[Editor's note: At the end of August, Robert had to go to Sydney for a week for work. He missed everyone terribly, but he tried to have some fun while he was there, and he sent back some great emails, texts, and pictures. What follows is his own account of his week. The first picture, below, shows that he had a little help packing before his trip.]
[Once in Sydney, at a convenience store near his hotel, Robert found] cereal, in adorably small boxes:
[There was also an assortment of my favorite Australian cookie.] Tim Tams! Available in: white, dark choc rum raisin; Turkish delight; classic dark; double coat; honey comb; double choc caramel; chewy caramel; and original. Also burger flavored rings [not pictured].
[Robert tried to go to an Australian fast-food chain he'd been recommended, but] Foiled again! This is what a closed Oporto looks like:
[Two days later, Robert adds:] Saw an open Oporto and nearly jumped off moving bus. Instructive bus driver cautioned me against that. Why aren't all public transportation systems single zone? Or better yet, free.
[Three days later, he finally found a 24-hour Oporto and achieved his sandwich goal!]
[While walking around Sydney, he took this picture, of] police horses, for Marcus:
[Planning, perhaps, for his takeover of the country, Robert observed:] This is where I'd address legions of Australians. (It's a big stone podium, but I guess it doesn't really show up.)
[Robert had an amazing-looking sushi dinner one night. Here are his diner's journal notes:] Kingfish belly: Firm (not chewy, a good firm) and yum; sushi plate: Chutoro, flathead (v. nice), Tasmanian salmon (should have asked for the belly), kingfish (like a nice snapper), swordfish belly (seared, but super). Not pictured: travelly, NSW oyster and a delicious cuttlefish. Also not pictured: free mackerel dessert! I think this was somehow a result of a confusing but enthusiastic conversation about Spanish mackerel.
[On his first day there, Robert played the tourist, going first to the Taronga Zoo. His account of this trip, below, is written in the present tense for greater versimilitude during the reading experience.]
Taking a fast red boat to the zoo! I ordered a salmon roll, without "pilly". Apparently, someone had a bit of a translation problem for a Philly roll.
Animals have cute names like potoroo not just wombat and wolloby. They also call a stroller a pram. Platypus swim as funny as they look. The bird show really is cool--one just bumped me in the head. There's another named Slammy who likes to crack open emu eggs with rocks. The seagulls are extra noisy (no longer the bird show).
[Robert also took a tour of the famous Sydney opera house, which was apparently a hit for him. He continues his use of the present tense as a literary device.]
At 4:50 I welcome everyone to the 5:00 opera tour. The German tourists never live down their disappointment. They insist I look the part. I'm not sure if it was my American accent, "1 <3 Math" shirt or look of someone who hadn't slept since Thursday...
Tour continues well. Pose with Chinese tourist for our individual green screen shot. Both spontaneously do finger poses. Tempted to actually buy it. Then gladly accept three headsets. Apply all three to my head. Thinking of asking Chinese man out to dinner. Language might make success unlikely. Big disappointment of tour is not getting to take a blurry memento of our green screen shot.
[Now] I'm on the monorail. It's only a little different from the one in Disney World, and no more practical--I'm coming to understand that the monorail is the "electric car" of mass transit. Sadly, my mate working for the monorail tells me they're moving it to another part of the world next June, so we may never be able to take Baby [and Little One] around Sydney via monorail. I noticed I missed my stop when the monorail decided to go over the harbor rather than north to someplace near my hotel, so I can share the additional information that a full loop is about 29 minutes.
[Robert also visited] Bondi Beach--kids learning to surf.
This guy has four fish in his backpack that he just caught. [There's also a] skatepark at Bondi beach. Thought Baby [Marcus] would like it
Sydney is yummy. Tonight's dinner[--whole fish, Thai-style]. Oddly cheaper than a burger.
[More edible goodies--dim sum at the 7-11, the lamb section in a supermarket, and ice cream at McDonald's (note the use of joules instead of calories).]
[Finally, he arrived home safely and is shown here with Marcus wearing an Australian tee-shirt Robert brought back and clutching a kangaroo and joey stuffed animal. Not pictured: the stack of Tim Tams he brought home for me!]
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Created: 8/30/12. Last Modified: 9/1/12.