Twelve Things I Did In Sydney, Australia This Time

Twelve  Things I Did In Sydney, Australia This Time

“With cities, it is as with dreams: everything imaginable can be dreamed, but even the most unexpected dream is a rebus that conceals a desire or, its reverse, a fear. Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears. “ Italo Calvino

1. Walked around the Quay. I forgot it was called Key not Cay.

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2. Walked all around the Opera House twice and had a coffee there – long black with milk which is much less milky than flat white.

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3. Saw amazing exhibit by Tatsuo Myajima  at the Museum Of Contemporary Art.

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4.Got on a ferry.

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5.  It went to Manly Beach.

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6. Darling Harbor in the rain.

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7. Went hiking and got lost (not so easy to do there) in Nielsen Park.

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8. Had tea at the Hughenden Hotel in Paddington-Woolhara.

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9. Saw the view from the Park Hyatt.

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10 Sat  under the Sydney Bridge.

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11. Ate Tim Tams.

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12. Opera House at Sunset. Of all my favorite buildings, and I have many, the Sydney Opera House is my favorite.

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Fly safe,

JAZ

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The Last Things That I Did When Traveling

The Last Things That I Did When Traveling

“it can hardly be a coincidence that no language on earth has ever produced the expression”as pretty as an airport” Doug McAdams

People magazine thinks that I want to know the last things celebrities did before that interview.  I think that you must want to know about the last things I did when traveling .

The last piece of gum that I chewed on a plane before landing – Trident Peppermint I prefer the Bubblegum flavor for flying but I didn’t see it in Sydney airport.

The last trashy magazine that I bought in an airport and the last trashy article I read in it – Australian OK magazine – I only buy gossip magazines when I fly and then I buy all of them like they are crack cocaine. The last article was some Kardashian story like the hem on Kim’s dress was falling down creating yet another fashion faux pas. Her publicity hungry “mum” was happy. Khloe was jealous and doing something outrageous like divorcing her cheating, drug addict husband for attention. Kourtney was whining.

The last presents that I bought in an airport – Tim Tams, Crocodile and Kangaroo Jerky.

The last room service meal I had in a hotel – The Henry Jones Art Hotel, Hobart Tasmania. I believe it was fish .

The last movie I saw on a plane – Identity Thief and half of the Great Gatsby

The last book I read on a plane – In A Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson . It is published under the name  Down Under in Australia and everywhere that is not  Canada or the US.

The last thing I took from a hotel room – It is always the baby soaps, lotions, shower caps and tea. I have a whole collection. I think that I might be a hoarder.  In Japan there are a lot more “giveaways” as I call them – hairbrush, razor, toothbrush toothpaste, nailbrush, pajamas, kimonos etc.

The last souvenir I bought for myself – It’s always a Starbucks mug from a country with Starbucks. I don’t even like the coffee anymore but I like the collection of mugs.

The last time I used hand motions to communicate – Kaiseri, Turkey. At the airport, I was trying to explain that my friend was given the wrong thing in the coffee shop. I was saved by someone who spoke Turkish and English.

The last song I listened to on the plane with my iPod – “Ways To Go” Grouplove.  It is also the last song I listened to in my car today.

The last time I got lost in an airport – It is always Miami. I went to school there and it was a cute little airport. Now it is a big confusing airport. it is easier to find my way in downtown Tokyo where I don’t speak or read the language.

The last time I cursed at Customs in my head – It is always Miami (except when it is Chicago or summer in any major airport)  It is always a mess unless you arrive at 4AM when they open.

The last selfie I took with my Iphone – Misiones, Argentina. It was terrible and reminiscent of Picasso.  I havent attempted it since.

The last flight I missed. – Sydney to Melbourne. There was a computer glitch. The airline I booked with (Delta) had a record of the Virgin Australia flight to Melbourne but Virgin did not.  They were dealing with other people’s problems and by the time they got to mine it was too late to board the plane. It is a once in a while thing that happens. If you are booking with two different airlines, it is a good idea to call the second airline to make sure they got the flight reservation. Don’t assume because you got the email with both flights on it that the second airline knows about it. Always bring the email –if I didn’t have it, they would have made me get another ticket. Who knew?

The last time something was stolen from my luggage – Moscow, Russia . All my luggage tags (Is that a big black market item?), and all my dirty underwear and sox which I keep in the outside zipper compartment. My thinking of who would steal dirty underwear and twice worn sox did not apply to people working in the airport in Moscow.

The last time I lost my luggage – JFK in NY. There were a couple of years after 9/11 that AA was constantly losing luggage. It happened numerous times in NY and Chicago. The suitcase always arrived early in the morning.  I now  fly with a change of underwear, big t shirt., medicines makeup and a toothbrush in my carry on.

The last time my luggage was overweight – always.

I hope this was as interesting for you as reading about Don Cheadle’s last things he did before that interview was for me.

Fly Safe,

JAZ

Things I Have Learned In Australia

Things I’ve Learned In Australia

“The bigger the hat, the smaller the property.” Australian Proverb

We drive on the “right side” (left)  but they drive on “the correct side”.   So, in a Mcdonalds drive through in Australia, is the order window on the right or the left? I don’t know because I did not eat at Mcdonalds in Australia.

They also apparently walk on the correct side. I wondered why I was always walking against the foot traffic. I ran into a marathon in the park. That was tricky.

Kangaroos cause more driving problems in Australia than bad drivers and alcohol combined. They jump out and cause many accidents. If you hit one, first check the pouch to see If there are babies and then pull it over to the side of the road. (Bonorong Sanctuary, Tasmania)

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Australians order coffee by length and thickness . You can have a long black, short black or a flat white . None of those work for me. I solved the problem by ordering a long black and then asking for a little milk . Australians like their coffee strong.  They have Starbucks,  but they are quick to tell you that their coffee is much better, and in Australia it is.

