Dear Avid Followers,
Sorry it has been so long since we last updated. It took two weeks to get the Internet hooked up here. I won't explain how incredibly bored I was, because I'd rather not relive it. I'm afraid I'm going to forget all kinds of stuff, but I'll do my best! Also, there are going to be approximately 238571526487528274 pictures in this blog, so beware dial-up users :)Ben's job is going well. He is currently IT and office slave. Someday he'll move up, but for now, it is what it is! Nancy is good about making sure that he always has something to do. And he likes his co-workers and the environment. Everyone continues to be helpful and supportive, and we're grateful for that!
We've been going to the beach a lot lately when Ben gets out of work. We don't have much else to do, so we drive down and take a picture of the sunset from the same spot every day. Eventually we want to make a sunset collage so we have some wall art. Here's one of the pictures of a particularly beautiful sunset we saw:
There's a ship that's always out there. I think Ben said it was an oil rig or something? Maybe I just made that up. Either way, what a pretty picture! The ocean is about as cold/warm now as it is in the summer in Maine. Can't wait to see what it's like in February!
We moved into our new apartment and things are going fairly well. A guy just came to fix the "hood" over the stove--it's legally too low, and because we complained that our stove isn't working and they have to replace it now, they had to fix the "hood" first. Here are a couple pictures of our new pad for your viewing pleasure!Here is our place from the outside--we are in the front half. How cool is it that we have rose bushes and a palm tree in our front yard?! (That blue beast of a car is Mark's--it's the one we drove around before we got the Magna...the one that stalls randomly)
Here is a picture of the kitchen (please note the fake wood cupboards and the orange backsplash tiles!)Here is a picture of the living room area--it's all open/connected to the kitchen (and our sweet yard sale futon and pink/purple end tables!)
I'm not going to post any pictures of the bedrooms because honestly--there isn't much to see. They're completely empty except for some empty suitcases, a twin bed, and some mattresses. However, I will show you a picture of the random cat that shows up occasionally at our place and is incredibly snuggly. Ben calls him Jamaal, and I call him Moses. As you can tell, we really believed he deserved a strong name--I went Biblical, Ben went ethnic. Should I just say Black there? Am I supposed to capitalize black? Am I being offensive? It's not my intention. Either way, here is the cat, and please note the psychedelic carpet he is sitting on---this is the carpet on the stairs and all of the bedrooms.
Speaking of psychedelic! There was an article in the paper last week about how the police were cracking down at a local forrest in Perth. This time of year, Shrooms (yes! The REAL DEAL! Jim Morrison would be proud...) grow in the forrest. People come from all over in hopes of getting Shrooms, but because of problems associated with the effects of them (real example: someone was running down the road naked screaming something strange and most likely as obscene as their nether-regions), the police have been patrolling the area to catch any potential Shroom pickers! It's also dangerous because there are other mushrooms that grow out there, and if you don't pick the "right" ones they can be fatal! Okay, enough drug talk. (No, we haven't made a weekend Shroom run yet. Although, it would be an easy, under the table job for me...just kidding! Kind of.)
Here are three random pictures, all amusing in their own way:
(A mostly terrible picture of Chocolate Covered Honeycomb. They sell it at the local Farmer's Market. If you can get past the texture of the honeycomb, it's really good!)
(Apparently this happens so often that a sign needs to be created and posted at the harbor.)
(Our cup holders are circular AND square! Are they like this in the States and I've just never noticed? Or do people frequently buy cartons of milk to drink in the car in Australia? Oh and guess who's is who...I'll give you a hint: Ben's is the PINK one. Hehe)
I can't remember if I said anything about Marlston Hill in my last entry, so I'll talk about it again. Marlston Hill is the very prestigious, upper class area of Bunbury where there are brand new, modern, HUMONGOUS, gorgeous houses right on the harbor. It's on the way to the beach where we take the sunset pictures. Here's a picture where you can see the harbor, some of the Marlston Hill houses, the Milk Carton (it has lots of important offices in it and it's in the downtown area), and the cool swirly observation tower!
The houses are so beautiful. This picture doesn't do them justice. They all have enormous balconies overlooking the harbor. I don't even want to know what they cost! (But I kind of do, too.)
On one of our weekend driving adventures, we found a little "back road" that goes all along the ocean. It's a pretty drive, and we found the 'Roo hangout! We got a lot of pictures and some video. We were really close to them too--probably about 20 feet! They look so cute in pictures, but when you are actually watching them, they are incredibly awkward. They can't move their legs individually, so if they're moving slowly and not hopping, they use their tail to lift themselves up. Their front legs are like little t-rex arms---they're kind of useless, why don't they just evolve into more useful, large legs? I don't know. Evolution always confused me. So anyway, when they move slowly and they're not hopping, they kind of crawl/slither. It's a little creepy and a lot awkward. Don't let them fool you with their cute, "Huh??" expressions. I'm getting closer to trying Kanga Bangas every day! ('roo sausages).
I think that's it for pictures. Lots of adventures, huh?
In other news, I am recently getting over a hideous sickness. Ben finally made me go to the doctor last Friday. Turns out I had ear infections and a throat infection. I finished up the antibiotics yesterday and I'm feeling a lot better. I can't believe how fast and efficient everything was here! You can go to the pharmacist (they call them "Chemists") and sometimes they can just diagnose you and give you a prescription. But because I had an ear infection, I had to go to the doctor. So, we got to the chemist at 8:30am, and she told us to go around the corner to Brecken Healthcare. I walked in and asked if they had any open appointments (praying they would because I didn't think I could go through the whole weekend with my ears hurting the way they did) and they had an open appointment right then! The only one of the day. I waited in the waiting room about 5 minutes, saw the doctor, and she wrote me a prescription for antibiotics (that I'm not allergic to, I remembered to tell her about penicillin in my delirious state). We went back to the chemist and had the prescription filled. We were done with all of that in 40 minutes! Can you believe that?! And guess how much the prescription was (and this isn't because we have health care, because the way it works with them is you pay it up front and then you can bring the receipts to get a refund if your insurance covers it)...it was $9.50 which was enough for almost a whole week! When I had mono, I remember the antibiotics being like $100. So far, the health care system gets a big fat A+ in my book!
Ben is going to start working on the residency process. Residency for us would mean that we don't have to renew our visas, but we aren't quite citizens either. It would also mean we could get national health care, which is a big reason we are going to apply. It took Mark 8 months to get his, so I'm not sure how long of a process it would be. But if we started now and it took us that long, we could be on national health care for almost 2 years, which is worth it! Also, you have to be out of the country when residency is granted, which means Ben gets all expenses paid vacation to the country of his choice (within reason...I think most people go to New Zealand, Tasmania, Singapore, Fiji...countries that are close). How cool is that?!
That's probably a good enough update for now. I hope your eyes aren't bleeding from staring at the screen for 23874874 hours. But..enjoy! Hope everyone is well at home. We miss you!