Happy New Year, folks!
Once again, I’ve lost all track of time (and responsibility) and neglected my blog. However, this time around I just may have a few legitimate reasons for my unintentional hiatus.
First, we went to Australia. On December 21 (the day the world was supposed to end) we flew to Sydney and stayed with our friend, Peter, in the Newtown area of the city. We had a great time with great weather every day but one (more on that later). In just six days I think we were able to tackle just about all of the sites we wanted to see: Newtown, Circular Quay, Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Rocks, Bondi Beach (and other beaches), and Manly, plus various museums and parks.
It was also in Sydney that we celebrated Christmas on the one day of the entire trip with rain. But it worked out perfectly since we went to Peter’s friends house and spent the day eating and drinking in the comfort of his dry apartment. I also got to try crackers for the first time (these paper tubes with a toy and paper hat inside that make a pop sound when you pull on the ends…it’s a British thing).
We then flew to Melbourne for 5 nights, staying near Queen Victoria Market and exploring as much as we could; museums, parks, Southbank, St. Kilda, CBD, the Docklands. We also got to ring in the New Year there and they certainly put Boston’s First Night to shame. It doesn’t hurt that you can wear shorts, either. Sydney gets all of the attention on New Years for some reason, but Melbourne throws quite the party, too. They shoot off fireworks in the center of the city…many from the rooftops of the hi-rise buildings. Why can’t Boston do this? We saw the ones visible from Flagstaff Gardens, but there were two other park viewing sites. After the fireworks, the parks turned into three night clubs with DJ’s playing music and incredible light shows. Wow….that’s all I can say. Wow.
Unfortunately, I managed to catch some sort of stomach bug in Melbourne and lost one night’s sleep and a full day of exploring because I needed, let’s just say, convenient access to a bathroom. But I was up and about the next day to enjoy this great city.
We then flew to Perth for the final leg of our trip. We had six days in Western Australia, first driving through Perth, then the Mandurah area (where Randy has family), then Margaret River wine country, where we saw various beautiful beaches, cute towns, caves, hiking trails, and lots and lots of wineries.
The next thing we knew, the 2.5 week trip was over and life returned to normal. Well, as normal as life can be for a gay white guy in Japan who doesn’t speak the native language.
Oh yeah – and the reason this is an excuse for my blog is that I didn’t bring my computer on this trip and I wasn’t about to type a lot on my mobile device.
The second reason for not posting on my blog was that my free time has been taken up with Japanese language classes. It’s just like back in Boston when I would take night classes at Harvard..except now my classes aren’t at Harvard and I do them before I work instead of after work. But between the classes first thing in the morning, then working in the late morning and afternoon, then studying in the evening, I’ve had less free time. And, man, every time I start thinking I’m comfortable with one aspect of learning Japanese, another wrench is thrown at me. Today it was a bizarre new verb conjugation that makes absolutely no sense to me. Needless to say, I know what I’ll be doing this weekend.
The third reason I’ve not blogged is because…um…I forgot to.
Don’t judge me.