#8 It Happened in New Zealand…or was it Australia…

Stuck in Sydney…Part II


January 1, 2015…Len has been thinking about a BridgeClimb since 2013, when he first noticed walkers high atop Sydney Harbour Bridge while we were in Sydney for my birthday concert at the Opera House.  Ahh, I thought, a paid-for BridgeClimb ticket  would make a great Christmas present!  So, Christmas 2014…that’s what Santa put in his stocking!  That meant, of course, we now had to make plans for another trip to Australia!  Funny how these ploys work, isn’t it!… hee, hee, hee!

Len opts for a twilight BridgeClimb walk so there isn’t any rush to get to Sydney…again.  While Len semi-enjoys his climb (he isn’t permitted to take pictures…bummer!), I walk across (and back) the Harbour bridge taking pictures along the way.  From start to finish, Len’s adventure takes about three hours, so when he returns, he’s a bit weary and so am I.   Since our favorite Fish-n-Chips joint is closed, we finish the evening with pricey gelato ($5.70 per small scoop!); then we sleep all the way back to No. 14 in Katoomba.

January 2…We check out of No. 14, head for Sydney (again!), but this time to buy train tickets to Albury, Victoria, where our next host will pick us up and take us to her mountain almost-on-top home. (There’s a story there!)

Here’s where it gets complicated, and…in retrospect…no wonder dueling egos ensue!

What did not occur to us is this:  New Year’s Eve is on a Wednesday so the entire Sydney population is on holiday until returning to work on Monday, January 5th!   This means a mass exodus on Sunday, January 4th, (if not before) which means the entire population of Sydney (plus adventurers, sight-seers and other out-of-province cling-ons) has already booked a plane, train or bus for home…except us, of course!

Scratch Plan A:  Rail travel out of Sydney is booked solid through the 4th!  Plan B:  Bus?  Plane?  But first:  Where to purchase bus tickets?  After several false leads, we’re told bus tickets can be purchased either at Convenient or 7/11 stores.

Second:  Probably because the city is changing over to a tap-on/tap-off method of travel payment (instead of purchasing individual destination tickets), each business has only X number of tickets available for sale.  So let’s play another game:  Ticket, ticket, who has the ticket?

We take to the streets in search of bus tickets, and…finally…we find a vendor who sells Len two pensioner tickets for $5 with the parting comment, “These should work.”  In the meantime, in-between time, the he says/she says drama routine is getting old, so I just button my lip and let Len do the footwork he does so well.

What he discovers (thank goodness for his smart phone and its on-line capability!)is:  in terms of time and availability, plane fare is far cheaper than bus fare.  He books the first available plane from Sydney to Albury, which departs on 1/5 at 8:05am.  He then books a night’s lodging at the Captain Cook Hotel in Botany, just minutes away from the airport.

January 4…Not only “should” those pensioner tickets work, they DO work!  We board the bus in Sydney, get off at Botany, walk the short distance to the hotel and cool off in our AC room.  Ahhh…

January 5…6:36am…A taxi picks us up at the hotel and 5 minutes later (641am…I checked my phone) we arrive at the airport.  The cost of the ride was $15.50 or $3.10 per minute.

Curtain falls

If you’re interested in what we did on 1/2 and 1/3 to fill in the unexpected time in Sydney, write me a comment…

My Curtain Call or Dueling Egos Update

When I wake up on the morning of the 2nd, Len is ranting about not being able to post his BridgeClimb pictures on FB, and everyone is waiting to see them (or so he says).  But…he can’t do it because he wasn’t permitted to take photos (BridgeClimb policy) during the climb.  (Boy, is that BridgeClimb outfit in for a tongue lashing!)

Well, that did it for me!  OMG, now FB is his audience…how BIG is that!  What an ego!  (Oops! My sense of humor (SOH) is waning…waning…)

So how does Gina Blue (me) survive the massive ego of the Krash Man (Len)??  I mean his ego is so friggin’ large that there’s no space or time for me to speak unless spoken to!  (Uh oh…my SOH meter says, EXPIRED!)

A little history here about my sense of humor…

I was raised with lots of do’s and don’t s (Aren’t we all!).  What finally occurred to me is: many of the do’s were a tricky way of saying don’t without actually saying the word don’t.  Like when my dad told me, “Put your shoes on!”  what he really meant was “Don’t go barefoot!”  That one was pretty easy to figure out.

And when my mom told me, “Go to church,” what she really meant was, “Don’t have fun!”  It took years to boil that one down to just three little words!  Some of these do’s (like the church one) that were loaded with hidden don’t s, were a bit convoluted and not easy for me to figure out.   (I’m a slow learner, a late bloomer and find it keeps me young because I’m always experiencing the past as if it’s today!)

I liked the easy ones like when my dad said, “Don’t pick your nose!”  That meant don’t put your finger in your nose.  I did it anyway (when he wasn’t looking) because I couldn’t figure out any other way to get rid of the dry bugger itch.  So the don’t message took…but with a slight modification:  Don’t pick your nose…if someone is looking.  And you know what?  I never saw anyone else in my family pick his nose, so I guess we all share the same secret!

My childhood was a serious matter (down a notch!)…very serious (down another notch!)…nothing to joke or even laugh about…hence, I acquired an atrophied…indecisive…miniscule…almost non-existent sense of humor…now EXPIRED!

I went through this whole SOH rigamarole back in 1999 when I was a substitute teacher working three jobs to keep the status quo.  While subbing, I would take notes of the crazy things the kids said and did, then go home and write “incredible and satirical tales of a substitute teacher.”  It worked!  It may have been a dark and stormy winter outside, but in my cozy cottage i was laughing my ass off!  I titled the book, Desperately Seeking Humor:  Incredible and Satirical Tales of a Substitute Teacher, which I self-published in 2002.

And now, here I am…desperately seeking humor…again!!

Well, “home” to Katoomba where I will continue reading Flawless Jade by Barbara Hanrahan.  As we chug along, I dream about these words from Barbara’s book…

My memories do not have to be exact facts because I like to fantasize them so they stay in my mind as, forever, sweet memories.

Curtsy…Exit stage left


6 thoughts on “#8 It Happened in New Zealand…or was it Australia…

  1. This is such interesting and well done writing! So glad I came on over for a visit!
    I substitute taught years ago too, and I wish I had taken notes! Did survive though, with such empathy and understanding for full time instructors.

  2. I love reading your writing! It’s like we’re sitting in a café chatting over coffee and you’re telling me what happened. I love that style of writing because it’s more personal. I look forward to reading more from you!

    Also, I wanted to let you know that I have nominated you for the Blogger’s Recognition Award. Please refer back my post at https://writefulmind.wordpress.com/2015/10/09/blogger-recognition-award/ for rules of acceptance.

    Congratulations! I’m looking forward to reading your post!

    • Wow! What a surprise! and Thank You! I just read the rules for acceptance and I have a question: What does it mean/how to “link back” to the blog of the person who nominated you?

      • I’m always happy to help! Please feel free to ask me anything.

        Not sure if you know this, but WordPress offers Blogging and Writing courses. I found them very useful. If you’re interested, you can enroll at: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/blogging-university/

        Additionally, I have a FB group called Café Blog for participants of the WordPress courses. You’re more than welcome to join. We have friendly helpful people who are always happy to give feedback, answer questions, etc. If you’d like to join us, go to: facebook.com/groups/cafeblog

        Hope this helps!

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