Monday, April 21, 2014

An Australian Easter Weekend

The library has been closed all weekend and I haven’t made it to the coffee shop to use the internet, so here’s a rundown of the weekend in one nice, long post – enjoy!

FRIDAY  --  Lesley and the boys were off early this morning so I was able to go to the Good Friday service at church this morning.  As with most things I try to plan here in Adelaide, it wasn’t easy.  Apparently, Good Friday is a very big holiday here.  The bus doesn’t run (the free bus that services North Adelaide) and the majority of shops are closed.  Thankfully, a woman saw me standing at the bus stop and advised me of the lack of buses, so I quickly texted Doug and Rosalie to see if anyone from the church lived in North Adelaide and could possibly give me a ride.  I could walk, but I had a feeling it would take me a minimum of 40 minutes to get to the church and I only had about 50 minutes until the service started.  The Rowston’s quickly replied that they’d be there to pick me up, I should have guessed that they’d change their plans and come get me.  They had me sit with them for the service, and it was a lovely service indeed.  In between the passages about the crucifixion that Pastor Scott read they had 6 different people, representing bystanders from the story, give their thoughts on Jesus’ death.   For example, a servant girl at the High Priest’s house, the owner of the upper room where they had the last supper, and Barabbas.  It was very thought provoking.  During the morning tea & coffee time I was able to meet Torrey and Liz’s daughter Carmen, so I sat with her and Liz chatting about Australian farm work and moving up to Gawler.  Of course when it was time to leave Doug and Rosalie had decided that we’d stop for lunch at one of the few café’s that were open today and have some lunch.  They introduced me to “pies” and “pasties” which are “traditional” Aussie foods.  And in typical Aussie fashion, when Rosalie mentioned to the man clearing our table that I was from America and they’d been introducing me to Aussie food, he quickly said he would bring me something I just had to try (I think he might actually be the owner because he wasn’t wearing the same uniform as all the other workers).  I was much too full to try anything else, so Rosalie told him I’d come back sometime and he was quick to say he’d look out for me.  Rosalie said that’s the Australian way.  They look after their visitors and you can easily become a regular after just a few visits to a shop.  So after a lovely morning, I had a nice afternoon cleaning.  I had the whole house to myself and was able to clean knowing it would stay clean for at least 4 days, which always puts me in a good mood.  Call me crazy, but I enjoyed my cleaning today.  The sun was shining and I had some great tunes playing – it was relaxing.  There’s open house tomorrow morning, so I got almost everything finished this afternoon and can have most of tomorrow off.

SATURDAY – A quick finish of the cleaning to prepare for open house and a trip to the grocery store during the open house left my afternoon free.  Hossein wanted to make Persian food for me and I had the rest of the afternoon free, so I managed to catch the bus and meet him at his house for lunch.  I would have imagined that Persian food would be more exotic, but then again maybe I just haven’t tried anything too crazy.  I really enjoyed it; it was some type of curried chicken over rice – he of course claimed it wasn’t his best, but I thought it was good.  As per usual, our conversation followed random rabbit trails, but because of that I found out that Iran doesn’t use the same calendar as we do.  Their new year starts at the beginning of spring, and Afghanistan still uses a lunar calendar.  Also as per usual, I somehow managed to miss my bus when trying to leave.  Hossein felt so bad because he told me when it would come by and we just never saw it; I just laughed it off and told him I just have really bad luck with buses, there’s nothing he could do about it.  Thankfully, I still made it back in plenty of time before it got dark.  Before I got off the bus I at least had the foresight to double check with the bus driver that the free bus would run on Easter Sunday.  He confirmed that it would be so I knew I’d at least be able to make it to church on time (well, as on time as I can be – which is 10 minutes late).

SUNDAY – The sermon at church this morning was probably the best one I’ve heard Pastor Cadman preach so far.  Because I was late I didn’t get a bulletin so I didn’t have anything on which to take notes, but he was speaking about the passage in Matthew 28 and how we often seem to gloss over the fact that there was an earthquake.  He’s actually from New Zealand so he commented on how the earthquakes a few years ago in Christchurch changed people’s lives.  Things just aren’t the same after you’ve been through an earthquake and we can’t be the same after we realized the significance of the resurrection.  We all need to be shaken a bit, just like an earthquake.  After the morning tea Doug & Roaslie took me to their home for the most delightful lunch.  Rosalie made the most delicious lasagna and for dessert we had this banana cake with raspberries and strawberry sauce – everything was so incredibly tasty!  Then they took me up to Hahndorf, a little town that’s kept its German heritage.  There were lots of cuckoo clocks and cow bells for sale and they had a nice art gallery dedicated to the work of Hans Heysen – he was a German-born Austrlaian painter known for his watercolor landscapes.  So after wandering around town checking out the shops we had some coffee and this little German dessert. I can’t remember what the dessert was called, but it was quite tasty.  Apparently during WWII they changed almost all of the names of the towns that had German names into more Australian names.  Hahndorf was one of the few that they didn’t change.  Anyway, they are such a lovely couple; they even gave me a Haigh’s Chocolate egg – that’s a famous Adelaide chocolate shop.

So after they dropped me back off at Lesley’s I finished cleaning up some leaves, took in the laundry, and put out the recycling bin.  It was such a nice afternoon.  I’m going to have to remember when I get home to mail them some things that are unique to Pennsylvania.  Rosalie is always so good at pointing out things that are unique to South Australia or are made in South Australia at all the places we visit.  Well, I hope you all had a wonderful Easter Sunday.

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