Sunday, December 24, 2006

Marsupials and Mistletoe--The Christmas that Never Was

G'Day Friends and Family,

As most of you know, I'll be in Australia for Christmas and New Year's this year, visiting my friend Chris (of Aussie in SF 2005 fame). Well, actually, I'll be somewhere in the clouds above Fiji or maybe Micronesia. And according to my plane ticket, I'm actually not having a Christmas this year. No, it's not because I’m finally succumbing in full to my Jewish roots and it's also not because I've turned into one of the people who refuses to acknowledge any holiday that's fueled by consumerism. In fact, I'm not exactly sure why I'm skipping Christmas--something to do with the intricacies of The International Date Line (I leave SF on Dec 24th and land in Melbourne on Dec 26th after a 14 hour flight).

The whole thing reminds me of one of those puzzles that your 6th grade science teacher would give you on the last week of school before summer when there's no real work to do. You know, the kind where the class is forced to hypothesize what will happen if a cat (which will always land on it's feet) had a piece of toast (which always lands buttered side down) glued to its back (buttered side out) and jumped off a countertop--which side would hit the ground first? In the same vein, if Lauren misses Christmas on the way over, does she get it back on her return flight and, if so, should she expect Santa to pay her a visit then? Ugh...

Anyway, for those of you who will in fact experience a holiday this year, I just wanted to wish you a good one. I'll think of you all on New Year's Day when I'm in recovery mode, wiping off eye makeup and attempting to down some Vegemite on toast as the temperature rounds 100 degrees in Sydney…or somewhere in the 30’s according to the local metrics. At that point, you'll all barely be getting started for New Year's Eve.

So the plan is:

  • Melbourne: Dec 26th - Dec 30th
  • Sydney: Dec 30 - Jan 3rd
  • Cairns (Great Barrier Reef): Jan 3rd - Jan 6th
  • Sydney: Jan 6th - Jan 12th (land in SF on the 12th)

Send word if you get the chance, mates, especially any tips on places/things to check out (thanks to those who already have). Have a great holiday and a safe New Year. Wish me luck down unda and, more importantly, on the 14 hour plane ride tomorrow. Thank God I have the cabin cuddler and Bill Bryson's adventure tales of an American in Australia to ease the journey.

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