The Great Australian Outback

A first in a series of updates

Matching sessions have come and gone for my current project. It was held in Sydney, Australia, a country I have not visited yet. The company has been okay and I got to know some new folks that I will working in the next few months. Of course, I am not going to blog about work because that is suicidial. I will be trying to encapsulate my first Sydney trip.

Before arriving in Australia, we had a day-long stop over in Singapore to eat and stuff waiting for our connection flight to Sydney. We had lunch/heavy snack in New York, New York (I think) where I had delicious ribs. I miss ribs and I miss Dan Ryan’s! No Singapore trip is complete without Delifrance éclairs, the best éclairs in the world. I was in heaven after having a bite of these beauties.

Plane ride to Australia was actually smooth. After dinner was served, I slept and got to wake up for breakfast. So, I had a good night rest and no problem with the 3-hour time difference. We arrived in Australia at 7:15 AM and had some problems with the car rental. Apparently, if you are younger than 25 years old, you can only rent a car with a AUD 25 (900++) per day surcharge. That’s madness!!! So, Kathy had to rent a van which she has to drive because of the cost.

We got infested with G’day mate signs and tall Australians (got surprised that there were not much Caucasians) in passionate modes (too much PDA). We got lost too on our way to the city because we went around the airport 3 times I think. Tsk, tsk, tsk! But, we did reach our destination by 12:00 NN I think. Sadly, our rooms were not yet available and were advised to go back at 3:00 PM. Madness, ulit! We were tired, frustrated and felt dirty because the last time we had a batch was the day before to catch our 8:20 AM flight.

We had some photo ops in the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge and everything was all fun. By 2:00, we were becoming too reckless and our rooms were not yet ready. Grr… I dragged Kathy to the nearest Starbucks and got an iced Caramel Macchiato. Love.

The next day was another adventure for all of us. It was our first trip to the office where the matching session will be held. It was far flung and Kathy was still adjusting to the different orientation because the cars are on the right-hand side. Our mantra was, “to the left, to the left” in the tune of Beyonce’s Irreplaceable. Damn funny.

The rest of the week has been busy with meetings and more meetings. I got to meet some old familiar faces since I met them already in previous implementations. I also got to meet new faces for this new project. Exciting? It’s a mixture of feeling the excitement of getting in a new project and a feeling of dread because of the complexity of the business process. Oh well, that’s life I guess.

Highlights of the trip would be the photo ops with the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, steak in Stones Grill + ice cream in Cold Rock on Kathy’s birthday, a Taronga Zoo expedition with the team, a lovely stay in the Governor’s Suite in Four Points near Darling Harbour, and of course, meeting Patricia Isabel Toledo-Migallos in Melbourne. There are so many things to update so I’ll try to catch up in the next few days. While I’m still in Sydney, it’s tourist mode baby!!!

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