“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.
Did I say Wednesday? So, whatever happened to Tuesday? Indeed, we departed from New York JFK International Airport at 2:50 PM on Monday; we landed at destination, Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport, at 8:40 AM, on Wednesday. The trip lasted 31 hours: 26 hours in flight, 5 hours waiting at the airport. Somewhere in the module space-time, Tuesday vanished over the International Date Line.
At JFK, we enjoyed the comfort of Cathay Pacific lounge, where I had lunch and some paperwork done. But in Hong-Kong, we only had little time left, after clearing security. We hardly saw the Chinese autonomous territory through the terminal’s window.
In Sydney, Stephan, from Charters, his crew and three coaches of 50 were punctual. We first had lunch at Pavilion in the Park. By American standards, the food was not enough. Then, we headed for a city tour. We stopped at the Macquarie Chair to have a group picture with the Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Opera House (two city staples) in the background. We later spent some time at the Opera House, at Bennelong Point, not far from Botany Bay.
By then, we were in pressing need for a shower. At 5:00 PM. we checked in at InterContinental Sydney, in Macquarie Street, near the harbor, in the “thick of things”. The formalities did not take long, since we were all pre-checked. We picked up our keys at the reception, signed up for incidentals, rode the fancy elevators to our elective floor, unpacked, took a long shower, while thinking at our previous shower dating back to 36 hours earlier.
Did we hit the bed right after? Not at all. Two hours after check-in, we were at the Welcome Dinner Party, onboard of a Captain Cook cruise liner, departing form Terminal 6, at Circular Bay. Circular Bay was replete with people. The area is closed to traffic. Many restaurants set their tables on the sidewalks or part of the streets, where 100s of patrons, likely visitors, were having dinner. Here and there, a troubadour or an amuser was doing a number. A couple was passionately kissing in the shadow of blue and white boat.
Onboard of the Captain Cook cruise liner, we had a dinner, an orientation session, and a dance party. It was not even conceivable that this non-adolescent crowd was blowing energy dancing socca, reaggae, compas, and salsa, while being sleepless for 40 hours. Restless in Sydney!
(Odler Robert Jeanlouie, Wednesday, October 3, 2018, Sydney, Capital of New South Wales.)
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