Sunday, April 29, 2007

$ydney, Day One

I left Los Angeles Friday night just before midnight. I’d been trying for a week to figure out how best to prepare for the 17 hour time difference. I decided it would be best to mentally stay on Los Angeles time until I arrived in Sydney, at which point I would just stay awake until a reasonable bedtime and thereby be incredibly sleepy.

I slept fairly solidly for the first seven hours of the flight. Don’t get me wrong – these were not seven hours of good, restful sleep, but they were better than nothing. So when I woke up, it was nearly 8am on Saturday Los Angeles time, which meant it was about 1am Sydney time on Sunday. I decided to stay awake, and I actually felt pretty good. I napped on and off for the rest of the flight, but for the most part, I was awake.

Allow me to say here that Qantas is the best airline I’ve ever flown. Moving on…

Upon arrival in Sydney, I was so excited that I didn’t really care what time it was (it was about 8am Sydney time on Sunday – 3pm Los Angeles time on Saturday). I made my decision firm to live on Sydney time starting then. I went through customs/immigration, got some cash, bought some postcards, hailed a taxi and reached the hotel. Feeling good, I imagined it must be noon by now. Nope. 9:15am.

Since breakfast is included in the cost of my room, I decided to take part in the buffet. I reasoned I should eat at that point, thereby not having to spend a nickel on lunch, and then I’d just eat dinner at a normal time. Breakfast was uneventful and a little too European for my liking (they sure like roasted tomatoes and lunch meat for breakfast), but I managed to find some stuff I like. Satiated, I went upstairs. It must be noon by now! Nope. 10:45am.

I chatted with gina for a bit – she suggested I take a nap. I was very nervous about napping because I really don’t want to be awake all night. I decided I’d go explore the area of Sydney where I am. Of course, I never get the cool skyline view. Here’s the view from my room:



I think this is the town hall:


Kind of construction-y and tame, but I like it nonetheless.

Here’s the heated outdoor pool. It’s fall here, so not too many people are swimming. And by not too many, I mean to say that no one is swimming.


The weather is gorgeous here – the leaves are orange and the sun is shining. Upper 60s. I ventured outside and around the corner and saw what would undoubtedly keep me busy until the evening:




Shopping, shopping, and more shopping. So much shopping. And this is when I thought this area of Sydney should be called $ydney. I don’t even like to shop that much, but when I’m in a city by myself, there’s not really much else to do. And this was so bloody convenient. To my dismay, a lot of the stores were stores like Borders and… um… other stores native to America that I can’t think of right now. But I managed to walk into quite a few stores. After much deliberation, I bought this bag:


As I was heading back to the hotel, I noticed there was an entrance to what looked like an underground mall or something. Sure enough, it wasn’t long before I found myself underground walking through this mall that seemed to never end. I was getting a little claustrophobic and a lot dizzy. I only managed to snap this one shot, but this is what it looked like, for what seemed like miles and miles, and levels and levels:


I managed to make it outside to what I think is the town hall, and I saw this older couple feeding this crazy Australian bird:





I had to go back into the crazy dizzying mall to get back to the hotel, so I managed to make it through and buy a smoothie on the way. I snapped a few more shots outside – close-up shots of this guy painting the sidewalk:



And these cute kids playing their instruments:


I got back to the hotel, convinced it was about 5pm. Nope – 2:30pm. To pass the time, I went to the gym for an hour, came back to my room, took a long bath, uploaded the photos off the camera, wrote this long blog entry, and it’s now finally 6:00pm, which means I can feasibly order dinner and give myself two more hours before I can finally go to bed, of course not before popping a Vicodin. Please oh please let me be able to sleep.

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