This morning, my friends invited me to join them for a relaxing Sunday morning. Because the weather was a bit grey, we decided to take a ride through the City and its Eastern Suburbs.
When switching countries, it’s always a struggle getting used to doing things differently. Take driving on the other side of the street. In South Africa, Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand, the driver is on the right and their cars “keep to the left.” In France and Denmark, the driver is on the left and the cars are on the right. Fortunately, I’ve just been riding on this journey so that hasn’t been too vexing. Although it has caused my stomach to flutter on occasion as we turn the “wrong” way across traffic.
Even walking can be quite dangerous when frequently changing countries. It’s hard to be sure where cars or crowds will appear. The sidewalks around tourist hotspots can be particularly unnerving — so many people from so many countries going everywhere in one giant mob. A lot of well-visited cities — like Sydney — have gotten the right idea by at least painting “Look Left” or “Look Right” on the sidewalks at intersections.
Even so, I get dizzy: Look for the sign, look in that direction, check the other way (ya know, just in case), look to see what other people are doing, start walking, freeze when a car appears out of nowhere, run.
Fortunately, I’m safely in my room.
By the way, this country certainly does know how to do movies. Because a storm was brewing, my friends suggested we head to a Gold Class Movie Theater to see Skyfall. I’m a sucker for a James Bond movie and last night’s marathon got me in the mood. This was the theater to do it.
As you walk in, you’re escorted to a bar where you can order from a full menu and let them know when you would like your food.
“Why, yes, I would like my pizza 40 minutes in. And just go ahead and bring those sliders at the 60 minute mark. While you’re at it, I’ll take some french fries about 15 minutes before the end.”
You’re then whisked into a special 40-seat theater with overstuffed, motorized, reclining chairs. This being Australia, you can also order beer. Which, of course, I did.
Better get back to packing. Headed to New Zealand tomorrow where I won’t be driving.