Dim sims, Slurpees and Burnt Toast

It turns out there’s no better way to reflect on Rio than to go back home for a holiday.

We’ve just returned from a visit to Melbourne, and can I just say how nice it was. Christmas and school holidays, everyone in a good mood, catching up with with family and friends, hearing their news and just spending time…. it really was kind of blissful. The streets seemed wider and cleaner and how great is it that there are only two lanes of traffic in a two-laned road? Things were so familiar – and the food was heaven. Barbecued everything, cheesy-mite scrolls, dim sims, meat pies and (yes, thank you God!) the 7-Eleven was still stocking lemon lime and bitters flavoured slurpees. A true mark of civilisation, and if you’ve never had one you should go there right now. They’re open 24 hours.

Getting on the plane to come back was a little hard, (as were the suicide-inducing back to back fourteen hour flights. Never. Again.), but once we arrived, it wasn’t so bad. Cutting out a complicated and very boring tale, we are now in a new apartment, although only for a month. It’s quite nice but there are always things to adjust to – not the least of which is yet another kind of power outlet, one that has more volts. We found this out when Charlotte put some bread down the toaster. The element glowed nuclear hot for exactly five seconds and then the bread spontaneously combusted. A bit too exciting for 6am on the second day back at school, although strangely endearing in a “ah, Rio..” kind of way. It’s the sort of thing that is unlikely to happen in Australia, but if it did, there’d be the safety switch kicking in, the smoke detector going off and a lovely warranty that ensured we got a new toaster. Not in Rio, but what can we say? We’re living on the edge.

So Gav’s back at work – same role, different client, going well so far – and the kids and I are back into our own routines, with lovely friends. But even though we’ve settled back well, it has struck us that we’re all of a sudden in the ‘second cycle’. Christmas brought the same round of school concerts, I went yesterday to my second school meeting in regards to Charlotte going away on her second camp and we’re once again living through preparations for Carnival. (Our own preparations involve booking flights to Patagonia). Whilst the familiarity of this is reassuring, it also feels as though a switch has been flipped. Instead of being in our ‘first year’ – all new, scary, exciting etc, now we’re suddenly in our ‘last year’ – quick, what else do we have to see/do/experience before we leave?

Must get off the beach and make a list……

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