Your Sydney Asplode

A third day in Australia

I like Sydney. It’s a nice place.

I got up comparatively late today: 8:30ish. I grabbed my windows lappy and my new WE05 messenger bag (all attendees got one) and went walking deeper into town. I passed many many electronics stores, all of which contained the same old crap. Then I spy this tacky looking camera store with neon lights and stuff, and I think what the hey, let’s check it out. I get in there and it’s not half bad. Actually, it’s pretty good: they have Apple stuff.

I had brought ~NZD$2000 with me to Australia, planning to buy a powerbook of some description, but a work payment didn’t come through as planned, so I only had half of the money I needed. But I digress. I had NZD$2000 and there was the opportunity to buy a mactop, like I’ve been planning for a while now. Duty free. Yum.

So I’m looking at this iBook G4 14″ deal and I’m thinking back to seeing Tantek’s laptop and how small that was, and I say to myself “hey, if it’s good enough for Tantek, it’s good enough for me!” So I commit.

The people at CCC Camera House are really friendly I say I’ve only got NZD and the the staff talk among themselves, and eventually come back and say they’ll accept my NZD, eliminating the need for me to go to a money changer. They try to ring it up on their system, but the exchange rate is out of date, and they can’t remember how they are supposed to enter the details so that I get charged the correct amount. But eventually they figure it out, and I leave with my iBook and a Targus laptop folder-style bag, with a mile-wide smile.

I love my Mac.

. . .

Before I came over to Sydney, my Mum recommended I catch a ferry to check out Sydney from a harbour view. So I figured I’d catch the train to the other side of the harbour, find the ferry terminal and catch one back to Darling Harbour, which is within walking distance of Wake Up. Oops.

After figuring out which train I should catch, how to buy a subway ticket, finding the correct platform, and getting on, I miss Milsons Point, my stop. The guard announcing the stops is just mumbling the next stop, and I’m too busy admiring the scenery. So eventually figure out I’ve missed my stop, and I resign myself to stay till the end of the line, seeing more of Sydney than I originally planned.

Sydney is huge. It’s the biggest city I’ve ever been to (but that’s not saying much, being the only city I’ve visited outside of New Zealand).

I get all the way to Hornsby, the end of the line. I hop off to grab some refreshments from the platform stand and get back on the train. I hadn’t seen a guard the whole trip — they don’t check tickets like they do in Wellington, as they have turnstiles at most of the stops. The train departs, and I hop off at Milson’s Point, and travel down the hill to the ferry terminal.

Then it hits me — I’m below the Sydney Harbour Bridge! Out comes the camera. Oh wait, there’s the Opera House — I didn’t know it was there! Snap snap snap. Oh wait, there’s Luna Park! click click click. On the ferry I get, and eventually I get back to Darling Harbour.

I don’t have a map, but that’s OK, I think I’ve got my bearings. I know that Paddy’s Market is between me and Wake Up, and I know some landmarks that will tell me I’ve gone too far in either direction. I find Paddy’s Market, and decide to scout it out. Disappointing is all I can say — so much crap, so many stalls with the same crap. I did find some gems, like a place that sells imitation iPod skins, a place that specialises in socks, and I was very surprised to find a pet store in one corner too!

I fly back to Wellington in about 12 hours, which is too soon. I’d like to explore Sydney some more. I’d like to make some more friends, and grow the ones I just made at the conference.

I’m really looking forward to WE06 — I can’t wait!