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Work week down under

Started: 2007-08-29 22:03:08

Submitted: 2007-08-29 22:13:25

Visibility: World-readable

On Monday morning, 6 August 2007, Steve and I showed up at our customer's office and started learning about the problems they were having and began thinking about the solutions we might be having. For lunch, we went to a nearby mall's food court. I asked the Internet to find public transportation to get to work and it provided a list of bus routes that took us right where we wanted to go. After our first working day in Sydney, we headed back to our hotel and headed west in search of supper, down to Darling Harbour, and ended up eating at Chinta Ria, a crowded Malaysian restaurant on the harbour.

For supper on Tuesday, I asked the Internet to tell me where to eat food and found a website with numerous restaurant names and reviews, but I had some trouble correlating the neighborhoods it used to my location; they didn't see fit to provide one top-level map with all the restaurants listed from which I could select various criterion and limit the restaurants I saw. (This may be an obvious place for me to step in and make the world a better place for visual people.) We headed west from our hotel again and crossed the Pyrmont Bridge in search of food but missed the turn to go down the west shore of Cockle Bay; we wandered around random darkened streets and eventually looped back and ended up eating in the food court at Harbourside, which was a bit sub-optimal but worked anyway.

On Tuesday, I started to feel like I was about to get a cold. By Wednesday it had arrived in force; I found tissues on the desk I was working on and managed to exhaust them (and the ones in my hotel room) without much effort; both were easy to replenish. On Thursday I searched for echinacea at the grocery store inside the mall; I couldn't find any but did find mint and mint with green tea. Steve found some dissolvable tablets that claimed various health benefits. I searched for cold medicine in the convenience store next to our hotel and found a box for AU$25, which was more than I was interested in paying; instead I purchased a few tablets of some other random cold medication that didn't do much good. I finally found echinacea on Friday night at a chemist (pharmacy) in Harbourside; by that time my cold seemed to be on the decline, but I didn't want to take any chances. I blame my virus on the one-year-old I sat next to for fourteen hours from Los Angeles.

On Wednesday night Steve and I ate at an Italian place on the waterfront at Harbourside. The asparagus ravioli was good, but the asparagus itself was a bit tough and stringy.

On Thursday, Steve wanted to stay in, so I researched my dining options and took the train to Circular Quay and ate at Tokyo Joe's, an inauthentic Japanese place with a distinct American slant that was about my speed. I had a great bento box. After eating, I walked along the east side of Circular Quay and attempted to photograph the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House in the dark, illuminated by spotlights and by passing ships. The scene looked beautiful, but I'm not sure I was able to get my camera steady enough to actually make the long-exposure shot work.

On Friday, Steve and I ate at Thai Foon, another ethnic restaurant facing the water at Harbourside. (While studying the menu outside the restaurant before deciding whether to eat there, I almost discounted it for its lack of vegetarian options until I spotted the dedicated vegetarian section at the bottom.) The green curry was quite good; Steve enjoyed his panang curry.

And so were the events of my first non-working time my first week in Sydney.