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Auf Wiedersehen Australia

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Well, it’s that time. We’ve been very lucky to have had six years and eight months in Western Australia, but alas, all good things must come to an end. The nq8’s are leaving Perth and retiring to Colorado.

A fair amount of stress, uncertainty and chaos lay ahead, but it’s not as if we haven’t done most of it before.

When we arrived in Perth in 2008, we felt as if we’d won the lottery, having lived in the garden spots of Indonesia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and dare I say it, Texas. We’d visited Western Australia a few times from Indonesia, and the prospect of living in a place we’d vacationed...well... you can imagine our glee.

Despite the culture differences (or because of them), we’ve grown very fond of WA and I can honestly say for the first time in years of work assignments, that I will truly miss a place.

Sure, there are some things I’ll happily leave behind, like the incredibly annoying, intrusive, crawl-up- your-nose-into-your-mouth-and-ears black fly and the abundant snakes, spiders, bugs and ants, many of which seem determined to kill or maim, or at the very least, wreak havoc on fingers and toes (mine in particular). And you can keep December, January, and particularly February, the longest short month ever. I definitely will not miss the Australian summer.

But how I’ll miss the birds; the more raucous and colorful the better! And the parks...I’m already mourning my daily dawn walk in the massive regional park at my doorstep. Perth has done a phenomenal job with its city parks, which are abundant and well maintained and some even come with kangaroos!

I’ll also sorely miss the incredible fresh produce and long lazy wine-infused lunches...I can’t remember the last time I felt pressured to vacate a table. And on the subject of wine, there’s no denying that I’ll miss the Australian grape and the people who turn it into fabulous drops, christening it with names like He Said She Said, The Little Bitch and Fat Bastard. What’s not to love?

We’ve made a concerted effort to see as much of this massive state as possible during our time here, making road trips as far north as Exmouth, as far southeast as Esperance and as far inland as Kalgoorlie. We’ve scrunched up our noses at the merciless red dirt and scrub of the north and interior, stared agape at the pristine white sand and transparent aquamarine of WA’s beaches and bays in the southeast, and fallen head-over-heels in love with the forests and fairy wrens of ‘our’ beautiful southwest, repeatedly visiting our favorites, Denmark and Pemberton.

We’ve explored and walked in just about every National Park, Nature Reserve, Regional Park and open space we’ve come across. We’ve made countless trips to the Swan Valley for beautiful lunches and for freshly roasted beans ground to order at our favorite coffee house. We’ve consumed copious amounts of curry at our local BYO Indian restaurant and a gazillion flat whites at the ubiquitous cafés. My other half will most definitely miss Aussie Eggs Bennie and I have to wonder how on earth I’ll cope without melting moments and savory muffins.

We twice visited our closest neighbor South Australia, where we explored the numerous wine regions, the Flinders Ranges, Fleurieu Peninsula, the Limestone Coast, and my vote for most unique Australia country town ever, Coober Pedy.

So good-bye to the laughing kookaburras and the screeching little corellas. Goodbye to the ‘roos and quokkas. And good riddance to the suffocating summers, flies and bugs. Good-bye Australia ; you’ve been good to us; we’ve had a brilliant time.

Mel

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