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Michael’s Travel Diary

Monday, 20 Nov 2006

Location: Southampton, UK

MapNot a lot to talk about of late, hence the lack of entries. Work is paying the bills, and keeping me pretty busy Monday to Friday, as it tends to do. I did miss out on soccer this week as I am carrying an injury from the previous week. Turns out there are an art to diving, and in trying to commit a beautifully crafted dive I managed to injure my left foot. Okay, so it wasn't during a dive, but I have done something to my left foot that ruled me out for last weeks clash, and probably this weeks clash as well. I thought it had just about come good on the weekend, but tweaked it again Sunday walking round town.

So what else has been going down in Funky Town? Well, I finally felt the full force of a Southampton rain. I had been warned about it for too long, and fully, starting Thursday night when the heavens opened up and Mother Nature got in on the night time light show after being overshadowed for so long by the left over fireworks from the Guy Fawlkes celebration that continue to light up the night sky on the weekends. Anyway, it pissed down - hard! And the lightening was so close to the house and so bright, that it woke me up, not the thunder. But trust me, it was just the fact that the lightening got in first. There were only two monster claps of thunder (there may have been more, but the ear plugs went in pretty quickly) right over the house. The next morning, roads were flooded, and it rained as I walked to the bus. On the Isle of Wight, it hammered down even harder, and by the time I did roll into the office, I was dripping wet. All in a days work over here apparently. Of course, it eased off during the day, and then picked right back up as I left the office for the weekend. typical.

A pretty quiet week on the socialising scene too. Ended up at Orange Rooms again, this time Nat and I managed to drag Tom along as well. And what's more, I had the least to drink so was given the privilege of driving home. You forget just how much you miss driving sometimes. But I managed to do it flawlessly, staying on the correct (yeah, left, same as in Australia) side of the road, which is more than I can say for some people.

They have set up a night Christmas market in the middle of Above Bar Street, selling all sorts of markety stuff, as well as German food and drinks - mmmm Bratwurst and Gluhwine. I can only see that area getting busier as the weeks get closer to Christmas, and the weather gets chillier - warm Gluhwine, with Rum! The market opened on Saturday and runs all the way up till Christmas Eve, so will get some photos at some stage.

Friday afternoon, I did the responsible thing, and signed up for a doctor. Strangely, to see a doctor in this country, it seems you have to be pre-registered. So, rather than get sick and have nowhere to go, I had time and decided to register. Well that was an experience. After filling out forms, I was asked when I'd like a consultation. I'm like, "no, don't need one, just wanted to register. I go to the doctor when I'm sick". I may have come across some what defensive too - perhaps? They said it was just a general check up and they want a 'baseline' for when I do come in sick. I'm like "I'll be in here for a doctor's certificate and then out the door - what does a baseline have to do with anything?" I agreed to a check-up in a fortnight's time (only cos it was the earliest they had a Friday avo free. Then the lady comes back with more forms and a vile with a lid. I flip out. She hands me the forms and the container and asks me to bring a urine sample in - no I really flip out. What the f.? "What in the world do I need to take a piss test for?" The lady looks at me, worried, and walks away saying over her shoulder "I'll get the nurse to explain".

She comes back, and the look on both their faces said it all. "dude must be a druggy and is getting defensive out what we'll find in the test". In actually fact, what was running through my head was "dude, all this shit sounds expensive and I don't have the time or money for this!" Eventually it got sorted out after the nurse gives me some reassuring words "No, no, no, everything will be free of charge". That was handy.

Finally to round out the week, Stefanos rocked up on Sunday avo and after a quick orientation we headed down to the Walkie to watch the Wallabies play Ireland. Well that was a grand plan. Not only were there more Irish than Aussies at the Walkabout (say, 15-4 maybe) we got absolutely polaxed and looked like rubbish. We didn't even score a try. So a few beers there, and I was happy to leave after watching such a poor performance. Better luck next week?

Anyway, 3 weeks till I'm off overseas again, and hopefully with something more interesting to write about. stay tuned.