ringing schedule for the Fringe Festival. If you can make out the times at all below (they are highlighted in yellow), then you see that they ring for a long time. 4:30-8:30 on a Friday night? That's a little excessive.
I like bells when they make an actual melody (think Altgeld Hall for you University of Illinois people), but the bells here are just a cacophony. They are LOUD. They sound pretty at first, but then you realize that they don't sound like anything. Are most church bells like that? I really have no idea. Anyway, I'll be a little bit happier when they resume their normal ringing schedule after tomorrow.
I hope you like my golden retriever magnet, by the way. It came all the way from America.
* I need to write a post on the Fringe Festival. I've mentioned it before, but there is a lot to say about it. Don't let me forget to fill you in, because you may have no clue what the Fringe is if you're not familiar with Adelaide.
I am very fortunate to be surrounded by parks. During my six (or so) minute walk home from the gym, I pass through a lot of parkland.
In Adelaide's nicer parks, there are benches everywhere. They make me want to plant myself on one with a good book.
Along with the benches, there is never a shortage of wildlife.
In the evening, I almost always find our friend
in the trees.
I always walk past one of Australia's most beautiful sporting grounds: The Adelaide Oval
. It will be quieter now that the cricket season is coming to a close, but there are still events there year-round. If footy
moved here now, I would be a very happy girl (the Adelaide Crows and Port Power play in one of the western suburbs, but they are probably going to move here in a few years).
I enjoy passing this water fountain, although I swear it doesn't run all the time.
Today, I was happy to see ducks swimming in it. They would have needed it on such a super hot day. They are also spoiled with the river across the street.
There is a tribute to cricket, of course.
The greenery is breathtaking. Adelaide's grass usually isn't this green at the end of the summer, but it rained more than usual this season.
Soon after the park in front of the Oval, I arrive at St Peter's Cathedral. Since we live so close, we have the blessing of seeing weddings all the time. We also get to hear the bells. I'll save that for another time.
It's a pretty view from our place.
Or is this view better? Take the bird out of the equation. Don't let the bird influence your decision.
Nah. Bird or not, I like this view far better than the latter.
Finally, I arrive back in our courtyard. I see Chippity Hippity
and the three plants that were housewarming gifts from friends of Al's parents. We got a chili plant, a fern and something else. Given that Al and I have zero gardening experience, we're hoping that we won't kill them. Let's hope that one of us inherently has a green thumb.
And that's my walk home! Not too bad, eh?
Feast your eyes on my iPhone photos from the past few weeks that I have taken but not uploaded! WARNING: These are completely random.
Photo one: This is an iced coffee. Apparently, if you get an iced coffee in Australia and don't elaborate on how you want it, you end up with a cup of coffee with milk and ice cream. It tastes good, but I think it was too heavy to consume when all I wanted was cold black coffee. I should remember that for next time.
Photo two: I ordered falafel from the snack shop last week for lunch. It was scrumptious.
Photo three: We bought this couch for about $350. It was a bargain, considering it was relatively new and originally cost over $1,000. We found it on Gumtree
, and I inspected it with one of my coworkers (the seller lived down the street from my office) before we sealed the deal. We were never able to have a big couch in the shoe box that we left, so we are elated to have something so big and comfortable in our new place.
Photo four: There was a full moon on Saturday night. It was picture-perfect until I snapped it with my iPhone camera. Honestly, though, how often do cameras actually do justice?
Photo five: This is a Peter Alexande
r shopping bag. Peter Alexander is an Aussie pajamas store that caters directly to me (execept I can't really afford anything in there). Everything there is pink and decorated with dogs. I especially love this bag, because the dog's face looks like my darling dog Mickey
(with a pink bow). I parted with the bag on Sunday, so I said goodbye with a picture.
Photo six: I found flowers that I swear I have never seen before.
Photo seven: The sky was such a beautiful shade of blue today, that I had to make more than just a mental picture of it while I was on my lunchtime walk.
Before I go, here is a link
to before and after photos from Christchurch. I've been following the coverage all day. It is an absolute nightmare (at least 75 people are dead), but at least there are many people who have been rescued from the rubble.
