It's been a very busy few days on this side of the world, trying to get everything sorted before Mum starts work on Monday. I didn't even manage a morning swim today (though I did make it up later on...).
Friday morning was spent sorting out and picking up a car. Thrilling, and necessary. Fortunately that meant that we could start exploring, and we managed a drive up to the top of Castle Hill to see the views. Even with quite a bit of haze the views were amazing, and it made us realise how big Townsville actually is!
Next on the 'to do' list was handing in CVs in a shopping centre called Willows, as someone from the hospital had told me her friend owned a shop and might be hiring. In true Aussie spirit she was amazingly friendly, and though she didn't have any vacancies she did reccommend some places that did.
Unfortunately my jetlag wall decided to hit at about 5pm. I've moaned about the jetlag before but, oh my, it was nothing compared with how I felt last night. I honestly can't quite remember a lot of yesterday afternoon and evening, and I went through stages of total euphoria and absolute depression. Sometimes within a few minutes. Thankfully I was able to remind myself that I was horribly sleep deprived, otherwise the madness could have been far, far worse.
However, being the trooper that I am, I bucked myself up enough to attend a social evening at the local sailing club (yeah that's right. Local sailing club). Sure, I asked for a red bull from the bar in a similar way that James Franco asked for water at the end of 127 hours, but I managed to make conversation with lots of people. I think. My Mum and I must've had our best charm hats on anyway, because we were invited to help crew a boat for a race around magnetic island on Sunday! I'm sure Mum will be fine, but given that I haven't even sailed a toy boat for years don't be surprised if tomorrow's blog just reads 'hit by a boom'.
After we eventually managed to leave (they were a very friendly bunch!) mum and I managed to keep our eyes open enough to skype my cousin Helen and her daughter Kira who didn't believe that she could 'see us over the internet'. Obviously being an adult I had to prove a child wrong. Once that task had been accomplished I fell into bed, and was very pleased with my only waking up twice during the night.
(Yes that's right. I've become a baby. When I finally sleep right through I'll be cracking open the champers. It took me 3 weeks to do it as a baby (I was an amazing baby) so I'm hoping to beat that.)
No leisurley breakfast today. Cornflakes were shovelled into mouths and we were out early to try out the Aussie tradition of garage sales. Basically car boot sales, but not conveniently located in one place. In fact, the Aussies were very confused by the concept of car boot sales. On our list was a bike (for me) and a coffee table (to replace the cardboard box covered in a towel we currently use). Alas, the few that we visited seemed to only be selling childrens bikes; while having not cycled for years I'd be happy with stabalizers it wouldn't be very comfortable.
One friendly family advised that we try cash converters, and it proved to be a good tip because I got myself a bike for only $80. Sure, I nearly fell off trying it out but I'm sure with a bit of practice I'll be navigating my way to Cairns in no time...ahem.
After a 'big shop' from Coles I had obviously bugged mum enough because we drove down to the beach. It's such a way of life here - people turning up after work for a quick dip and an hour in the sunshine. There are huge public BBQs, and you can see groups of family and friends pitching up with their 'eskies' filled with food. Why sit in your back yard when you can sit on the beach?
Exhausted from sunbathing (-smug face-) and a swim we came back home to a dinner of kangaroo steaks, salad and red wine. Yum.
I keep worrying about not having found a job yet, and then having to remind myself that we've only been here for just over three days...not long at all. We've been on the go so much that it honestly feels like over a week. I do feel like we're starting to settle into the lifestyle, and we're certainly getting to know the town since we've been able to drive around. After thinking that living close to the sea would be prohibitably expensive, Mum discovered that actually we should be able to which is nice. I'd trade a pool for the sea, even in stinger season.
Fingers crossed that this makes some sort of sense. I'm very sleepy right now. Defs the jetlag and not the red wine and G&T. To all, a good night.