Sunday, April 5, 2009

Day which we get a new camera

I had felt awful the night before, but fortunately, when I woke up, I felt fine! That was good. I wouldn't have to waste a day laying in bed or sitting around the apartment. You would think though that I might kind of take it easy. I'm looking at my notes for that day, and it doesn't seem like I did that.

That was the day we were getting internet for our apartment. The internet people were coming over to deliver the goods sometime before twelve. By this time, I wondered if we had made a mistake in ordering the internet. I liked the internet Cafe I had found on Riley Street. It was close to us, clean, and cheap.

Jack and I headed there in the morning. I needed to email Michelle and tell her I was feeling better. We could still see each other! The cafe was closed though. We had come too early. We walked back to our apartment and returned a little bit later. There we sat side by side and did all our Internet stuff. There was a woman next to me who was talking on and on to herself. Now I talk to myself, but usually when I'm alone in my house. Every so often, I'll blurt out a word or sentence in public. I've never had a whole monologue.

This woman really intrigued me. Then finally I realized she was talking on a mobile. It's really hard to tell sometimes, with all these hard-to-see earpieces.

We returned to our apartment. I then went on a walk by myself. I walked down Riley to Foveaux, and then up Elizabeth. I don't remember anything too exciting.

While Tim waited in the apartment for the internet people, I took Jack over to Darling Harbour. The plan was that Tim would leave the apartment, after the internet people, and go to Circular Quay to buy a new camera. Then Jack and I would take the ferry over from Darling Harbour and meet him there.

I hadn't heard back from Michelle yet. We had talked about meeting at Darling Harbour. I figured maybe I'd hear from her on the way there.

Jack and I passed a little ice-cream store. Passionflower. We decided to stop in and have a little treat. (Tracey, you have to go to the link and read the reviews. Too funny!) Jack and I were thrilled with this place because they had exotic flavors of ice-cream. The two of us are huge fans of strange ice-cream. Jack ordered Lychee/Rosewater. I ordered black sesame. They asked if I wanted it to go, and I said yes. I regretted that soon after because I then remembered it's hard for Jack to walk and eat at the same time. And I didn't think there were any places to sit nearby.

This ice-cream place was like the cafe in Seven Mile Beach. If you wanted to eat inside the restaurant, you had to order from the special dine-in menu. I'm not used of this in terms of ice-cream. In America, most dessert places use only to-go serving dishes. There's no difference. You can sit and eat, leave and eat, or sit for awhile and then take the stuff with you. Now the unfortunate thing about that is they're being very wasteful in terms of trash. I like places (which I saw in Australia) where you order from the same menu (same prices!) whether you're staying or going. But if you're staying, they give you real dishes instead of disposable. I think that cuts down on waste.

Anyway, despite the fact that we had to struggle with walking and eating at the same time, we still loved the ice-cream. It was delicious. I think we found a little corner to stand, and we ate there. It's not as nice as sitting and eating, but it was okay.

We got to Darling Harbour and went into the lobby of the aquarium. Jack kept asking me where Michelle was. I had to explain that she hadn't called us back yet. I said we should just go to the aquarium and have fun. I figured maybe Michelle had changed her mind, or maybe other plans came up. I don't know. She wasn't returning my message. What can I do? Act like a suffocating overzealous friend? Yes! Jack insisted that I try calling her. I called and left a message. I felt embarrassed. Jack let it go then and we had fun ourselves.

A week or so later, I told Michelle how Jack had made me call them. I told Linkher how I had felt like a stalker. She told me I should have KEPT stalking because it ended up that they were AT Darling Harbour that day! She hadn't gotten my I'm-sick email until that morning and then never got the message about me feeling better until later. I'm not sure what happened to the phone message. But I can understand if she never got it. I rarely check my own phone messages. Well, in Australia I did. I was obsessed! In Texas, if someone leaves me a message, it's likely I won't get it until weeks later.

Michelle actually drives me nuts though. Why? Every single time I think of her, I get that damn Beatles song in my head and it won't come out again!! Now it's going to be stuck in my head while I write this post. How sad is that?

