Day 4 - The Stalker and the birds eye view
Friday November 22
After breakfast this morning we headed to the AppleCentre. We had really hoped that would be the answer to the upload dilemma that has been plaguing us. The idea was simple, I have all the web update info stored on my new iPod (thanks everyone for such a nice gift). The idea is to find a place with a Mac online, download a copy of Fetch, plug in the iPod and be done. What happened instead was a very interesting conversation about internet pricing policies and the cost of broadband connections in Australia.
(Side note... by estimations the Mac community is so small in Australia that Doug Johnson, Todd Robinson and Joe Stennet would love it here.)
Not only are broadband connections few and far between but the ones that are out there are severely limited by how much you can upload and download before you go broke. Basically, you would get screwed if you would treat your broadband connections the way we do in the States. One guy told us that to save money he bought a dial up connection for home that had unlimited downloads. He also told us that it is downloading something all the time, ALWAYS.
It's a very interesting formula because you begin to realize that the pricing and availability of goods and services, even online services, has a profound effect in shaping a society. For example, I saw a magazine on a news stand that had a graphic at the top of the cover that said, "350MB of Windows Updates". It dawned on me that I think nothing of downloading 350MB of data in a day. In Australia it is cheaper to BUY software then it is to pirate it by downloading via a broadband connection. And software is not cheap, a copy of Photoshop on the shelf was $1200 Australian. With the exchange rate it brings it down to the cost that I would pay in the states but the point is that it is basically as hard for a Australian to come across $1200 Australian as it is for me to come across $1200 US.
So needless to say we are still on a quest for a way to upload.
Enough tech stuff.
Today the sun came out, unfortunately it came out too late and we had already scrapped our plans to go to Bondi Beach. BIG mistake cuz it was beautiful. Instead, we went to Darling Harbour and we met a guy who at first seemed nice enough. His name was John. He was Australian and was about 65 years old. He told us stories about everything we saw. EVERYTHING.
The problem with John is that he wouldn't shut up. He was worse then me. Then, when we tried to excuse ourselves, you know, "Well John were going to go check out the blah blah blah" he would say, "yea, I'll walk you over there". He followed us for about an hour and WOULD NOT SHUT UP. Finally we got up and started to walk as fast as we could toward a mall. I was afraid to look over my shoulder to see if Beth was keeping up. I was pretty sure she was there but was still scared.
We just took off... it was kind of funny. Don't get me wrong we NEVER felt like we were in any danger, except for the fear of being board to death.
Then once we made it into the mall we made the mistake of slowing down a bit at the top of an escalator and when I glanced over my shoulder there was John, like a scene from a bad horror movie.
So we took off for a Monorail station and luckily there was a train leaving right then and we jumped on it and fled to our freedom. We had a good laugh at it all.
Then we met Shane Anderson. Shane was a Christian guy who worked in a photo shop where we bought some more miniDV tape. Shane ran a web site for his church. We gave him a link to the Fully Alive site and shared a few stories about working in digital video. Literally half way around the world and we meet people that have VERY similar experiences. So cool.
We did some more tourist shopping and went to the top of the Sydney Tower. 304 meters high and right in the middle of the city. I had been afraid to get to close to it because of the terrorist threats that had been issued but Beth talked me into it. "It will give you some great shots for our video". And it did.
We also met this really nice couple from Sydney. They were taking a friend of theirs from the UK around town. We had a great discussion about America, Australia, and the world. They were really great to talk to. We told them we were celebrating our 10 year anniversary and also that I had just turned 40. The gentleman, who's name I can't remember asked me a great question. "So tell me, are you in the old age of your youth, or the youth of your old age". WOW... what a great insight to life as you get older. Are you holding onto the past or embracing the future. Are you still a kid at heart or does the Peter Pan Complex not suit you well any more.
After giving it some thought I decided that I am definitely in the old age of my youth. But at least now I will know what to call the next stage of my life, when I decide to go there.
After the Tower we walked thru a part of town called The Rocks. When the convicts were first brought to Australia The Rocks was the area that they were held. Basically, the ground was all rocks and very uncomfortable. Now, it's this quaint little part of town kind of like North Beach in San Francisco. We stopped in a little Italian Pizzaria and had AWESOME pizza. It reminded me of college and this place that I use to eat at down the hill from Westmont.
Then we headed out to the Opera House to try to get some sunset photos of the city and the bridge. We spent the rest of the day there before heading back to the hotel.
This would be our last night in Sydney and it was the most beautiful. Tomorrow we leave for Brisbane and the animal parks.