Sydney

It’s a bit after 4:00PM on Tuesday the 8th of June in Australia right now.

We’re in Sydney for one more night before we jet off to Darwin tomorrow morning. We’ll spend a small amount of time before starting the big, big part of our adventure: the RV. But more on that later.

Sydney is nice. It’s something of a cross between San Diego and Toronto. It has the beautiful climate and sunshine and water of extreme southern California and the Britishness of Toronto. There are statues of Victoria and Albert and Capt. Cook and loads of other Commonwealth people that neither Lisa and I know. (Lisa can give you a good deal of Mary Poppins informed history of the Edwardian period, if you want it.)

Unlike Toronto and San Diego, they do drive left, which I didn’t think was going to be a big deal, because I was used to London by the time we left. But they have a lot of one-way streets there; and here there’s traffic everywhere. Yesterday, on my run from our hotel (located near where Darlinghurst meets Hyde Park) I did not get run over — or have anyone honk at me for that matter; they don’t seem to do that here — but I did have to stop short to keep from running into the street in front of turning traffic.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I had intended to post more about our trip earlier, but the Travelodge has no WiFi . . . so no frequent updates or pictures of skype or . . . We left Boston on Friday evening after taking a limo — an honest to goodness pimped out limo — to Logan. (It’s nice to have prom season coincide with our trip to the airport.) That was the highlight of the trip. The flight to LAX was uneventful. Then the layover started and lasted about two hours longer than expected. We ended up leaving LA at 2:00AM Pacific Time (which is 5:00AM Eastern Time). Having been up 19 or 20 hours, we were a bit tired. I fell asleep before we pushed away from the gate. Despite being one step away from narcoleptic, I can’t really sleep on airplanes for extended periods of time, so I didn’t sleep much: off and on for about 7 hours I’d say.

After seven hours, we were half-way there. Time to watch “Crazy Heart,” which I really think should have won the Best Picture Academy Award last year. “Hurt Locker” was good, but this was fantastic. Then I started watching “A Single Man.” Now, they put the film on the plane for us to watch, but it’s a little odd watching Tom Ford’s homo-erotic love story in a public place, especially when the captain’s PA stopped the film during the one naked scene in the film.

Anyway, we arrived. Tired. But starting a new day. And I was reminded of Paris. In particular, that not altogether well feeling that I seem to get after being awake far too long. But it passed after a bit of breakfast and a walk.

We left our luggage at the hotel and walked through a string of parks to the harbor, where we saw the two main icons: the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Both are different than they appear on TV or in print — better, more massive, more — I dunno — iconic.

And then we checked in around 3:00PM and took a nap. It’s a good thing we set an alarm, because we were both sound asleep a few hours later when it went off.

There’s a funny thing about jet lag. The first night you don’t notice it, becuase you’ve been awake for more than 24 hours and are wicked tired anyway. But the second night, that’s when it hits you. 4:00 this morning I awoke to the sound of my own wide awake thoughts, accompanied by the alt country soundtrack of Old Crow Medicine Show and Deer Tick. It’s better than the Violent Femmes from five years ago in India, but still a bit too loud.

So we headed out for a walk around the Domain and the Public Gardens, ending up at the harbor again. (It appears to be our Notre Dame, where seemed to end up everyday in Paris last year.) Three or four times we’ve been there, and we’ve never navigated our way out the same way twice. It’s almost a maze.

We haven’t done nearly enough of what Sydney has to offer — the zoo, the aquarium, Circular Quay, wandering around Observatory Hill, etc. — but I think we’re ready for something a little out of the ordinary.

I’m not sure we’re all 100% ready for the RV. I’m nervous about driving it. Lisa’s nervous about almost everything else: being out of contact, being away from civilization (laundry), being in the midst of a land full of critters that want to kill us as soon as look at us, being in the RV as I drive it, etc. I can’t blame her, but I think after the first day, it’s going to be great. Or we’re all going to die.

But now I only have one minute left on this internet terminal. More later.

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6 Responses to Sydney

  1. mary says:

    no mention of the food in sydney? sounds like you guys might just be eating hamburgers – i hope that’s not the case.

  2. thema!lman says:

    great post jeff, as a new follower of your blog, I want to say I’m sorry the sexy part of A Single Man was interrupted…

    …all this talk of Australia makes me want a blooming onion from Outback Steakhouse…

    Hope you guys have a good trip!

  3. Leslie M-B says:

    You’ll be fine! Just don’t go driving off the end of any roads into the desert. Of course, you’d never do that. . .

  4. Jeff Mather says:

    Mailman: Uh… thanks.

    Leslie: I would never, ever do something like that (more than twice).

    Mary: We’ve had tasty Indian food, tasty burgers, tasty salads, and something else I can’t remember. But all in all, I’m not sure we found the restaurants that The Times has been raving about recently. Maybe if we ate more seafood or headed into the Rocks or Circular Quay for dinner… who knows?

  5. thema!lman says:

    Uh…you won’t hear from me again…nice blog anyway.

  6. Jeff Mather says:

    I meant no offense — it’s just interesting what leads people to comment. Keep reading and commenting if you’d like.

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