I didn't write any notes about what happened at Wildlife World or the Aquarium. This might have been the time that Jack didn't want to hang out near the parrot area. There was a guy feeding them and there was a chance they might land on us. Jack seemed scared of this. It's funny because the day before, at the gardens, he had wanted to find the place where the Cockatoos hang out. What changed in him? I have no idea.

We took the ferry to Circular Quay. I remember eating Pizza flavored Shapes that I had packed in our backpack.

Oh! I remember something. Jack was unhappy about us getting a new camera. It wasn't about our lost photos for him. It was about change. Jack sometimes is resistant to it. He didn't want a new camera. He wanted our old camera. I tried to make him feel better about that. By the time we were on the ferry, Jack decided it might actually be a good thing to get a new camera. Maybe Tim would get something with awesome new features. I hoped Tim didn't. I didn't want something over-complicated.

Tim ended up buying the same camera we had, just an updated version. It had a few new fun features including an aquarium setting. We figured that might come in handy while we're in Australia.

Our plan for Circular Quay was to do what we had not done the day before. We would go on the next ferry going out and explore an area. Now I realize that there was actually a ferry I wanted to go on. I think when we leave something up to chance, it often reveals to us what we truly wanted in the first place.

If we have a hard decision to make, I think one good thing to do is try a tarot card reading or flip a coin. I don't think it matters much what the coin or cards say. It matters how we feel or react to it. If the tarot cards say you should take the job and you feel depressed about that, then you know how you truly feel about the job. If the coin says you should forgive your wife for cheating on you, and you feel relieved about that, then you know this is the right decision for you.

I was very happy with what ferry was leaving next and worried that Tim wouldn't find us in time so we could all get on it. That made me realize this is the ferry I had wanted to go on all along.

It was the ferry to Kirribilli. I wanted to see the Prime Minister's Sydney residence.

We happily road the ferry, and tested out our new camera.

We arrived in Kirribilli.

The problem was I didn't do enough research on this. Now I'm not talking about my bloggy Lord Wiki research. I'm talking about basic tourist research. Like where the hell do we go when we get off the ferry?

We got off the ferry and were quite lost. There was a little bit of information in our Time Out Sydney book, but not enough to really help us.

We just saw homes. We had no idea where to go.

It was hot. We were getting hungry. And what worried me most is that Jack would suddenly announce, I have to go to the toilet! As far as I could see, there were no businesses around....just homes. I worry about being lost in residential areas. What if Jack really has to pee? Do we knock on someone's door? Do we pee in their bushes?

He didn't have to go to the toilet yet, but I didn't know what would appear on our horizons. I wanted to get SOMEWHERE.

I had no idea where the Prime Minister place was. Nor did I know where restaurants were.

We walked hoping we'd get somewhere useful. We ended up at the Admiralty house. I think this is where important people stay when they come to visit Sydney. Oh! I just looked it up. It's also the official residence of the governor-general when she's in Sydney. That's cool.

We figured the Kirribilli House was nearby, but we were too hot and exhausted to go looking for it. Instead we tried looking for the more commercial area. We asked someone and they pointed us in the right direction.

Now despite all the Australia knowledge floating around in my brain, sometimes I don't think straight. For some reason, I was imagining Kirribilli as a sort of island. I knew it wasn't, but I still thought of that way. I was quite surprised when we ended up near Luna Park. Oh yeah. Duh! These places are all connected.

We looked for a place to eat.. I really wanted to go into a nice little cafe that had air-conditioning and toilets. It seemed most places we saw lacked both. We finally found a place called Thai Fusion. I don't think it had air-conditioning, but they did have toilets. And it wasn't too hot inside.

The food was good as far as I remembered.

The toilets were not. They had no toilet paper and there was no soap. Soap wasn't a problem for us because we had anti-bacterial gel with us. Toilet paper.... I like to use the stuff. We had to ask for some, and they kindly provided.

It did make me uneasy that they didn't have soap though. What if the staff had to use the toilet? Do they not wash their hands? Maybe they use anti-bacterial gel as well? But then shouldn't they have some in the toilet? I took some comfort in the fact that there was no toilet paper. I could probably assume no one was having any bowel movements which meant I could also assume I was not getting tiny traces of fecal matter on my Pad Thai. Urine is gross, but I think there's much less germ potential.

