Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's just 10 to seven in the morning here, woken by the songs of some unseen chirping birds. Looking out the window I see those strange but gorgeous trees backlit by sunlight and clouds, while the ground outside is still wet from rains last night. Went to sleep at 1am but as usual, travel mode doesn't permit me to sleep too much which I do not mind at all. I have the big lens on the camera in the case I DO see a bird but I can hear them, but see not one at all. There are a lot of trees in front of my friend's house and the rustling of the wind is ~ to me ~ similar to the gentle sound of lapping of ocean waves upon the shore.

It's not a completely different life here: people eat, work and go out just like in any other place in the world. I do see a lot more beer-drinking here but of course, I've seen that elsewhere too. The wineries already seen are gorgeous and in all my years in Spain, I haven't really ever had an opportunity to snap pixs of the vines and hanging grapes. I now have quite a few pixs and though I know the vines seem to be the same variety as can be found anywhere else in the world where wines are produced, I know that were are my pixs of aussie vines!

As I type this, my water is boiling for yet another tea with honey for my throat and hopeful bettering of the vocal chords. I have the front door now open and hear the constant chatter of the small black birds that sing once they perch atop a branch somewhere. Again: I can hear them but cannot see them. A few fly overhead now and then but they don't stop anywhere near where I can snap a pix, but these trees are so gorgeous with thin branches that twist and turn each and every way imaginable..... it seems as though out-stretched arms to the sky above.

So far I haven't had problems with the language and the things I do not hear is more due to my lousy hearing than the slang and accent. I have noticed that I've been nearly run over several times by people while walking on the streets and in shopping centers. I am discovering that in these few countries where they drive on the left, they also walk on the left too!

On a very chance sighting from a speeding van on a freeway, I saw some kangaroos the other day while returning to Sydney from Hunter's Valley. Behind all of the brush and trees, a fellow wedding guest saw a kangaroo, which quickly turned into a small group of about six kangaroos, all hopping off to parts unknown. The sighting didn't take even a few seconds, but still was very exciting to see of something so uniquely Australia. I likened this situation to see deer while driving on the Marin hills and backroads.

One thing that was particularly funny and unique was the teen sporting the "O" green hat (University of Oregon) whom I saw and chatted with for a few minutes while waiting for our checked baggage that didn't appear for over an hour. His journey was longer than mine, flying from Boise, Idaho to Salt Lake City, then to LA and continuing to Sydney. We discussed briefly the Ducks vs Beavers game and how it was a fantastic chance for the Ducks.