Oct 5, 2008

'family pics' and some whingeing

There are just some things I won't miss about living here {and to be fair, there are some that I will miss so, *SO* much}. But one of my all time biggest peeves about being here, besides the fact that the 80's are back in a rage {not kidding, even mullets}, is that EVERY shop but select grocery stores and petrol stations close at 5PM! EVERY DAY! Except for Thursday, when you have the privelege of going out to shop until 9 PM! It is the most unreal phenomenon. It is 4:59, the mall is packed with people, and shopkeepers, rather brashly, are all but shooing you out with a broom. People, customers, cash in hand -they don't care!

Thursday nights ALL shops are supposed to stay open until 9pm. So you get one day out of 7 to shop in the evening -if you call 'till 9 'the evening'. So this week Ben and I thought since it was heating up, and we've got about a bajillion families we want to have over for shrimp on the barby, we better get a sitter and go pick out our very first 'real' patio set so we don't embarrass ourselves with our current one that I will be embarrased to have my garbage man see when I throw it away.

So Ben left work, I picked up Nikee, and we headed off for our very intimate and romantic date night. It took about 1/2 hour to get to what was supposed to be the bees knees of an outlet shopping center, and as we pull up at 7:20 the place looks like a friggin ghost town. Most of the shops are closed with the remaining few looking as if they're looking for their broom to swat people away.

After 9 1/2 minutes of frantic searching for the Freedom outlet, we find it and our rather friendly salesman greets us at the door with a 'you've got about 30 seconds people'. Nice. So we quickly survey the scene, they have one style of outdoor table and it comes in large and larger, so after about 15 seconds of banter back and forth on how large our parties are going to be multiplied by the price difference in the two sizes divided by the level of optimism over whether either of them will fit in our car with 6-8 chairs we decide to go with the large size so I shout -Okay, we'll take that one and six chairs! Followed by us whipping out our card and marching to the checkout. At this point we are frustrated, and I see more than a few things I would have liked to take a closer look at -if only it weren' freaking 7:31 we might have had time... Or perhaps it would help if these people were PAID ON COMMISION so they gave a damn about paying customers with fistfulls of cash!

It was at this point that he let us know that we still would have to come back later to pick it up, since no one would help us to our car with it. I huffed 'fine, we'll carry it ourselves!' I let them know that the WHOLE entire point of our evening was to come here and get this table, and we even got a sitter to do so. He said he wouldn't allow us to do it, it wouldn't fit through the front door and the service door was locked. Great. Nice. Wonderful. In the words of Meg Swan of Best in Show, 'Thank YOU for your help!...You stupid... Freedom Furniture Store Manager!"

Yeah, so, we still have no table. I'll let you know when that little situation is remedied and I may even get around to taking a pic of our current table and 2 chairs, if I can even call them that. You would really feel bad for me then.

Okay, and here are of our recent 'family' pics. Ben was 'sick' that morning and I had already gotten {is that a word?} myself at the kids ready at 7:30 in the morning -so we went with it!

They were taken by the very fabulous Sals Crosbie of Eden Lane Photography for locals. I highly recommend her! She was so great to work with, we had a blast, she was beyond focused on getting me what I wanted and she is just a doll. Stay tuned for more pics when we get the real ones taken when she gets back from her trip in a month!


Englishfam said...

Oh Nat, once again I SOOO feel your pain. I think that the Aussies took some stupid traditions from the Brits! Who closes at 5:00 really?! That used to annoy me too. They even have the same day for "late night" shopping. So weird. The commentary on the table was the best. Thanks for the laughs!

Nicole said...

Cute picture! I like your new hair cut, too. When did you do that? Sorry to hear of your frustrations with the Aussies, at least they don't shut everything down when it rains like they do in Argentina:)

Jenny or sometimes Bozo said...

That picture is so cute! I love the door.

Carl and Mel said...

Darling pictures, I love the blue door in the background! That would drive me crazy to have stores close so early! I hope you get your table soon and post pictures when you do :)

Stacey Lau said...

I love the pics Nat, your hair looks great, very chic (as always). Your other blog is so amazing, can you believe how it has taken off? I am so proud of you!

The Wells Family said...

Wow! I am completely speechless. The only thing that comes to mind is gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! You are still so beautiful. Laney is just like you. And that Gabe...holy heartbreaker!!!

The Taskers said...

Those photos are amazing. You're family is gorgeous! Gabe suddenly looks like a little boy - not a baby or toddler anymore!

Gaengy said...

Cute pics...they are all so adorable! Sorry about the table episode! How frusrating! Let me know how it turns out if you get one or not!

Mike Keller said...

Natalie--Amen!, and great pics of you and the kids. I laughed out loud when I read this post.

I really struggled with this when I lived in Sydney. (You gotta love the commonwealth countries, right?) As a single dude working long hours in the office, I often found myself looking at an empty refrigerator when I walked into my house at night.

I lived in both North Sydney and Milson's Point during my tenure in Aus, and not only were there no Coles or Woolies in the neighborhood, but the only green grocer and supermarket would close up shop promptly at 5:00 PM. Luckily there were a lot of really good Thai restaurants in the area.

My all-time favorite is when everything closes early on Saturday as well. That is super convenient. :)

If a store offered late night shopping every night, the Aussies would probably boycott it because, let's face it, it would be 'un-Australian.'

Jessica said...

Cute, cute, photos!

C Crane said...

Hey, sorry about the late night text about the screen tv last night! I was using Amber Crane's cell phone to send something to Nate and I got mixed up and sent it to Nat's Cell not Nate's cell! Sorry! Hope you liked the idea of a painted on screen tv anyway! Chelsie

Matt and Allyson said...

The family photos are really good! I love it when a photographer catches the little details, like your shoes, or how much you really love your kids. CUTE!

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