Down Under for Some Tight-Assed Fish

The first leg of my trip around the world is complete. As planned, Australia was a spotting plus visits with friends and relative stop.

I kicked off my flights on Asiana 777-200s from San Francisco (SFO) to Sydney (SYD) via Seoul-Incheon (ICN). The service was excellent. Although seats were comfortable (lie-flat from SFO to ICN, only angled flat recliner from ICN to SYD), as usual, I was only able to sleep deeply for about two to three hours on each flight).

This was my bed/seat in the lazy mode while getting ready for breakfast.

Since the Business Class cabin was small on both flights - and they were not full - service was very personalized. Dare I say it - pacing during meal service was almost too fast. I was barely done eating one course before my plate was picked up for the next.

Meal highlight of the flight - Bibimbap...on a plane. A first for me! Chili sauce, sesame oil, and steamed rice are mixed-in with meat and vegetables in the large bowl. Kimchi and omelet, along with soup, were side dishes.

As previous mentioned, while in Sydney, I met up with cousin Cindy and her husband Matt.

We went out for some tight-assed fish and chips.

On the spotting front, I met up with long lost SJC Aussie spotter Andrew (sorry, no picture) and community manager Paul McCarthy.

I did manage an afternoon of sightseeing and shopping in Sydney, but since I have previously been, I wasn't really seriously sightseeing.

Circular Quay.

Sydney Opera House.

Harbour Bridge.

I drove on the left side for the first time. It was a heart-stopping adventure everytime I got behind the wheel. After three days, I still was not comfortable.

Cousin Cindy laughed at me for going cold turkey and braving Sydney traffic - in rush hour - first time driving on the left!

Since I encountered difficulties, I did not realize that driving had become so second nature to me.  Here are some funny/interesting examples:
  • Constantly reaching for the seat belt over my left shoulder.
  • Backing up was always a challenge. I want to shift with my right hand and look over my right shoulder. I then get all flustered and screw up the simple stuff like shifting in and out of drive and reverse (and this was on an automatic!).
  • Roundabouts - do I enter clockwise or counterclockwise? (Answer: clockwise). Do I look left or right? (Answer: right). Looking to the left and seeing the all clear will get you into an almost accident and a honk from a disgusted driver!
  • My left wheels constantly rode the lane marker and sometimes - the curb. I had to purposefully put the right side of the car closer to the right than what felt right. Then I felt like I was about to collide with on-coming traffic.
  • Let's not even mention the classic favorite of using the windshield wiper control for the turn signal (why did they have to reverse those controls too???)


  1. Go Ben, Go!!!

    Keep up the trip reports, and have the time of your life, my friend.


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