• PSA from Kiko over at Visitronix
• Welcome to episode 33
• Summer Storms in Thailand
• Vacation time again…
• Cleaning the cave
• Tom is Nocturnal by nature
• Comments and emails
• Go listen to the Tiggercast!
• Forrest where are you???
• A blast from the past
• Hello to another new listener
• There must be something in the water
• Tom remembers his last trip to Oz
• Same year as the tragic Tsunami here in S.E. Asia
• Time moves to quickly as you get older
• Tom is on the brink of big change
• Voicemail shortage…and much love to Craig!
• Closing remarks and love to my listeners!
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Oi! Oi! Oi!…..Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Have you ever heard someone shout that before? If so then you’ve obviously had the pleasure of an Australian’s company or perhaps even visited the “Land Down Under.” Today is Australia National Day and in honor of their country’s national holiday I thought i would write and reflect on the time I got to spend there a few years ago. It was just before Christmas in December of 2004 that was given the opportunity to board a plane late one evening in Bangkok bound for the lovely country of Australia. My best friend here in Thailand is from Melbourne, Australia and so in 2004 he invited me to fly home with him to visit his friends and family for the Christmas holidays. We flew first to the city of Brisbane and spent a few days there first to visit with another Australian friend living there. The weather was cool and it had been several years since i’d had the chance to smell the fresh air such as they have in the northern Australia state of Queensland. The first day there we set out to the butcher shop and bought a large amount of fresh cut steaks and seafood. Then the first night there I was treated to a warm welcome to Australia BBQ dinner at our friend’s home. We grilled out and sat around the pool sipping uncountable cans of Victoria bitter beer. It was such a special evening and though I hadn’t consumed that much red meat in years, it was a memorable night. We drove up and visited the famous Gold Coast with its long stretches of beautiful beaches, and managed a trip to the casino while we were there as well.
We then flew to Melbourne the day before Christmas Eve i think, and I wasn’t expecting to be as warm as I was getting off the plane. I was a tad worried at first as we stayed in the home of my friend’s Ex and discovered there was no air conditioner once we arrived. However, one of those famous Melbourne cold snaps came that night and i was laying in the bed shivering by the time the next morning arrives. The city of Melbourne was truly a beautiful city to visit and explore. It has a kind of San Francisco feel to it, as their are rolling hills throughout the city. The second day there we had to visit Liagon Street for one of the most delicious Lattes I’ve ever had in my life. I also got to experience a trip down to Philip Island, where we went to view the march of the penguins as they came in from their day at sea. It was a good experience, but i’ve honestly never been so very cold in my life…but at least the penguins were comfortable.
Another reason this trip is so very memorable is that when we woke up the morning of Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) we were shocked by some tragic news. It was December 26 in 2004. It was quite scary for us to hear that our adopted home of Thailand had been affected by this terrible natural disaster, so we quickly tried to get on the phone and internet to get in contact with our friends and loved ones in Thailand and beyond. My mother had emailed me about 4 times on that day, as my family wasn’t sure if I had been affected or not. I manged to contact my friends in Thailand and no one close to me was lost, but the memory of the tragedy stayed even till now.
However, I was treated so warmly by those spent time with and met in Australia and will carry the memory of the first of hopefully more trips down under for a life time. So i dedicate this entry to my dearest friend in the world. Thanks for always being there, all the drinks, and for introducing me to Kath and Kim! I want to wish all my Australian friends i have had the chance to know a very very happy Australia Day no matter where in the world your travels have taken you!