Postcard 3

Issue Number : iii
Date : January 4, 1996
Period Covered : 12/03/95 - 12/06/95
Current Location: Somewhere along the Yangxi River
Future Stops : China (Shanghai, Suzhou, Beijing), Japan (Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima)

My trip to Australia was really short because of my Bruce week.
I also had plans to go skiing in Japan on the 8th so I
definitely had to fly out on Wednesday the 6th. I was only
able to see Sydney and my 4 days there did not do it justice.
I don’t feel too bad, because I plan on coming back sometime
in 96 or 97.

Sydney felt like a frontier town. The people were very
friendly but the city had a rough and tumble feel to it. Some
bars stay open 24 hours and the Aussies are pretty serious
drinkers. The drink of choice was Victoria Beer, “VeeBee”, not
Foster’s. I arrived during their summer, so the weather was
very hot. There were blondes galore, and I felt like I was in
California again. Sydney is a big melting pot but I felt
strong British and American influences there. There was a
large Chinese community and it impressed me how cosmopolitan
and sophisticated they were.

I tried to do as much sightseeing as possible in my limited
time there. I bought a 7 day travel pass that allowed me
unlimited passage on the city’s buses, trains, subways and
ferries. I managed to go to the aquarium, zoo, a play, a movie
and Bondi beach during my 4 days. My favorite thing about
Sydney is the harbour. It’s really impressive with their
skyline, the Opera House and the Sydney Bridge. The water is
very clean and its probably one of the top 3 harbours in the
world (the other 2 being NY and HK, IMHO).

I ran into a little cash flow problem because none of the banks
would accept my ATM card. Rather than go to American Express
to get a cash advance, I decided to take my last $100 (Aus) and
try my luck at the Sydney Casino. The place was packed, with
Asians of course, but I finally managed to get a seat at a $25
BJ table. I was hot and won or tied my first 10 hands. When I
finally lost a hand I walked away with a cool $212.50 profit.
Not bad for 15 minutes of work. If gambling is this
easy, I might never go back to a ‘real job’. :-J

On my last day, I had $104.50 left. The bus to the airport
costs $5 but I did not want to break my last $100 bill. It’s a
lot easier to change large bills and most foreign currency
places will not accept coins. So I decided to beg for the 50
cents. I didn’t really beg because I was trying to sell a
local telephone card and my travel pass. A very nice lady on
the ferry gave me $1 and would not take any of my items in
exchange. She said I looked and sounded like her ex-husband.
Maybe that’s why she gave me money. B-) She was an artist and
lived in NY a few years ago. We ended up having a very
interesting conversation about NY politics.

I now had enough money to catch the bus but I still had my
phone card and travel pass. This begging stuff was so easy so
I tried it again. I found someone at the bus station to buy my
phone card. He bought it at face value eventhough I was
willing to sell it at a discount. I used the extra money to buy
a postcard and stamps. The Sydney postcard that I sent to the
GS office came from my begging proceeds. When I arrived at the
airport, I gave my travel pass to the first backpacker that I
saw. I believe good karma does come around.

Random Thoughts
I hope everyone had a fun and somewhat sober New Year (at least
not a killer hangover and/or embarassing incidents). 😉
If you can still pass for a student, try to get your hands on
an International Student Identity Card (ISIC). It lets you
into many museums and attractions for free (** Sonia – I know,
nothing is ‘for free’. **) or around half price. It can get
you big discounts on airplane tix, too.
Nightlife in Sydney is very lively. Plenty of bar bands and
there usually isn’t a cover charge.
The Kings Cross area is very sleazy. Plenty of transvestite
hookers and skeevy strip bars. I didn’t feel comfortable
walking around there at all.
I arrived on the day they opened the Glebe Point Bridge. It
was built on time and within budget. No cars were allowed on
opening day but they were letting people walk across for $5
each way to be a part of history. A unique way to pay off the
Miami got killed. Marv Levy owns Don Shula. I think the Don
should retire.
I read recently that GS publicly acknowledged that they are
contemplating going public. Hmmmmm….
I am somewhat surprised at the flurry of activity at GS
recently. Not that it is happening but how quickly people are
giving notice. I hope they took their bonus in Dec. Good luck to all the
I saw a great movie this week called Red Cherry. It was mostly
in Russian, had some Mandarin and a little German. I don’t
know which country it came from, but I highly recommend it. If
it’s playing in your neighborhood, definitely try to catch it.
Burger King is called Hungry Jacks in Australia.
** Jason – Is Kim a permanent employee now? **
** Alvin – How is your search going? I think Josie left Sun.
Any ideas on how to contact her? Also, what is your brother’s
email address? I still want to locate someone at BofA. **
** Greg – I got your email. Are u serious? That’s a very bold
move. Keep me posted. You’ll like this – I went to MickeyD’s
in Sydney. **
** Serena – I met a girl at an expat bar in Shanghai that looks
like you. She thought I was Korean! I will try to get a photo
of her. You two may have been separated at “birf” and she may
be your long lost twin. **
I stayed 3 consecutive nights at a hostel in Sydney. That was
my longest stint ever at a hostel. It wasn’t that bad but I
met some very ‘interesting’ people there. Some people actually
live long term in hostels (> 1 month). I don’t think I can do
** Mark, Amy and Alyssa – Welcome aboard. **.
** Megan – How do you get so much time off? You’re making me
jealous with your plans. Vail sounds good and we can talk
about Cabo. I enjoyed my trip to Baja and would like to go
back. Re Utah, what kind of bikes are we talking about and is
it a camping trip? Restaurant hopping has always been my hobby
so get your appetite ready. **
** Craig – I intentionally omitted the name of the hotel. But
if you remember our conversation in early Dec, I told you I had
a funny story about a certain hotel. **
** Cathy – TVM for forwarding my postcards. I will definitely
be in CO in Feb, but I don’t have exact plans on when and where
I will be yet. It seems like everyone wants to go to Vail this
year. I hope you are enjoying the stars and not peeping on your
neighbors. >:-O **
** Eileen – I’m glad that you are able to indirectly read my
postcards. I saw a concert from the River of Dreams tour on TV
in HK recently. It was taped in Europe somewhere and it
included some documentary footage about the making of the
album. This might be available at Tower or HMV. **

Quote of the Day
once upon a time, you dressed so fine
you even threw the beggars a dime
didn’t you?
– B. Dylan

The views expressed in this postcard are solely my own. They
may not be politically correct and may even be exaggerated.
Names may be changed to protect the innocent or guilty parties.
I do not have a spell checker so typographical errors will be
common. Any reproduction or retransmission without the
expressed written consent of Major League Baseball is strictly