Thursday, January 5, 2023

New Places, New Faces


In the ongoing dance between the comfort of the familiar and the excitement of the new, travel often leans towards the latter and allows us to return to the former with fresh energy and perspective. So I began my Australia adventure with a lunch at a friend’s house where several brightly-colored parrots and a few large white cockatoos flew on to the deck to join us and I knew I wasn’t in Kansas—or San Francisco— anymore. Indeed, I remembered the vibrant bird life in the many Australian places I’ve been, the delight of their songs and sense of having arrived somewhere quite different than San Francisco, so populated with crows and pigeons. 


After a most delicious lunch—with Vegemite on the table—we sat and talked over tea and how refreshing the conversation! We covered education, neuroscience, Aboriginal culture, food, TV series, US politics, the Australian CIA, legalized cannabis, Orff gossip (two of the four people were Orff teachers) and more. Back home, my family and friends all know my stories and thoughts and I know their’s, but here I was learning some new interesting things and they seemed interested in what I had to offer. The level of thought was high and reminded me how much I cherish a good robust conversation far beyond sharing the cool new ap someone got on their phone. Maybe I should get that PhD after all just to be in classes with some vibrant conversation. 


While enjoying the sense of a new place and some new people to talk with (and new faces on my old friends!), it seems I also brought a bit of San Francisco with me. I wore blue jeans and a jacket to that lunch with temperatures far below the hot summer’s day they just had the day before and woke up rain in still-cool weather that has not stopped all morning, thwarting my plans for a nice walk through the neighborhood. Having mentioned Stephen Colbert to them last night, we watched two monologues where he shared his schadenfeude over Kevin McCarthy’s three losses (now up to eleven!).So between the weather, Stephen Colbert, a breakfast with the Tartinne bread I brought and a morning answering e-mail, the day so far has been a lot of old places and old faces with Australia on hold. But with a trip to the Sydney Opera House tonight to see a staged version of Amadeus, I hope that feeling will change.


Meanwhile, looking forward to all the new places, new faces and new season (!) that await.

Alongside Kevin McCarthy’s 12th, 13th and 14th loss.


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