Sydney log

I’ve been lazy. Here’s my Sydney log, all in one post:
6-7 Sep 2006
Rushed home this afternoon to finish packing my bags. Had a light dinner at the lounge, then boarded the plane.
Watched 4 movies on the way to Sydney. Caught the tail end of X-men 3 and shed a tear when Wolverine made his final act to save Jean Grey from herself.
The Da Vinci Code was a riveting movie. I haven’t had time to read the book, but heard it was better than the movie. I found hard to believe how easy it was for the 2 main characters to escape all the time.
As a Christian, I did not get offended. I took it as a story where people would inevitably ask questions about Jesus. People have a right to find out the truth for themselves.
Keeping Mum was diabolically good, though I expected Rowan Atkinson’s character, the Vicar, to play a more leading role in the main storyline. I was actually glad to see him spice up his boring sermons with jokes and apply the Song of Songs (kind of like the Karma Sutra, but in the Bible) to his own marriage. Patrick Swayze overacted and was slightly annoying.
Finally, a gender-bender flick: Kinky Boots. Based on a true story, the movie shows how the young owner of a shoe factory revitalises his family’s flagging business with the help of a gutsy female employee (romance!) and a transvestite turned shoe designer and model. The strongest secondary theme to me was a re-assessment of the male identity – turning societal norms upside down and realising that real men don’t have to wear pants to do something courageous.
There were strong winds which shortened our flight time. However, after we landed in Sydney the winds got too strong. A solid metal trolley was overturned.
I bumped into my old schoolmate W at the Arrivals lounge. I was actually wondering if I’d see her, since I knew she was in Sydney, and lo and behold – she was fetching someone from the same flight as us! It was a happy coincidence.
We had breakfast. Waited for our rooms to be ready. Then I caught up on sleep.
Had lunch at Pyrmont’s Steak & Seafood restaurant.
8 Sep 2006
Deposited grandma at Woolworth’s, went to Kino with sister. We all met up for lunch at a fusion Jap-Australian restaurant at Old Queen Victoria building. Then spent another couple hours exploring the area.
Had a cruise tour around Sydney Harbour, then walked all the way back to Chinatown for a group dinner.
9 Sep 2006
Woke up really early & went to Blue Mountain. Along the way we visited the birds, Kangaroos & Koalas.
Had a satisfying lunch at a country club near Blue Mountain.
Sat on a really steep tram (250m deep) & saw the 3 sisters.
It was bloody cold out there. Steam was Coming out of our mouths. I bought a fluffy blue beanie to wrap around my head so my ears wouldn’t fall off.
Had a huge dinner at Shangri-La.
10 Sep 2006
Woke up a bit later. Had breakfast, then went to Bondi for shopping. Spent most of the time walking about, getting lost. Bought some cheap CDs and many pairs of socks. Mundane, innit.
11 Sep 2006
Going to Hunter Valley.
As we entered vineyard territory, going past the last group of residential houses, a sign said “Please minimise noise”, except that the “I” was scratched out and it now read “Please minimise nose”.
Had lunch at Harrigan’s Irish Pub and listened to Australian folk music. The performer asked where we came from, and we told him. He tried to think of a ‘Singapore Song’ to sing. I muttered audibly. ”Don’t try too hard.” Sure enough, he couldn’t. We don’t have a decent song that people around the world know how to sing.
12 Sep 2006
Caught the morning flight back to Singapore. Did lots of reading this time. Caught a bit of a French movie, and that was about it. Changi Airport was all geared for IMF visitors.