Saturday, February 14, 2004

Hey everyone!
Where to start? My journey began waiting in the airport for my flight to Honolulu holding the tears back after saying goodbye to Neal and Natasha. Sitting across from me was an Australian couple with the worst eating manner I ever heard/seen. I decided then that I hated Australia.
I arrive eighteen hours later in Sydney to humidity so thick I thought that I couldn't breath. The clerk at the hotel said I couldn't check in till one and it was nine-thirty. Leaving my bags at his desk I meandered around the airport area and ended up finding car sale lots and an itchy, uninteresting park. Suburbia surrounded me and I sat under a tree in fear that this was Australia.
The next day I called up my friend James and bused my way to his place in a beautiful neighborhood called Balmain with architecture resonating that of Louisiana's French Corner (based on what I've seen in movies). I decided right then that I love Australia.
James took me around the city and I felt at ease knowing that the sushi is as abundant in Sydney as it is in Vancouver. James watched as I wolfed down raw fish and wasabi.
We walked around the tourist areas of Sydney, just looking at stuff before James had to go to work. He treated me to my first aussie beer and we chatted a bit.
After parting I meandered into a small protest in an unpopulated tourist area. With black balloons and blue shirts, children and adults held signs that said, "The psychiatrists are coming! Hide your children!" One wore a 'parade of the dead' type of mask that said "psychiatrist expert."
I chose a direction and decided to walk and found myself in Chinatown. Unfortunately, after an hour, I could not find a way out of Chinatown.
That night I went to the pub with James' roomates and friends. They're spontaneous, fun people who later took me to the wharf to view the cityscape. Sydney's nightscape is gorgeous.
That's just my first two days, but I'm tired of writing so I'll fill in more later.
Love Sharon

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