We are in Sydney now – staying with my friend Brad in the western suburbs. Brad is truly a citizen of the world. He has an American accent and lived in the US for many years, but is also an Australian citizen and has lived in Sydney for many years as well. Currently he and his family live in Singapore but he is on contract here in Sydney for a few months and has a nice 3 bed apartment. He is definitely the guy with all the connections in Sydney. His family will arrive here in a week or so and he has generously offered to let us stay at his place until then.
A trip to the mall to find sleeping bags resulted in Caleb’s “best Heely ride of all time”.
We went to the Sydney harbour to check out the library and enjoy the views. We took several typical tourist photos and talked with some buskers (the English term for street performers) about how to get a permit to busk. I have always known that one of the best ways to get money in your hat when busking is to make a bit of an ass out of yourself, but perhaps this busker has taken things too far.
We will have to apply for a license to busk here – a big change since my last trip 15 years ago when the streets were open to anyone. I will even have to do an audition if I want to do dangerous things like juggling the machetes. I suppose it will be worth it just to have an official busker’s card from Sydney – will make a nice souvenir.
We went to the main library at Circular Quay (pronounce “key”).
It is a marvel – with a modern café downstairs (with current and archived newspapers from around the globe), amazing architecture , Internet access and a huge model of the harbor under the floor in the lobby  which the kids really got into . When I went to the ultra-modern information counter to ask about whether a non-resident could get a library card I had what I consider a typical Aussie conversation. I asked the woman “We are visiting here for about 3 months – can we get a library card?” and she answered “Well, as long as you have proof of your address and you are staying for more than 6 months, then you will be right. So just make sure to say you are staying for at least 6 months.” Same sort of thing another day when we were told by one of the train station guards, “No need to bother with tickets for the buses when the rail lines are down, no one ever does”. I think they just like breaking the rules a bit around here.
We went to a Waldorf School here in Sydney today for a market on the school grounds. The school, Lorien Novalis, is 34 years old and located in the hills NW of Sydney. It has lovely grounds covering several acres. We did one show for the group and made $A24 (about $20 US) which the kids were very pleased about. It was fun doing a show for a Waldorf crowd and everyone was very friendly and welcoming (including giving us free meals and offering us places to stay). Anna went for a pony ride and we toured the entire grounds which included the lovely kindergarten rooms . Akael (a 6th grader) was our tour-guide and did a wonderful job of describing life at the school. He spun Anna on a funny contraption something like a merry go round.
The next week should see a great deal of activity – we plan to buy a car at auction on Monday and then later in the week we will drive up to the Thora Valley, 5+ hours of Sydney where we will work on some farms and the kids may attend the Chrysalis north Steiner School. We will probably stop in the Hunter Valley (where I used to work in wineries) and one or two other places on the way up.
I have started “geotagging” the photos that we take on our trip. You can now look at this map to see a geographical view of our trip.
We love receiving emails from home, even if they’re brief. Word from home erases the distance and provides a comfort to all of us. Until next week