Wednesday, 30 March 2011

March 12th - Brsibane. My Birthday and the Japanese Earthquake

It's my birthday today. But I'm not really in the celebrating mood. The Japan earthquake is on all the news channels and it has caused chaos. In fact, we woke up this morning and turned the news straight on to see how the country was fairing. Not too good was the report.

After about an hour of watching the news, we turned the TV off and I turned to Chigu saying, "Haven't you got something you want to say to me," to which she replied: "What? Oh, sorry baby. Happy birthday.

That pretty much sums up the mood.

We rang Chigu's mum last night after Alex informed us hat there had been an earthquake in Japan. If it wasn't for him, we wouldn't have even known. It took us a while to get through to Chigu's mum on the phone because according to the news, the mobile phone networks pretty much crashed under the load as people tried to ring loved ones. Her mum was in a very highly stressed mood, and seemed terrified. After a little bit of calming down, we found out that everyone in the family was ok, but the TV at Chigu's house had fallen over, scaring the dog Chan-chan, now unwilling to leave her mum's side.

I turned my data roaming on and checked in with my friends on twitter, everyone seeming safe. A former colleague who lives near me in Moriya says that he lost a few plates in the quake, and another informs me that he had a bottle of wine break in his house. Considering that we live near these guys, I'm a little concerned that my TV has fallen down, pulling the PS3 and xbox with it. We can't find out now though, however, Chigu's dad may head down tomorrow to check our place out for us.

I feel kind of bitter-sweet about being in Australia during the earthquake. Bitter because I wish I could have been there to help out, like calming Chigu's mum down. And sweet because at least my mum and dad don't have to worry about me.

In other (much lighter) news...

We went to the koala sanctuary with Alex today.

Chigu had a great time. Although, the first koala she tried to cuddle didn't wanna play. The zoo keeper said that the koala was being a naughty boy, so she went to get another, more cheerful one. This one was much better behaved and we managed to get a great shot.
After Chigu cuddled her koala, we also got to feed some kangaroo and emu that were held in a fairly free roaming area. I was surprised by two things. The kick drum sound that emus make and the fact that kangaroos use their tails as a kind of third leg when they are walking slowly.
In the evening me and Chigu headed into town on our own looking for a nice restaurant to eat at for my birthday. After looking around town for a while we still hadn't found anything  and were beginning to lose faith that there would be somewhere nice. Then we headed to a very posh looking area right on the harbor. It was posh. We couldn't afford the prices, but we didn't give up. After browsing the swanky restaurants for a few minutes, we found one that looked about right. It had pasta that Chigu wanted, and the rest of the menu seemed ok, so we went in.
Chigu ordered king prawn pasta and I had a steak! Oh yes! I really needed some proper food and of course meat! I learnt something quite interesting too. In England we call a meal that combines seafood and steak — 'surf and turf', but in Australia they call it 'reef and beef'. 
I also got my birthday present off Chigu: a ticket to the Cirque Du Soleil in May. I've always wanted to go, and was soooooooooo pleased!! What a great birthday.

Also, that meal was our first non-cheese and crisp sandwich meal for quite some time. It was bloody delicious!!!

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