Australia & New Zealand 2018

HI FROM SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustav Flaubert.

It is Wednesday evening here, in Sydney, the largest city in Australia, the sixth continent. My cell phone reads 11:45 PM. My watch reads: 7:45 AM, at home. This is a 14-hour time difference with New York City, the capital of the world.

AUSTRALIA, TERRA AUSTRALIS

(Did you know that Cate Blanchet and Mel Gibson are Australians?)

History says:

In 1642, Abel Tasman discovered an island off the Southern coast of Australia; it called it Tasmania.  In 1770, James Cook took possession of the west coast of Australia in the name of the British Crown. Really! 

SYDNEY, THE HARBOUR CITY

“The best things about Sydney are free: the sunshine, the harbour and the beach are free.”  Russell Crowe

The best things about Sydney may be free, but the city is one of the most expensive for tourists and visitors. It used to be cited as the second most expensive city in the world to live in, after Tokyo.

VISITING THE ABORIGINES

“They came to our land with a Bible.  Now we have the Bible, they have our lands.” Unknown.

The Aborigine narrative, all over the world, sounds pretty much like one size that fits all.  It is the repeat story of one nation with a higher level of organization, civilization, and peacemaking, falling prey to ferocious primitive unprincipled adventurers whose only goal is to amass the maximum wealth possible

BONDI BEACH UNDER AT

“The beach is not a place to work; it is one to read, write or think.” Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

This morning, Sydney woke up to a sunny sky.  It was the promise of a second straight dry day.  At the InterContinental, after breakfast, the conventioneers immediately initiated the last CME-CEU session.  An hour later, the other travelers went on to punch their admission tickets at the Sea Life Aquarium,

THE FUTURE OF AUSTRALIA

“We will be an early warning for the rest of the world.” Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia.

Lately, Australia has been in the news, not for beating New Zealand on the rugby field, a feat yet to come, but for having had five heads of government in five years. How unstable is the parliamentary democracy under the constitutional monarchy of Australia

NEW ZEALAND: AREOTA (LAND OF WHITE CLOUDS)

“I got to say, God really outdid itself down here” Bob Harper.

In a nutshell, New Zealand is glamorous, prosperous and progressive. How much better could it be?

The country covers 268,838 sq. km, that is twice the size of Florida. Its population has reached 5.01 million. Contrarily to the Australians who eliminated all but a few of the Aborigines (now 0.5% of the population),

TOURING WAIHEKE AND POUHOI

Waiheke Island is the Magic Island. It the second-largest island in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand.  It is also the Fourth Best Island in the World as per Conde Nest Travelers and the Fifth Best Destination in the World as per Lonely Planet.  It is located 20 km away from the coast of New Zealand, a 45-minute ferry ride from Auckland. Waiheke is home to 10,000 people. On the

KIA ORA (GOODBYE) OCEANIA, COUNTRIES OF OZ.

It is early 10:00 AM in America, it is already 3:00 AM tomorrow, in New Zealand, 17 time zones away. Once again, I traveled to another place, a faraway palace. I spoke to people who use “s” where we use “z”, but they are otherwise not very different from us. It took us took us 31 hours to travel from JFK to Sydney International Airport; that was last week’s Monday.