Part of the beauty of this trip is to experience a constantly changing environment. Oddly as it sounds, I think this is exactly what I need to move me from the comfortable, familiar, and albeit non-existent, life style that I pretended I still had in Los Angeles. On Monday I’m leaving Sydney for a few days to visit Melbourne in the state of Victoria. This will be a nice change of scenery as I’ve been here for over a month now. (Yes, I’m pretty proud of myself too). I’m taking the train down (10 hours) simply because I need to understand the scale and size of this country. The ten hours between Sydney and Melbourne is the most “compact” urban jumping you can do here. I can only imagine going to Alice Springs, Darwin, or Perth.
The following week I will be saying good bye to Australia. I LOVE this country, and in the words of a famous California governor, “I’ll be back.” There is no doubt in my mind that I could spend very long stretches of time here, most notably from November to March. I have friends (from around these parts) that I know in Los Angeles. They spend six months in Melbourne (their home) and six months in Los Angeles. I’ve always thought of them of superior intelligence since they have managed to live their lives in perpetual summer. I’m looking forward to meeting them for lunch next Wednesday.
I know it’s still two weeks away, but my thoughts are starting to move toward Asia. On the 20th I leave for Singapore for a couple days of “acclimation.” Singapore is definitely Asian, but was (is?) a British colony so English is the official language. From there I’m boarding a train bound for Bangkok but with a 2 day stopover in Penang, Malaysia. Things will start to get more exotic from here before they start to get more familiar again when I get to Europe in the late spring. India. Turkey. Oh my!
One of my dearest friends, Jill, has already made flight reservations to meet me in Bangkok in February. I simply can’t wait to see her. But, over the next few days I actually have a busy schedule. Tomorrow I’m going to see a performance at the Sydney Opera House: Le Grand Cirque. On Sunday, I’m meeting friends of a friend that work in the airline industry (a flight attendant with United and a captain from Delta…my friend works for American…I have all those bases covered). On Monday I leave for Melbourne, back on Thursday. A Los Lobos concert (part of the Sydney Festival), and a play (also part of the festival) on the 16th.
Everyone here talks about “what’s on”. I can’t keep up. I should have done this 30 years ago I suppose. I’m pretty sure that I would have appreciated the sound system in this means of transportation a lot more if I were 22.