Sybil’s Leaves: Sydney, NSW, Australia (Part One)

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Day One – December 8th, 2007 – On My Merry Way
Location – Toronto, Ontario to San Francisco, California

Veronica left this morning wishing me a good trip and “not to kill anyone.” There was also a comment about babies on a plane, but i didn’t catch the whole thing. I have decided to prove to everyone what a cheery, pleasant individual i can actually be when there is no pressure weighing down on my shoulders (and just a pain in the side of my chest, ouch).

I got a suggestion from Renata, who was working the Air Canada check-in counter next to where i signed in: Buy Tim-Tam cookies at a grocery store within 24 hours of arriving in Sydney and eat them with copious amounts of tea. Ilyusha has already approved this plan before darting off to work this morning. My check-in agent was busy darting off to get me the boarding pass for my flight to Sydney so that i would have less to fret over as i was “injured.” Lovely service from Air Canada, even if i still can’t believe they don’t serve food on a six hour flight leaving at 6pm. I was STARVING by the time i got to San Francisco. However, i was also more cultured having seen My Man Godfrey and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am saving watching Stardust for the way home. It has fond memories of Zach and Eric as well as being a typically Ilya-esque film.

The security checkpoint officers and myself had a very passionate chat about the merits of the HABS vs. those of the leafs. The conversation was conducted entirely in French and resulted in their trying to charge me $5 to use the chair to put my shoes back on. LOL. I love how Canadians love hockey.

Australian money is very smooth and comes in very deep colours. The guidebook says that they are called bucks. Though there are $1 and $2 coins, Ilyusha says that no one here but Canadians calls them loonies and twoonies. Stupidity. More cultural miscegenation is always good.

The Americans customs officer was, unsurprisingly, taciturn.

I skimmed through A Rough Guide to Sydney while waiting for my plane to begin boarding. I’ve jotted down a list of things i would like to do either with Ilyusha or while he is at work, but we still have to agree on what other things are more essential and which will be done when. That is the plan for this evening, over dinner, i do believe.

The flight from San Fran to Sydney was LONG. Particularly considering the girl behind me would NOT stop kicking the seat. Well, kicking, elbowing, kneeing, whatever. I did not say a word. I did get about four hours of sleep (Tylenol 3s and a sleeping pill will do that to you) and read some of Hercules at the Crossroads which i WILL finish before arriving back home.

Day Two – December 10, 2007 – First Impressions and Friendships Forever
Location: Mascot Airport to Glebe

I am almost done The Wind in the Willows. I haven’t really decided what i will do this afternoon, but the nap did me wonders and i haven’t had any tea in over 40 hours – something need be done about that. I am on a tea-hunting mission.

The trick to not waiting in ridiculous lines at Australian customs is to declare something. I declared my medication and was scooted out of a line with over 100 people in, moved to quarantine, asked two questions, one of which resulted in an outpouring of sympathy and told to bypass the xray devices and walk out the door – into Ilya’s arms. I promptly forgot my plans to make him feel at home by yelling “Salut cocotte!”, but i did it anyways when i remembered by the trains. Apparently it is a good thing i am here because this is a lovely city, but you need someone to share it with… aww….

Ilyusha lives in Glebe in a very attractive house with three levels. The floors are made of hard wood. The bath/shower/sink are separate from the actual toilet (apparently this makes Ilya feel at home as this is like Russia). There are lovely carpets, two gas fireplaces, a great reading room, two roommates and two dogs. Glebe is apparently much like the Annex in Toronto. There are bookstores and cafes… hehe.

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