Sunday, September 25, 2005
The weekend has ended

And now, may I please, please, please have another one to recover from this one?

Visitor from London
My cousin arrived on Wednesday, and left today. I have not seen her since I was in London three years ago, so it's been a while. She had lost her credit card and cash whilst in LA and had to spend her holiday in Hawaii watching the pennies. So, off I went to meet her after class on Wednesday for dinner, and to pass her some money.

So where is the line between giving her space and neglect? I really didn't want to be the "smothering cousin". We found a happy(for me) balance where I saw her on Wednesday night, and we kept in touch via email for the rest of the week till Saturday when I took her to two markets and lunch.

Oh man! I have not walked like I walked on that day for such a long time. I met her at the YWCA where she was staying, and we walked up to the Paddington markets. From there we walked back into the city and had lunch at the Tearoom at the Queen Victoria Building (the kingfish salad is exquisite!). After that, I thought, well, one can't be that close to Pitt Street Mall and not have ice-cream there. In case you didn't know, there is a little ice-cream shop/stall on Pit St mall that makes the world's best (in my opinion) ice-cream. It is made fresh daily, and flavours change regularly. I had the mocha and mango, and my cousin had the hazelnut almond blend and apple. Never had apple icecream? You have got to try it. Don't knock it till you've had it!

We visited the market at the Rocks and walked around there for a while before stopping at the Oyster Bar at Circular Quay for a drink. I had to leave her there as I had to be home in time to dress for dinner with Chris' family.

Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention the present she brought me from Hawaii. I looked at it and thought, "What? She broght me a shellfish in a can?!" Well, that was what it was - a clam in a can. I read the instructions and apparently there is a pearl in the clam. I have to break it open, remove the pearl and polish it. She even bought me a silver chain with a locket for it. How cool! I haven't opened the can yet. I will, when my calves stop hurting! You know how your calves ache when you have done too much excercise? Yeah, well, multiply that by ten, and that will (maybe) come close to what I am feeling right now.

I am never riding on a train again, if I can help it!
I thought that the train would be the quickest way to get back to Epping from Circular Quay. Oh I was wrong, oh so wrong! I ended up switching trains and going to Marayong instead, where Chris picked me up.

There were cops walking up and down the train. I know they are there for the safety for the passengers, but you know, their presence was hardly re-assuring. The fact that they needed to be there was rather disconcerting, to say the least.

Chris' brother and sister-in-law were leaving for Jersey today. They both have three year contracts working with a law firm there. The family had decided to have their farewell/congratulations/good luck/bon voyage dinner at Prime on Saturday night. The private dining room was booked for the evening, and special steaks were pre-ordered. It turned out to be a rather fun night. My stomach, as usual, was complaining today that it has been overworked. There was lots of food and drink and we didn't get home till nearly midnight. Somehow, last night's dinner ended up being a celebratory dinner for Chris' SIL's birthday as well. The present opening and jewellery ogling was probably a good distraction from the less happy thoughts about their imminent departure that some were having.

Half a day at the airport
They left today. We woke up bright and early and headed over to Chris' parents' house. With the cost of parking being as high as it is at Sydney airport, it made sense to all go in as few cars as possible, and that worked out to be two.

We actually spent about 2 hours at the airport but it seemed way longer than that. I gues sit always does when you're not the one travelling. Sitting around while they waited in queue at the check-in counters seemed to take an eternity, though in truth it was probably only about 30 or 40 minutes. We were off to grab some lunch at the food court. Finding a table to seat all of us was easier than I thought it would be. A few Cajun nuggets later, it was time for the 'final' goodbyes. There were tears all around, etc. etc.

If you're thinking I am rather unaffected by the whole thing, you're right, I am. In my mind, it's only for three years, and it's not like they are stuck there if they don't like it. They can always move. Besides, it all seems rather strange to me that the same man who said to me, when I first came here and said how sad my parents were, that my parents should have expected it since they sent me to study abroad, is the same man who is crying today because his brother is ging away for three years. Well, his brother has been talking about moving overseas for as long as I can remember (granted, I don't have a very good memory, and so 'for as long as I can remember' probably only dates back a few years), so this is pretty much expected. I guess, maybe, it all hits home a little harder when it's your own family who is moving away.

Home sweet home
I was glad to finally get home. I collapsed on the bed, and that was pretty much the end of my day. I woke up a few hours later, only to realise that I have
1. missed church
2. lost half a day
3. an empty stomach

What a weekend!
Well, that was a full weekend!
Ugh, Sydney trains! Em and I went into the city last week, and it took over an hour on the train. The trip used to take ~45 minutes before the "new and improved" timetable.
DH catches the train from Ingleburn to North Sydney every single day - I don't know how he stands it.
Has anything arrived for you yet?
Wow, I need a nap just reading about all the activity. I'm not sure what I like most -- greeting company when they first arrive or getting back to "real life" at the end of the visit.
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