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Alex Bremner's Overseas Sojourn: Leaving Home

Alexandra Bremner's Overseas Sojourn: Leaving Home

By Alexandra Bremner

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Alexandra Bremner The Kaipaira harbour has just slipped past my airplane window and my journey has begun. Months of planning, saving has finally come to fruition and quite frankly it doesn't feel a bit real. But that will pass.

The arrival in Sydney was slightly harrowing (cross winds - bloody lovely!) but my first impression of this city is… sprawl. This city has leaked out over the landscape like a rash. Its lights spread out to the horizon, obese, busy, with a shallow opulence.

It is only a first impression, and I am going to be proved wrong, but size and a struggle to sparkle brighter than your neighbour seem to be very tangible here.

In Sydney, the news of the day seems to be a failure of road tolling. Apparently the company which built the Sydney Harbour Tunnel is facing financial difficulties.

The New South Wales state government is talking inquiries while speculation swirls over the company's well-being. Locals continue to protest the toll policy by refusing pay to cross the harbour. Maybe New Zealand's humble counterpart, Transit NZ, should sit up and listen. Surely a regional tax for the Western Ring Route is better then making Auckland locals pay and pay and pay for something which should have been paid by petrol and roading tax anyway... just a thought.

Aside from tolls, unseasonable cold - it is the coldest November day in Sydney for over 100 years, bush fires in the Blue Mountains, the G20 summit and Al Gore are rattling their sabres all over the news. There seems to be a synchronicity of sorts there... interesting... I wonder if there is a connection. Global warming and its connection with unencumbered economic growth anyone... go on you know its true.

Well I'm off to learn the idiosyncrasies of Sydney's public transport system. I hope I get the right bus-ferry combo or else who knows where I'll end up...

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Alexandra Bremner is a New Zealand writer reporting on her experiences of the countries and peoples of South East Asia.

ENDS

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