Because really, wow, I'm back in Australia. After going through customs I went to get a phone to use during my trip, and because I'll be here for two and a half weeks it works out cheapest for me to buy rather than rent a phone, and to purchase cards of prepaid time. The folks in the Vodaphone booth, in explaining my options, said cheerfully, "And you can use the phone the next time you come to Australia!" Yeah right, in my dreams. Oh, wait, that's what I thought last time. And yet here I am. So very sleepy and fatigued just now that it might as well be a dream.
It was, of course, a very long and wearying trip. The second leg of my journey was an uncomfortable 15-hour flight, if you can imagine. I slept in only the smallest of snippets and I've been pushing myself through the day since I arrived this morning. At the moment I am in the downtown apartment of mrrules, my general and genial Melbourne host. We will be joining a friend for dinner in a bit, if I can last that long. By my sense of time, it is Monday evening and the last time I slept was Friday night. Well, sort of. Sunday disappared into the International Date Line.
Oh, but I'm losing track of myself. What I wanted to report was that I'm happy to be here. My budget hotel down by the Spenser Street train station turns out to be very pleasant. It's right next door to what I consider a characteristic Melbourne cafe (the Bar Humbug) and less than a block from many restaurants both fast and slow. As I explored the neighborhood this morning I thought that I could spend my whole time here checking out the bars and restaurants and streets all within a few blocks. Then I headed up Bourke Street towards the more central downtown area and realized that the places to check out in the immediate vicinity of my hotel are sparse in comparison. Right. It's Melbourne. And I'm back.
After my morning's explorations I hung out with Geoff for a bit, then with some good friends of his. Tonight is the aforementioned dinner and tomorrow is dinner with about half a dozen people I know from the SAGE-AU conference. Wednesday I've reserved to collapse, as I figure that's the point when this strange time shift will overwhelm me. And then there's Morris and shapenote and Glenn's visit and all the other adventures that fell into place so quickly. I brought my Morris kit and bells with me; Andy pointed out that when you show up at another team's practice when traveling having your bells establishes your bona fides and lets people know you are serious. Heck, I brought my bellpads all the way across the world!
It feels amazingly familiar. It feels very nice.