We went into the shopping centre and found ourselves outside a Target store but went for a little walk before meeting Rita as we were still early. On the way back to Target I gave Rita a ring, as we’d arranged that wherever we found ourselves I was to ring and tell her what store we were outside and she would come to us. She answered the phone and I told her that we were just approaching the Target store and she replied “Oh, I’ve just passed it, I’ll go back there and see you soon!” I said “Are you wearing a black dress and shoes that strap up around the ankle?” and yes, sure enough, she was. I’d spotted a lady who’d done a sudden U-turn while holding a mobile to her ear less than 2 metres in front of us. So she just turned around and we didn’t need to make it to Target at all.
It was so good to meet the secret Rita as I’d never seen a photo of her and had no idea what she would look like. She was slim, dark-haired and downright gorgeous as well as younger than I’d expected for some reason. We hugged, introduced David – I’d already told Rita on the phone earlier that David was wearing a green Mr Noisy t.shirt so that she knew how to easily spot us, although she had seen photos of us both before. But Mr Noisy can not be missed or mistaken – nor David. Well, it’s the same thing really.
Now, I’m being brief. We went for a cuppa and David and I both had something to eat as well. I had a pecan pie for a special treat and we sat in the food hall and talked, and talked, and talked. And laughed a lot too. We instantly felt like life-long friends and had so many things in common. After a while we wandered around in a semi-professionally conducted tour, with Rita pointing out the highlights. There was one shop in there that just sold tea. It was truly amazing what can be made into tea and some of the brews looked more like pot pourri, complete with tiny dried rosebuds. There was also a lovely grocery store with all sorts of international things in and we enjoyed a look around there.
Oh and I must not forget – Rita gave us a bag of passionfruit. I have never seen anything like these before in my life so here’s a photo to prove it LOL
They were massive as passionfruit go and not wrinkled and shrivelled and old looking. They were also really heavy and once we got them back to the hotel room we couldn’t believe how full they were, and how sweet. Definitely the most delicious I’ve ever tasted. I have no idea if we’d get a crop like this if I grew some here in Perth but I think I shall give it a try!
We had a really lovely time with Rita. She kept trying to get me to buy something so we were laughing about that because I did not, but when she showed us a yogurt shop we did succumb after a free sample and were walking around after that eating from our little containers.
The talking never dried up at all but we eventually had to pry ourselves apart as she had to go and pick up her children from school. To finish the coincidence of how close we’d been to one another when we met, our cars were about 40 metres apart in the parking area too.
On the way back to the hotel we stopped at some traffic lights and I got all excited “Wow, David look at the name of this street!!!”
and I groped quickly for the camera and did manage to get a photo. Rode Road, har har.
The journey home went without events worthy of remark. Always a good thing, though it did rain pretty heavily the whole way.
But now we felt that the holiday was coming to an end and started to discuss where we were going to have our last supper. We decided on the RSL Club as that had been so nice. David wanted to buy a new book as he’d almost finished his library book that we’d taken with us so we got our umbrellas and toodled off across the road to the 2nd hand book shop where he chose something or another. But on the way we passed a little Indian restaurant. Oh boy did it smell good. So on the way back we decided the RSL was too far to walk in the rain (hehehehe read ‘instant gratification from the Indian smells required!) and our feet just took us inside after choosing what we wanted from the blackboard outside.
It was still early, barely after 5pm when they’d opened, so we were the only ones in there – which suited us fine. The weather didn’t help to attract crowds either. We had a delicious meal of butter chicken and a sweet prawn curry which had fruit in, even grapes, and tasted naan bread for the first time as we’ve always been pappadam people. In fact we had naan instead of rice just to be different. Then, grateful for the cars stopping for us as we crossed the road, we splashed back to the hotel for a night ‘at home’.
We read our books for a while and then I wrote a timing schedule for the morning which showed us it was going to be best if we packed our cases before going to bed so that is what we did. Then we were hungry as we’d eaten dinner so early and we polished off some more of our fruit, though there was still more than we’d be able to eat for breakfast. David turned on the TV and there was a bad weather report for the Sunshine Coast and heading south for the morning. Fears of bumpy take-offs floated through my head.
