And I Can Cook, Too

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Movin’ Out

My bags were packed by 8am. Unfortunately Carol wasn’t due to pick me up until two. I wasted some time by wandering down to the cities Festival Center, which today was featuring a small art show. I hesitated over two paintings of coffee pots that would have looked phenomenal in my kitchen, then quickly decided that the best way to save water was to amuse myself with the purchase of an “all day breckie roll.” I’d never had an all day breckie roll before, and was understandably curious. Turns out, an all day breckie roll is a sub roll loaded with an entire rasher of back bacon, a sprinkling of cheese, and topped with one fried egg. Available to top my all day breckie roll was an assortment of sauces ranging from American mustard to Thai chili sauce. I opted to take it straight. By the time I finished my all day breckie roll (I didn’t really finish my all day breckie roll, I don’t think anyone can eat that much back bacon), it was close to one o’clock and time to return to the horrible hostel to meet Carol. I said goodbye to the girls behind the bar, assured them that I’d stop in some time for a drink (I lied), and with the most sincere smile I’d managed all week hoped into Carols car for home. We were going to spend the afternoon doing some last minute errands (for them), going over directions to the train station, beach, and nearest town (for me), walk the dogs (for the dogs), and enjoy a meal (for everyone). After I unloaded my bags into the wonderful breezy back bedroom, the door of which opens directly onto the lanai, Carol, Louise, and I hopped back into the car for a quick trip to the nearest grocery store. Carol encouraged me to stock up on heavy items while I had a car to get them home. Once inside, we split up to do our shopping, and a few moments later a finished Carol and Louise were curiously eyeballing my cart of four cans of tuna, an Australian blue pumpkin, and eight liters of diet tonic water. After I assured them that from the experienced chef’s eye there really was a through line, they decided that it made perfect sense to soak your pumpkin water in diet tonic water for three days before cooking, and announced that they would wait for me at the coffee shop next door. We took the scenic view home, and ended up driving along miles of the pristine coastline that is the Gulf of Adelaide. Not just good for soaking up the sun, the beach was dotted with snack shops and featured an exercise path. We drove to the end of the path and cased the million dollar homes clustered around a small shopping area. We determined that we could get one of these homes if 10 or 12 of us went into it together. I commented on what a great idea it was to go into real estate with someone you’d met just a few days earlier, and someone, either Carol or Louise but not me, commented that it felt like we’d known each other forever. I felt the same way.

That night, we went out to dinner at an ocean front restaurant just a few miles down the road. Louise ordered a bottle of S.A. Chardonnay, and it was delicious – absolutely nothing like those awful oaky American Chardonnays that I would not touch with a ten-foot pole! This was light, crisp, clean on the tongue, and contained absolutely no fake oak flavoring. I ordered the regional delicacy, King George Whiting. The fish was wonderful, delicate but firm, with a distinct yet subtle flavor. Yummy. Repeating our first night together, Carol, Louise, and I did not shut up the entire evening. We gabbed about different places we’d traveled and lived, finding fun and joy in your work, and the miracle of meeting people who are ready to be in the same place in life as you are. As we drove back to their house, it occurred to me that I didn’t really want them to leave. When we started making plans to get together upon their return, I comforted myself with the knowledge that I’d made friends.

That night, as I fell asleep in the beautiful crisp air of the back bedroom, I thought about how lucky I was. And I kept it dry.

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