I think I’m at home, but it’s hard to be sure. I’m a little out of it as I just got back from Australia yesterday afternoon. But I’m pretty sure I’ll live, the time change has screwed my body clock up to no end and I’m sure it will take a few days to get back in the rhythm of good old PST and I’m sure it will happen, but for the time being I’m pretty well buggered.
I realize I must be some sort of security threat, not only do I have to empty out my pockets, take my laptop out of it’s case, but now I have to go through not only the mandatory x-ray / metal detection crap, but now we get a friendly personal bag search and pat down. When the fuck did this start? I’ve never been given a pat down before boarding a plane until this year, at first I was slightly amused, now that I’m actually thinking about it, it pisses me off. What’s the point of the metal detector and x-ray if their still going to search your bag and pat you down? God forgive me for wanting to travel home! Oh and yes, the terrorists have won as we’re now completely fucked in the head when it comes to airport security.
In less then 18 hours I’ll be getting on a jet plane never to come back again… Well until I get the time to come back to a place I can truly call my home away from home. I’ve fallen in love with Australia and all it has to offer and I’m kind of sad to be going back to Seattle so soon. But in a way I’m excited to start again, to see what I can accomplish while I’m home and to see the changes in people from the last year.
Well as a parting gift for the friends who’ve been nice enough to put me up for the last few nights I’m going to cook some Mexican food for them.
After walking around yesterday looking for a cafe with wireless internet, I finally ended up at a Starbucks in Port Melbourne. I was happy to have a place that had both coffee and internet, but less then thrilled to have to pay for that internet. So today instead of paying for a connection at Starbucks I found a place called Mag Nation on Elizabeth Street in the CBD of Melbourne. This is a great place, not only do the serve coffee but they also have a huge selection of magazines that they allow you to browse without any pressure to buy. I love this place, in the states this kind of place wouldn’t exist, as there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of profit, but Mag Nation do a brisk business in coffee and they sell quite a few magazines as well. Maybe there’s something for me to do when I get home, advocate free wireless internet in the city at cafes and bars.
I was trying to find the right tram to Port Melbourne, as that is where I’ll be staying until next Tuesday, and I walked to the wrong tram stop and came upon a crazy but nice guy who decided I needed to know all about the bus system for Melbourne, especially the colors of said buss system. Red busses mean one company, green means another and so on. I suddenly felt like I was in a Dr. Seuss story and I should have been one bus, two bus, read bus, blue bus. The nice thing about said stranger is he did know where I needed to go to get the right tram and he followed me to the corner to make sure I got to the right stop, I must have looked like I needed the help and when I finally got to my destination and looked at myself before taking a shower I realized I did in fact look like I needed the help.
I had to get up at 4:00 AM to catch my train this morning… I’ve never been a fan of early mornings, but for some reason 4:00 AM was pretty easy to do. Although I’m not very happy with the train trip this time, at least I don’t have to try and sleep on the thing like last time. The train trip to Sydney was painful and for some reason I decided to take the train back to Melbourne. Now the really humorous thing is I catch a plane in Melbourne for my flight home and one of the flights stops is Sydney, oh well I guess it could be worse.
Anyway back to the train, I got on in Sydney and it was more or less an empty train until about halfway through the 12 hour trip, this family got on the train and the father took the seat next to me. I’m not really sure why he took the seat next to mine as most of the train car was empty, maybe he just felt as though I needed company or he just didn’t notice the headphones and kept trying to have a conversation with me. I don’t know why the universal sign of “leave me alone” wasn’t enough for this guy, he seemed nice enough, but the combination of the hat over the eyes and the headphones in apparently wasn’t enough for him. So after the last stop between Sydney and Melbourne I was forced to move to another seat in the same car, as I indicated earlier the car is mostly empty.
