The people I am going to visit are actual friends. Not people I feel obliged to see because they helped me out or hungout with me. For any of those who doubted that Couch Surfing was a legit way to travel, I think I now have enough [overwhelmingly] positive experiences to request that you eat your words one letter at a time.
So where was I..... Ah yes, Thursday morning, rush hour time, Paul drops me off at Nerrang train station. A friendly ticket office guy (and when one uses 'friendly' to describe an aussie, you mean the English equivalent of your best friend, on a good day, when you have just bought them icecream) who informed me that all travel across the entire city is free due to the floods.
|Brisbane Flood Graffiti|
|The painstaking clear-up|
|Tin Can Radio|
We leave the venue, Erik stops for his 3rd McFlurry of the day (making up for lost time), and his 2nd McChicken Sandwich, and we get the train home. His house mates rule. I love them all. I wont go into why they rule, just take my word for it.
Time to help Clean UP
A neighbor brings us home made cookies, still warm. And one of the inside workers feeds them to us so we don't have to de-glove and wash. At 3-ish, free Nando's arrives. (some of the people helping today are volunteering from Nando's head office, including the General Manager of the state). Finally, at about 4pm, we hose ourselves down using the fire-truck.
My arms are wobbly and my hands shake when I lift my water-bottle. my back is aching. I have mosquito bites on my face, the only place I didn't apply repellant. My feet are blistered from sodden wellies. I am exhausted. But kind of elated. The difference it made to this woman's house was immense. The sense of comradeship brilliant. And at the risk of sounding self righteous, (which, believe me, I am not. I am well aware my 8 hours cleaning is nothing compared to those that have suffered the effects of the floods - let alone some of the people for whom this is one day in a long list of days they have committed to helping free of charge, such as Erik, for whom this was his 5th day volunteering), I am very proud of myself. And glad I was able to contribute, even if in a small part, in just one of the thousands of homes affected.
Tonight, I am meeting up with Ben who took me to the Hinterlands. Tomorrow he will drop me home, Sunday is BDO, cannot wait. Monday recovery day. Tuesday, lingering anticipation. Wednesday, Australia Day. And that means...... the long awaited arrival of my dealry beloved. Booked transfers from the airport so he should be rocking up at Viv and Pauls sometime wednesday night. We will all no doubt be shitfaced already. Which he will love. AND, I've booked the flights to Airlie Beach for Friday where Wendy and Phil will collect us from the airport. So very excited!!!!!!!