My bag wasn't delivered until yesterday evening around 7 pm, so yesterday was spent in sort of a holding pattern. Would that all holding patterns were as enjoyable. I did pretty much as planned -- lounged around reading and watching television with Dan and Stewart, tried to win over Dora, who has the temerity to not instantly adore me (doesn't she know who I am? I am the Cat Whisperer!), and made short forays out into what turned out to be a glorious day, all blue skies and sunshine. I didn't need a coat or jacket, so I didn't suffer for want of my luggage.
For lunch we went round the shops again and I got a yummeh Vietnamese-style sandwich made with zucchini frittata, avocado slices, greens, and cheese. After that, Dan walked me over to Brunswick Street, which reminded me a good deal of San Francisco. There I met Mr. PK (as he shall be named here) for what had to have been the best soy latte I have ever, EVER had in my life, and I wish I could have one again RIGHT NOW, and we talked a bit, and he was lovely, and we'll be meeting again, and let's just leave it at that for now, shall we? Mr. PK gave me a lift home and seemed impressed that I had walked all the way to the cafe, which kind of surprised me, because the whole area here is so eminently walkable. There are also trams and buses and trains and trolleys and rickshaws and hovercraft (maybe not that last couple) galore. God I miss living in a city.
Stewart's sister Jane and her lady love Zelda stopped by while we were still waiting on my bags, and we made plans to meet them over at their house for dinner and to look at their pictures from Philip Island, which is where we ourselves will be going next weekend. Right after Jane and Zelda left, there was a kerfuffle with one of the neighbors who is . . . well, not quite right. She's got an aggressive martyr complex, and it's fairly airtight against reality. In the middle of a conference at the front door over perceived injustices, my luggage arrived! But Neighbor Lady wouldn't, you know, MOVE, and I was sort of ineffectually darting at my bag out there on the sidewalk until she finally wandered away, hand to forehead, sighing, palely loitering, child clutched on hip.
Then it was off to Jane and Zelda's -- another adorable, cozy row house -- for (and I swear, I'm not indulging in vacation hyperbole) the best Indian takeaway I've ever had. Veggie samosas (although some of Liz's chutney would have improved them), lamb vindaloo (tender, perfectly spiced), and naan. Oh, and some excellent merlot (Sideways be damned) and an even better shiraz after that. I am intensely jealous of Jane's photographs from Philip Island and I will never be able to best them. I am also insanely excited about seeing the pelicans and the koalas and the penguins, and judging by the pictures I am going to be really cold unless I augment my clothing with a warm hat and some gloves and maybe a scarf or three. And Zelda very kindly offered to give me a shiatsu massage to get rid of some lingering lower back pain from the flight.
What have I done to deserve these people?
I managed to sleep a little later this morning, but I tossed and turned more than I did last night as well, so it's probably an even wash. Even though I've been met with some skepticism when I say this, I honestly don't feel a bit jet-lagged. (But it's probably not reassuring for my friends to hear that 5 hours of slightly interrupted sleep is more than I've been getting at a time for literally months! Honestly, I feel a little panicky that I'm not working on SOMETHING, anything.)
I think we're about to go to the market. I'll be able to take pictures! I want to try to capture the scale of things. I'll try to explain later when I have some photos I can refer to. This place, like all others, has its unique character, and part of that character is its scale. Things seem somehow . . . miniaturized. (At least relative to my big ol' American clumsy feetprints.)