A didgeridoo is a musical instrument called a didgeridoo.

One third of Australia is desert.

Australia has the lowest precipitation of the world’s inhabited continents.

Queen Elizabeth is the head of state of Australia. Prince Harry was in Sydney for the Hundredth Anniversary of the Navy.  His family would like him to spend more time in Australia.

Voting is compulsory. If you do not vote you pay a fine.

You always lose a day when flying from America to Australia. You gain it coming back but not really because you are in a stupor just trying to stay up.

There are 69 varieties of kangaroo in Australia. (Bonorong Sanctuary, Tasmania)

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Almost every animal in Australia has a pouch. (Bernadette and wombat, Bonorong Sanctuary, Tasmania)

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” So if you are in the desert in Yulara, just check your bed for creepy crawly things and call the front desk”. (Uluru)

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Australians always say sorry like the British even if it isn’t their fault.

Catcher In The Rye, Farewell To Arms and  Brave New World  were all banned in Australia in the 1950’s.

Australia has never had a serious civil disobedience.

Waltzing Matilda by  Banjo Paterson, Is  the unofficial song of Australia. He is the only nineteenth century Australian named after a stringed instrument.

In Queensland they say, “beautiful one day, perfect the next.” (Great Barrier Reef)\

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A Billabong is a watering hole.

The bush is anything that is not the city. I spent the afternoon in the bush.The outback is everything else. As in,  I have been to the outback of the United States.

Camels were used to build the railroad from Adelaide to Alice Springs and then set free. This is the only country in the world with wild one hump dromedaries  running free in the central and northern deserts. Dubai imports racing camels from Australia.

It’s pronounced “Cans” and “Melbin” ( Cairns and Melbourne). It’s pronounced Sydney, Hobart, Alice Springs, Yulara and  Port Douglas.

Australians  always have a  near death experience story often involving a crocodile or a snake. Today our driver in Port Douglas  said his son found a fifteen foot python in the toilet.

Eighty per cent of all Australian deaths by crocodile are alcohol related. The crocodiles don’t drink.

Australian cities are safe and clean and you can not only brush your teeth but drink water from the tap.

There is the same rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne that there is between NY and LA. They have the same bad jokes about each other. (Melbourne)

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Melbourne had the Olympics in 1956 Sydney had it in 2000. (Sydney Opera House)

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The first European settlers in Australia drank more alcohol per person than any other community in the history of mankind.

More land in Australia is occupied by pubs than mines.

In 1954, Bob Hawke made it into the Guinness Book Of World Records for drinking 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds. Bob Hawke went on to become the Prime Minister of Australia.

There are 1500 species of spiders, 6000 species of flies, 4000 species of ants and 350 species of termites in Australia.

There are more than 150 million sheep in Australia, and only some 20 million people. (Tasmania)

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Australia has more animals and insect that can kill you than anywhere else.

The ten most poisonous snakes in the world are Australian. (tiger snake – top five Bonorong Sanctuary, Tasmania)

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Most of the plant and animal life found in Australia exist nowhere else in the world. (Tasmanian Devil, Bonorong Sanctuary, Tasmania)

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Australia is the largest landmass in the world. It is the only continent that is one country.

This is the only country that was started as a prison. When we achieved our independence in 1776 England had to find a new place to send their criminals. (Penal Colony, Port Arthur, Tasmania)

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Their minimum wage is much higher than ours. Tipping is not expected ” because they are paid well”.  Everyone knows that tipping is part of our culture, so they do seem to expect Americans to tip. If you like the service, ten per cent is fine.

Australians are the biggest gamblers  on the planet.

Australia has the world’s oldest rainforest, very old fossils and rocks and the and the world’s oldest people -the Aborigines. (Daintree Rainforest)

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Canberra is the capital of Australia. I never remember this.

Crocodiles can live up to 200 years.

Water flows down the drain in the opposite direction in Australia because it is the Southern Hemisphere.

We have hurricanes and they have cyclones.

In 1805 British law gave the Europeans the right  to punish Aborigines in any way they chose to. In 1838 the law was repealed.  The killing  went on for another century.

Central Australia has no surface water.

Ugg boots or as local call them ‘very ugly boots’ are an Australian design bought by an American company,  where a sheepskin has been turned inside out and made into a boot.There is an Australian Company called Emu where the boots are made and owned by Australians.

The sports capital of the world has 70 percent of its total population participating at least once a week in a particular recreational activity or sport. Australia also ranks in the top five for obesity.

The Australian Coat Of Arms has a kangaroo and an emu on it. The reason being, kangaroos and emus can’t go backwards. They can only walk/hop forward. Australians eat the animals on their Coat of Arms – maybe because they can’t run backwards?

Australia’s first police force was a band of 12 of the most well behaved convicts.

The ‘dingo fence’ in Australia is the longest fence in the world (5,530km) – about twice as long as the Great Wall of China. (Dingos are wild dogs)

According to US Customs in Los Angeles, Tim Tams (Australian biscuits) are one of the main things that Americans bring back from Australia. It wasn’t just us. No wonder customs was so quick. They are not looking for cookies.

What I knew about vegemite before I came to Australia, was that it was something that a muscle-bound bread salesman from Brussels, offered in the form of a sandwich because he came from the land down under. (Lets see who gets this reference).  What I know now  is that it is a salty yeast spread that is way too strong for wimpy Americans like myself.

The Coastal Studies Unit at the University of Sydney has counted 10,685 mainland beaches in Australia. (Bondi Beach, Sydney)

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Though Australians sound like the British, their easy-going, fun-loving, honest,  kind personalities, make them among the most likable people I have met in the world.

Fly safe,
JAZ
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