Around the World in 13 Days – 7 Sydney

DAY 7 Brisbane to Sydney

Woke to my mobile alarm saying it was 8am Saturday. Halfway (almost) round my journey. This time next week (UK time) I will be home. Brisbane has been a good pit stop and much more laid back than HK. Will be good to be back in the city centre. Angelo phoned me back after I’d left a message yesterday. Will be good to have him to talk to. Sunny and fresh again. On balance though I’d rather live in England with our history and character. Here it is clean, calm and seems quite affluent, and houses are bigger but a place needs personality as well as function.

13.10 Brisbane, sat in aisle seat D17 for an hour’s journey to Sydney. Bit of a bus – departing from domestic terminal. Busy and crammed and leaving late (still boarding and due to fly at 13.10). Bought new pen (ta da!) and Aussie newspaper so I can analyse the election results; “The Age” which resembles “The Times”. I guess ‘age’ is synonymous with ‘times’, without getting over-analytical….which can be a tendency of a lone traveller such as I! (hello my imaginary friend….how are you? Oh sorry, you cannot answer). This is my shortcut flight QF529. Delay in flight due to flight getting in late. Runway 19, 1hr 8mins. Tried to pay for my coffee earlier with a Hong Kong $5! Will fly at 30,000ft.

Slightly slumming it on these short hops. Lunch was a credible sandwich and a very small Australian apple and tea. No personal TV or alcohol. But a comfortable flight. No-one next to me. If this becomes a trend I will become increasingly paranoid and lose the ability to hold up a conversation beyond questions and answers with retail and airline staff! Still Mr. Grasso (former boss) awaits me at Sydney with his toothy smile and hopefully relaxed conversation! Deb told me a number of people at home were enquiring after me as I had been offline and not submitting pictures for a day or so. I shall rectify ASAP, but lovely to have the support interest and prayers of friends at home. To be loved is a precious grace.

Mr Grasso, I presume

Arrived Sydney pretty much on time 2.30 ish. Had a blank seat to my right and a young lady near the window. 737 – smaller aircraft with two rows of 3 seats. I was an aisle seat right hand side. Quite relaxed and calm. Just realised I was repeating myself! (writing this Sunday, am about to fly to m Ayers Rock). Domestic flight to Sydney so quickly through to baggage. Child having a tantrum irritating me – tsk tsk! Suddenly Angelo was here shaking my hand. Walked to his car. Conversation jumping around my trip, our jobs and AAH. But coming back to AAH like a magnet. Angelo very obsessed with understanding what he could have done differently. He had some crisis of confidence but I’m not sure he would understand as his whole issue is his block on inter-personal understanding and appreciating that different people are indeed different and complex. He categorises people in very black and white terms (taking off for Ayers Rock…bumpy runway, smooth skiesssssssssssss). Anyway, back to Grasso Man. He gave me a bit of a tour guide to Sydney – facts and figures and drove me into town. Parked up right near the Opera House. Sydney has more personality than some cities. A feel of Boston or even a compact London but without any really old buildings. Opera House was straight off the postcards. A wedding shoot was taking place. Nice wallpaper. Ambled round to peer under the bridge which was very impressive and very big!” And solid. Saw some people doing the bridge climb. Wandered along the harbour. Greyish evening but still definitely short sleeves weather. Took a couple of classic photos. Then we drove on to find my hotel, which we achieved circuitously. Angelo still has a propensity to preach and feel he is right about people. Kept coming back to AAH board and Mr James £300k salary 2/3 bonused. Found hotel and he parked up. Checked in and wandered out to Chinatown right next to the hotel. Found a ‘pub’ and had a pint of beer stood up. talked about Boots. I think he is puzzled or disappointed by my lack of ambition, and travel! How little he understands me still! Oh well. Walked up and through shopping centre – AG looking for someone to get his new phone unlocked.

Another hotel room

Back to hotel about 5pm and he shot off (having just had a nudge from his wife!) I wandered back to my room 829 and felt quite alone suddenly. Got online on a subscriber wifi service – bought 15 mins, 30, 15—all trying to send Phil the latest web pages and photos. Excruciatingly slow! Emails from Elise, Deb xx2, Simon, J and V, mum and dad-in-law and Liisa in USA. All good to read. I seem to have very good and supportive friends and family. Getting quite late so opted for room service. Ordered 2 dishes which was a mistake. Too much and burned my mouth. Drank my bottle of wine which I’d smuggled in from Brisbane. Watched some more TV and climbed into bed early. Skipped online for another 45 mins and caught James on MSN. Lovely. He had a chat and put mum on and I asked her to call. Had lovely little chat at about 1am. Oldham WINNING 2-1 as we were on the phone – 4.45pm in the UK. Felt better having spoken and fell asleep. Room is a suite with a bedroom, sitting area, kitchenette and en suite. Very clean and plush. Slept solidly! Did not wake at 3am. Yay!!

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