Gosh, wasn’t it just last year I turned 40? I’m sure it is! I’m still doing a double take when I do surveys and have to choose the “40-44 years old” category.
Thanks to Facebook and friends, I found out that Nick Vujicic was going to be speaking at a church today — 4pm and 6pm. Miss Eight’s dance class finished at 3.05pm, so I made the decision to go straight after her class. This meant that we ALL had to go to the dance school and wait, and that we’d get to the church more than half an hour early.
As it turns out, that was a good decision because the carpark was already very rapidly filling up by the time we got there. This is the church I attended when I was a university student more than twenty years ago, but a LOT has changed since then, least of all its name! We finally made it to the main auditorium and managed to find seats for five of us (our oldest had another activity to attend). By 3.40pm, they said that the auditorium was full, and the “Overfill Room” was also full. People could either choose to stand along the walls, or come back for the 6pm service.
Nick is a talented motivational and inspirational speaker. He peppers his talks with humour and insights on life and human behavior. At one point in his talk, he talked about how we all feel stressed and we think if we could just get through that stage, everything would be okay. “When you’re eight, you feel stressed…(elaborates with examples)…when you’re thirteen, you feel stressed…(examples)…When you’re in Year 12, you feel stressed…(examples)…When you’re in uni, you feel stressed…” This was particularly funny to us because we have all those: an 8yo, a 13yo, a Yr 12 student, and a uni student!
While I enjoyed going to listen to Nick and seeing him in person, the talk was probably more aimed at the non-Christian. There was an ‘altar call’ at the end and several people responded.
Now a word about the atmosphere. Remember: I used to attend this church, so I am somewhat familiar with its culture. This is a mega-church, one of the biggest, if not the biggest, church in Melbourne. Lots of lights and music with repetitive choruses which were skillfully and calculatingly heightened or dampened to manipulate emotions.
After a gentle admonition to ‘be kind as you leave the carpark’, we were dismissed at 5.40pm to allow the 6pm crowd to come in. And then, I was thankful we parked in a spot that was easy to get out of. Still, it took us half an hour just to get out of the carpark and onto the road to get the the restaurant for which we had a 6pm reservation! It’s a good thing our oldest got there first (after his activity) and saved our seats for us.
Finding a car spot for the restaurant was not as easy as finding one at the church. That area is notoriously difficult, what more on a Saturday night! Still, after circling around several carparks (there is more than one), we finally managed to find one and made it to the Chinese restaurant only 40 minutes late.
We’ve been to this restaurant before and quite enjoy the food. However, it doesn’t have very many positive reviews. Upon closer inspection, most reviewers say that the food is good, but the service could be better. My husband thinks that is pretty typical of Chinese restaurants in general, anyway!
I have to say, although we arrived 40 minutes late, we were still treated well. Our order was taken and we received our food promptly. We had to alert the wait staff when our teapot and rice needed topping up, but these were quickly attended to. So, overall, it was a good experience.
I wrote about our wedding anniversary Chinese restaurant experience where the fish came filleted. THIS is how fish should be served in a Chinese restaurant! Whole, with the head and tail still attached!
Always a favorite.
Too spicy for some, just right for others.
Skin was crispy and meat was tender and juicy. Don’t understand the peanuts.
Apparently, this is ‘Singapore-style’; it came with a mild curry sauce. It didn’t particularly grab me, but some of us enjoyed it.
We finished every single dish!
The children gave me some lovely presents, too!
They know me well! I read To Kill a Mockingbird in school (who didn’t?) and loved it! I am looking forward to reading this sequel.