Sunday, January 18, 2009

Movies are so unhelpful in real life situations

Most of what I know about Australia I
learned from Mad Max movies.

So imagine my surprise and
perhaps disappoint when I disembarked at Sydney international airport
to find rather seeming normality. As the plane came in over the
tarmac I noticed a great absence of stacks of burning tires. While
waiting for my bag I only saw one guy sporting a Mohawk and he was
Korean. When I made it out and to street level I was let down by the
site of smoothly moving traffic instead of motor gangs with supped up
bikes that had dual side cars for throwing out midgets or children
armed to the teeth.

And no one, as far as I could see, was
wearing (spiked shoulder gear). I mean, come on, this is supposed to
be Australia for goodness sake! I was only further let down when
boarding the train from the airport to downtown Sydney. Not only were
people polite to one another, but they offered seats to the elderly.
The train lacked any kind of reinforced plating for potential
apocalypses, did not have spikes, and as far as I could tell no
cannons or gun shoots either. It did have a nice announcer who told
me politely when to exit at my stop. I did see some graffiti but I
hardly think that counts after what I had been lead to believe by Mel
Gibson. I really just sort of assumed some kind of post-apocalyptic
oil fueled war where I would be forced to match wit and gun skills
while speeding down long stretches of outback. Alas, it's not to be.

Further, I have been in Australia for
about eight hours now and I still haven't seen a Koala, Kangaroo, or
Platypus. I almost feel like holding the entire country to blame. I
have also not yet met anyone wearing a cowboy hat covered in
crocodile teeth or hear anyone say “Put another shrimp on the
barbie.” My entire weultenshaung is crumbling here.

Pretty much the only thing that seems
to hold true from Mad Max is the weather. It's freaking hot. Terribly
terribly hot. I broke a sweat. I'm holding it against Sydney. The
temperature here is holding at about 78 with a breeze coming off the
harbor. It's also insanely sunny. Burn your eyes out sunny. The kind
of sunny that makes you want a pair of sunglasses that act more like
an eclipse blocking out almost all the rays of light and just leaving
a smidge to guide you where you are going.

After arriving I walked the eight or so
blocks from Hyde Park to where I am staying. I didn't want to check
in insanely early but I suspect that was mostly travel weariness
stupidity. For some reason the last three times I've flown more than
eight hour trips I have found it absolutely impossible to sleep. This
makes me cranky and completely incoherent upon arrival and even more
dizzy than usual. Having not had any food since leaving Korea (I
turned down all plane food as I couldn't eat any of it anyway) I
realize I was hungry and figured it would be a good time to get
coffee. Which I did. As I started to fall asleep in my coffee I
realized I really needed to just get to my room and get a nap.

The nap was nice.

The shower was amazing.

Then a bit later I walked about (Yes, I
just went there) the area I'm staying in so I could figure out where
the wharf is that I need to be at tomorrow morning bright and early
to catch my boat for the island and the concerts. Can I get a yee-ha!

I did not manage to find the correct
wharf but ran into a nice Aussie couple who took my little map and
drew lines and x's and dots to point me from point A to point B. It's
about a 2k walk in the morning but should not be bad at all. I'm very
much looking forward to it.

At least I know the concert will
include a certain amount of craziness. But I'm still a little upset
about the lack of midgets jumping out of kangaroo pockets with knives
clamped between teeth and guns in each hand. I'm sure it will pass.

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