In an expat environment like this, regular farewells are frequent. Most expats are here 6 months, 1 year, 2 years and in a few cases, a bit more than that.

I have been to 2 such farewells this week. One for a couple who have basically been here before and after the troubles of 1999/2000. Some people just get hooked. Others do their stuff and move on.

Tonight, I went to a farewell across the other side of town. For a reason that probably would escape most, I decided to cycle it. It was fine getting there just before sunset. But it sure was interesting coming home at 11pm.

There is hardly a car on the road after 9pm, so cycling is not a problem. But you have to remember the location of potholes otherwise life is not worth living. I did have my flashing red light on the rear but didn’t bother with a front light. Thats not to say that the street lighting is any good, thats more a statement of my confidence in the road ahead.

It took about 20 minutes to get home. On about 3 occasions, voices from the dark yelled out “bo noite” (ie good evening). I waved back. It really is not a problem here. A bit of common sense and you can feel perfectly safe. Yep, there is a purpose to drinking Melbourne Bitter – makes the ride home so much more enjoyable.

See ya, Andrew and Jo.