Saturday, October 07, 2006
In the rear view.
My travels in Oz. October 2005.
I landed in Sydney a few minutes before the clock struck 7 pm. From the airplane window, 'phoren' didn't look any different. I walked out of the aircraft as fast as my cramped legs allowed me to. And went through a routine check of my papers.
Then a few steps down to pick up the bag I had checked in. Bag however, wasn't in any hurry to come out. Guess he knew he wasn't going to see much of Sydney anyway. And was making his displeasure evident.
Finally my luggage emerged. With a bump and a grind. I heaved it out. With a grunt. Next stop, the exchange counter. Ozzy dollars obtained, I turned to proceed to another check post. But hold on, here's a handsomely dressed couple coming my way. 'Can we see your papers please?', asked the lady with a smile. 'Sure', I said. Airport security. They probably thought I looked suspicious. I'd noticed the male half of the couple whispering into his partner's ear while trying very hard not to let me know, that he was looking in my direction. Many more polite questions, honest replies and satisfied curiosities later, I stepped out of the airport. Uncle Ram and Prem waved.
A little later we hit the road with Uncle Ram at the wheel of a roomy Mazda. And as we breezed through the streets of Sydney towards the suburb of Strathfield, I started to fall in love with the city.
The roads had lanes, and guess what, people stuck to them. There were zebra crossings where vehicles actually stopped to let pedestrians cross. This must be wonderland!