Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Good People of Perth

Christmas Day I was working at the restaurant (yay me! gah.) and obviously wasn't too excited about it. I was beyond homesick, and missing my family more than ever. Spending Christmas alone isn't exactly the greatest.

But luckily, I got to serve a really great family that had come to Melbourne for the holidays. First thing I learned about them was they lived in Perth, and second, they really liked the show How I Met Your Mother... because the two sons, both around my age, called me Robin all evening, and kept asking me random things about Canada. I also learned quite quickly that they liked to drink. A lot. Once I put their drinks on the table we all hit it off real well, and I ended up having a really good time with them....even when the Dad knocked a tray full of beers out of my hand and onto the people in the next table. hah! He said he was practicing his tennis swing. lol. Oops... By the end of the meal, they were inviting me to stay with them in Perth, and one of the sons, Kal, gave me his number. I said goodbye, Merry Christmas and didn't think of them much after that.

Kal and I, Christmas Day

Well, fast forward to February....I arrived in Adelaide, after my outback trek, and was debating where to go next. I didn't want to head back to Melbourne. So I thought "Alright, Perth it is...". Booked a flight, a room, and left the next day. The first day I toured the city, and it was so beautiful! It's sunny with blue skies almost every day of the year. And it stayed warm at night, which I liked because it reminded me of summers at home. I really loved it and am hoping I can return one day.

The next few days were a little rough though. Mother Nature was causing a real ruckus in north-eastern Australia, so lots of travelers were in Perth. And normally the west coast is quiet. So getting accommodation was horrible. At one point I was really struggling, because I had to find accommodation for the next night and everywhere was booked. Of course I had a little freak out, I went to call home, but instead found Kal's number. Completely forgot about it! But it worked out perfectly! I called him up and after some chitchat he invited me home for the weekend to see the family on their farm.

Well, I had no idea they lived in the middle of nowhere. They live about 3 1/2 hours outside the city, and about 20 minutes from the nearest town called Wagin. Where they live is called Kukerin,...population 190, dirt roads and farms, no neighbours for miles, and at night it's pitch black. Kal and I stayed at Josh's house (his brother), and we'd head to their parents for breakfast in the mornings. They have a sheep farm, so I helped herd sheep in the pick up truck, and they taught me all there is to know about the game cricket. Also learned some country drinking games at the local pub. After the weekend they offered me a place to stay in Perth. Kal goes to school in the city and they own a place, so they were gracious enough to let me stay until I figured out a plan. The deal was I had to clean the kitchen and keep tidy. Done!

Big farming community, specializing in sheep!

So I spent 2 weeks there. Relaxed by their pool, read some books, toured Freemantle, which has an amazing market, and got to know the family. Kal, Josh and I got along great. Went cliff jumping with some of their friends one day and had dinner together pretty much every night. haha. Their Dad, Colin, and I delivered pea straw around Perth one morning for peoples landscaping. That was actually quite fun! And the Mom, Ronnie, and I got along really well, chatting quite a bit like women tend to do.

Pea straw to be delivered.

My aussie parents, Col and Ronnie.

I like to call them my Australia family, because they took me in without question, and are absolutely the nicest people. I was so appreciative to them and I had such an amazing time being a part of their fun-loving family. Unfortunately a couple months after I arrived home from Australia, Josh had passed away. It was quite a shock because I had just been getting to know him, but also strange because I didn't know him for very long. Although, it was definitely sad to hear, I'm glad we had the chance to meet. I only hope for joy and happiness in the Joyce family's future, and I know Josh will be watching out for them.

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