Australia is known for its laid-back lifestyle, gorgeous beaches, exotic animals, and many other things. One aspect that is not so known is their hospitality. During this past weekend, I learned just how personable and hospitable Australians really are.
Before I get into that story, I should probably say what prompted this experience of hospitality. My mom, brother, godmother, and her mother (grand-god-mother, perhaps?) came to visit me on the Gold Coast. It was nice to have some family time at the halfway point of the semester, and to show off how I've been living for the past two months. I also got the opportunity to take them on a tour of the Bond campus, where it seemed like they wanted to stop and take photos of everything, whether it be the architecture, natural beauty or my mom insisting that we need to take a family picture because "this one might be the Christmas card."
After wandering around campus and purchasing plenty of Bond apparel, we found our way back to the hotel, where we all got to relax, after a long day of travelling for them, and a long week of studying for me. We headed to the nearby surf club for dinner, which featured a wide variety of delicious food…a common theme of the weekend was amazing food…
The next day we trekked up to Tambourine Mountain, which is where the Australian hospitality comes into play. We made it to a small town that consisted of about one street, full of small shops ranging from wineries to fudge, and cuckoo clocks to handbags. We met a woman running an olive oil shop that managed to keep us engaged and entertained (and belly laughing) for over an hour. We were never pressured to buy anything, or pressured to leave. She was just so personable and genuinely wanted to know our story and how we were enjoying Australia. After we left her shop, we walked across the street to meet a man willing to tell us his life story over a free wine tasting. His wisdom and hospitality made the tiny store feel like home, and afterward we ate dinner while our waiter his story about his newborn child, and proceeded to show us photos. This might be stretch, but I'm going to name this one road (which I cannot remember the name of) the hospitality capital of Australia. Yep, that sounds accurate.
Our last day together consisted of yet another relaxing day on the beach, which I believe was well needed by all. And after being burnt at the beach (wear your sunscreen!), we headed back towards Bond for supper. We ate in Market Square for our 'Thanksgiving' dinner, and I convinced everyone to go to The Hub for dessert. After this, I was dropped off at Bond by the most supportive, teary-eyed mother in the world. And don't worry mom, I'll be home in 6 weeks.