The plane arrived in a hot and humid Brisbane bang on time, following a delightful Chinese breakfast. Sadly I had to say goodbye to my very comfortable seat/bed and make my way through security and customs.
It never ceases to please me how, in my experience, Australian border staff are the friendliest I’ve ever come across. They are always smiling and welcoming as if they are just an inconvenience that can’t be avoided. It always starts my trips home so perfectly. This is opposed to the worst border people in the universe, giving even the officious Vogons a run for their money: the Americans. As if proving that the helpful and pleasant deserves an antithesis, they seem to go out of their way to treat everyone as if they’re guilty of something rather than starting from a point of everyone being a nice person until proved differently.
And to prove the above point, the guy who checked my passport was extremely pleasant, saying “Welcome home,” and the big, burly guy who decides if you get searched or not gave me a big smile and waved me towards the exit. They really do make Australia feel welcoming and pleasant.
And so I checked in with the bus people and waited for it to arrive down the ramp. It was then the long, occasionally wet, drive to Aussie World for a change of vehicle then to Caloundra.
The bus drops you at your door but, for reasons unexplored, my driver decided to stop in the street that runs parallel to mum’s. I told him it was wrong street and he drove around the block. I told him he could find the house because there’d be an old lady standing outside. Which, of course, there was.
After a cup of coffee and a bit of a natter, I was finding it difficult to keep my eyes open so I had a couple of hours kip.
Mum decided to make a roast for Denise, Tracey, Bob and Mitch tonight so there was a lot of cooking. Denise came over early so there was also a lot of mum-teasing, something I always miss.
Dinner was lovely (if you ignore the pumpkin which appeared to be desperate to move on to pastures new which didn’t include anyone’s stomach) as was the company. We were fortunate to see Bob since he’d been in Gladstone for the day.
There was the strange ritual of making sure everyone had a copy of Dad’s death certificate, something Tracey was not keen on although Denise and I found it quiet hilarious. We’re not sure how this strange ritual came about but Mum has assured us that it’s important to have an entire set. Tracey remains unconvinced.
Obviously, it all ended relatively early as I needed my bed and everyone else has work tomorrow. I was asleep very, very quickly.