Saturday, March 3, 2007

When in Sydney...

My first day in Sydney was a busy one. My email pal Kent picked me up from the airport. Kent and I met through my friend Shawn. He introduced me to him 2 years ago and I have been emailing and IMing him ever since. Mostly questions about Australia and chitchat here and there. We never really talked much for long periods of time because of the time difference. So I had never seen pictures of him and I was nervous meeting him. I was worried that he would be some scary 600 pound geeky guy who was socially retarded and was wanted by the police for multiple homicides. I met him for the first time in the Sydney airport. He actually turned out to be a great person. Kent is a very cute Asian guy, smart, and hysterically funny. He drove me to my hotel where I met up with Michelle, the girl I met on the plane.

When I booked my hotel I realized quickly that every hotel in Sydney was booked solid. I searched in vain to get a room and always got the same reply. My friend Randy pulled some strings and got me a room at the Sheraton hotel in Darling Harbor. I looked up Sydney’s event calendar to see what was going on the weekend I was coming in. Apparently I was coming in smack dab in the middle of Sydney’s Gay Mardi Gras. I was arriving during the last weekend of the month long train of events at the gay capital of the world. So naturally, when in Sydney, do as the gay people do- go to Gay Mardi Gras. I dragged Michelle and Kent down to Darlinghurst for some crazy gay fun. We watched an hour long parade of Dykes on Bikes, half-naked Filipino dancers, an Ikea float, a huge Trojan horse, and just a large amount of people in different stages of gay regalia. We were very entertained and I had a great time. I even bought my boss a pink Australian flag. After the parade we all chatted and I discovered the best drink ever. I stopped by a drink vendor and bought some Lemon flavored Swepps tonic water. Probably the best thing ever invented. If there was ever a reason to stay in Australia, that was it. After I got back to the hotel, my friend Brett called to hang out. We caught up with each other lives in the past five years. It was good to see him. Thinking back on the last 5 years, a lot has changed for me. I am a much better and stronger person than I ever have been. I am definitely crazier and more prone to psychotic episodes of drinking, but certainly in a better place in life than I ever have been before.

So I went to bed that night in Sydney very excited and happy. I connected with new friends and caught up with an old one. I had embarked on my life journey to Australia and so far, it was eventful, fun, and meaningful. I already didn’t want to leave.

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