Monday, September 24, 2012

Brighton with new friends

Bianca mentioned to me that her previous au pair used a Facebook group to meet other au pairs in the area. So I found it and requested to join, which actually took a while...maybe they had to do a background check? haha. Anyways, I saw a post from a girl named Pauline asking if anyone wanted to meet in Brighton for coffee on Sunday (this was last weekend). And at first I was kinda hesitant ‘cause I’ve never just agreed to meet up with complete strangers before! But, I’ve been realizing I just have to put myself out there and basically throw myself out of my comfort zone if I’m really going to get the most out of this trip. So, Bianca dropped me off in Brighton which is about 15 minutes from Sandringham and I met up with Pauline and another girl named Claire. Both of them ended up being from France. Pauline has been in Australia for only one week and is mainly au pairing to improve her English. Claire has been here for 2 months and although she was raised in France, both of her parents are English. She’s just out of high school and still deciding what she wants to do with her life. I assured her that it doesn’t matter how old you are, or what you go to school for, you can still end up in that situation ;)

We stopped at a cute little cafe and had sausage rolls (sausage without the casing, surrounded by puff pastry) and meat pie...very Australian. The meat pie was Thai chicken, and I actually really enjoyed it. I had had some at a party a few weeks ago and was NOT a fan, but this one redeemed them for me haha. We chatted about the ups and downs of au pairing. It was kind of nice to talk with people who are in the same situation as me. One of the girls made me feel especially grateful for the family I’m with and my situation as a whole, as she isn’t enjoying her time very much at all. It’s too bad :(

We browsed around some of the shops in Brighton and then Pauline suggested we walk down to Brighton Beach, and although I had already been, Claire hadn’t been to the beach much at all. She’s living in Mernda which isn’t really near much of anything, unfortunately. She was super pumped to have her toes in the sand. I realized I’m already taking the beach for granted! So we hung out there for a bit, and the sun came out. A nice man took a few photos for us; he was sitting in front of one of the beach boxes, which was actually open, so we asked him a bunch of questions about them. He said his friends own one and he is lucky enough to have a key. One beach box is worth about $200,000. Yes, that’s right. No running water or utilities, it’s basically a shed. Crazy! We chatted with him for a while and he told us all about the places he’s traveled, some near where the girls were from in France and even as far as Sudbury, Ontario. Again, making the world feel so so small.

Then we walked back to the town through one of the most gorgeous suburbs I’ve ever seen. Brighton is a very wealthy neighbourhood. Once we got back to the town, we decided it was time to eat again...classic Kaitlin right? We found a neat outdoor bistro, and although it was a tad chilly, it was nice to just be sitting after so much walking. We had milkshakes, chips (I still call them fries and always get made fun of) and a delicious baked chocolate pudding/lava cake type dessert. It was fabulous. Unreal actually. By the time we finished up there, it was time for Claire to begin her two hour journey back home...crazy. A bus, a train, and a super long walk for her. I had thought I would take the bus home, but then realized after the girls headed home that I had absolutely no idea where a bus station even was...again, I am incredibly challenged when it comes to direction if you didn’t know. It has taken me over a month to figure out how to get around Sandringham. So I walked home. Hahahaha it took me about two hours, but it wasn’t the end of the world! It’s just something that’s really new to me. Always living away from a bus route, I’ve pretty much driven everywhere. But, it’s a good experience to have! Let’s just say my feet were pretty tired by the time I got home.


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