Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Australia: Scenes from the Future

Hello friends!

Remember that I had this?  I barely do.  I'm traveling in Australia this summer...winter...whatever seasonal timewarp I'm in...and am going to do a few updates to this in lieu of actually writing personal emails, because #millennial.  I will add photos later because it's not working well on my iPad and also

July 10/Day 1:
Left Boston at 2:50pm EST.  Arrived at LAX about 6:00pm Pacific time and proceed to walk and walk and walk allllll over. 5 hours on a time difference when you're trying to make yourself tired later?  Meh.  I learned that LAX is huge, the wifi is quite unreliable, and getting your phone shut off at midnight on a time difference is majorly confusing. Finally boarded my massive plane about 11pm and we were off into the future!

July 11/Day 2:
Did this happen? I don't know.  I got on a plane on July 10 and got off on July 12!  I watched Lion, ate some undercooked airplane food, self medicated w/Dramamine and Shiraz, and slept for a few hours.  Then I woke up and realized there were still seven more hours.  I watched the flight map, several move movies, ate some things, and it was still night.  I took this photo of our menu cards, because I appreciated it and also it seemed silly.

July 12/Day 3:
Arrived in Syney with the winter sun!  Customs seemed ridiculously easy - nobody asked me about all the illegal things I'm smuggling!  I mean...kidding, but I scanned my passport, had a robot machine take my photo, and basically collected my bag and left.  The only human interaction I had was handing my print out receipt thing to a lady as I left...which frankly I totally dug.
Picked up a SIM card, so yeah, I've got an Australian phone number, and no, I don't know what it is.  Summoned an uber and the lovely driver took me on a scenic route over the bridge to my AirBnB in North Sydney, where my kind host, Vanessa let me check in very early so I could attempt to be human again.  Despite being tired, I took the advice of my favorite coach - Meesh - and took my talents all over Sydney.    The forecast predicted rain later, so off I went to have my very first Australian flat white and pie (chicken, sweet potato, peas, lime, pickle), and stroll across the harbor bridge before hopping onto a ferry to see the harboR before it got rainy.  After wearing the same leggings for basically 48 hours, I was both sad and glad to throw on some jeans (sad because I like to not wear as many pants as possible in July and August, except you kind of need pants in winter). Naturally, the sky opened when I was halfway across the bridge.  It was beautiful, but do you know what is not beautiful? The moment when you realize your jeans are soaked through and that it's still pissing rain.  I made it across, collected myself underneath, and tried to find somewhere to stay dry in  the Rocks.  I think the best thing to be said is that the Rocks is like Quincy Market, and I don't go to Quincy Market much.  I had a pint, waited for a break in the rain, and rerouted my afternoon to head to the State Library of New South Wales.  Do you know what libraries are?  Warm and dry.  It was a great spot - lots of light, a meld of new and old architecture, and some beautiful gallleries they are currently renovating, right next to the Royal Botanic Gardens.  The rain held off so I decided to stroll through the gardens, over to Mrs. Macqueries Chair, and to the Opera House.  When it was clear the rain was done for the day, I decided I had enough gas in the tank to check out the ferries.  I used my Opal card to hop on the Manly ferry to see the sunset, and then took the Darling Harbor ferry around after dark to see the city by night.  In short: this city is beautiful by day, by night, by land and by sea. Australia: I think I really love you so far.

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