After we ate and used their toilet paper, we walked to a nearby playground. Jack played. I read my book. Tim played with Jack's Nintendo DS.

Before or after that, Tim and Jack got treats at a little bakery. I'm not sure why I didn't get anything. I think I just wasn't in the mood for baked goods.

I did try both of their treats though. I liked Jack's much better. It was a plain little cupcake with frosting, but I thought it was one of the best cupcakes I've ever tasted.

We later went to the ferry dock. I think we had planned to walk around Luna Park if the ferry wasn't coming soon. I think the park was closed, but we could just look at stuff. The ferry arrived quickly though. We hopped on.

Then we realized it was the wrong ferry. It would take a long time to get to Circular Quay. We decided to get off at Darling Harbour. Tim thought he had figured out which train station was near Darling Harbour. We wouldn't have to do the long walk.

We ended up passing our hotel from last year.

I realized I didn't miss it much. There were things about our new apartment that bothered me, but I found myself kind of liking it despite the shortcomings.

We had trouble finding the right train station. We decided to give up and just walk back. We passed Darrell Lea. I bought a small bag of Turkish Delight.

Then Tim wanted to go to David Jones. It had been one of his favorite places last year.

We went in. Tim bought something. Maybe dinner for that night? I think he bought meat though so it wasn't my dinner for the night.

Jack and I looked around. We found a little American section. And as I said before, this really delights us.

They had Pop-Tarts, the ultimate American treasure.

I've heard going to a foreign country is a good way to gain respect and appreciation for your own. I think that's very true. My time in Australia has made me realize what I treasure most about my country.

Here's the big three: Marshmallows, Pop-Tarts, and Hershey's chocolate bars. Now THAT is what's beautiful about America.

When we got to our apartment, we took a photo of our door. I guess so we could remember it.

I have some notes for this day about television. I'm not sure when I watched it....probably when we got back.

I saw a commercial featuring an overweight woman. That surprised me. I don't see that in the United States. Although we do fast-forward commercials a lot. Maybe we do have them. I hope we do. I doubt it though. I think the only time we see overweight people on American commercials is for weight-loss programs. On the soap operas, if you're overweight, than you're mean, selfish, and you steal your sister's boyfriend. When those characters transform into the good girls, they're suddenly very thin. What's the deal with that?

No, I'm not saying I think we should glorify extreme obesity. But I also don't think we need to continue to glorify malnutrition.

Another unusual commercial I saw was for a funeral home. That really surprised me. I can't imagine seeing that on American television. We don't avoid the subject of death completely. We have life insurance commercials. But I've never seen any actual funeral related stuff.

We watched Mornings with Kerri Ann. I guess then that would mean we watched it in the morning! I guess we did that before heading off to Darling Harbour. There was talk of the Oscars. I think maybe they were on that day....probably.

There was a guy on the show who looked very familiar to me. I then realized he looked like one of the guys I had done the shark dive with last year. I told this to Tim, and as soon as I said it, a commercial for Jaws came on. I doubt the guy was the same one, but it would be funny if it was. He had been a tour guides for the harbour bridge climb. I don't know. Maybe that had been just a side job and his real career was the film business. Maybe in the time we had been gone, his career had taken off. That would be cool.

In the evening, we watched the story about Heath Ledger winning the Oscar. They showed some of his family back in Australia...celebrating. It made me really sad. It is wonderful and exciting that he won the Oscar. But it's not going to bring him back.

It's nice that Matilda will get a little gold statue one day. But I'm sure she'd rather have her father alive.

I think the family has been so caught up with all the excitement and attention. I'm betting they haven't had much of a chance to truly mourn. The hype is going to disappear and they're going to have to face a huge horrible emptiness. I feel the same way about the Bushfire victims. There's so much love, attention, and excitement thrown at them right now. I'm sure they're in shock and have been mourning somewhat. But I can imagine that they've been somewhat distracted from their sorrow. When the attention eventually goes away, I think there going to have much more grief and loss to deal with.