Wednesday, April 27, 2005

TV's on EVERY seat!!

Finally something is happening. I booked flights yesterday. On an airplane, what's more! Yeppers, it was 1996 when Shaz & I left Australia together as a childless but freshly pregnant couple for the first time and spent five glorious weeks in Brazil. Now, three children and almost ten years later we're off across the pond on September 16th.

Oh dear, speaking of 3 children I suppose we had better work out what to do with them, since we will be 17,000km away for four weeks. I think I'll just give them each fifty bucks and tell them to help themselves to anything in the fridge. Actually, it's not such a crazy idea. Naomi the eldest (8) is quite capable of self sufficiency with two dependents. Hmmm...

Nahh, better not. There may be some legal issues to sort through when we return.

And to think I was stressed out over the final decision of which airline, which route, who has the best frequent flyer program, whose aircraft have better the end, it came down to a choice between Qantas/Lufthansa or Malaysian Airlines. Guess which airline has TV's on EVERY seat, even in cattle class!! In the end the choice was easy.

"This is your captain speaking. Prepare for 12 hours of non-stop Discovery Channel"... Noooooooooo!!

We are heading to this place called Germania. Apparently they have a vehicle manufacturing industry or three there. Which is good, because I like cars. I hope they're good ones! They also like building big walls and then knocking them down. And they serve beer by the litre. Sounds like a fun place.

Ah, now we can dream up some plans. Thanks to our small but enthusiastic collection of native German friends we are going to be thoroughly entertained and looked after. However, I am keen for Sharon and I to enjoy the adventure of independent travelling in foreign places. Hopefully we will be able to spend at least a week or two on our own, doing stuff like
a) getting lost,
b) being scammed by a shifty taxi driver
c) having our luggage stolen,
d) have our lives threatened by corrupt military police and
e) having our spleens removed and sold on the black market.

Well, that was Brazil. I wonder if Germany will be that exciting...

These cars have engine management systems that are so smart they will debate religion with you

Okay, so maybe there isn't such sinister fun in Germany. But I have been told of these things called "Auto Bahns". At first I thought that Germans keep their cars in the same shed as cows and horses, but apparently this is the word used for some magnificent stretches of road. I was also told that they travel at speeds greater than 60km/h on these "Auto Bahns". This sounds ridiculous. Here in Australia, the Government are constantly telling us that if we drive even slightly faster than 60km/h, we will not only die in a violent, fiery crash but will wipe out an entire ecosystem of endangered frogs and put a bigger hole in the ozone layer. And if the government tell us, then it must be true.

But these Germans...they are driving cars at sometimes over 200km/h (gag, splutter)!! Not only do they actually survive, but these crazy people actually claim that it helps them arrive sooner, more refreshed, increase transport and economic productivity, and achieve better fuel efficiency!!

So, if driving Claudia's car at 200 clicks on the autobahn (no, I haven't asked yet) doesn't push my buttons, I can always go to the Nurburgring (the OLD one). For more info on that, see my link on the right.

But there is so much else to plan. Don't ever doubt that I am a versatile, eclectic person (which is a clever way of saying "mixed up"). One minute I will be a yobbo tourist driving cars really fast and drinking lots of beer in huge glasses. Next, I will be paying my respects to the late J.S. Bach, witnessing the birth of romanticism in a baroque art gallery , and standing in some Berlin Strasse sadly pondering the poignant remains of that hard, cold wall of theirs.

And....TV's on EVERY seat!!!

Artist's retreat
April 26 2005

So this week the subject-to clause on our contract expires, and presuming the bank throws oodles of money at us (like they said they would) then we officially have bought the house, and we move on June 17th. Then I will start some highly energetic project, like putting internal walls and windows on the outoor storage shed to make it all comfortable inside. Then I will spend lots of time inside it wearing a little black beret and smock, splash paint around with gay abandon (no jokes please) cry, complain, lose my temper periodically at the kids yelling something about "stifling my creative inspiration" ...

then I can call it an "artists' studio". Hopefully this will add some value to the house.

Something else to do with artists, yesterday.

By the way, if anyone wants to help me do this who lives in the northern Geelong area please don't hesitate to help.

BUT, more pressing at this point is our planned September Vacation (I used that word so people might think I am American). Between having three kids requiring looking after, school holidays, potential babysitters caravaning around the harsh Australian outback, other babysitters with prior engagements, air fare peak period price hikes...blah blah is looking more impossible. Now our promised German tour guide (and free accommodation provider) has committments springing up at that time, so she might NOT be able to;
- take us to Prague
- take us skiing in Switzerland (Switzerland for crying out loud!!)
- take Sharon shopping and 'clubbing in Berlin (Shopping!!! Berlin!! )
- take us beer drinking in Munich (Beer!!)
POST ALTERED BY AUTHOR: I have been told off by the abovementioned German tour guide. She has confirmed her availability, hence making me look silly with egg all over my face. Sheesh!! These Germans are so touchy ;-). I hope we still get to stay at her Dad's place..

Who would have thought buying houses and going overseas could be so hard?

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