Saturday, December 3, 2011

Joe arrives back in Brisbane

Paul will be in NZ for Christmas so he wanted to give Joe an early Christmas dinner to make up for that. So Joe landed in Brisbane at 5pm and at 6pm Paul and Susan had a dinner laid on for him.

It was actually an American dinner. When Paul and Susan were in NY I directed them to the various different types of American sandwiches and they now share my conviction that America is the home of sandwiches. So the dinner principally consisted of Reuben sandwiches and Cuban sandwiches, which were much enjoyed. In Australia there are no diners where you can walk in and order such things so they have to be home-made. And Susan is a talented cook so she did very well.

And for dessert she made an excellent apple pie by following an American recipe she got off the internet.

We had the usual lively conversations about many things. Paul always makes sure of that! He loved the story about how I helped to sabotage Arthur Calwell's Brisbane election meeting.

Joe had his Korean girlfriend with him. He brought her up to Brisbane from Canberra for a month. Fortunately she speaks quite good English -- rare in Koreans. She was a bit shy but that was not surprising in the circumstances. Finding herself in the middle of boisterous family conversations must have been a bit of a shock.

She must have been surprised to find she was amid a family of Kim Chee lovers. Kim Chee is a sort of pickled cabbage that is massively popular in Korea but is little known elsewhere and not to everyone's taste. Paul, Joe and the twins grew up with it however, as both Jenny and I like it so we always had it on the table when Korean food was served, which was fairly often.

I was pleased to hear that Joe is taking an active part in university life -- joining the Kabuki play etc. Some fathers would disapprove of "fun" activities at university in fear that their kid might not be taking their studies seriously enough but with Joe it is the other way around. There is no risk of him not working hard on his studies but in his undergrad days he seemed to take little part in university life. I have often told him that your university days are a time to have fun.

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