Have a great day, blog friends!
What a week! There has been a lot going on. For one thing, we are all moved into our new place! We got the keys last Tuesday, and then we made several trips between Al's parents' home and the apartment. Luckily, they're not far apart.
I took the day off on Wednesday and started to sort through this mess.
Doesn't it remind you of right before we moved out of our last apartment
Well, as I said in the title, we love our new place. It has a bay window that looks out into the gardens across the street. It doesn't look that blurry in real life.
It has a garden in our little front courtyard. It looks bare now, but we already have some new plants to put in it.
The front gate and courtyard are perfect. We can easily fit a small table and two chairs. It will be great to be able to eat breakfast in the fresh air.
Once we clear all this stuff off, we'll have a lot of cooking space.
We also have a back courtyard with some berry plants.
The two bedrooms in the back open up into this other private courtyard. It's not very big, but we'll be able to at least hang up our laundry there.
The last tenants left this phone in the cabinet. While I don't think we'll ever use it, I am proud to temporarily own one.
Since moving in, we bought a little garden companion. He has a chip on his right foot (the one covered by the dirt), so we named him Chippity Hippity.
Here are some other random tidbits from the week (since I've been gone for an inexcusably long time):
I learned that our friend
(or his friends- it's hard to tell) hangs out in the trees across the street.
I learned that I really like quinoa. I cooked it for the first time last week, and I think it's actually fun to eat (not to mention healthy).
Finally, I learned that bachelorette parties (or hen's nights, as they say in Aussie Land) are very fun. I won't explain the photo below, but I will tell you that I wasn't getting arrested.
One of my coworkers, Nikki, is getting married next month. She had her hen's night on Friday and a tamer party on Sunday afternoon.
On Sunday, we had a competition to see who could make the best wedding dress out of toilet paper. I was the model, and we came in second place! They made a Grecian one-shoulder dress with a very long train in the back. When I held up my 'bouquet', I apparently looked like the Statue of Liberty. Anyway, I think they did a great job. I might hire the girls from my group to make me a wedding dress. Thoughts?
I also found out while I was eating lunch today that there was a horrific earthquake
in Christchurch, New Zealand. People were literally crushed in their office buildings as floors in the downtown area pancaked on top of each other. They actually had a more powerful earthquake last year, but this one has done far more damage. Last year, it was very early in the morning while most people were still asleep. This time, people were working and out on the streets. There are already 65 reported deaths. It's another terrible blow for this part of the world.
Where have I been for four days? On a blog hiatus? Usually, when I'm away for a few days, it means I'm out having fun. But I always miss my blogging! I need to learn to have fun AND blog at the same time.
The soon-to-be Mr. and I had a great weekend. Highlights include:
- my first massage (I went to the Divine Wellness and Beauty in North Adelaide- thanks to a wonderful Christmas gift from a client). It was a sixty-minute full-body aromatherapy massage. I also got my eyebrows shaped. I could get used to this special treatment
- finding great deals at Harbourtown. I came home with four shopping bags
- three showers in one day. On Saturday, I took one after my run, another after I came home post-massage covered in oil and another when I still smelled like oil and needed to wash my hair
- going to the movies with Al. We saw "No Strings Attached". Good movie.
- getting Indian food at 10 pm after the movie
- eating a lot of chocolate (FRUCHOCS!!!) in the movie (and having no appetite for that Indian food)
- celebrating Valentine's Day one day early
Guess what we did? We picked strawberries! We drove up to Hahndorf
in the hills. I've always wanted to go there, but I never had the chance. It was a German settlement in the 1800s, and it still has its ethnic flair.
While driving up the main road, I saw a Ferrari that said "broke" on the license plate. I thought it was amusing, so I took a picture. I wish the photo turned out better.
That should be better.
We drove to Beerenberg Farm
on the edge of town. It was just as cute as I imagined.
Beerenberg sells heaps of different jams, honeys and sauces. You can buy their products all over Adelaide.
We paid $3 each at the front. That got us a wristband and two plastic baskets for our strawberries. We crossed the street and then walked a little more.
