One way ticket
This is not like any other departures. At least it’s not one of those where you pack the usual “airplane coat” suitcase, the kind that is every low-cost traveler’s nightmare at check-in before boarding. The suitcase is instead of the important ones, the one that must last you many and many weeks, but above all multi-season: hot, cold, hot/cold, cold/hot 😅.
And so the day of departure arrives, a few tears for the inevitable abandonments (a feeling that you cannot experience if you just go a week at the beach).
At the 1st check-in you realize that your choice has sent the “system“, when the assistant, sitting comfortably behind the desk, asks you: and the return ticket from Australia?
There is not! we answer. But that doesn’t mean we want to stay in Australia more or less illegally; we are passing through, we are tourists.
But nothing, the lady insists undaunted that without an exit ticket from Australia she won’t check us in to board the plane. At which we were forced to show her the ticket for the next stop (New Zealand) and only then was she convinced to proceed.
The episode reminded me of Massimo Troisi’s famous scene when he leaves Naples to go north, to Milan, and everyone asks him: are you an emigrant? And he angrily: no, I’m just travelling! That’s when you go outside the box, the system around you goes haywire. You no longer fall into the clichés that we are all more or less used to referring to.
It is the first stage, it will last only 6 days, it is used to get used to the new life, to work during the night hours (due to a time difference of “only” 10 hours) and to the classic activities of a tourist who does not want to miss anything in Sydney and than the city can represent for a continent that is just a little less vast than all of Europe but which has a population that is only half that of Italy.
Impressions of Sydney? It was my second time going there; the first when we won the prize trip with Carmine for the Family Farming World Prize; this time I visited it a little better. After all, the impression is of a not too big metropolis, very well organized, efficient public transport, many postcard views.
Australia, or rather Sydney, seems to be the perfect land: well-kept environment, green gardens, super-efficient public transport (this too is unusual for us Italians), cheap (with 1 dollar, equivalent to 65 euro cents, you move from one part of the city to another) … and then you want to put the perfect English, in my opinion 😉😅, of those who live there. I understood every word without having to say every time: excuse me! An Englishman with strong homeland influences, I guess; I found it really easy.
In the many excursions, the visit to the Zoo I would advise against. Sad, as I believe all the Zoos in the world are sad, among other things there were few animals, sleepy, poor things 🙃😩.
Surprised in the many wonders and news, it was the explosion of colors and celebrations that began to breathe towards the weekend with the start of World Pride 🌈🌈🌈. Here they have certainly made a huge business of it, even before the pure, I imagine, noble motives of those who want to highlight the pride of being different. I didn’t find anything exaggerated in the many demonstrations that were being prepared but I was amazed by how hotels, museums, public transport, restaurants, etc. they had prepared this world event which would no doubt bring them work and money, lots of money.
The first week is gone. A little touristy and a little working even if I didn’t tell much about my work so as not to bore; there will be time in the next few weeks. But it was surprising how much harmony there was with colleagues as when we were in Italy. By now the lockdown, among the few good things, has taught us to work remotely. A little complicated to manage working hours but otherwise everything went smoothly. Still too many hours dedicated to work though 😂😂😂😩😩.
And during the Australian days, there was no shortage of the thrill of experiencing a real fire alarm in the hotel, while I was on a video call with Italy. Thankfully it turned out to be a false alarm; but the arrival of the fully harnessed firefighters caused no small scare to those who were already sleeping in their room.
The next day we just have to fly to Auckland 🛫🛫🛫.