This afternoon, I stood in the produce section at Woolworth’s as my mother-in-law carefully selected approximately two dozen individual green beans from among the thousands in the plastic bin. My father-in-law and I stood behind her, patiently guarding the cart.
I turned to him and asked, “Does she always grocery shop like this?”
“Yes. I’ve gotten used to it.”
My husband and I had woken up early this morning to drive to the Brisbane Airport to pick up his parents for a 3 week visit. Their flight was scheduled to land at 6:15am. It was on time, but we were running late. We had started off with plenty of time, but as soon as we got on the M1, we hit traffic. It wasn’t even 6am yet, and there were already lines of cars heading south. There were rain clouds as far as the eye could see, and a steady rain kept the windscreen wipers on the entire way.
Somehow we managed to arrive just after 6:30, parked, and entered the terminal in time to see them walking away from the customs and immigration checkpoint.
Both said that they hadn’t slept a wink on the plane, but if pressed they will admit to dozing off for 10-15 minutes at a time periodically throughout their 16 hour flight. Our task was to keep them awake as long as possible.
That’s how I ended up in the produce aisle with my mother-in-law and father-in-law around noon on a Wednesday. Foreign grocery stores are always interesting to people who don’t shop there every day. “You mean they don’t have Cheerios???” “How much does that cost in US dollars?” “How many kilos are in a pound?” “What do you mean you don’t have a gallon jug at home?”
It’s now 11pm. Everyone else has been asleep (or at least in bed) since around 9pm. I chose to use my time to grade two sets of research proposals, read some discussion forum posts, and write this post.
These next three weeks are going to be a whirlwind of tourist trips (everyone wants to hold a koala, right?), golf tee times for my husband and his father, and laughter. Always plenty of laughter. I couldn’t have asked for better first house guests to our home down under.