It was a good trip to Sydney, originally I didn’t want to really go there, I was content to stay around Melbourne as it reminds me so much of home, but in the end I’m glad my friend JB forced me to move my ass out of Melbourne for the week. After all we got the chance to see the interior of the opera house, or meet the nice Italians on St. Patrick’s day, or even better to hang around the harbor and celebrate the birthday for the Sydney Harbor bridge.
JB and I were talking the night before he left for Seattle about our school days and the people we knew. The really crazy thing is I had said I would like to apologize to someone for some very stupid school crap that I did back in the day. It was a real shame that I wasn’t smart enough to not be an ass sometimes and I’ve wanted to apologize for some of the things I did in school, but never really had the chance.
Anyway the person I wanted to apologize to or at least get back in touch with, is an old family friend, well they were an old family friend. Our families had a falling out a few years ago and we’ve not really had any contact with each other, expect for the occasional visit while traveling through Renton. I do like the family and I missed having them around, they’re good people if not a little odd like my own family. They had two kids and our family had three, when I needed a place to stay overnight and I couldn’t go to a relative I would stay at their house. I always felt like I was a part of their family and that’s why I felt pretty bad about some of the things I had said to this person. So when this person emailed me just the next day to catch up I was a little weirded out by the sudden contact. I hope we get the chance to catch up at some point when I get back to Seattle. It also reminds me that I need to get in touch with her family again. Another thing to add to the to-do list when I get back to Seattle.
We decided today to head to Circular Quay in Sydney for the Harbor Bridge Celebration, it’s 75 years old and it should have a party, and in the walk to the bridge viewing area we happened to be walking straight towards the Sydney Opera House. The Sydney Opera House is one of the more recognizable pieces of modern architecture in the world and was not exactly what I was expecting. All the photos I’ve ever seen is of a shiny white exterior which in fact is beige and white and in the sun looks like it’s lined with gold or brass, the tiles are made in a special way to discourage growth of anything organic, so really the only thing they have to worry about is dust and a good rain can clean it up pretty quick.
The interior tour we took, had us walk through three of the five performing arts spaces in the building as well as the scenery dock, which we weren’t supposed to see at all but our tour guide was incredible and took us there anyway. We didn’t get to see the full performance hall, which I had to buy a postcard of, but we did get to go into the busier of the two large spaces… Damn… I would love to work in this building, it has everything a theatre geek would want and then some, all the spaces have lifts and revolves and the lighting positions are excellent, not to mention the acoustics are phenomenal throughout the whole complex, because it truely is a performing arts complex.
After walking through Chinatown, which luckily is right near the hotel and getting a little breakfast at a Chinese version of a greasy spoon, we wandered through a dark and stinky version of the Queen Victoria Market. I can’t believe how many versions of the same junk souvenirs as every other place on the street there were.
As we made our way to a nice Chinese garden we wandered underneath an overpass and found the entrance to the garden that we were looking for. As it turns out someone was getting married there just as we were walking in, we were still able to get some tickets to walk around this nice little corner of the city. There were some really nice plants, a nice little smell here and there, even a little water feature.
After a nice walk through the garden we caught the monorail for a quick trip to the tower. It’s pretty much just like any other tower I’ve been to, mostly it’s just as big as the space needle or just about the same to me. After a trip up to the top with some nice looking folks, we looked out at the city and made the appropriate “Ooo’s” and “Ahhh’s” and then took the elevator back down to the bottom and the “Oz Trek” a diorama and motion video experience that is something I would avoid if given the opportunity to do it again.
I’m getting geared up to head home soon, I’ve almost come to the end of my time traveling before I get on a plane for the long flight home. Don’t get me wrong, I miss my Seattle friends and family, but I don’t know if I’m ready to go home yet, or at least stay home yet. What I would like to do is find a job that I could leave in a few months. I want to work in Beijing for the Summer Olympics, but that could prove to be difficult based on BOC and my relatively short experience working for an organizing committee. Oh well, something will come of whatever I put my mind to and I’ll do it with gusto until I move on to the next project.