The Nightmare Before Christmas ™


4 am.  Yvonne is really upset, her voice trembles.  Out of my groggy sleep, I can hear her sobbing quietly.  “What’s the matter?” I ask, knowing I’d be waiting for an answer.  “Bugs,” she replied through her tears.  “Turn the lights on,” I said, getting out of bed.  4 orange beetle-things were on the bed; three of them were still moving, and one of them was pulverised by her body weight.

“Aaaaaaah,” Yvonne screamed, jumping out of bed onto the floor.  “Holy fuck!” I said shaking sleep and terror from my eyes.  I told her to go downstairs, but she was frozen.  I picked her up with both arms and carried her downstairs to the green set of sofas by the Christmas tree. “Stay here, I’ll be right back,” I said as I went back upstairs to deal with the critters.

There were now 6.

The night before she had felt one crawling on her.  She was very upset, but didn’t think too much of it. But tonight was different: she’d been bitten not once, not twice, but three times.  That was the last straw.

I grabbed some tissue paper from the bathroom and mopped up all the bugs I could find.  After finishing those 6 orange bugs, 2 more appeared on the bed.  They usually moved in pairs, single file. Where they mating?  I don’t know.  But they looked pretty gross.  Bed bugs, I mused, thinking to myself that bed bugs were probably of a different colour, and perhaps smaller.  I went to the bathroom to throw out the tissues, went back into the room, and saw three more; killed them.

I opened the linen closet quietly so as not to disturb the rest of the house.  I pulled out two blankets and brought them downstairs to sleep on the two green sofas.  EV gave me the bigger sofa to sleep on.

We finally dosed off, and were awakened by the family rising and preparing for the day.  Needless to say I had a bad night as did EV. But such is the nature of the beast. Expecting the unexpected isn’t easy, but it must be taken light-heartedly and openmindedly.  One must learn to navigate through terrible times, and come out ahead and on top, lest be swallowed in sorrow and overpowered by emotions.

Another day

There was nothing special about today.  We looked at another place, it was another shit hole.  We arrived before the guy showed up. Good! It was awful.  We took off and grabbed some food.  It was nearly 6:30 pm and we were really hungry.

It wasn’t so hot today as it was on previous days.  I’m feeling tired as the days wear on. I’m not sure what it could be. Boredom? Laziness? My resume needs tidying. I’ll work on it later 😉

I miss my friends and family back home.  I can’t remember all your addresses, but if you comment on my post with your address I would be very happy to send you a lovely postcard from Australia! Don’t be shy! COMMENT!

Monday already! And we haven’t found a place yet.

We must find a place to live as soon as possible.  We have an 11:00AM appointment today to view an apartment. We are calling some other places to arrange something with them. Prospects are looking better, some include 6/173 Macquarie St (St. Lucia), 6/53 Alpha St (Taringa), 6/5 Norwood St (Toowong).

Yvonne’s Aunt and Uncle took us out for steak yesterday. You don’t have to tip anybody here. It’s fantastic! What-you-see-is-what-you-pay WYSIWYP. If your steak is $29.90 you pay $29.90. It is so fantastic

However …

Waiters tend to forget about you, or don’t top-up your water, or don’t check up to see “how things are going” so I tend to miss that, but that should be included, not an “extra” fee, wouldn’t you agree? Who do you tip and why?

Toowong 34 degrees

Hot day.  34 degrees.  Went to Toowong today to look at places to live.  We didn’t find much, either really sloppy and run down, or not furnished.  We’d prefer a furnished place, since we don’t have to worry about moving fridges, stoves, beds around when/if we decide to move out and find another place.  We also do not want to pay more than $400/week (all rental units are priced per week). That would be divided between 3 people.

Swimming in the afternoon was a delight.  Water was warm, although Yvonne’s uncle put a tad too much sodium bicarbonate in the water to settle the pH level a bit.  If you’ve ever tasted baking soda you know what I mean.

Yvonne has been suffering a bit from the jet lag.  She’s very tired all day everyday since we arrived, and her stomach was feeling very upset.

December 3rd never existed

Our trip was a complete success!

When we arrived at Los Angeles Airport, we only had 2 hours to catch our next plane. The worst part was having to carry our very heavy bags all around the airport. First we took the elevator and went upstairs. We discovered that we were in the wrong terminal — we should have been in terminal B.

“Take the free airport shuttle,” we were told several times. One friendly gentleman explained to us that the shuttle only arrives every 10-15 minutes, and we were better off just running to the terminal, which was only 5 minutes away — if you walk fast!

We eventually made it to the right terminal and got in line, behind 1,000 other people most of which were East Asian flying to Philippines, Korea, Taiwan, China, or another similar destination.

Flying to Nadi, Fiji was the longest leg, taking nearly 10 hours to get there. Fortunately the meals were pleasant, my ear plugs and eye covers helped me to get about 6 hours of sleep.

A 4 hours stop over in Fiji, and we were on our way to Brisbane.  The very mind-boggling thing about crossing the dateline is vanishing days.  We departed Toronto at 5:30pm December 2, and we arrived in Brisbane at 11:00AM December 4th.  December 3rd never existed.

It is a large, bustling metropolis with zoos, heavy traffic, throngs of shoppers, and stifling heat. Like most tropical places which I have visited, there are tropical plants and animals everywhere.  Yvonne’s Auntie Ding has palm trees completely surrounding the sides and back of their large, comfortable ‘Westernised” home.

After settling in, and calling home to report I arrived in one piece, we left in their SUV to the city centre.  Brisbane is cut up into suburbs, small village like places with different landscapes and sceneries.  Toowong is one of them, and Auntie Ding drove us into the heart of this busy commercial hub.  We walked into Westpac Bank and opened our first Australian bank accounts.  $3/mth doesn’t seem to be too much, but I will keep my eyes open for a fee-free bank that requires no extra money for the small useful features to which I have grown accustomed in Canada.

After that, we walked into the nearest Mall to buy some milk, cereals and a few other necessities.  Because automobile traffic drives on the left side of the road, one observes that same mentality when walking through the mall.  Yvonne almost bumped into a woman who was trying to keep to the right.  But like a good North American, Yvonne tried to go the right and almost bumped into the woman!

At night, we made rice, chicken, vegetables and eggs.  Went to bed around 10:00 — wait, earlier!  Woke up at 6am, and finished this post at 6:40 AM December 5th — 15 hours ahead of time