Hello and welcome to another night shift. (As some of you may have figured out, that means slightly less wordy and more random blog entries, with no pictures.) The official countdown has begun... even though we don't have a definite departure date. June 8th is our last shift at Bourke Hospital, and we leave sometime shortly after that to complete the rest of this insane adventure. As with every move this year (leaving home, leaving India), we are once again questioning why we don't just go back to our "normal" lives back home and all our loved ones and just forget about travelling. I think the biggest difficulty this time lies in the fact that we haven't bothered to plan much of the rest of our trip, and still need to figure out what feels like an oppressive number of details. What I really should be doing with this opportunity to use the internet is not writing here but booking bus, train, and plane tickets and looking for accomodations.
Lets see, I can't post pictures right now, but maybe I can paint some word pictures about what we've been up to in the last few weeks. On May 13th they had a big do here which everyone called the "triple Oh ball", but went by some other name. (okay, okay, I'm really not good with names, and you'll just have to accept the fact that I can't remember it) Anyways, for weeks ahead of time we kept getting told that we HAD to go, and people kept offering Laurie dresses and shoes. I almost got out of it by not having anything to wear, but Laurie wouldn't let that be used as an excuse, and hunted up some possibilities. This ball is a big deal around here, and everyone gets all dressed up in old grad gowns, old bridesmaid's dresses or anything that's as fancy as they can get a hold of. This year, only about 125 people ended up at the ball, about a third of the normal number because there were a few other big events going on the same day. (The Dubbo show being the more popular one.) So anyways, we got tickets, Laurie actually had one of the nurses working later so she could stay out until the clock struck midnight like Cinderella. She was actually at work at midnight. I digress. That morning, we made our way... quite slowly as we kept stopping to talk with people... over to the Bowling Club where the ball was going to be. We were supposed to help decorate our table. By the time we got there it was done. Ooops. So our table was drought themed, bleached ram's skull and all. Quite nicely done, though only one other table bothered to decorate, which meant we won the bottle of wine for the best decorated table. In the evening, Laurie borrowed a straightener for her hair, I added mass amounts of conditioner to mine, and we both left our hair down. We also dressed up and put on make-up. Then we joined the others from "behind the blue fence" in the pre-party they were having on our lawn. Music blaring and drinks flowing, we walked up and got the once over from the guys (you know, where they scan you from feet to head with their eyes) and approving smiles, they almost didn't recognize us. Actually there were a few people at the ball that didn't recognize us. Our hair is ALWAYS up at work, and we always have to wear these stupid purple polo shirts with dark pants. It was a fun night. We took a taxi to the ball (the ONLY taxi in town. one minute drive, seven bucks... guess they need to make their money somehow.) and danced the night away. Oh, and if any australian ever offers you "Party Pop", refuse. Horrible stuff that they pass off as wine and sell in a box. Only the most desperate drink the stuff. Have I ever mentioned Laurie's innate ability to attract people to her without even trying? Ya. She's "just being friendly" and they flock to her. Gotta love her. Not much else to say other than she got the better end of the deal by working that night while the adrenaline was still flowing, and I got a short sleep then had to be up for day shift the next day.
In other news... last week wednesday we went out and watched a footy game at a friend's place. Oh... can't remember... something about origins... Anyways, it was a big deal for a lot of people around here. New South Wales against Queensland. I think it's rugby, except that it's not quite as rough. (apparently the really rough version is called "union rules".) Oh, yes, it's called the State of Origin game. We watched the first of three games, all played two weeks apart. It was fun, lots of snacks and friendly banter. Not so big a deal as grey cup parties or superbowl. The commercials during these games don't even come close to superbowl commercials.
Finally, coming up is our "behind the blue fence" going away party. June 2nd, you're all invited, BYOB and your own meat for the barbie, and snacks to share. We're going to leave this place rocking.