I just returned from a short holiday to Oz to visit my sister Ruth and her recently born first child. After an hours delay I finally arrived in Melbourne via Sydney and its fair to say that I did suffer a bit from reverse culture shock at first as I have only been in Asian countries since early 2005.
Back on Aussie soil for the first time since my year working holiday visa ended in February 2002 I met Ruth and it wasn’t long before I was carrying the baby. Eifion looked pretty scared at first but probably not half as scared as I was having never been near a baby before in my life. He was supposedly born bigger than most babies but he seemed tiny to me and despite initial looks of fear he soon did what does best and fell asleep as we walked to the local beach in Parkdale and on to the pub in Mentone for a quick beer.
The following morning was Friday the 10th and we took Eifion to the colourful huts on Brighton beach once we’d dropped Carl off at work and a bit later we even treated(?) him to a trip to Pin Oak Court a.k.a Ramsay Street. Only 11 days old and he had already been to the scene of so many great moments from the TV soap ‘Neighbours‘. It may have been my third visit but I had to wait more than 20 years to first visit the famous street. I think he was so overcome with excitement and emotion that he slept through the whole experience!
I even changed his nappy and pushed him along in the pram thing on my last day when I returned to Melbourne for a day which was a useful experience but not something I hope to do for quite a while yet on a regular basis. On the whole it was quite a good time to visit as he slept most of the time which is certainly not how babies are portrayed in the movies and on TV. I guess that when my parents visit next month he will be a bit more animated and noisy and its scary to think that the next time I see him he will look very different whether that be in a year or a decade or whatever.