I have been trying to find a clever way to blog about my trip to Sydney for almost a week now, and I’m yet to come up with one. The more I think about it, the fewer the pithy observations get and the sadder I get that things didn’t work out how I had hoped, so here is a random list of Things I Discovered While Travelling in Sydney
1. The trains in Sydney are cool. They are like a triple layer cake. They entertain children who are used to one level trains. However they do not run on weekends due to ‘trackwork’ (I wasn’t there long and have already decided that trackwork is code for ‘its sunny and the weekend we wanted the day off’ I imagine those who live there have many ideas, some involving machete’s and stations.) Oh and not all the trains are air-conditioned, so they put up signs asking you to drink water , you know, so you don’t die.
2. The ticketing system for public transport is designed to make you spend as much as possible. Coming from the state of ‘zones’ and ‘dailies’ to need a different ticket for every trip on bus and tram and ferry and train and each of them costing as much as a two hour zone 1 was insane. Until I found out about the pensioner all day ticket (which costs $2.50) and that if you travel with more than one child the second travels free – brilliant. Except not widely publicised.
3. That if you walk around Sydney city central for 12 hours , attending auditions in over 30 degree heat, and don’t drink more than 500 ml of water, the next day you will be taken to hospital, in an ambulance, after collapsing at the station and scaring your friend, with dehydration and exhaustion. This will be very scary. particularly after they have been running heart attack ad’s in Melbourne and symptoms are similar.
4. That there are many homeless people in Sydney and that in turn will make you wonder what the powers that be have done with the homeless of Melbourne, as I’m pretty sure living here isn’t THAT much easier .
5. You should ALWAYS ask for a room that does not overlook the street in Kings Cross – I saw my first 4 pub fights from that window (usually resembling a large flesh coloured starfish lying atop another flesh coloured starfish, accompanied by grunting and smashing of glass, ending by one starfish resolving itself as a man and walking away)
6. That yes, I am capable of doing things that terrify me, like ride a train over the harbour bridge, or catch a ferry to Manly – without dying, with the help of my babies who very kindly clung to my hands and soundly congratulated me (amazing children I have)
7. That you should not go to Luna Park when it is Hot or Raining and that tickets should be bought one by one, because as soon as you buy them in bulk packs your children will decide they don’t want to go on any of the rides they wanted to go on thirty seconds ago before you saw the ‘no refunds’ sign. But the most fun you will have all day (aside from on the carousel) is watching your 7 yr old race down a massive slide, terrified at the top, but when he reaches the bottom racing up again. However, Luna Park full of school children on excursion is not as much fun as you might think *
8. That Someone in that state has CONNEX as a number plate and it makes you laugh hysterically, as the car is actually running
9.That often Pokemon on a DS beats the idea of going at looking at the Opera House for a seven year old.
10. That yes – holiday with children is an oxymoron, but it can still be fun, albeit exhausting.
11. That Sydney while big, is not so scary after all.
12. That a Hot Apple Pie costs 130% more there than here. (Seriously What The… how is that possible?)
13. That the hot weather in Sydney is like being in a Sauna, in Melbourne its like being in a hairdryer.
14. That when an aquarium costs $40 less than another aquarium there is usually a reason like it is CRAP. Your children will realise this in 5 minutes, you will spend another thirty trying to convince them it is not so, with such things as ‘look, that fish blinked’ or ‘look that snake is shedding his skin’ yes, the aquarium had snakes. and spiders. Me thinks they were scraping the bottom of the barrel for exhibits.
15. That when your kids go home, as much as you long for time on your own, you will cry. A lot.
16. That hitting your head on the top bunk in the sleeper train on the way home hurts, it hurts more when you have been crying already, but it gives you a valid reason to cry.
17. That two weeks can feel like two years and be full of more life and laughter than the year before and make you realise things about yourself that you never had – honestly – you would think I’d been on a religious retreat in India.
So yes, trip to Sydney, worthwhile if not altogether pain-free.
*not really much at all particularly when they all appear to be thirteen