The blog is not finished! But after the Theft (yes, capital letters), the want/need to update the blog took second fiddle to dealing with the Theft and just finishing the trip sans computer. Since being home, it's been hard to get that motivation to complete it. But I will. Ever so slowly. Please be patient!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Landing in “Bali”–AKA Sydney

The plan has been in the works for weeks, if not months. When it became obviously clear that I would not be in Melbourne for Christmas or New Years to spend those holidays with my good friend Steve from, I decided on getting there for his birthday at the end of January. I got a hold of his amazing boyfriend Matt and found out the date for the birthday party: February 4. And so, a plan formed. I would lie through Facebook, Twitter, etc. by giving the impression I was heading to Bali when in actuality I was heading to the Land Down Under. The only people in the know were travelers I had told in person, Matt, and my good friend Mick who I would be staying with for the first few days in Sydney.

NOT the Bali Airport. Guess my flight was diverted?

I landed in Sydney in the early morning to what was apparently a “normal” summer day this particular year: rain. Mick, the Aussie I had traveled through Egypt with back in June, was waiting for me in his fancy work clothes. After dropping me off at his apartment and giving me keys, he headed off to work while I wandered his neighbourhood.

With the rain that day though, I did little more than go to a cafe and have a nap. That evening though, Mick took me to the Sydney Olympic Park to meet his uncle who had gotten us tickets to the first ever International Twenty20 Cricket match held in that stadium. The game, Australia vs. India, was my first introduction(live or otherwise) to Australia’s drinking game(kind of like Curling in Canada. People mainly go to drink lots of beer). Cricket is a fascinating game, and I can kind of see the allure. Though I’m not sure I would pay to go see a full fledged match(or whatever they call it).

Sydney Olympic Stadium the night of the Twenty20 Match again India

Seriously though, it took about half the game for me to figure out the rules and what the hell was going on. The scoring system is kind of odd, but so is Canadian Football so I’m not going to start throwing stones. Like baseball, it’s based on “runs” though I think they call it something else(Aussies have a disproportionate amount of slang for the English language). There’s a large ring on the perimeter of the field. If the ball lands on the ground but makes it to this perimeter, it’s an automatic 4 runs. If the ball lands outside this perimeter, it’s 6. There’s no “3 outs and teams switch” thing either.

But to go over all the rules of cricket would take up too much time and energy on my part(as even now, I’m still wrapping my head around it).

With the plan being for me to take an overnight train to Melbourne on the 3rd, I only had a couple days in Sydney this time around. I’d be back a couple times though. Sadly the weather just did not cooperate on this particular visit, with it raining every single day. I did manage to do some sightseeing downtown, seeing the Opera House and Harbour Bridge through sheets of rain. I also got to explore a bit of the Matrix world while here.

That’s right, the Matrix movies were filmed right here in Sydney. Most notably, I found the alley-way where Neo had the “bug” taken out of his body. But let me not deceive you. I’m not so big of a geek that I just recognized it while walking by. I found it via geocaching.

From the movie(Top) and in person(Bottom)

Well, ok, so that doesn’t really bring down the geek factor all that much. Probably increases it actually.

My last full night in Sydney, Mick took me down to Darling Harbour for a bit of a walk before we found a nice bar to get some food. It was really good to finally get to sit down with the guy and reminisce about Egypt and talk about our different experiences on each of our trips. It was one of the first times I had reunited with someone from earlier on my trip who was no longer traveling. It made the end of the trip coming up that much more real.

Darling Harbour

But first, it was time to hop the overnight train to Melbourne. I had a birthday party to crash. With the train not leaving until 6pm that evening, I had plenty of time. Yet somehow, I still managed to almost miss it as I missed my stop on the bus, had to run three blocks to the nearest metro station to take it to the Central Station. Navigate out of the inner-city metro to the Inter-City rail portion took time and in the end I was running down the platform to hop on the train just in time.


  1. Love your line about geocaching making it more geeky! Seriousy LOL!!

  2. Great blogging with the nice stadium & pitch, can't wait to go there...