Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How I Met Your Father, Part 2

Taken at one of my student's
mountain villa.  Mountain.  Villa.  
So there I was- living in paradise and teaching at this great school.  We had lots of opportunities for travel and visited Bali on several occasions, as well as islands that are not as commercialized as Bali.  Islands like Lombok and Sulawesi.  (I stepped into a volcano on the northern tip of Sulawesi- but I stayed on the holiday and just made sure I went snorkeling every day so that the salt water could "clean" my burns.  Smart, right? and I've got the scars to prove just how smart it was...)

A group of SPH teachers on a rainforest trek.
I'm in the pink jacket.

We also traveled a lot around Java- the island we lived on.  I spent some time in Yogyakarta- the city near Mt. Merapi which is the volcano that has been erupting and causing so many problems for the people of Indonesia.  Say a prayer for them today...

Hiking up a volcano

Lex and I in a beautiful rainforest 
If you look on a map, Indonesia is the series of islands to the north of Australia.  So of course we all wanted to visit there while we were living so close.  I used my "summer" holiday to go to Australia for the first time, and I say "summer" in quotation marks because of course seasons are reversed in the southern hemisphere, so it was actually winter there.  I traveled with two other teachers from my school (Sean and John) and we went to Sydney, the Red Centre, and Cairns on the Gold Coast (Great Barrier Reef area).  It was an amazing trip!!!  Really incredible to just travel all around this amazing and beautiful country- it has such a "wild" feeling about it- like it hasn't quite been tamed.  We had a BLAST.

Lex and I hiking around Oz
It was such a great trip that I decided to go AGAIN with Alexis when we had our Christmas holiday.  Alexis is quite the adventurer so we just decided to do the "outback" parts and leave out the cities entirely.  So we booked ourselves on a couple of outback adventure tours where they cook your food over an open fire and you sleep outdoors in 'swags'  and climb crazy stuff and hike in amazing places and everyday you just look around and can't believe how beautiful the land is.  I had been on one of these tours already when I visited the Red Centre with Sean and John over the summer, but it was so incredible I was happy to do it again with Alexis.

With Stefan learning to play the dige

Side story:  I wanted to buy a digeridoo while I was there this time- that's the Aboriginal instrument made from the trunk of a tree.  It makes this incredible sound when you blow into it- almost unearthly.  A group of guys from Switzerland were hanging around with us a the time, and one of them- Stefan- also wanted a digeridoo.  So we went shopping together and even took lessons!    At one point I was blowing into my dige without much success when I just decided to entertain myself by imitating those cough drop commercials where the dude in lederhosen blows into the big pipe/horn thing and it says, "Riiiiiiicolaaaaaaa!"  Remember those?  So I said that into my dige and then Stefan from Switzerland says to me, "Vat did you say?"  And at first I just tried to laugh it off like it was nothing, but then I thought- wait!  Aren't those cough drops supposed to be from the Alps or something???  So I told him what I said- "Um... I said 'Ricola', but I don't really know what it means..." Stefan told me that ricola is a word used for herbs that are good for your throat or for when you are sick... and I totally wigged out and told him about our commercial and he told me the name of that pipe/horn thingy... it was the weirdest moment between an American girl and a Swiss guy while in Australia... so crazy... 

So, Alexis and I hopped into a jeep/truck thingy on January 2nd, 1997 (see?  I AM getting around to the real story here!) to travel up north to the tropical area where they filmed "Crocodile Dundee"- a film I remember seeing, but have no actual recollection as to anything about it other than the line: "now THAT'S a knife."   As we got into the jeep I looked up to see a VERY good looking tour guide in the passenger seat up front.  He had a great smile and green eyes and long, shaggy, surfer-blonde hair and he turned around and introduced himself to us by saying, "Hi.  I'm Mick."  And my first thought was... "I bet he is a really big jerk."

Because... really.  Good-looking Australian tour guide?  Please.  I could just picture all the sweet European girls on his tours swooning over his accent and I decided then and there that I was going to ignore him.  Because, you know.  THAT will show him.  (???)

Tune in next time for croc-infested waters and near-death experiences!


Karenkool said...

This is so freakin' good! Keep going. I'm totally hooked.


Kimberlie said...

Oh, I just love this!

missy said...

who needs harlequin's?

Justine said...

Lovin' this story!

Selam! G'day! Hello!