The flight touched down on Australian soil early Sunday morning. Saturday was skipped. Sydney was drenched in un-O-zoned, September, spring sunshine. I was in a trance – absorbed by impending adventure. As if the curtains had risen and I walked on stage! Our bus driver’s accent was too think to decipher. This doesn’t usually happen to me. The luggage guy was of Chinese descent and his accent was Chinese-Australian. This was my first clue that we had time-warped into an alternative universe. I’ll explain later… I walkingly* wandered Sydney for 9 of the first 12 hours.
Sydney’s airport does twice as many international flights than any other Australian airport. Syd’s step sister city, Melbourne does the second most. The two rival, a lot. Sydney is considered the gateway to the rest of Downunder. From Sydney, you might visit Uluru, Melbourne, Brisbane, Alice Springs, Darwin, The Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Adelaide, Perth, and a ton of other place I’m yet to. There is seemingly infinite terrain in Australia. The landscapes can be beautiful or mind numbingly monotonous. Over-simply, the continent is vast, baked and vacant, with a long line of coast, wildly lethal animals and a superior sky.
The First Fleet arrived at Port Jackson on January 26, Australia Day, 1788. Colonizing in Australia happened about two centuries after colonizing happened in the USA. The First Fleet, eleven ships, sailed from Great Britain through the tropics to Rio De Janeiro, with nearly 1,000 “convicts”. They regrouped. Then, sailed to The Cape of Good Hope, Southern Africa. They stocked up on livestock and supplies, knowing they had only the lonely void of the Indian Ocean ahead. 15,000 miles and 252 days later, The First Fleet landed in the land they would name: Sydney Cove, named after Brit Lord Secretary Sydney.
This was on of the world’s greatest sea voyages! 1,487 people, most criminals, 15,000 miles, most in the immense and empty ocean, and only 3.5% people died. All 11 vessels survived. Despite being astonishingly unprepared, the colony succeeded. Despite nearly no help from Great Britain they prospered, and the rugged, barren and distant island, is today a country, a continent and an inspiration.
I LOVE AUSTRALIA. I’m also going to poke fun at it from time to time. Like I do with my kid cousin, Anthony, who is brilliant. I’m not trying to suggest Australia is brilliant, just Anthony.
Sydney-siders** think they are sophisticated. I haven’t really grasped why they think this, and I’m not disagreeing. I’m just saying that in my three days, I didn’t notice why. I walked everywhere, ate to the brink of dullness and drank to the edge of elation. I chatted with everyone that was willing to talk to me. I casually supposed this would have been more people. Didn’t they hear my awesome American accent?? I’ll emphasize the New York vowel splits. Nope, still ice. For the most part, hygiene, hair, clothes, all in good keep – this place is just weird.
You would think that you’d be safe from the deadly wildlife of Australia in a city like Sydney. Then it turns out there are FUNNEL SPYDERS, which are excessively venomous, native to Australia and prevalent in Sydney. They are clinically and toxically often considered of the most deadly, on earth. They’re also creepy-Halloween appearing.
New South Wales – the state Sydney resides in – decided, untimely, on the tightening of liquor laws. The Siders clearly have no License to Ill and didn’t quiet fight for their right to party. It felt as if every hour, on the hour, or half, half the party was eliminated.
12:00AM: No more straight liquor: IE you must mix this $100 bourbon with high fructose corn syrup, or fuck off
12:30AM: no more liquor, period.
1:00AM: Lock out, IE no more entrance of patrons, you’re stuck with this group of fuckers.
1:30AM: Last call…
1:30AM: Last call……
There were rumors of warehouse parties. I never found them.
I wouldn’t call Sydney smug or snub, but it had a pomposity I didn’t expect. They are the financial capital and a corporate center, which inherently attracts people too important to tell me the time. However, I believe I didn’t connect with Sydney because we didn’t spend enough quality time together.
*made up word
**never actually used/heard this word when in AUS, but found it catchy, when I checked for the noun of a inhabitant/resident of Sydney in wikipedia