First impressions and inevitabilities

Waking up after a couple of hours sleep to the uniquely familiar sound of magpies whistling brought a smile to my face. The chilly morning temperatures and the groggy jet lagged feeling made us wanted to stay curled up under the covers, but our stomachs demanded otherwise. So we sought out the nearest supermarket, got dressed and hit the road. 

Walking down the street we were greeted by the sweet scent of eucalyptus floating through the air and the beautiful native vegetation in spring bloom. Piet’s first impression of Perth were the big cars, chirping “großes Auto” to every 4WD he saw. The next morning we had our first encounter with Australian wildlife. A blue tongue lizard was basking in the morning sun. Piet curiously checked it out and concluded it was a “Dino”, well done son 🙂

We still felt knocked around by the flight 2 days after landing, with our body clocks and daily rhythm all over the shop, resulting in 2am picknicks in bed and a bit of a head cold setting in. We had one more early morning rise ahead of us. We were flying to Broome the next morning to visit our good friends Kim & Helen, my so called surrogate parents in Australia. So we got up at 3.30 in the morning and went through the motions, packing up as quietly as we could before waking the little man and shuffling him into our Uber to the airport. 

Our flight was quite relaxing, compared to our previous experience, with Piet entertaining himself with the window blinds (up and down…and up and down), but we could really feel the physical strain on our bodies of the past few days. Touching down in Broome we were greeted by the familiar wall of Kimberley heat walking down the stairs onto the tarmac towards the arrival hall. Kim and Helen gave us a warm welcome and after exchanging pleasantries we hopped in bed for a power nap. 

I couldn’t sleep from all the excitement of being back in the region I’d called home for the best part of 10 years. Ireen woke up actually feeling worse than before, but all was forgotten when we stood anckle deep in the balmy waters of Cable Beach, with Piet happily running around whilst we watched the sun set. It felt absolutely amazing being back here! Satisfied we went to bed, …unaware of the night that we were about to have. 

Not having experienced a tropical night for some time the combination of a whirling ceiling fan and air conditioner blowing cool air onto us kept us up for quite a bit. Being awake I noticed my knees becoming ever more sore, so sore in fact it literally prevented me from falling asleep, tossing and turning to find comfort, but failing to do so. My muscles started aching like I’d just had a stiff work out and my head was starting to pound. Ireen was in a very similar state with muscle pains in her legs and arms and Piet was very restless.

Relieved to see the first rays of sunlight peeking through the blinds after such a horrible night I felt like I had been run-over by one of those huge four trailer road train trucks Australia is famous for. We felt aweful…and we feared the worst, it was time for a test. We had brought a couple of tests from home and in the last 3 days all had turned out negative. A cough and a splutter later I was surprised to return yet another negative result. Something felt off here, it just wasn’t adding up, so I asked Helen if I could try one of their rapid tests to see if this brought about a different result.

Sure enough, the dreaded double bars came up straight away, confirming what we had suspected…after dodging the inevitable for 2,5 years we were corona positive. Bugger!! Perhaps it was not surprising after spending 20 plus hours stuck in three different planes and cruising through four international airports. But, what do you do? Nothing much to it but to rest and recouperate. Our hosts were very calm and relaxed in receiving the news, having been through it in May and receiving their booster only a month ago. 

So there we were, this was not how we had imagined spending our time in Broome. The fortunate thing for us was that the isolation rules were dropped a day before. This meant we could have a break from isolation and go out to the beach and playground (keeping to ourselves of course) to give Piet a bit of room to run around. Perhaps this was the break we needed to have, plus there are worst places to have to sit out this bloody virus. So for now it’s lot’s of naps, watching cricket on the telly and trips to the beach. 

For this episode treat yourself to some Beirut – Perth  

First encounter with a blue tongue, aka Dino ©️ Jasper Kruse

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