Monday, 9 September 2013

Out west we go!

Arrived in Perth @ 8.10 a.m, were in the car @ 9.15 a.m. and arrived in Esperance (729kms) @ 6.30 p.m.  ...

That was just a tad too late for the folks in Esperance; the motel we planned to stay in was locked and no response to vigourous banging on reception door and the restaurant we wanted was just closing and we were very hungry and very tired, so we went to the only other restaurant (The Loose Goose) we could find open and nearly fainted when we opened the menu.... Two price choices: $45 for a main course, (inc. garlic bread & salad or veg) or $59 for appetizer and main course etc! There were NO other choices!  We almost broke into tears so they let us choose an appetizer for $20 ea (bread/veg inc.) - alas no special free dessert for us - main course required!  urgh! 

  (Now I remember writing about the high price of eating out here … way back in April !)   

Cassia's unit (#8) is a one-level townhouse in a row of 9. A small backyard and parking spot at front. It's one street away from the beach, a decent walk and an easy bike ride (when we find a bike!) to her work. 

No closet - no hooks!  No problem!

Tiny fridge on left - tiny yard on right.
 Work people were very nice to fill the unit with OK furniture (table/chairs, couch & bed). They even put in a folding bed for me and bought new linen for both of us!! 
No broom closet - we took out the shelves and made one!

looooong bathroom with washer (forefront)
The fridge is teeny tiny, the bathroom is ridiculously large (includes a washing machine (that overflowed on first use!!)) and the eat-in-kitchen/living area comes with a TV and has a crazy triangular deep corner 

OK - YOU figure out what to do with this corner!!
 ... it would challenge most interior designers to make use it. 

  Of course there is nothing  - absolutely nothing on the walls.
 (If they think we're not putting nails in these walls - they're dreamin'!!)  

  But … it was waiting for us first thing Tuesday and I'm pretty sure they don't do all of this for new-hires in large cities!

 Cassia started work on Wednesday and was very happy for a slightly early finish on Friday!  I started shopping on Wednesday …

The job; 
Her boss is very nice and from NZ.
Co-worker is a bit of a geek and from around this area, so that will come in handy no doubt. The other employees seem very nice. 
Free membership to the rec. centre. 
 $500 uniform allowance. Cassia chooses wisely … choice of navy/black/grey 100% wool, skirt, cardigan, pants in a few classic designs.  Blouses in whites, silver, light blue, again mostly classic designs. No red or polka dots (sad face) that could have been quite funky!  All of those choices work with her current black, grey, navy wardrobe so there is a plus to be (ultra) conservative!!

The neighbours: 
Unit # 1: Angela works at the council and is from NZ. Miguel, Angela's husband, is from Chile - hurrah!  Spanish.  They are very nice and go dancing on the weekend and teach it during the week!!??!! 
Unit # 9: Mario  is a very (very) good-looking Italian who is just learning English … and speaks some Spanish!  Hurrah! He's brooding waiting for his girlfriend to come and join him.
(We are yet to meet #'s 2-7)

The town:
Speed limit is 50kms with no traffic lights. Most intersections are round-a-bouts - (they are very big in Australia!)
Almost no pedestrian crossings - most people drive and if you do want to cross the road then YOU must give way  - and best to wait until there is absolutely no cars in sight - cars - er large pickups/SUVs rule this town.
Stores close @ 5.00 p.m. except Thursday (9.00) - close @12. p.m. on Saturday except Woolies (6.00) , all closed on Sunday
Meals - the two pubs, the afore-mentioned Loose Goose, The Dome (WA diner-type chain) the typical fast-food places (even a McD's - Macca's ) and the mandatory Chinese restaurants!
HUGE video store that has Cassia euphoric - it's the size of a small grocery store -pretty-well stocked with add-ons such as jars of Hershey's marshmallow!!
ONE furniture store in town - it had a sale on Nespresso and big fluffy robes so they became Cassia's house-warming gifts!  
Housewarming gift #1.
(I needed the coffee - she needs the robe to wear at all times in the house which (even I agree) is freezing.
ONE second-hand shop and it's gross and grossly over-priced and closed on the weekend!!
TWO garage sales on this weekend: Sat. @ 7.00 a.m. had no sign of life when we drove up (@7.00 a.m. urgh!) - apparently you had to knock on the door!! -Sunday 10.00 a.m. produced a sugar bowl and a kaleidoscope/wand that we used to sell in the store!
No nice affordable furniture (or much else) here (hello IKEA -it's only an 8hr drive!)

The saving grace:
The beach  - it's quite spectacular - especially over the hill and around the other side of the Ocean Drive. In town it is shared with a very busy harbour shipping iron ore and grain - but there is a walking/bike path that goes the whole length up and around and provides a lovely walking route

… and in the middle is the best place in town - a warm/friendly/popular cafe with live music some Sundays and … a fireplace!!

The view from our new fav cafe!!
On Sunday at the Cafe Cassia loved the fireplace.

The weekend:
We invited Angela and Miguel to join us for a meal at the pub!  They invited us to join them after for dancing at the nearby bar.  We helped the meal along with a nice bottle of red and decided we would go and WATCH them dance. I needed a coffee to finish off the meal but of course the Cafe part of Maccas was closed and the coffee machine at the dancing bar wasn't working!!  Urgh!!  But there was live music at the bar and along came Mario and his friend Marcello (who speaks less English than Mario).  Up pop Angela and Miguel to dance and they were the ONLY people dancing for a long time … until … Marcello asked/made/convinced me to dance as well.  A&M assured me that Marcello could teach anybody to dance! Alas - not quite everybody. Poor Marcello - he tried … "one, two, three,four" … I tried "one, two, three, four" but finally he showed me back to my seat with a rather desperate "please" (sit down). 

Jill, Cassia, Miguel, Angela, Mario
Jill, Marcello, Cassia, Angela, Mario
(shortly before Marcello gave up!)
  It was hard to have conversations above the music, especially when language is tricky - so we said we had to go home to bed!!!!  The drive home was all of two minutes and we managed to be pulled over for a breathalizer on the way!! I was rather red (dancing) and nervous (two glasses of red) and couldn't see due to a foggy window so I'm pretty sure the officer thought he had his quota for the night - but - I passed! Phew - home to bed … well a movie actually… I think the Esperance nightlife might be a bit too much for J&C!!

We drove around the beaches and then walked the beach to the cafe and it's fireplace and live music (the same people as the night before!) and we sat in our comfy chairs and spent a happy (warm for Cassia) hour before a breatherlizer-free walk back home.

Nobody else on the beach...

Next weekend we drive to Perth to SHOP - oh yeah - and to see Erin!!
 Cassia flies back to Esperance to be by herself and I fly back to Adelaide to be by myself! (sad face).

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