In which our intrepid hero recounts a very eventful tenday past.

As mentioned last post, I had a long trip to go on. This was the all-important meet-the-folks scenario for Mim K/W; fortunately, as Mim is almost suspiciously free of close-degree relatives, I’m spared this trauma.

Given that it was a relatively last-minute thing, we decided on balance that it would be better to drive than to fly—certainly cheaper. I don’t drive, myself (I have a mild phobia of cars); fortunately, however, one of Mim’s work colleagues joined us, hoping for a brief Easter-weekend holiday on the Gold Coast. Her motel was only a little bit out of our way, anyway, and she chipped in for fuel on the way up.

At the last minute, everyone at Mim’s work had been called in for a 7am meeting. Her company may-or-may-not be acquired by a German firm soon, and apparently management took this as a cue to crush employee morale. Overnight, it went from a not-terribly-efficient, “corporate family” environment to a horribly inefficient place where the dress code requires the mandatory display of yellow stars at all times.

I guess they missed the memo that Germans don’t like that sort of thing anymore. Neither, it seems, do the employees, who’ve started handing in their resignations in droves.

With a detour via Windsor, Putty and Maitland (rather than straight up the freeway through Newcastle), we got on our way. It took several hours longer than expected, but our drivers were exhausted before they left, and had to make frequent hour-long rest breaks on the way up. By the time we finally got to Queensland the following morning, though, our various detours and fortuitously-timed naps avoided four pile-ups, including a 22km traffic jam on the NSW north coast.

We dropped Mim’s friend off, then headed to my sister’s place to settle in, sleep and enjoy a couple of days confusion, as Mim K/W (my girlfriend) and Mim F (my sister) met for the first time.

The next morning, we wandered through Carrara Markets (one of my favourite places on the Gold Coast, like a superior-in-every-way version of Sydney’s Parklea) and then Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum (another of my favourites) in the afternoon.

Dinner was at a reasonably well-known Greek/seafood restaurant, with my sister and brother-in-law. I’m not going to name names, but I was less than impressed. They screwed up my grilled haloumi entrée, and when it finally arrived (after everyone else had finished theirs), it consisted of two slices of not-particularly-amazing slices of cheese on a green salad.

Sixteen bucks for two slices of haloumi—I can get the same quality (if not better) at my friend Leo’s place for free. The calamari main wasn’t too bad, but then the bill came. With a 20% surcharge which they’d neglected to mention at any point prior.

I’m not eating there again.

Sunday morning, we went back to Carrara. We’d forgotten to pick up a belt for Mim K/W, and I’d found what appears to be the closest thing that the Gold Coast has to an FLGS and wanted to go back.

We had dinner with my aunt, uncle and cousin, Kylie, outdoors at a very nice Thai restaurant, which continued a long-standing tradition of an unexpected fall of oceans from the skies whenever I eat out with my aunt.

My sister and I sorted through some of my late grandmother’s personal effects the next morning, and then Mim K/W, her work friend and I hit the road for the long trip back to Sydney.

I spent another two days off work sick. I still wasn’t well, but things are heating up in the office and I said I’d come in and see how I felt. I’d been given a list of tasks to perform on Thursday, and was greeted with indignation when I made a call to my supervisor that I was exhausted—at 8pm.

Friday, I handed in my notice. It’s going to an interesting several months. Expect more news to come…

In the meantime, Mim K/W and I have spent a nice, relaxed weekend on the couch. Whilst she’s been catching up on work, we’ve watched Series 7, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Big Trouble in Little China, The Big Hit and The Life of David Gale—and we may have time for one or two more.

It’s been an excellent weekend for DVDs.

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