We woke at 5am to be greeted by that “service with a grimace” Sydney is famous for…and in spades. The old Greek shuttle bus driver kicked it off with his glazed expression, more interested in watching the ash fall from his cigarette than with helping us with our luggage. As he slammed the bus door, clinking his heavy gold chain against his chest, I was sure we were off to penitentiary, and not on holiday.
At immigration, a middle-aged woman with her hair pulled back in a severe bun yelled out for families with children under 12 to go into different cues. Like in a dramatic war film, I felt Milana being yanked away… until the lady realized we were with her, and a serious nod said we could stay in queue with her.
Across the ditch, it was a completely different story. As lethargic travellers shuffled zombie-like through the queues, we were greeted by super friendly, jovial officers…one huge guy was joking around with a tiny pink kids’ back pack he’d found “Geez bro, you wouldn’t even fit my lunch in thus.”
The St.Clairs are a little bit obsessed with the Kiwi accent. We’ve watched “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” four times (and the priest scene 10 x more), and “Flight of the Conchords” is one of our favourite shows.
So hearing the campervan guy, Damon, in his jaunty safari shorts, leather sandals and mobile phone holder on belt, explain how to “fluck the ugnution swutch” had us holding back fits of laughter. Why does it sound like they’re all just taking the puss? Such a fabulous eccent!
Stop one, Countdown! To an Aussie of course, that’s an iconic 70’s-80’s music television show. Here it’s Woolworths. Unlike in Japan or Germany, there weren’t any huge differences than back home. There were beautifully packaged eggs, weird bags of pre-cooked sausages (whaaat!), and can’t wait to fill a trundler (haaa) later this week with buckets of fresh mussels.
We’ve travelled to Hanmer Springs, and staying at a Freedom Camping site (that’s cheapskate for free), with about 8 other vans. It’s quiet, surrounded by green, with bathrooms on site. Looking forward to a day in the pools tomorrow.
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HI Danni, enjoying your take on NZ hope you and the fam are well and happy