Thanks Sydney

Thanks for breaking down cultural barriers, as best you can.

Thanks to all the drivers who are already into the intersection when the light turns green.

Thanks to the taxi drivers who don't try to make small talk because they're on their phones for the entire forty-five minutes.

Thanks for walking fast and keeping left... slightly more than other places.

Thanks for the footbridges (Auckland...)

Thanks for the geography lessons.

Thanks for the multitude of international artists who visit, and convinced me I don't really like spending heaps of money on live music.

Thanks for having so many sick people that some medical imaging businesses can only compete by offering MRIs at bulk bill prices.

Thanks for making me a better, more alert and assertive driver and teaching me the logic of taking maximum advantage of the available bitumen.

Thanks for teaching me the value of good friends, high paying jobs and easy parking at the beach. Along with mattresses and flat screen TVs.

The Whip Birds were pretty great.

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The woman with the fake tan stepped into my office, sat across from my desk and lit a cigarette.
At least, she would, sometime in the next 20 minutes. Smelling the future has advantages, but precision isn’t one of them.

Let's Get Down to Business

The last week and the next week are all about taking care of business. Mainly packing and cancelling things and finishing work tasks.

Today was also about taking care of The Business.

The Business is the novelty-oversized burger from my favourite burger place in Sydney, BenBry Burgers in Manly.

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BenBry Burgers came fourth in the Sydney Morning Herald's ranking of burger venues in the city. That's the kind of ranking I really admire, and kind of aspire to. Fourth best burger in a city of 4.5 million is a good effort, without any of the pressure or attention that First best would attract. An undisputably solid product.

I actually tried to eat the number one ranked burger in Sydney once, and I was turned away at the door because I was underdressed and didn't have a booking. That missed burger also had a price-tag much higher than the $15.50 I paid for 300gms of beef, 2 eggs, bacon, cheese, beetroot, lettuce and tomato on a wholemeal bun this afternoon. And it wasn't by the seaside.

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Normally I show restraint at these kind of places, I order a chicken burger or something in the midrange of calories, but as this was my final visit as a resident I figured I should do some jaw warmups and take on The Business. It was a nice day.

Between the age of 11 and 17 I almost exclusively wore basketball shoes wherever I went: school, church, parties, camping, you name it. This wasn't really that practical or fashionable, but I really miss being able to ball at any unexpected opportunity. On sight.

Like Magic

On day ten of the NSW bushfire crisis I worked my last day in Sydney for the indefinite future. It was a typical Sydney day, pleasantly warm after reaching the 8am threshold, and the entire sky was blue save for one small, streaky fluff of white like a birdshit on a just-washed windscreen. I strolled through green parklands to the train and headed to North Sydney.

Working in Sydney has been a demanding and rewarding experience, given the benefit of hindsight and my upcoming holiday. It was to working what moving out of home was like to being responsible for myself. I learned a lot (sometimes unwillingly), developed a lot, became a whole new worky person and began to form my own identity. I also got to catch trains like this to views like this, and, occasionally, this.

I had a farewell lunch today with some current and former colleagues where people said some nice things about me. That I was a magician, that I was honest. That I could probably fix Obamacare website. It was definitely nice to hear such positive feedback when, knowing that I was leaving the state, the opportunity to hang shit on me was wide open. Which I guess makes me proud of what I managed to do and keen to find a new opportunity not in NSW to do it all again.

After lunch, once I'd set my Out of Office message to expire in 2014 and said my goodbyes, there was nothing left for me to do. I departed, waited on North Sydney platform for maybe the last time and drafted this journal entry in my head as the train took me back to my soon-to-be-not home. The sky had gone gray by this point, as winds changed and brought the smoke from the improving yet still burning Blue Mountains fires to Western Sydney skies. "A Magician," I thought. For my final trick, once the smoke clears, I will have disappeared.

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Today I teleported 8.5kg gas almost 1600km in an instant!

I also cleaned the windows of a 19th storey apartment. I know, you're thinking "the inside windows", well, I mean the outside of the outside windows. Smartasses.

New York Entry

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