I'm sorry there has been such a long gap between posts this time. I will attribute this to a combination of being super excited to see people I haven't seen in a year and a half, and also not really doing much that is blog-worthy. The last few days have basically been just spending time with old friends.
On the day of my last post, Rob and Bec and I went and picked up Harry from the airport, and then stopped at the liquor store on the way home (obviously). We spent a couple of hours drinking and playing trivial pursuit before heading into the city to meet up with some more of the Contiki crew. We went to a bar called Netherworld, which is half an arcade, and half filled with tables for board games. And of course, it serves alcohol. Danny and Rhi met us there, along with Morgaine and Marina! I had spoken to Morgaine the day before, and she had lied and said she wasn't able to come, so this was very exciting. There were many hugs, and then we played a game I have never heard of where you have to name three things that fit into a certain category within five seconds. Then, yet again, we played Trivial Pursuit. This was the "early 2000s" version, so I thought perhaps I would have a better chance this time, except it turned out to be an Australian version. I was a useless partner - sorry Danny. At one point,it was suggested that we return to Rob's house, where there are board games and alcohol that is free. We agreed with this fiscally responsible suggestion, and the whole group went home with us. Rob's roommates joined in, and there were some very entertaining drinking games and shenanigans occurring. As a throwback to the days of Contiki, several people got very very drunk. However, since we had all started drinking at about 2pm, this happened at about 8pm. Eventually some pizza was ordered, and some people passed out, so the night just kind of trickled to a stop at about midnight, which was fine with me. My bed was the couch that everyone was sitting on, so I wouldn't have been able to go to bed until everyone left anyway. It was a very fun afternoon/evening, with a lot of reminiscing, some dancing to our trip theme song, and a toast to one member of our trip who had passed away a few months ago. The next morning was a bit rough for some people!
The next day, which had a bit of a slow start, involved me, Harry, and Rhi takin the bus into the city. We met up with Danny, who was at uni, for lunch, and he gave us a nice walking tour of the Southbank area. Harry, Rhi, and I spent the afternoon wandering around the museum, which had an excellent dinosaur exhibit, and then the Museum of Modern Art. There was a Marvel exhibit on there, which had all of the costumes and props on display, descriptions of the design and filming processes, and behind the scenes clips. It was very interesting, and I was tempted to go home and watch every single Marvel movie in a row. Also - when are they going to make a Black Widow movie?? The three of us took a photo at the end, which was photoshopped into the poster for the first Avengers movie. We had a nice walk back along Southbank, which is beautiful. There are these huge trellises along the path that have flowers wound around them. There are also two little manmade beaches, and a Japanese garden. We stopped and had a drink at a pub with live music, and eventually Danny joined us and we made our way back home.
Tuesday was very quiet. Rob had to go to work, so Bec, Harry and I went out for lunch, got some groceries, and walked 4km back home. The afternoon was spent binge-watching a show called Zoo, where animals become sentient and try to destroy the human race. It was unsettling, but very good. Harry and I made poke bowls for dinner, which are basically bowls of deconstructed sushi. It was delicious - tofu fried in sauce, rice, and a bunch of fresh veggies. After the high amount of carbs I've been eating over the last few days, it felt good to be healthy. When Rob got home, we played Monopoly, which lasted for hours and turned into an epic battle between Rob and Harry. Rob won.
On Wednesday, we went to the botanic gardens, which were beautiful. I was having a great time wandering around and taking pictures, until Rob pointed out the spiders in the trees. From then on I was very conscious of where I was walking, and everyone made fun of me. There is a planetarium at the gardens, so we went to a very cool show called Capturing the Cosmos. It was shown in this cool room with a domed roof, and the seats reclined so you were laying there and watching the movie projected onto the ceiling. It was very interesting. At the end, the night sky that would be visible over Brisbane was projected, and the commentator showed us how to identify the constellations. I successfully identified the Southern Cross last night and I was very proud of myself. That night we went to a great Vietnamese restaurant, where I had shrimp salad rolls and a delicious vermicelli salad. I pretty much only want to eat that meal for the next four years. It was so good, and fairly cheap.
Yesterday, Harry flew back to Melbourne, and Rob was working in the morning, so Bec and I hung out and watched Into the Wild. I didn't really know what it was about, but it was very sad! I just really wanted the main character to go home, but he didn't. When Rob got back, we drove to his parents' house, where I got to meet and cuddle his dog, Milly. She is so sweet and fluffy. We took her for a walk, and then had dinner. Rob's mom made a fantastic lasagna and garlic bread. One of Rob's roommates has gone to a music festival for a couple of days, and he is letting me use his bed while he is gone. So when we got home last night I made a lovely nest, and slept in a room with a door. It was great.
It has been so awesome to see these people again. It feels like it hasn't been very long since our tour, but also so much has changed. I am so happy that even though for the first half of the tour I was really shy and didn't socialize as much as I now wish I had, I made friends and kept in enough contact with them that they are willing to come and see me, and let me sleep on their couches. It makes me wonder how many more friends I would have made if I had been as social and confident (even though compared to other people, I'm still not very social) during that Contiki. I would love to do another one, perhaps a European summer trip, and see what happens. We'll see.
I feel like I've been apologizing a lot on these posts, but I'm sorry it's taken so long to update this. I have a few more days in Brisbane, and then I'm heading to the Sunshine Coast to spend a few days with Morgaine and Marina. I think my plan for my extended trip time will be to town-hop my way down the east coast until I get back to Melbourne, and then Cass and I are going to go to Tasmania for a couple of days! It should be very fun, and I am so happy that I have made friends on this trip that actually want to see me again.
I think today is going to be fairly quiet. Rob is at work and Danny is at uni, so Bec and Rhi and I are going to hang out. They are actually sitting across the table from me right now, waiting for me to finish writing this. Also, as of today, I have been in Australia for a month! I am enjoying this trip immensely.
I hope you are all having a good week.