I think non-ripe strawberries look interesting.
Does this make anybody want a strawberry?
We easily filled two of these. All together, the strawberries cost us about $20 ($9/kilo). We liked it so much better than going to the grocery stores, because all of the strawberries you pick are good ones. You don't have to worry about getting moldy ones in your basket.
After the farm, we walked around the town.
I want to move here.
We ate lunch at The Haus.
If you go to Hahndorf, I strongly recommend it. I ordered roasted pumpkin and feta pizza with pine nuts, baby spinach, pesto and rocket. It was one of the best pizzas I have ever had in my life. Unfortunately, my half-sun-half-shade lighting didn't help with the photo.
Al ordered a pie from the specials list. He liked it a lot.
I took half of my pizza home and ate it for lunch today with some strawberries. Yum!
We had some other exciting adventures yesterday, including drinking a mammoth-sized iced coffee with Penny and Jamie and seeing our first Fringe show of the season. I'll tell you all about the Adelaide Fringe Festival when we get more time! I also have to remember to blog about iced coffee in Australia, because it makes me laugh every time that I order one.
I hope I'll have time to blog a lot this week, because we're moving tomorrow! We have to cross our fingers that we have our internet and electricity hooked up ASAP. I'm getting so excited. I'm also looking forward to my day off of work on Wednesday.
Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!
Once upon a time, an Australian boy lived with an American girl in the sprawling northern suburbs of Chicago. The American girl had never been to this mythical place called Australia, but the boy told her many stories about it. She hoped that she could travel there one day. One of her favorite stories that she heard from the boy was about a place on top of a hill where tall furry creatures hopped around with their babies in their pouches and gigantic rodents ran wild. He told her about the dogs that lived there but preferred to live outdoors and without a master. The girl knew that when she made her long journey to the other side of the world, she must visit this place.
In September 2009, she did. She went to Cleland Wildlife Park.
The Australian boy and the American girl started at Waterfall Gully
and walked up from there. It was a very long and a steep walk, but they knew they made it when they saw little animals hopping on the other side of the fence.
When they got inside the park, the American girl saw her first Tasmanian Devil.
She was saddened to hear that many of them were dying from cancer.
Then she saw the wild dog, called a dingo, that the boy told her about. It was sleeping.
She also met a large rodent. It was very friendly. It may have been a potoroo or a bandicoot.
The boy and girl then met the tall and furry animals with the pouches. One of these creatures really loved the food in the bag that the girl and boy bought at the front gate.
The gray kangaroo tried to steal the brown paper bag out of her hands. The girl thought it was very comical.
After the American girl had her laughs, the native boy wanted to feed the funny marsupial.
The little creature held on tight with both hands while he ate.
This photo became of favorite of the girl.
The girl loved her playful little 'roo.
Not all of the kangaroos wanted to play.
Some of the kangaroos were not hungry.
The American girl did not want to leave the kangaroo enclosure, the the Australian boy told her that they had to leave. They spent a lot of time there, and there was so much more to see!
There were emus.
There were wallabies. The girl learned that they were little kangaroos.
The girl saw a foot sticking out of a wallaby pouch! The stories of the babies in the pouches were true!
There was even more to see, but the rain began to fall from the sky. The girl and boy were very cold. They knew it was time for them to go, but they knew they would be back.
The American girl told her mother and father of her adventures in her letters. After a while, they also took the trip to this mythical land of hopping, pouched creatures.
Once again, they fed the kangaroos.
They met an old and serene koala bear.
They saw the pelicans that the American girl often saw when walking along the river.
There were many birds there. When the American girl tried to feed the duck below, it walked right up to her and bit her on the leg. Everybody, including the girl, responded with shrill laughter.
The American girl loved her duck bite. She did not want her little wound to heal. She wanted it to stay there forever so that it could always remind her of this magical place. Plus, she knew that her duck bite would make good stories.
Day after day, the American girl dreams of this place. She is glad that she was able to tell the story of the place called Cleland, and she hopes that all of you will go there one day.
