Two years ago, when we came on our research trip to Canberra, we holed up in a hotel in Gungahlin and discovered a lovely Chinese restaurant, just a few doors down.
It was a small incentive against the backdrop of our move, but the food was so good that we promised ourselves we’d go there again on our first night in our new country. We did, and despite our jet-lag, the food was every bit as good as we’d remembered.
Last night we found ourselves there again – we’re on first name terms with many of the staff now, and it remains our restaurant of choice for family birthdays and celebrations, or just when we feel like a treat.
Last night we were celebrating exactly three months in Canberra and looking back on what life has thrown at us. For fun, I asked each member of the family to list their favourite three things from our three months in Oz. Here’s what they came up with:
Mini-CBRbound (aged eight) chose his week-long pony camp – no surprise since learning to ride was his biggest ambition for the move here), having his first surfing lesson during our week down at the coast, and getting his first glimpse of Canberra when our plane descended beneath the cloud cover, three months ago.
Maxi-CBRbound (aged 11) also chose surfing, the fact that we’ve had so much family time together over the summer, and his recent trip to the Australian Open tennis championships.
Mrs CBRbound (age, classified) picked the moment our container full of clothes and furniture arrived from Europe, the Australian Open, and the day we got broadband installed and we were finally able to Skype friends and family back home.
Me? I chose the moment we got Mr Pup back (which guilted everybody into saying, “oh, me too, me too”), and the moment we landed on Australian soil – nothing could disguise the pleasure at fulfilling a long-held dream. You’ll notice that I’ve only picked two. I’m saving one, for when Mrs CBRbound gets a job that she really wants to do.
This summer has been great, but it’s not real life – in a few days, the kids will go back to school, I’ll be off on a work trip to Europe and Mrs CBRbound will go back to trying to find something that pays the bills and which gives her a professional and social outlet. When she finds it, that’ll be the day we transition from being new arrivals to working, resident Canberrans. And we’ll celebrate again, I’m sure – same time, same place. Just like locals.