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When in Rome...

Today is March 24, 2015 and my last night in Sydney. After Friday’s Foodie experience, and my stomach’s survival of said Foodie experience, I decided that even though the train system was designed by cave goblins and the weather is more unpredictable than Monterey, this place is pretty interesting. My first few days in the heat wore me out, though, so I decided I would enjoy the cooler weather on Saturday and get some work done. However, before I settled down to stare at my laptop for a few hours I planned to take a walk and see if I could find some more interesting food (my life mostly revolves around food, which is slightly unfortunate because I have a very sensitive stomach). What I didn’t realize was that the slight itch I kept rubbing at on my face the night before was actually a mosquito bite and now a HUGE welt on my forehead – because of all the things I could be allergic to I happen to be allergic to mosquito spit. This, along with a bite on my right ear that made the outside lobe of my ear swell up to three times its normal size and turn bright red, dictated that I work first and scout for food later lest anyone see me and think leprosy was making a comeback. I was obviously anticipating that these would not be the same people that had seen me coming back from the Opera House on Day Two (leprosy would have been a slight improvement to a soaked Quasimodo possibly).

After a few hours writing my stomach was louder than my thoughts so I gave in and went out in search of sustenance. By this time, of course, it had started raining. It was only raining lightly, though, and I observed that people here do not generally use umbrellas so I thought when in Rome… I made it three blocks when it started pouring and I got trapped under an awning for ten minutes. When the rain cleared enough for me to escape my 2-foot by 2-foot shelter I hotfooted it back to reception and traded my room key for an umbrella – so much for being Roman. Out the door again I headed up Victoria Street and into Embarkation Park, which overlooks the pier where – you guessed it – you can watch the ships leave the harbor. No ships were going anywhere so I kept walking and I ended up on Grantham Street.

Grantham is lined with beautiful condominiums but they have very narrow sidewalks. I would not normally pay attention to the width of a sidewalk but someone had the bright idea to post lamps along the street in the middle of the sidewalk about every 50 meters or so. The very beautiful condos are lined with very tall walls and the distance between the wall and the lamppost was maybe 18 inches. Again, this isn’t usually something I would pay attention to but I had an umbrella that was more than 18 inches wide and in order to get past the lamppost I would either have to put my umbrella down every time I wanted to pass or wait for traffic to thin so I could go around. I chose the latter. After the third such wait-and-go-around I noticed the passing drivers looking at me like I was a bit off. I thought it’s not my fault you people can’t design proper sidewalks – and then I realized that it had actually stopped raining. My left ear turned bright red in embarrassment (my right ear was already bright red and puffy from the mosquito bite so at least now they almost matched).

Eventually, my wanderings led me to a cathedral next to Hyde Park. I took pictures of the cathedral and Hyde Park and continued on my quest for food. I ended up finding a train station first, though, so I headed back to King’s Cross. I found a little Mexican place called Gordos and Gomez and had a mini veggie burrito – chancing meat twice in 24 hours was just too risky for my overly sensitive stomach. After a mostly uneventful excursion, I headed back to my balcony to work.

Part of my trip is supposed to involve exploring the different legal perspectives of Americans practicing law abroad. I have been in Sydney seven days and I have met five Americans: One from Denver, one from Virginia Beach, one from San Francisco, and two from Atlanta. I have not located a single American lawyer or anyone who knows where to find one. Google is not helpful. I will have to find a Facebook group of internationally practicing American attorneys. There is a Facebook group for everything so I’m sure there has to be one. For now I’ll just have to be the American lawyer practicing abroad. A post on Australian law and how it differs from our system might just have to do for this trip.

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