In the wake of a disaster, there are still ways to find humor in the situation. Today, I want to thank CNN for that.
Whoever made up the map to go with the coverage of Cyclone Yasi obviously didn't know their Australian geography very well, because they thought that Queensland was in Tasmania. Ya know, that little island off the coast of Melbourne? They thought that the cyclone was in Queenstown, Tasmania! To the person who mixed up a little city and a gigantic state : thank you. You made me and the rest of the world laugh.
Preview for tomorrow
Tomorrow, I am going to share my experiences from one of my favorite places in the world! I hope that you're just as excited as I am.
Ten brownie points to anybody who can tell me what it is!
Al was the brains behind dinner last night. In true Aussie fashion, it was almost all done on the barbie.
We had grilled potato chips with rosemary, sea salt and thyme.
I honestly didn't like the flavor combinations. A+ for honesty.
I grabbed a few green olives (stuffed with red capsicum/pepper)
We also threw some chicken and veggie burgers from a local butcher on the barbie.
Dessert was fresh peaches from the neighbor's tree mixed with passion fruit and vanilla ice cream. That was a winner.
What is this Mystery Meat?
After dinner and dessert, I made my lunch for work the next day. I always make my lunch the night before so that I can sleep a little later. I've been making smoked turkey sandwiches since living with the future in-laws, but we were out of turkey yesterday. I didn't want bacon, so I pulled out another protein option: FRITZ!
Now, what the heck is fritz?
This Australian/New Zealand manufactured meat
is called 'fritz' in South Australia, 'polony' in Western Australia, 'luncheon' in Queensland and northern New Zealand, 'rokeby roast' in Tasmania and 'devon' in Victoria, New South Wales and southern New Zealand. Whew. I'm out of breath.
I never knew what to think of this stuff. When Al and I were dating but living in different countries, I'd watch him put fritz and tomato sauce/ketchup on his sandwiches on video Skype. I made fun of him all the time, because I thought it looked repulsive.
But you can't knock something until you try it, right? I tried a bite when I moved here, and I was pleasantly surprised. I really liked it, actually. It could be turkey or chicken or a hot dog or something else tasty that you put on your sandwiches.
I don't think it looks so bad now, but I still see why I made fun of Alastair on Skype. It's meat in a tube. It kind of looks like dog food. Look, Mom! It's manufactured meat (I know that she is so grossed out right now)!
My sandwich was great today, though. I put it in the sandwich/panini press at work, and it was so good.
I still think it's kinda great, but I have to tell you that I read about the ingredients while researching for this post. I rave about how much I hate pork (Aussie sausages are an exception), but here I am eating it ground up on a sandwich. Ahhh poor piggies. Am I still going to put it on my sandwich for tomorrow as soon as I publish this? You betcha. I still wish I was eating 'mystery meat' instead of ground-up pork. Sorry, Mom!
I also want to say that the bread below is AMAZING and packed with fiber. My favorite breads are the ones that are packed with seeds and have plenty of texture, so this stuff is ideal. I use it every day. I'm so grateful that Penny lets me eat her bread!
Time to make my fritz sandwich.
Update: I published but forgot to say that I watched the Superbowl live while eating my frtiz sandwich. I'm so sad I missed Christina Aguilera mess up the National Anthem. I still love you, though, Christina!
It's still not the same watching a Superbowl game without the commercials.
Good game, Packers! I've never been a fan, but I do love cheese.
If I moved back to America tomorrow and somebody asked me what I missed the most about Australian food (besides my excessive stash
of Cadbury chocolate bars), it would probably be finger buns. Yesterday, Penny and Jamie brought one home in the form of a loaf, but you can also buy them individually
When I first moved to Australia and lived with Al's parents for several weeks, there were almost always individual finger buns in the kitchen. My first impression was that they looked like Long Johns
. Finger buns, however, are not deep fried like doughnuts. They just taste like bread (with or without raisins or other dried fruit) with a thick, sugar coconut cream coating spread on top. I'm not a huge fan of coconut, but this topping just tastes like sugary cream frosting. The coconut only gives it texture.
