Just how far away is Australia, anyway? Hours and hours in a cramped economy seat and I’m convinced it’s in another galaxy.
We drag our bodies, on stiff and aching legs, through Customs in Sydney, and there’s our aunt waving and grinning, arms held wide for hugs. She’s booked a hotel for the first two nights and then we’ll move on up the coast to her place and then on to Cairns. We grab a beer and collapse onto our beds. A good night’s sleep should do us a world of good.
“Okay, goils. Rise and shine.” Who knew she was an early riser? My sister and I groan, pry our eyes open, and roll out of bed to start our first day of the Aussie experience.
All is well until our aunt escorts us to the Strand Arcade (see link below). On the way in I spot a poster for pink diamonds. Pink diamonds? Pink diamonds!
I study the rings in the shop display. “How much is this one?” I ask the young lady, pointing to a smallish stone set in white gold.
I blink. Okay, that’s a bit beyond my budget, but pink diamonds… I didn’t know there was such a thing, and they are so pretty. “And, this?” I ask.
“$13,000,” she says.
“Oh.” No price tags. I should have known.
“How much did you want to spend?” she asks politely.
“Um…” I do some mental calculations. “Maybe $1,000.”
She holds up an elegant finger. “One moment.” She opens a vault behind the counter, disappears into its depths, only to emerge seconds later with a tiny folded packet in her hand—the kind you see in movies.
“Please.” She gestures to a seat by the counter. I watch her unfold the packet to reveal several tiny, tiny pink diamonds. They glitter under the store lights. Some are pale, others more vivid. She picks one up with her tweezers. “This one, perhaps?”
“Just a sec.” I reach into my bag, scrounge around for my reading glasses and put them on. I peer at the diamond in the tweezers and shake my head. “Um, could I borrow your….” Damn! What are those eye piece things called?
She passes me her jeweller’s eye loupe. I choose the darkest pink of the diamonds and we agree to have it punch set in a gold band that will look good with my wedding band. She suggests a small white diamond to be set on either side to accent the pink. I agree.
One little problem. We’re leaving Sydney the next afternoon and won’t be back. Turns out it’s not a problem at all. My ring is ready at 4 p.m. the next day.
The Strand Arcade – another beauty. http://www.strandarcade.com.au/About-Strand