5AM: Woke up a balmy 75 degree day. I fumble around trying to not wake the sunburned Alissa, put on contacts, make myself a PB&J and try to down a touch of Sultana Bran (Raisin Bran Aussie style that costs $5 a box)
5:30: On the train. The train cruises at a nice 15mph and is dead silent. I flip on my iPhone and am sad that I can't read the news without my AT&T network. It's amazing how much we rely on our phones when we are by ourselves with time to kill. Luckily, out the left window was the rising sun over the Pacific Ocean, infinitely more interesting than anything my phone could relay to me. It was a nice reminder that mother nature can be both a source of entertainment and grounding.
6:15: Meet Huub (another student from Holland) and Nick (my boss where I understand only 30% of the words) at Central Station. Nick bought me coffee and I hesitantly take a sip, swallowing my pride of never ingesting caffeine during my time in grad school. It did raise the eyelids, but I still prefer a donut over caffeine any morning!
7:00: Arrive at the clinic in Hornsby, NSW. The clinic is a humble size and Nick is the only physio working on Monday, Thursday and Fridays. He runs the shop and we spend the first half an hour folding towels, getting electrodes ready and orienting me to the clinic space.
7:30 - 7:15: See 21 patients... (more to come on another blog)
7:15: Demolished from constant manual therapy, we retire to Hornsby Inn and all share a bottle of wine for mandatory 'tutorial' time. Tutorial time consists of libations, Nick telling stories about the many ways one can die in this country (bee stings, snake bites, spider bites, cassoways, brushfires, cyclones, alligators, big reds, dessication, heat stroke, gas explosions, etc... there is an Aussie fascination of death that we will get into in a later blog) and occasional physio.
9:00: Get back into the car to ride to Central Station
9:30: Arrive Central Station
10:00: Arrive home
I have to keep a timesheet of my hours spent at clinic and since the drive up and back consists of tutorial time (Nick believes in teaching after/before patient time), I log 15:15 for day 1.
Luckily, this is not par for the course. On Tuesday, I reported to clinic at 10am and had tutorial time in his living room barefoot with a one-eyed beagle rummaging around until 12, saw two patients until 1, grabbed a beer for an hour on the beach for more tutorial time, then went to the pool by 2:30.
Wednesday was my day off. Alissa and I walked 10km along cliffs by the beach on a blustery 80 deg day. We had Ben and Jerry's (a pint runs for the ungodly price of $11.95 AUD), sat on some rocks and watched surfers at Bondi Beach and ate a Subway sandwich. It was the only way to eat for less than $10!
Thursday is similar to Tuesday and unfortunately Fridays are the same as Mondays. Although I'm logging more than 40 hours a week working, this adventure down under feels like a vacation. The hours are strange, the scenery is sublime, the characters (as Ms. Walter will dive into shortly) are blissfully entertaining and every day has been novel. Life is indeed good. Now, if we don't run into this for the rest of the trip, both Alissa, well especially Alissa and i will sleep soundly. Luckily they aren't poisonous. However, since Nick oh so delightfully informed us, 15 of the 20 most dangerous snakes in the world are endemic to Australia... Nighty night! Eeeeek!