Wed 13th Feb
David had set the alarm for 6:30 Perth time but when he awoke before it, as he always does, he turned the time the wrong way in his head and woke me up at 5:30 Brisbane time instead of 7:30. Don’t you just love husbands? Anyway it didn’t matter, we were able to potter around at a non-rushed pace which is always a good thing before flying, in my opinion. The less flustered the better. And, despite the weather forecast last night it was a beautiful day.
We had a delicious fruity breakfast but there was still more left over. We put it into a bag to take with us and see who we could give it to as of course Perth customs do not allow fruit in from other states. We also made up some ciabatta rolls with mozzarella cheese that Rita had kindly bought for us from the international shop in Chermside yesterday, despite our protests and attempts to pay ourselves, and these were to be our picnic lunch along the way.
We checked out of the hotel and made our way up the now very familiar Pacific Motorway once more, but this time needing to get off at the Gateway exit and pay a toll for the bridge. After that we hacked a left and found a nice little park near the cruise ship terminal in Hamilton to have our lunch in. We chose a park bench and table under a gazebo and unpacked our yummy lunch and water bottles. David finished his before I was halfway through mine which is nothing new, but then noticed that 2 cars had pulled up nearby in a little car park and one guy was getting into a recycling bin outfit – a big box shape with the recycling emblem on the side and his stockinged arms and legs hanging out. As you can imagine we wondered what was going on. It turned out it was a radio station with give-aways as one of the guys came over to us and gave us a little show bag each which was very nice. Only about 2 other cars arrived to get any goodies but we had a bag of cheesy snacks each, a can of cool drink, some movie passes, a river cruise pass, a pencil and I think a few other bits. It was rather sweet that they brought them over to us.
After this we travelled a little distance looking for a petrol station to fill up the hire car and then found our way to their office which was not far away. Got through all the paperwork and then asked if they would like 2 cans of cool drink that we’d just been given and don’t drink, and a few bits of remaining fruit including a delicious looking mango which I just could not fit in. They were all gratefully received so it was really nice to know that they weren’t wasted. And then they gave us to a very grumpy seeming guy to drive us in their mini-bus to the airport. He turned out not to be too bad in the end, though he did seem to have a bit of an issue with women. If I was that way inclined I could have been rather offended but I just laughed and agreed with him. I’m used to David’s ways with words and this guy was no different – just lacking the obvious cheek which makes you know David’s joking. David mentioned once again about us being tickled by the way cars screeched to a halt at cross-walks and the guy said “You’d want to stop, it’s a $500 fine!” Ah, so now that mystery was solved.
And then we were at the airport and checking in and all that boring stuff, and had a very expensive drink in the airport meal area, as you do, to pass the time. Brisbane airport really needs an overhaul I think when you think that the city is a similar size to Perth and we have 2 airports which are both, in my opinion, better equipped. Brisbane has 2 as well and of course I’ve only seen the Qantas one. Maybe the other is really stylish?
The flight home was almost as good as the one going and certainly no sign of bad weather or turbulence for the take-off. (By that I include the climb to cruising altitude.) As always I spent almost the whole trip with my nose stuck on the window, completely fascinated by the view and the shadows that the clouds were casting on the earth far below. I was really surprised that we flew over Adelaide, then the Great Australian Bite to Esperance and finally north to Perth. This seemed a very strange route to me, but after Googling and asking a question on Yahoo Questions, which did not answer my question but gave me further clues to research, I did find that once you allow for the curvature of the globe, the Great Australian Bite IS actually the shortest line from Brisbane to Perth. Adelaide and Esperance are not, but I suppose they were just small adjustments for jet streams etc. I don’t like unanswered questions so was happy to discover this.
And then we got to Perth and it was pretty warm! We joined an incredibly long queue for a taxi but it moved along very speedily. We spent some giggle time in the taxi queue corrals as we moved along the zigzags trying to avoid being level with 2 guys who had perhaps been travelling for a long time. They were rather ‘on the nose’ so it was not pleasant standing there in the heat near them.
We were horrified that the poor taxis have to pay a fee to be able to leave the taxi rank once they’ve picked up a passenger. The airports are all so very greedy it’s very sad. Just a short drive away and there was Monty parked in Rachan’s driveway, and Rachan had so kindly put up the sun shades in the front and back windows for us. We were very grateful for the head start that this gave the air conditioning.
So home we drove without delay, and that’s the end of the holiday story for Feb 2008.
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