27 08 2011

Im told that you can determine if someone originally comes from Perth by asking them to pronounce it. If they say “Im from Perf” you know they are born and bred there. If they are from elsewhere and have moved to Perth they will pronounce it correctly.

My sister is now from “Perth”, she will have to work on her pronounciation if she wants to convince the locals there. Also based in Perth is my soon to be brother-in-law, Brendan.

Jetstar were having a flight sale in February of this year. I had seen Shannon over Christmas, and loved spending time with her, so when I saw the very cheap tickets between Singapore and Perth I got booking. Of course to get the cheap tickets you have to book a long way off, so I selected the weekend after Shannon’s birthday. A surprise visit, first time she would have seen her big sister in 8 months.

When I went to Melbourne a couple of weeks ago to see the rest of the family, who should pull their own surprise visit but Shannon? So my surprise 8 month reunion had quickly become a ‘I saw you the weekend before last’. Talk about disappointment.

But still, Brendan and I kept going with the surprise plan. Might as well, even if it was going to be anticlimactic.

2 days before I was due to jump on a plane to see her, I get a phone call from Shan screaming out “Im Engaged!!!” (see previous post). So now, im excited about the surprise again.

From Perth, august 2011

Brendan picked me up on the Friday night without shannon knowing – claiming to be ‘on call’. Diligently, shannon acted like the loving wife to be and stayed up waiting for her fiance to return safely to her side went to bed. I snuck into the house and suprised the empty living room, and unsatisfied with that, jumped on shan’s bed. She slept talked to me a couple of times (“yeth, yeth..” while patting my hand) then woke up and told me off for surprising her.

In the morning she was happier to see me and after she and Brendan had spent some time gardening and I sat in the sun on the front porch admiring Austrlian Suburbia (for my non-Australian friends, it really is just like it looks on neighbours) I demanded that Shannon and I go and try on her first wedding dress.

We went to the Oxford Rd shops and tried a couple of boutiques. The first one Shannon was in complete denial and walked straight past the white dresses to the coloured bridesmaids ones at the back and started talking cuts and styles. Oh-No, that can wait. Wedding dress, now. The next boutique we visited said that the majority of their dresses were out of the shop, all down at the big bridal fair. We thought ‘oh well’ and went to head out, but the woman at the boutique plead with shannon to go to the fair ‘ its the last one until February!!!’. To appease the lady, and also to buy Brendan some more time to pull together a surprise BBQ for shannon, we set off for the Perth showgrounds.

It was really good fun to hang out with Shan – the two of us were a bit creeped out by the sheer scale of a bridal expo – but glad to have each other there. It was funny to see the first stall as you walked in belonging to fitness first, almost a ‘you are getting married, so lose weight before you even think about choosing a wedding dress’.  We threw ourselves into one stand with four or five dresses – a variety of styles – for Shan to get into. This one ended up firmly on the ‘no’ pile:

From Perth, august 2011

We tried on a number of dresses and got some notes for shan about what she does and doesnt like, and then decided that we were both really completely over it and what we really wanted was a strip-sub combo from Red Rooster.

When we got back to Shannons place, she was surprised to find her backyard over-run with friends. Actually, not surprised, annoyed that Brendan was having a BBQ with them and didnt invite her. Im not sure she caught on that it was supposed to be a surprise for her. Granted, no one yelled ‘Surprise’, so I can understand why the confusion.

But the champagne was on ice and a lovely toast was made by Smorsey (Sp?), then I said some words on behalf of the family. Shannon later admitted to being disappointed that Smorsey and I didnt continue on trying to outdo each others speeches a la the ‘Bridesmaids’ movie, but I dont know any Thai, so I guess there was a limit to that…

From Perth, august 2011

It was nice to sit outside in a backyard and have a BBQ in the sun. Shan and Brendan have some really lovely mates there and have built a real home for themselves.

From Perth, august 2011

After an early morning next-day clean up, we set out to check out Freemantle Gaol. Partly because its interesting, but also because there are no other tourist attractions in Perth.

I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. It was built for the early convicts and used right up until 1991. None of the cells were ever plumbed and a bucket was still used up until closure. Gross.  Certainly not a place I’d like to be spending 20-life in!

From Perth, august 2011
From Perth, august 2011
From Perth, august 2011



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