We’re Lagged

G’day Mates,


Went to bed early, exhausted. Woke up early. Ray got up at 3 a.m. and I got up at 4 something. Watched the sun come up. It rises in the east. That’s a relief. I mean, we are down under!! And the house faces Antartica. Good to know your orientation.


We’re going to go out and about today. Will check in later after our adventures. But first, the headlines. Copy and past into your web browser.


Well, then.

It’s 6:30 p.m. and we just dragged our sorry _sses into the house. We’ve been gone all day. And what an adventure it was. We headed out this a.m. to drive to the airport because Ray’s cousin, Bernie, is arriving tomorrow and we’re picking him at the airport. So…a dry run was in order. But we had other things to do as well. I read that the Australian Post gave the best deals in converting U.S. dollars to Australian dollars. So, we looked up the local post and armed ourselves with the address and off we went. Opps. We forgot our airlines tickets and the reason we wanted to take them was that we wanted to see if we could modify our flight home…so we turned back and got our tickets. THEN we headed out.

Driving on the wrong side of the road is quite a challenge…especially for the passenger. Ray described the experience as, “I feel like I’m riding in the sidecar of a motorcycle.” Well, I wouldn’t know since I was driving…Ray has the knack for reading maps so I drove. Well, for you that know Ray, you know this did not go well. He kept telling me to hug the center of the road…he thought I was driving too close to the curbs. And I felt like the middle of the road was inviting a head on. Oh, dear. It wasn’t pretty. And admittedly, I wasn’t empathizing since I had no earthly idea what he was experiencing and i was busy trying to remember to be on the wrong side of the road, to stop signalling with my windshield wipers, and to figure out who in the world had the right-away. It’s not easy being me and it is definitely not easy being me on the wrong side of the road.

But, I digress. We eventually made it to the airport after several detours, but, hey, we saw things we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. We parked the car in the car park and headed into the terminal. It turned out to be a very good idea…the dry run idea. While looking for the proper place to find out that we couldn’t change our tickets, I noticed a group of really tall young men. So I approached them and asked them if they were members of a basketball team. Bingo or duh, choose one. They were members of the national team of New Zealand. They really were tall. And white. I asked them if they were going to the rugby matches (world cup is happening in NZ as we speak). They said, “no, we’re basketball players”. I said, “just thought you might go to a game.” One of the guys said, “no, we do everything to avoid those games.” Uhmmmmm.

Then we engaged a man at the train booth and found that we could get all kinds of places sans auto if we just purchased a pass for the public transit. This was a relief. We could avoid divorce after all.

As we left the car park, Ray gave me a $10 AU. The lady in the booth announced the way out would cost us a crisp $15 AU. We were only there an hour. OMG. A rail pass was in our future.

The great thing about a pass was that it allows us to ride not just the rails, but the buses and boats. So, we bought a pass. $57 AU each for 1 week. Good enough. We could stay out of the car and avoid wearing out the windshield wipers of the Echo we are driving!!

We found a nearby train station near our house, parked the car and headed into Sydney. When we emerged from the underground, we were right downtown. OMG. The opera house. The Sydney bridge. It was all there. But I was too hungry to dwell on the it. We found a small french pastisirrie (spelling is suspect) and had lunch. Then we headed out to see the sights. I grabbed the camera and there was no lens cap. This could not stand so off we were to find camera shop which we did and Manny, the guy on duty, helped us find a lens cap as well as cord that attached so if the cap fell, it would not be lost. Yippee.

Then we jumped on a ferry and sailed pass the Sydney Opera house as we visitd with a young Chinaman who now lives in Melbourne, speaks perfect english, has a legal residency in AU and will return to China in a year or two. He’s been here just 4 years. And he was estatic to be in Sydney on this beautiful day. He had perfect teeth and a fab personality. Oh, and he really, really wanted to visit the U.S. That’s him to my left. Actually. That’s him. It’s just him and me. Oh, and did you notice the Opera House??? It wasn’t that cold in the sun. I just had all these clothes on and didn’t want to take them off because I’d have to carry them anyway.



But I digress. We disembarked at Darling Harbor and walked and walked. Finally, I cried uncle. We paid $5 each to ride a monorail (not a muni item) to cross the harbor and walk a block to the muni system. We caught a train and began our migration back to Oatley, our current neighborhood.

We were exhausted. It was after 5 p.m. when we arrived at Mortdale station, hear Oatley, got in the car and drove to Oatley to look for a bar for a drink. Every bone in our bodies ached. Boy, did I feel my age. But, what the heck. It was good exercise, beautiful sights and, did I mention, a good reason for a gin martini? However, we could not find a bar so we bought a bottle of gin, went to the market, got some food to cook (restaurants in Oatley are closed on Monday) and headed home.

And here we sit watching a documentary on whales. And oh, the moon. It is full and fabulous tonight.

Did you know that the Wright male whales have the biggest testicles on the planet? Quite a program on whales. Speaking of testicles. I shot this picture in downtown Sydney.



The Australians are wonderful. The city is clean as a houndstooth. And I’m already to go to the outback. I think I would really like it. Just have to convince Mr. J.

Time to turn in. We need to be at the airport at 7:30 to meet Bernie. And we’re taking the train!!


Some other pictures:

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