I haven’t written for nearly a week, mainly because our lives have become much quieter as we continue to settle in. On Sunday we said goodbye to our "old" friends, Patrick, Grass, and Isabella, who had come up from Sydney to visit us for a week. Unfortunately, our home is so inhospitable at the moment that they had to stay in a nearby motel. They moved from London to Sydney back in January. On the last day of their visit we drove up to Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast (our second trip since arriving), where the surf, the beach, and the temperatures were simply perfect. Will (who turned 18 months old this week) discovered the wonders of playing with beach sand, but there was the worry that he would throw it in his face, so we had to watch him closely. By the way, this photo of Mooloolaba comes from Trig's flickr page, as I still don't have all our photos properly edited. We head back to Mooloolaba this Sunday, when we go on a whale watch. I promise more of our own pictures then.
I have been spending a lot of my time at work on my first lectures. I am also getting to know my new colleagues, who (surprisingly) represent a wide range of nationalities. My undergrads were just as charming during the second week of lecture, with many coming up to me during the break and after lecture to ask more questions about the material. Another pleasant surprise about Australian university life is the mixture of informality and respect between students and academics. The students are used to addressing their instructors by their first names, and I noticed that my colleagues always introduce themselves to students that way. However, the students are also very polite and appreciative of their instructors, so the informality in no way undermines a sense of faculty “authority.”
We have received word that the big shipment of our belongings arrives in Brisbane a week from today. It could then take between 5 and 14 days in customs before it’s delivered. That's nearly 3 months since it all left our home in May. We are starting to worry about what we are going to do with everything. Our townhouse is about 1100 sq ft., but we’re moving from a house that had about 4800 sq ft! We do have two large verandas, so we may be putting some of our inside furniture on the outside. Yes, I can hear Jeff Foxworthy saying, “You might be a redneck if…” I guess ten years in Atlanta had an effect on me after all.
Oh, and I just have to mention something I posted on another blog. I bravely ordered a chicken quesadilla at a restaurant on campus the other day. When the server brought it to my table, she said something like, “chicken kwehs-a-dill-a, sir?”
Si, muchas gracias!