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September 20th, 2019

Brisbane through Sep 19

It's been a slow time. Partly from getting a cold last weekend. Colds hit me hard the first few days. Now I'm doing better but blowing my nose a lot.

Highlights:

* Bats! Went back to the Roma Street Parklands, saw lots of flying foxes around dusk, dipping into the pond. Apparently it's wetting their front fur, then they go hang and suck it off to drink.
* I watched "Your Name", it was pretty good, though I'm grumpy about the ending. And that's Shinkai's happiest ending...
* On the 8th I took the train down to Helensvale to visit E&A on their 12 acres of land; that was pretty fun, just hanging out and walking. Didn't sleep well though, foam mattresses aren't my thing and they have many chickens including roosters, so I fell asleep late and was woken around 4.
* Then E took me over to Griffith and I explored some of the Gold Coast. Got my feet wet in the Pacific!
* Read GRRM's Fevre Dream, aka Life On the Mississippi With Vampires.
* Took a bus trip outward, to explore more. It wasn't very exciting but I'm glad I tried. "LA with better transit or maybe selection bias" continues as an impression.
* 90% of everything closes by 9PM.
* Tried exploring Fortitude Valley and Central Station areas. There's a Chinatown but it's tiny and half-dead.
* Lots of public toilets. Some of them look creepy but none of them have smelled bad. Even Japan can't say that though I gave it a lot more chances to fail.
* Going by the store and my second host, Australia is big on instant coffee.
* Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) busways seems hardly less resource-intensive than subways. Big concrete busways and stations platforms and such. I guess the stations can be shorter.
* Go Card machines have terrible touchscreens.
* Re-read Lord of the Rings, first time since before 2004.
* Re-read Crispin's Zar Star Trek novels. Second one felt pretty dire at first but eventually got good.

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Damien Sullivan
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