I mentioned that in the two weeks we have been in Hobart I have been blown away by the willingness for professional contacts to have a cup of coffee with Carlos and/or me to discuss job opportunities. It’s one thing to talk work but what about people our age who are cool to hang out with? I was most worried about this aspect of our assimilation– especially in light of our going away party in San Francisco when I felt more than ever that we were leaving a really good thing behind: friends. Let’s be honest, between the two of us, Carlos is a wiz at making friends. He demonstrated that on our second day here when he picked up Luke on a mountain bike ride at Knocklofty. But I am more reserved and have very, very high standards for friendships. So this isn’t going to be easy.
The other night after talking with Bill Lark about job stuff (more to come, I hope), we stayed at the distillery to have a beer or two. Fridays at Lark is a good spot to start an evening. There was a mixed crowd of families, older people and some twenty-somethings. The fun starts when the last whisky tour of the day finishes up which means that a few in the crowd have had their fair share. One fellow cozied up to me (don’t worry about Carlos standing RIGHT next to me) and started whisper slurring into my ear about his whisky import business. Looking to make friends, I humored him. But that was generous. This guy was toasted. Slightly farther down the bar, another guy saw said drunk man falling on me and jumped in. Turns out that my savior, Chris, is the head distiller at Lark and therefore was partly to blame for the disabled state of my new buddy. Chris apologized and pulled me away (and I pulled Carlos with me).
We were introduced to Chris’ friend Will and spent the better part of the evening laughing at their dry, sarcastic humor. Chris may be the head distiller for an award winning whisky but he’s also only twenty-six. And it wouldn’t be good story telling to omit the fact that Chris and his mate Will are very good looking. I’m just saying, if one of my single gals were to visit, I have some suggestions on what to do.
After Lark, we moved over to another bar down the road. This one was more of a twenty-something only scene. A few hipsters thrown-in for good measure and well-priced beer. The boys gave us the crash course in Aussie slang over several steins. Often times, slang was explained with slang and that left me very confused. I laughed harder than I have in a long time. When it was getting close to leave, Will looked down at his watch and said, “well I should get going. I have to feed my koala.” We didn’t want to miss the bus back to West Hobart so Carlos immediately responded, “oh yeah, we need to catch the 10:15 so we’ll head out too.” And that was how Carlos got his new Aussie nickname: Koalos. I’ll work on learning the slang but boy does he have some catching up to do in the sarcasm department. It’s hard to believe he’s survived so many visits with my dad and still missed that mark completely.
Luckily, the guys enjoyed hanging out with us squares enough to invite us to watch the Grand Premiership Australian Football League game the next day at Will’s mom’s house. A family home invite counts as passing the Aussie initiation test. Success.