Flooding: The flooding is over – time for a résumé! Apart from some cracked trees and a layer of mud on streets, bikeways and in parks, there is not much left what reminds you on the conditions some days ago. Officially parts of the Bicentennial Bikeway are closed but most people don’t care about the barriers and stop signs and neither do I. My bike is not afraid to roll over silt and small to mid-size branches. The level of the Brisbane River is already about one meter below the mark when I took the night shots. I have photographed two pages of the community news in which Mayor Graham Quirk praises the excellent catastrophe management, the value of the voluntary workers, how much they have learned and improved since 2011, bla bla bla… . For some people it may be embarrassing to read the statistics, for me it was just funny: Proudly Mr. Quirk announces that twelve million people have seen their tweets and that they got over four million views on Facebook. Yeah…we definitely need more cyclones, bush fires, insect plagues and power plant explosions…- imagine how great it would be to attract thousands of new Twitter followers, channel subscribers on Youtube and to beat bloody Sydney in all these points.

Work&Virus: I really had a hard work week. It was literally a start from 0 to 100% after 4 months of absence from architectural matters (apart from my several DIY projects).  On Thursday I worked from 8:15 am to 9:30 pm and was personally introduced to the customer who seemed to be quite happy what we are doing so far. He also stated that in an email I received from him. I knew that on Monday the drawings should be finished so I had canceled all my plans for the weekend, expecting another two 10-14 hours work days. But on Friday everything changed when the network server was infected by a virus. It couldn’t be fixed in time and I was panicking how to finish under these circumstances. It was out of my hands and my boss, aware of the situation, reacted quite relaxed and rational. The customer had proposed some more changes and the photos I had received from him differ much from the drawings I had as reference. Some further amendments have to be discussed before I can really get this job done. Will told me that we sort things out and continue on Monday and I wished him a nice weekend. As a side effect I left the office yesterday already at 5 pm and have Saturday and Sunday off! So delighted about that surprising change although I hope of course that the virus did not damage sensitive data!

Pleasant Supermarket Shopping: I used the Friday evening to refill my food stock at Woolworth. The young girl at the counter looked at me and said: I remember you. Maybe you don’t remember me because it is already a couple of weeks ago I saw you last time. She went on that she remembered me for a good reason but did not continue. I asked: What`s the reason that you remember me? She said: Because you were nice! That was such a short and direct answer that I was baffled for a second. I mean, it is easier for me to be even friendlier than I was in Germany but I did not expect that my social behaviour regarding friendliness stood out because 96% of all the people I got into contact with in Australia have a very positive attitude. I am thankful to receive help whenever I need it and even if I don`t depend on help there are always people around who offer me support. In some supermarkets and stores are employees whose job is to simply wait at the entrance for customers and wish them a good day or ask them how they are going. This is obviously part of a marketing concept but it says something about the philosophy and importance of face to face interaction in Australian society. I often recognized that employees in shops do more than asking the mandatory “how are you”? (and in Coles supermarkets they often continue with: “How was your day going so far”?) Not every time I think it comes from the bottom of their hearts but sometimes it is the trigger for a short enjoyable chat and you leave with a smile on your face. – Back to my Woolworth encounter: Like many times before I was asked where I am come from. In the last two years I was suspected to be French, Dutch, Irish (just by look, not by accent!) and of course German. The girl yesterday guessed I was Swedish and complimented about my good English. She confessed that her skills to figure out people’s origin by accent weren`t distinctive but I still felt happy to have camouflaged my German background successfully. I like the idea to have a “metro-European” appearance. The whole chat endured less than a minute in order to let other customers not wait too long. Nevertheless the impact was big enough to eternalise this occurrence here on my blog. 🙂

Therefore my today’s incitement for you is to start consciously a friendly talk with the person at the counter next time you go shopping. Please post your experience as comment! Thank you very much!