Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Sheep are terrible climbers

I know this because sheep are falling from the sky on the computer I'm writing from. They appear at the top of the screen, fall rapidly to the ground, and then bounce (exactly like real sheep don't). They then frolick around at the bottom of the screen, before dying for any number of unexpected reasons (exactly like real sheep do). One time an alien appeared and took one into its spaceship, but mostly they die from eating things, bumping into other sheep, or standing completely still. Every now and then one will try to escape the deathtrap that is the taskbar, and climb up the screen to freedom. This always fails, and then the sheep dies.

I'm telling you about computer sheep mainly because I thought I should probably post something, and Tina already talked about more or less everything we've done so far... so I'll try to fill in the gaps :)

What is it about being overseas that makes you want to buy things? I'm picking that on average prices aren't that much cheaper here than in NZ, and there's not many things you could find here but not at home. I fully intended to buy pretty much nothing but food and other essentials in Aussie, but as soon as you set foot in foreign country, everyday objects such as clothes and watches become dramatically more appealing. Even simple things like buying lunch somehow seem new and exciting. The iskender I had for lunch was pretty much the same as the ones in Wellington, except it was called a "Kebab Plate", but it somehow tasted better. This is a long way of saying we spent a whole lot of money on things we could have easily bought at home, but enjoyed it much more :)

... wow, there's some sort of glitch with the sheep. Two dead sheep have somehow merged and are sort of bouncing off each other towards the top of the screen.

The flight over was much more enjoyable than I remember my last flight to Australia being. Even though this flight was much earlier (6:30am, check in 4:30am), and I hadn't slept all night, the whole thing was made much more enjoyable by about 2 extra inches of leg space. You never really appriciate just how much of a difference a little extra leg space makes until you've been on a place for a few hours. In this case it made the difference between being able to stretch my legs, and having the seat in front of me pressed into my knees. Last time I was flying Freedom Air, this time it was Air New Zealand. Thank-you Air New Zealand, from the bottom of my aching calves.

Sydney's train system was a real highlight. It's initially confusing simply because the network is huge, but the whole thing is so efficient and well organised that you can't help but be impressed. To be fair, I think Wellington's public transport system is pretty damn good, but it's a good few billion dollars away from Sydney's. The central station has around 25 platforms, and as you're rolling in you can see multiple levels of railway track built over each other. Each platform has a large plasma screen which annouces all the details of the next train (including every station it stops at, its' arrival time (which must update automatically as all the trains pull in right on time), and the names and arrival times of next two trains. And to boot, all the trains are double-decker, and have huge hydraulic doors which open automatically at each station. It makes Wellington station look like it was designed during the dark ages (which, in some cases, is pretty accurate).

One of the most obvious differences between Aussie and New Zealand is the architecture. Australia is into brick in a huge way. I'm assuming Kiwis avoid building with brick for much the same reason as people avoid playing Jenga on washing machines. The lack of earthquakes has made the average Australian neighbourhood look just different enough to remind you that you're not in NZ anymore. Naturally, one of Tina's first thoughts about this was that all the old brick factories and warehouses would make wonderful apartments. Developer in the making that one ;-)

Despite being warned of an impending roasting, the weather so far has actually been very mild. I almost want it to heat up a bit just to confirm I am actually in Australia. For Tina's sake I hope we get one piping hot day so she can see what it's like to going swimming at a beach with genuinly warm water. While I generally prefer cold weather, swimming in the late afternoon of a really hot day is certainly a major payoff for all that tiredness and sweating.

Right, now I can hear a very interesting game being playing the room next door, so i'm off to commentate ;-)

P.S. We will add some pictures once we get home and upload the photos.

P.P.S. Ida and Tara, there is still plenty of room in that suitcase, but if you predicted that Tina would buy a sh*tload of clothes, congratulations.


Tina said...

Actually, I bought 8. Not exactly sh*tloads. :P

Ida said...

I'm gonna say this now, while the two of you are far away...I will also tease and laugh at you guys when you both get back. Prepare yourselves.

See, the thing is, you guys have two suitcases. That's right, 2! As in, 1 for Tina & 1 for Brendan. WOW! Yet for some reason, you guys decided to stuff all your things into one suitcase. Just one. I realise that they are big and can hold a whole Tina and a whole Ellie, but still.

One of the advantages of using one suitcase per person is that you are free to take up room in your respective suitcases, while still leaving lots of room for the sh*tloads of stuff that Tina will undoubtedly buy. This will also save you the potential worry of having a suitcase that is too heavy. 'Tis better to have a suitcase that is underweight, than one that is over.

But hey, what do I know?

Brendan said...

I still say an extra suitcase it just one more thing to drag through Sydney when i'm already warmer and sweatier than I want to be.