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World Travels by Casey

My arrival to Sydney.

Of course I'd arrive into my final destination during a mild thunderstorm. Even though I landed in Sydney this time, when I landed in Melbourne just over a year ago it was this same sort of weather!   

Airplane view of Sydney.
You can see the harbor bridge and the opera house at the end of the bridge, if you look close. 

It was time to locate my friend Sam who was also my ride from the airport. I was excited to see him but talk about a wild goose chase trying to find him! I called him on the Facebook Messanger app and he told me to meet him in the pick up area so I headed that way and stopped when I THOUGHT I was in that area. I forgot to mention that our call dropped when he was explaining to me where that area was. I stood outside waiting for him and very chilly! Coming from Oregon's amazingly hot summer, the start of this trip was going to give me a run for my money! It's the very end of winter here and the start of spring. The plants are in bloom!  

When some time had passed with me standing outside, I decided to walk into the building next to me where there was a coffee shop. I was able to text him on FB Messanger and figure out that I wasn't in the right area. So then I asked to use the coffee shop's phone. I rang Sam and told him where I was but he didn't understand he just knew I wasn't in the right area. He told me how to get to where he was and I thought I understood but to be safe I put him on the phone with one of the baristas and had him tell her too. She hung up, told me where he was and then said, "I don't know if he's coming here or if you're supposed to go there." 
I called him back just to check so that we didn't end up missing each other and while I was on the phone he walked into my sight! Yeah! I was finally here and with one of my very good friends!

Sam and I on my first day back. At his house. 

Sam needed to go back to work for a bit so we went to his house first to leave my backpack and get a bite to eat. 

Sam's house. 

We decided he should drop me off in the suburb with the family I'd be moving in with in 10 days. I hadn't actually met them in person yet. So Sam delivered me to their home and he left telling me he'd be back by 4. 
4 turned into almost 6pm and I got a message from him that he was on his way, obviously running late and getting a kebab for himself, would I like one? Why yes! Food sounded great! After all I basically met the family in person and found myself (willingly) working already with them/ for them. Chasing 2 young boys around, picking up after them and helping with dinner. This is what I do in life I'm a helper and I love it! 

Me and the "kidlets" or little stinkers as I call them and they laugh like crazy when I call them this. 

Sam picked me up and handed me the kebab which was actually a gyro! He had already ate his and I started to unwrap mine felling how big it was I thought there's NO WAY this is a kebab! And sure enough it wasn't. When I opened it and called it what it was (a gyro) Sam looked at me like I was crazy but laughed and said, yeah now I remember that you called it something else last time you were here as well. 

This will be the start of many hilarious conversations to come regarding American English vs Australian English combined with Sam's South African and Ireland verbiage. What do you call that? AuSAfricland? Hmm!? I'll have to work on that name. 

The next day was SAM's BIRTHDAY!!!

I went to work with him, a flat that he was doing a kitchen remodel on in a really nice area called Double Bay. I helped him when I could, I've grown up around construction and im always willing to learn new things, so I knew I could pitch in a bit. I ended up unpacking boxes of cabinets, running the jigsaw and holding up cabinets as Sam screwed them to the wall. 

The living room full of the kitchen cabinets! 

The start of cabinet assembly. 

I treated Sam to a really yummy breaky (Australian for breakfast) at a place called indigo just up the road from the flat. Susanna our expat Finland friend met us at the tail end of breaky. 

Oh! And he made the mistake of running back to the job site during breaky so I told the waitress it was his birthday and she gave him this beautiful pink cupcake with a sparkler! LOL! You know he loved it! 

After breakfast, before morning desert! Photo by Susanna. 

We had a big birthday dinner that night for Sam with lots of his friends (mostly ladies!! We joked with him regarding where all the guys were) and my friend Shelly came too! Sam had never met Shelly and I hadn't seen her since May of 2013 in Thailand, where I met her and traveled a bit with her. It was SO good to see her again! She even brought me some clothes of hers to borrow while I was around and a Black Forest cake for Sam's birthday party. I had realized earlier in the day that he wasn't going to have a desert at his party so I slyly asked in conversation what his favorite desert was and worked hard at locating the cake. The other desert he named was a sticky date pudding. I've never heard of this but I'm curious and really want to try it! 

Birthday dinner. Shelly is at the end closest to me on the right. 

The following day I went back to work with Sam and around lunch he sent me to the store with $50, a store within walking distance to buy us lunch. 

Walking to the grocery store. 

I waked up and down ALL the aisles getting familiar with Australian foods again.

I still haven't found anyone who knows why some of these bananas are dipped in red wax. Weird! 

Eventually I found myself at the register with our food and NO $50 IN MY POCKET!!! I can't even explain the wave of panic that swept over me when I realized it had fallen out of my pocket! I told the guy at the register that I had lost my cash and... seriously!? Believe this if you can! He asked me how long ago I had lost it and then gave me the number of a guy who had found it and took it with him to his ice cream shop, in case no one claimed it - I guess. The clerk called him, told him I was claiming the money and then he explained to me how to get to his shop while my groceries were held for me. 
I couldn't believe it and I was so thankful that the person who found it was such an honest person. And what were the chances that id end up at the exact register that Sam's $50 would wonder past!? 
My jacket pockets had no zippers and I was wearing workout pants with no pockets, I guess it was bound to happen. 

The guy who found the money must have owned the ice cream shop that I met him at. It was closed and he was in the process of opening it for the day. I stepped inside from a large window that was open and asked if he had my missing $50. He kind of chuckled and said he saw it and thought maybe a mother with a cart full of kids and groceries had accidently dropped it. I told him it was a backpacker on a budget and I appreciated him turning it in just as much!!! And "Thank you SO much!" 


A map of double bay.

Double bay.

I saw this sand and was reminded how a lot of Australia's sand is imported to beaches in the United States. Did you know this? An example: the beaches of Waikik, Oahu - Hawaii! 

I told Sam what happened over our construction site picnic lunch. He had huge eyes when I told him how I got the $50 back. He thought someone would just keep it because I lost the money in a pretty wealthy neighborhood and people wouldn't consider it as that much money. But maybe they didn't need it either. Perhaps the rich neighborhood had something to do with it. 

Picnic lunch! Smoked salmon and Tuna wraps with rocket (that's arugula lettuce to the Americans), avocado, tomatoes and cheese. The orange juice you see is a brand that I really like here called nudie. This juice was carrot, apple, ginger and one other thing that I forget. 
Nate KComment