first trip to australia, and what better way to start it off than with a visit to australia's most photographed building (above?)

here on business for 3 weeks, with my coworker joon for 1 and flying solo for two. we spent most of our first weekend sightseeing. notoriously camera shy (despite, ironically or not, being an excellent photog): that's him in the extreme bottom right corner, scurrying away while we scope out the very-tourist-trappy market trap.

we got lost on our first day, but at least ran in to this weird abandoned facade in the middle of a field. the city, at least the downtown bit, is eminently navigable; no one drives and everyone i've met takes public transit. i've taken all of one cab and walked just about everywhere.

i ate not one but two fish meals, which brings my lifetime fish total to somewhere near 3.5 meals. joon has the photographic evidence.

january summer love. toilets flush neither clockwise nor counter clockwise but down; there are no pennies; dearth of liquor stores (natives were asking me where to find one when both desperate, sober, and lost); amazing selection of foods; eerie similarity to the uk.

the rain cooperated and the second weekend turned sunny, so i strolled down to the opera house for obligatory photos. i don't know this woman, but she was on my tour bus, and isn't she just having a ball/

it costs something like $80 just for a tour of the opera house, which (i'm told) includes a very corny photograph of you 'conducting' an empty pit. decided to get a crude self portrait instead. buy some thongs with that $80 saved.

i have to confess that i haven't quite fallen in love with the city yet. i can't quite figure it out, but it might have something to do with this: moreso than at home, every so often here i notice acute pangs of lovelornness. there seem so many places to explore, things to do, places to eat, that beg for a partner in crime.

enough emo; time for a walk around the metropolitan park. my first impression is that the plantlife and wildlife is just so much cooler than what you'd find at central park or golden gate, and it is every bit as sweeping a park as either.

my second impression is that there are a shitload of bats.

i've stared at this monolith, right outside my hotel window, every day. still no closer to determining what the fuck it is.

anyway, this has largely been touristy stuff. there's been a good deal of normal, hanging out, pub-going, card-playing, drinking-with-coworkers type of activities, too, but those haven't really led to a lot of photographs or words. but, i've got another week to go here, and a few days off work planned, so there should be more to the story. if nothing else, i have a photograph of a naked japanese guy to share -- stay tuned.