Tuesday, January 20, 2009
This week we started making the transition from visitors to residents. Sharon got her first look at her new classroom on Monday, and we've been busy looking after mundane but essential details such as registering the children for school, ensuring we have enough uniforms, arranging bus pick-up for Ana, etc. The school uniforms have caused enormous joy in the household. Isaiah thinks the broad-brimmed hats they have to wear look goofy, and Ana is dismayed by the entire concept. (I walked past the computer when she was having a video chat with some of her friends in Canada earlier this week. Judging from the laughter that was coming from the northern end of the conversation, the Canadian girls found it much more amusing than Ana did. I'll see if I can get a picture of her in the uniform, and then I can use the threat of posting it online in order to get her to clean her room or help with the dishes.) Once they get to school and see everyone else wearing them, though, I think they'll be happier with it.
Isaiah was very happy to hear that they have a rock band for year 7 students, which means he'll be able to audition on drums. He's been getting good use out of the set we have here.
Ana will be doing a mix of year 9 and year 10 courses, since she's already done a semester of grade nine in Canada. She was pleased to get into film and t.v. studies, where she'll be learning about camera angles, editing, and various other production issues that those of us who work in the print side of the industry know nothing about. Guess who's going to be editing the family video collection.
We continue to be surprised by the price variations, with some things much cheaper than in Canada and others considerably more expensive. For example, I stopped in to a music store this week to pick up some new guitar strings, and while there I naturally tried out some guitars. They seemed to be considerably cheaper than in Canada -- I played several 12-strings, which ranged from $399 to $699 for a quite decent sounding Cort. Given that those prices are in Australian dollars (currently about 17 per cent below the Canadian dollar) and they include taxes, it's quite a bit cheaper. Then I bought a set of strings and saw the other side of the equation: Ernie Ball strings, which normally cost around nine bucks in Bracebridge, were $20!
Fresh produce can be a bargain, and lamb and cheese are cheaper, but milk and eggs seem to be more dear.
We went to the farm market in Noosa on Sunday morning, and had a great time. It's still a little odd to be buying "farm fresh" mangos, limes, lychees, pineapples, passion fruit, macadamia nuts, etc., and realize that they really were picked by the person you're talking to. I feel a little like the proverbial city kid who can't quite grasp that milk comes from cows and eggs from chickens. I know, theoretically, that someone must grow pineapples and macadamia nuts in just the same way as someone grows tomatoes and carrots, but those pineapple and macadamia farms have always been a long way away from me. That's no longer the case. Even though I can see a mango ripening on the tree from where I sit, it hasn't quite hit home that we're living in the (sub) tropics.
The photo shows the fruits of our labours, as well as the vegetables, prawns, and Moreton Bay bugs of our labours.