That Gum You Like

Automobile–>Plane–>Train–>Automobile–>Sydney (Days 1-2)

Posted in Sydney by Dave on September 13, 2009

Well guys, I made it. The journey itself was actually reasonably painless, all things considered. Left my house around 12:30 on Wednesday afternoon, got to JFK at four, flight to LAX left at six. The flight out to L.A. was pretty straightforward, sat in the window seat next to two old ladies, one of whom promptly fell asleep and only woke up once we arrived in L.A., and one who spent her whole time pretending to sleep, but apparently was just watching the X-Files with me the whole time, because I caught her gasping whenever something scary happened… Pretty hilarious actually, every time she did it I would look at her and smile, but she continued to pretend to be asleep. But yeah, I watched the X-files until my computer ran out of battery, then I just read a little bit and stared out the window. It was obviously dark by this point, but I always really like looking out at the lights on the ground. Real pretty. Got into LAX, ate some Mcdonalds, charged my computer enough for two more episodes of the X-Files and got on the plane for Sydney, which left at about 11pm.

Huge, huge plane, even had a second floor! Also generally pretty nice, the first class area looked like a freaking spaceship, and business class was only marginally worse. Gargantuan seats, loads of footroom, etc. But I wasn’t too jealous, as I had an entire row to myself. It actually totally blew my mind, I haven’t been on a plane that wasn’t almost entirely sold out in a really long time. So having the whole row was an incredibly pleasant surprise. I promptly took advantage of it, making a little nest out of the three pillow and blanket sets they gave me, and passed out for the first chunk of the flight. When I woke up, I guess a pretty considerable amount of time had gone by, because the rest of the flight really passed pretty quickly, I watched some of the inflight movies (caught about half of the new Star Trek without sound and checked in for a little bit of Monsters vs. Aliens (which was pretty terrible except for a character voiced by Will Arnett, who was obviously hilarious)), read a little, listened to some music, and yes, watched some more X-Files. You guys, the X-Files is awesome. Very consistently entertaining, and an incredibly satisfying overarching plotline that seriously tickles my inner sci-fi nerd. Also, this:

Gillian Anderson + Hilarious Outfit = Multiple Levels of Win

Gillian Anderson + Hilarious Outfit = Multiple Levels of Win

I landed in Sydney around 6am, had some pretty painless dealings with Customs and Quarantine (which included me awkwardly explaining to the Quarantine officer what a Jolly Rancher was), and hopped on the train out to Gordon, a suburb of Sydney and the home Margaret Tink, my host for my initial stay here. The Sydney public transportation system is dominated by Cityrail, a train system similar to the BART, but obviously, as this isn’t America, it’s infinitely better. It’s a very clean, cheap, quiet, and quick way to cruise around the city and the surrounding area. We suck at getting people around.
Margaret picked me up at the station and took me to her house, where I spent most of the rest of the day sitting on her porch, feeling jet-lagged and confused by the constant chattering of the local birds, a constant reminder that I’m over 11,000 miles away from home. Seriously you guys, these things just spend all day making the noises that Hollywood has taught us are the sounds of the “jungle.” It’s bizarre seeing cockatoos and kookaburras just cruising overhead like they’re seagulls or something. After a run and some dinner I went right to sleep at about 8pm, which felt fantastic.
I woke up this morning, had some breakfast and headed into the city, where Margaret’s granddaughter Sarah, a student at University of Sydney, met me, having agreed to show me around for the day. I had a fantastic day touristing around with Sarah, making the obligatory Opera House visit, checking out the Museum of Contemporary Art and cruising around the area surrounding the University. The Opera House, despite being the world’s most stereotypical tourist destination, really was pretty awesome. I’m not even sure I like the design, but there’s something pretty cool about hanging out under those shells and looking out over the water. The Museum was aggressively contemporary, some of it interesting, some of it not so much. The dominant aesthetic was a bit Oberlin-esque actually, a few of the exhibits reminded me of something I might see at a Senior show. I really like the area around the university, very college-y, we stopped in at a few used bookstores and the like, one of which enormous and unorganized where I could have spent about a year, but today I only came out with Robert Lowell’s Life Studies.
Thus far though, I’m finding Sydney to be pretty incredible. I didn’t get a chance to take any pictures, which is a shame, it’s a very photogenic city, a lot of big, old buildings mixed in with a very tropical landscape. I’m probably going to head back in tomorrow, so I’ll make sure to get some pix of it then for my next update. Until then…

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5 Responses

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  1. l said, on September 13, 2009 at 4:16 am

    SRSLY U GUYZ

  2. C-Dawg said, on September 13, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Yo, the only thing I care about right now is finding out Alien-Will-Arnett’s name. Though australia sounds cool, I guess

  3. DBG said, on September 13, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Yeahhhhh
    sounds great

  4. leah said, on September 13, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    i realized two things:

    1) when i signed my comments with just my initial, it looks like “I” and that is confusing

    2) the only comments i have left so far are just quoting stupid things you said in your blog entries that i find hilarious

    3) i don’t understand why that picture is so funny, did my sense of humor go to australia with you or is it actually not funny?

  5. leah said, on September 13, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    4) apparently i realized three things, not two.


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