For the 2nd day running I had a 4am start to make my flight to Sydney and with fingers-crossed and bated breath hoping they would let me on. Anyway, happy landings in Sydney thanks to an understanding Air New Zealand who flew me from my predicament in Auckland. It was a delight to see my friends Gustav & Mike and their world renowned and well-travelled dog Munson once again. Mike & Gustav emigrated from France to Sydney in April of last year so this was my first catch up since then. They kindly lent me a bed and each morning they entrusted me with Munson and headed off to work. Munson serenaded me every morning after their departure with what can only be described as a Malamute’s version of an Italian operatic aria. Truth be told, I think he was lamenting the fact he was left at home with a crazy kiwi. It also took a bit of getting used to that their house was directly on the flight path to Sydney’s International Airport and getting buzzed at very low altitude by incoming planes. It was impressive getting close-up views of the Airbus A380 (double-decker) almost within arm’s length overhead.
This being my 4th or 5th trip to Sydney, the time was spent less sightseeing and more catching up with friends. First on the agenda was catching up with a friend’s daughter Emma for lunch in Redfern, or in her parent’s thoughts, a checkup! The worries of parents with children abroad. Emma was doing fine and was loving life in Sydney.
Another day was spent cruising around the centre of Sydney enjoying the sunshine and the well-known sights – Opera House, bridge & Darling Harbour. It also allowed me to fix the final things for my trip to Cambodia & Myanmar. Mike being a coffee connoisseur had also given me a list of coffee houses to visit so a fair bit of time was sent frequenting coffee joints in and around the Newtown area.
Thursday the 6th of February saw a dual celebration. Firstly, it is New Zealand’s national day called Waitangi Day but more importantly was that Mike turned 50 that day! He decided to celebrate very low key with a dinner for 3 at a local African Restaurant so after some champagne and presents it was off for dinner. Lovely dinner to welcome Mike into his second half century with one rather interesting dish on the menu.
Another evening was spent catching up with Daniel & Aaron who emigrated from Malmö to Sydney in October last year. It was great to see them as I miss their company at my infamous Sunday afternoon dinners.
Time flew by too quickly and it was time to pack my bags once again and head off for my 2 week Asian excursion to Cambodia and Myanmar. All very exciting! Reports to follow.