I began my journey on Thursday, April 09 with a 4:00 AM wake up call. Within 33 hours of travelling, I saw three airports, witnessed three sunrises, and survived six screaming children on two, essentially, back-to-back thirteen hour flights.
Despite it all, I finally made it to my new home!
After Sole, my host mom, and Jayden, the eldest son, picked me up from the airport we headed for their house where following my introductions to the youngest sons, twins, Tristan and Luc, I immediately showered and got much needed rest. That evening, I took a stroll with Alison, the au pair whom I’m replacing, to a local supermarket and ate dinner. I was so utterly exhausted, I went to bed at 7:00 PM.
What a great night’s rest! Wrong. At 11:30 PM, I was lying wide awake, twiddling my thumbs. As tired as my mind was, jet lag had won and wouldn’t let my body adjust to Australia time. Sleep came in waves until finally I heard the boys waking up Sunday morning and pulled myself out of bed for the day.
Fortunately, I have Alison here for the week to help me adjust to the new lifestyle and show me the ropes. We left Sunday morning to travel into Melbourne, which is an hour bus and train ride away. Great news for me, the bus stop is literally in front of the house.
In Melbourne, I got a little taste of everything. We visited Queen Victoria Market, one of the largest trade post/flea markets I have ever seen. They sell everything from kangaroo skin hats to boomerangs to Miami Heat jerseys and fitted hats, with a full fresh market and live music to boot. You could essentially spend all day wandering the booths.
After leaving the market, we had a nice lunch at a quaint restaurant in a long line of restaurants tucked down an alleyway. I have never been so bombarded by wait staff to eat at a restaurant before. Quite the overwhelming experience deciding where to eat for such indecisive individuals as Alison and myself. Nonetheless, lunch was delicious but it called for a drink afterwards, so to the rooftop bar it was! (It claimed to be “Melbourne’s best rooftop bar,” but I’ll have to do some more research and get back to you on the truth of that statement.)
After ringing in my arrival into Australia with a cold draught (pronounced draft), we were onto the next item on the agenda: graffiti streets. Melbourne has several; and if they’re anything like the one I saw, I cannot wait to see more. Pure talent and such eclectic style and content. Leaving the graffiti street, we crossed the Princess Bridge over the Yarra River which runs through the center of the city to Crown, a huge hotel/casino. Crown brings Vegas to Victoria, minus the strangling cigarette smoke (thank goodness).
Following a few more drinks, we made our way back to Narre Warren via another train and bus route. By that time I was far past tired, so after checking in with Sole, I happily crawled into bed and got the solid sleep that I needed. Finally I had beat jet lag!
The work started this morning, as the boys began their winter term at school. Again I am fortunate to have Alison here to walk me through the motions of prepping the boys for the day and getting them ready in a timely manner. Here’s hoping I can manage when she leaves at the end of the week; keep your fingers crossed for me!