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Dec 16, 2002 9:11 pm Tales from Australia
Marcus Ronaldi
For more go to

Interesting Tales From Down Under
What a difference a layer of clouds make. My mood and opinion changed dramatically once the weather changed to fit my idea of summer. So I walked around Sydney to the things that are unique (Sydney Opera House) and those that are in every city (The painted guy pretending to be a statue). While walking past ones of those stores that are going out of business for years I saw one of those jobs I would never want which was some poor sap with a microphone and an amp announcing the sales like a radio commercial on. A tape and a boom box could easily replace him, and he knows it, which makes it even sadder.
Around four we went to the Australian museum and were pleased to discover like my flight, admission was free as it was after four. The main thing I learned is that most countries have a law against the traffic of human skeletons. I guess they do not want what happened to that family in Suitland when the skeletons chased them.
Afterwards I went to have a cup of coffee at a café (Australian Cups are FAR too small!!)
It turns out the husband of the woman that runs the shop is a prominent Australian artist and is listed in the Australian encyclopaedia of Art. I saw some of his pieces and they were nice. These people knew everyone on the block and they invited me to a Friday 13th block party so I will extend my stay in Sydney till Saturday.
Then things get odd. I went down the street to the pub where the day previous the publican yelled at me because I did not know the definition of a “pokies”. (A pokies is one of those awful video poker machines that are everywhere in Australia, I am all for choose but I think those machines are stupid). His pub is one that has known which is good. The other people in the pub where giving me advice about where to go during my time in Australia. I saw an old newspaper article about some guy who had a standoff with the police in the bathroom and I thought how I wish something interesting would happen.
Then it did and I am not making this next bit up. The pub was located across the street from a brothel which I guess could be legal in Australia but they have a problem with the staffing not being on the proper visa. The Sydney Vice Squad raided the brothel and we had a first row seat to the action. After a while the Sydney media showed up.
Was informed that was one of the more exciting evenings and I am glad I did not end up at the Hard Rock Café for Backpackers Night.
This morning I went for a short run as the sun woke me up early.
Now this whole trip I am thinking, “what a unique idea to go to Australia on United Miles” but as I was walking through Sydney I ran into one of my fellow Penn Staters that was actually in my class that also had that same idea.

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