The week before I was flying back to Sydney, I came down with a cold. Just one of those really irritating indecisive nasal passage pluggers. You know the one; where it can't decide which sinus hemisphere to blockade? Well, this one hit hard and fast, and I thought I was pretty well over it by the time the flight rolled around. To experienced flyers, I'm sure you're saying,"Oh no. You didn't..." And I say, that being a dope and feeling fairly well, yes I did get on a 16 hour flight to Sydney. When I left I was in fairly good shape... and was half dead when I got off the plane in Sydney. Apparently the cold took the opportunity to not only come back for revenge, but be worse than the original, complete with coughing, heavy congestion and a lovely fever.
Sydney in summer is wonderful and extremely humid and warm... okay, so it's hot. For one who is running a fever, it's really uncomfortable... for one who is running a fever and having trouble breathing correctly, its hell. Which is why I spent most of my time sleeping in my room instead of wandering around and exploring like I usually do. I had every intention of going to the Justice and Police Museum and visiting the Rocks because I hadn't been to either in quite some time. By the time I got off the train at Circular Quay and got something to drink, and sat down to wait for the Neutral Bay Ferry, I was focused on staying awake. And keeping a lung from flying out while coughing. The little old lady near me, with an expression something like amused pity, reached into her shopping bag and gave me an entire roll of Butter Menthols. "Oh no, it's alright," I said. And she said,"I've got plenty." and showed me the inside of her little bag. .... um, yeah, she had plenty. Lets just say she won't be running out soon.
Here's the sad thing. As sick as I was, having to turn my face away from the breeze so I could inhale enough air; I couldn't help but notice what I thought was a cormorant at first. Although the neck was way longer than I'd ever seen on one, the markings were pretty awesome. I suspect this marks me as a hopeless bird photographer, because as I'm coughing up a lung, my hands are going for my camera and not my drink. Anyway, I got some fairly good shots of what I later (like 3 weeks later) identified as an Australian Darter, also known as Snakebirds. They have REALLY long necks. I mean.... really long. Look them up online sometime. Its almost unnatural. Their bills are also longer, and sharp pointed at the ends, which is unlike your typical cormorant. They both like to dry out the same way though. Find a nice sunny spot, extend the wings, fluff and then sunbathe like nobody's business.
The ferry showed up about 10 minutes later and carried me across the harbor to the first ferry stop, where I lugged my suitcase up a flight of stairs, then rolled it up a hill, at which point I had to stop to catch my breath. Because there were going to be more stairs to climb and I wanted a breather. Fortunately the owner of the lodge was there and very kindly helped carry the suitcase up to my room. The door was open, as was the door to my own private little balcony... which was literally 6 or 7 feet away from a tree filled with these. Rainbow Lorikeets. The room was on the third floor, on level with the branches these guys were crawling all over, screeching and squawking and making a general ruckus. I should've just climbed into the bed and shut the door, but instead I grabbed my camera and took pictures of them while I sat at the little balcony table and wheezed. All in all, I think there were about 15 to 20 of them using the tree as their own personal jungle-gym.... not to mention shooting gallery. Or perhaps the term is 'venting'? ... sorry. awful pun.
There were a couple of times, as they swung around in the tree that there was a large group together and I did try to get pictures of them like that, but they never stayed together long. One would always take offense to something the other was doing, or ... no idea. It was like watching a large group of highly agile toddlers with chips on their shoulders. They do sort of look like colourful hoods don't they?
Eventually the group wandered off, and I put my camera away, went inside, flipped on the brand new flat screen TV, and found to my rather grateful surprise Star Trek: The Next Generation just starting. YAY! Something familiar and mind numbing! In fact they ran another one after that, then an episode of Charmed, and then Supernatural... I fell asleep during the last I think... And woke up listening to Cheers, another TV show, which was good, because I had enough time to stumble out for dinner and then back again. I really did mostly sleep. There was one morning where I did go down to Town Hall to get a few school supplies from Kinokuniya, eat something and then head back to the lodge for more sleeping.
I really don't remember much about getting back to Perth, except to say that I took the ferry, then the train, and it was so much faster than taking a taxi to the airport. And easier. The airport was really busy, but lots of people are running around doing stuff during summer vacation, so it's to be expected. The flight back to Perth was full... I watched a movie I think... although I couldn't tell you which one. Took a taxi from the airport to the Student Village and then basically quarantined myself until I was better. The doctor said I need not have bothered as this morphed cold probably wasn't contagious... but, I would've felt guilty if someone else got it. It was miserable. But I'm so glad I was back in the studio apartment to get well instead of in a hotel somewhere. All in all it was an experience... one I hope I don't repeat!!! I'm pretty much healthy now, and hopefully I'll stay that way. Classes start up on February 25th, which is coming up fast. Already have some of my books.
That's all for now. I might totally shock you and write another post tomorrow!