Saturday, February 16, 2013

but how does p. diddy feel, if you don't mind me asking, also day 1 of my australia trip

I should be doing some more prep for my lesson tomorrow, or writing my talk for next Saturday, because every time I think about recapping my Australia vacation I start thinking about those other two responsibilities hanging over my head, and it totally kills my buzz.  Would you guys like it if I just posted the emails I sent to John and the kids, and repurposed them for the blog?  That might be fun.  I'll try that.  But first, the reason I went to Australia at all is that my sister Claire and her family are living there for a year for her husband's job, and what better time to visit a foreign land, one that I'll probably never get to see otherwise?  John said it didn't make sense to go to the other side of the world unless I was going to stay for at least two weeks, so off I went, while he stayed home and watched our kids, because he is a gentleman and a scholar.

And now, without further ado:  my trip to Australia, day one.

I got off the plane after my hideously long flight yesterday morning and Claire and her kids were waiting in the airport lobby for me. We drove to their apartment, which is in a very nice neighborhood full of cute little Craftsmanesque houses. We dropped off my luggage and walked down to the bus stop to go into the city.

We got sushi and a bento box for lunch from a little Japanese place across the street from Nate's building, so Nate joined us for a minute. The people were very friendly and cleared a little space for us to sit since we needed a lot of room.  They wouldn't let us go upstairs because either it is an opium den or they were worried that the children were going to fall off the balcony--not sure, because of the language barrier.  

The first thing we went to was Wildlife World, which had exhibits of many Australian animals. We saw some koalas sitting in their tree being all quiet and sleepy like they normally are, since they spend basically their whole lives nigh unto malnourishment, if the nature shows are to be believed. The wombat was so much bigger than I thought it would be! He was trundling around digging holes here and there in his sandy enclosure and was the cutest animal I've seen in a month of Sundays. He looks sort of like a hairy pig, if pigs were cuter.  

Next we went to the Sydney Aquarium. They have an underwater tunnel that you can walk through where you can see sharks and dugongs, which are supposed to be kind of like manatees I think, which reminds me of that Jim Gaffigan bit about how the manatee keeps trying to get people to call it a manatee, and everybody just keeps calling it a sea cow. The sharks and dugongs are not in the same enclosure, for reasons I'm sure you understand if you think about it. Some of the sharks are ginormous! I was very thankful for the thick glass in between us. The tank had a bunch of lettuce floating around in it, for the fish and the dugongs to eat.  Why do sharks not eat the other fish in the tank with them?  These are the mysteries of life.  The platypuses were asleep while we were there, so we didn't get to see them. Once we got done at the aquarium it started raining like crazy, so Nate called from work and got a taxi and we took it uptown to the bus stop and back to their apartment. We got pizza for dinner last night from this beautiful little place across the street from their apartment, a sort of gourmet grocery store where I could spend our entire monies without even breaking a sweat.  I bought a caramel bar, which is like what we call a Scotchie bar, and I asked a stupid question about the Turkish Delight.  I also looked for Lamingtons.  They didn't have any.  


beckster said...

Oh you can tell us anyway you like! How exciting to have a sister you can visit in Australia. I am looking forward to every word. I will have to look up wombats. I did not remember them as looking like hairy pigs. I am not sure I would have enjoyed the shark tunnel, in fact I am not sure I would have gone through the shark tunnel. Sounds like a new way to have nightmares to me. Brave, Layne!

Tori said...

Wombats are the best. Totally underrated.

Can't wait to hear more! I only got to spend one weekend in Sydney, so we mostly hit the highlights.