Figtree Again

Here are the photos I failed to put up when my camera battery ran flat! Our local Rue St Maur Metro entrance


And the spiral staircase going up to our apartment on the 2nd floor


Ah, memories! Far removed from the Figtree present, separated by a long plane flight. But not quite as bad as the flight out to Paris, once we were over the initial seven hour wait at Charles de Gaulle airport. We were 11 hours flying to Hong Kong, 2 hours at Hong Kong, then 8 hours to Sydney. Aileen got some perfume at Hong Kong, which will be an Xmas present from me, the Hong Kong officials managed to get us on seats together (after everyone had been saying it couldn’t be done, flight was chockers – still don’t know how they managed to move the passenger who would’ve been next to me, but they did it, at the v last minute when almost everybody had boarded. Thanks, HK officials!).

The most interesting event of the second flight was when I asked Aileen if she could see the dinner trolley coming; A’s answer, No, but they won’t be coming until we take off; R’s response, Well, actually we took off half an hour ago. We’d been standing idling on the tarmac for ages, then Aileen fell asleep for the actual takeoff, and didn’t realise our smooth cruising through the air wasn’t more idling on the tarmac.

So, we ate airplane food, fell asleep at times (we had two full albeit shortened nights on the plane) and generally felt like two very grubby termites squeezed into a very tight log – until we finally landed, got waved through customs, and caught the airport train back to Wollongong. It was as though the weather had decided to celebrate our return, after twelve days of rain (as Michelle told us) – the sun was out, the sky was sky-blue, the bush and grass was v green after all the rain, and the sea was sea-blue. So much green and blue! And temperature in the low twenties … A perfect Australian day! It seemed fitting that we shared our railway carriage with a guy dressed up in a rooster suit of bright red and green feathers.

Michelle collected us from the station, Habibi welcomed us home


We dragged our suitcases over the threshold – my big one was 22.8 kilos, small one was at least 12, not to mention four and a half litres of duty-free liquor – and now here we are. Half-unpacked, desperate for sleep but trying to hang out till evening, 14 days mail and newspapers to catch up on.

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