We hardly buy finger buns anymore, and I know why. Once I start, I can't stop! I think I had three slices yesterday. They're not excessively fattening (I think a single finger bun is something like 200 calories), but you don't want to go overboard on them. They're a fantastic treat though, and they're probably healthier than a Long John.
I went to the cricket yesterday, although I really didn't feel like it at first. The weather turned much cooler, and I spent about three hours shopping with Penny before. We were looking for dresses for Grumpy's
80th birthday party (she's having three, by the way), but we had no luck.
I ended up going, anyway. I wore jeans and boots with a tank top and a cardigan, and I still wasn't warm enough. I clung onto Al for warmth for the first 20 minutes, and then he just gave me his sweatshirt. What a gentleman.
We sat with our friends Claire, Duncan and Andrew. The Adelaide Oval was almost completely full, because it was final Redbacks game of the season. They made it to the championships. We played New South Wales.
The sky was gorgeous while the sun set. Claire and I were snap-happy.
Can you spot the Fruchoc Man
in the photos above and below?
We won! There were fireworks, which I didn't expect at all.
They were no Sydney Harbour New Years Eve fireworks, but we still enjoyed them.
We all grabbed a drink at the Lion
after the game, and then we headed home. Al and I kept talking about how much we wished that we already lived in our new apartment. If we did, we would have been so close to the game! We have a little more than a week until our exciting move-in day. More Wacky Weather
Now, Australia, when will the weather be normal again? There is more flooding
in Victoria, there are bush fires
near Perth and we all know what has been going on in northern Queensland. Adelaide is unscathed, although today feels like an autumn day. It's strange, but we're going back to the hot summer weather this week. I hope it holds out for the weekend. We're supposed to go strawberry picking and to a winery next weekend for an early Valentine's Day!
Wine and chocolate. The last of that huge stash of Cadbury chocolate
, actually. I also ate home made spaghetti bolognese (not pictured).
I am thrilled that it's a Friday night. This week at work has been hectic with the heat.
You have to expect ups and downs like that when you work in the air conditioning industry.
Cyclone Yasi Update
By this morning, Yasi became a tropical depression (no longer a cyclone), and it seemingly did not cause as much damage as anticipated. Unfortunately, there was one reported death today. A 23 year-old man was found dead in his home this morning. He died from the fumes from his generator. There may be more as the towns survey the damage and check into homes, but it seems that the death toll from the cyclone will be very low. If you want to see more coverage and photos, click here
I want all of you to know that in the time between starting and ending that paragraph above, two new mosquito bites have joined the family of many on my skin. It didn't take me very long to type that, either. Silly mozzies. Stay outside!
Moving on, I found an article today titled "Airline reveals dumbest in-flight questions".
Some staff from Flight Centre (Aussie travel agency) submitted some of the stupidest questions that people ask them before they travel. Read the top ten and enjoy.From news.com.au on 3rd February 2011. Written by Kate Midena
1. Can I catch a train from Fiji to New Zealand?
2. What time does the three o'clock ferry leave?
3. My passport expired, so can I get a new one when I get to London?
4. Can you withdraw Australian money from international ATMs?
5. Do I have to use my real name on my airline ticket?
6. What is the capital of Europe? And what is the capital of Africa?
7. How is it possible that my flight leaves Sydney at 10am and arrives in Vancouver at 10am on the same day?
8. How many cartons of cigarettes can I take on my driving holiday in Queensland?
9. Do I need a passport to go to Hamilton Island, because I am flying overseas?
10. Do I need a passport to travel to Tasmania? And what is the duty free allowance?
Notes about 9 and 10: Hamilton Island is part of the Whitsunday Islands (you saw them if you watched the Oprah Australian specials; they are arguably among the most beautiful places in the world) off the coast of northern Queensland. Tasmania is an Australian state, although it's an island off the coast of Melbourne. It's the same as an American asking if they need a passport to go to Hawaii.
I love silly questions like that. I have another list of Australian-related questions that I found in the comments section of cnn.com. I have to remember to post those. Even if you don't live here, you will find them hilarious.
Happy and healthy Friday to ALL!!!!