Meeting Lou In Sydney

12th May, Sydney, Australia

Manda writes:

A lot of planning went into today's rendezvous with our friend Louise, who we'd met on an Explore holiday to Turkey a couple of years ago. We had already met Ted, Barbara and Brent from the same tour while we were over in New Zealand and today it was time to call in on our Lou in North Sydney.

We tried to contact Louise when we first arrived in Sydney two months ago. Since we only had her email address (which incidentally bounced), we thought we'd pop into her office to surprise her. All good in theory but the bad news was that she no longer worked there. However, the good news was that she had been promoted and was still working for the same company. This got us thinking ...

Since Louise works for a travel company, we'd scripted a travel-related conversation prior to phoning her. We were going to sound cryptic to see when (or if!) she would twig that it was actually us and not a real customer!

This was the intended dialogue:

"Hi. I'm interested in a holiday to Turkey. I'd like to spend a couple of weeks there to Explore the country."

With this duly prepared, we still had to find a way of getting hold of Louise. So we went to one of the branches and asked a member of staff to send her an internal email asking her to give us a call. Naturally, we'd have to let this person in on what we were up to as we needed to 1) clarify that we were not stalkers and 2) ensure that he/she will keep the element of surprise.

Did we pull it off? Well, kind of...

When the phone rang, Ian answered it and managed to deliver the first line. But feeling under pressure, he started giggling at the end. Louise started giggling too and knew it was him straight away!

Manda and Louise in a café around from Lou's workplace.

It was great seeing Louise again. She hadn't changed and was still as happy as Larry. We had some lunch in a nearby café while chatting about our travels and her company parties (where everyone wore white tuxedos and blue afro wigs to the last one). It sounds like they know how to have some fun there. The next party is being held in Thailand so with any luck, we will be able to gatecrash it - I've got my blue afro ready!

While it was excellent to catch up with Louise, it was a shame that we'd left it so late. As we were having our chinwag, it felt as if we'd parted company a few days earlier and not two years ago. Another one of our Turkey tour group crossed off the list, it was time to point Ethel in the direction of the Hume Highway and make tracks for Melbourne, via a little place called Canberra. It's the capital city, you know - might be worth remembering for the next time you play Trivial Pursuit!