The train from Newcastle to Sydney was beautiful and scenic and it was so much better a) going during the day and b) not having the train ride turn into a bus trip.

Once I arrived in Sydney late yesterday afternoon, I didn’t feel like doing much other than seeing a movie. It was tight-arse Tuesday, so I saw “Matchstick Men” at the Greater Union multiplex on George Street for $10. It’s a really good film. It’s like the classic conmen scam story elevated to a higher level. At times the emotion relationship side of things gets so involving that it’s easy to forget that there’s a scam going on. I had the scam figured out, though.

Today I went on a tour of the State Theatre. It’s a magnificent, opulent 1930s picture palace, like the Civic Theatre in Auckland, but even more extravagant. The best thing about the State is that it was build primarily as a cinema. It has an art gallery, paintings, statues, mosaics and – OMG – the largest chandelier in the southern hemisphere! All this extravagance was designed so that the ordinary working man or woman could get away from it all when they went out to the movies.

According to the tour commentary, during the 1970s Greater Union, the theatre’s owners, were considering selling it. The builders union put a “green ban” on it, meaning that no builders would work on any construction work. Like, how cool is that. Sometimes Australia seems too unionised, but that sort of thing makes up for it.

Actually, thinking about the Civic Theatre, there are no tours available of the Civic. I think the Auckland City Council complains that it would cost too much, but really, how much would it cost to have an audio guide self-tour? Especially when you make the tourists pay for it.

Next I visited the Museum of Contemporary Art. I love it so much. My favourite thing this time was part of an exhibit of works by young Australian artists. It was a film called “Welcome to the Jingle” made by a group of drag kings called Kingpins. Dressed as blond athletes, they four drag kings ran around the streets of Sydney, visiting various Starbucks and performing some formation dancing. Kind of like the lesbian lovechild of the “Praise You” video.

Then I got the ferry over to Manly and wandered around there for a bit. I walked around bay and took some photos. Then I got the ferry back. Yay. Oh, and the sun was setting as the ferry came back into Circular Quay. Steel grey and orange sky!

I gave in an saw “Freaky Friday”. It was everything I wanted and more. It has a way better ending than the original, and in this one Anna-as-Mom gets the makeover, not the other way.

I had dinner at one of those conveyor belt sushi places. All the plates cost $2.50, which was far better value for money than the sushi place I went to in Manchester where a plate of two pieces of sushi was 2.50 pounds.

This internet place is pretty cool. I’m in a private booth (oo-er) sitting on a couch while the computer is on a glass-topped wooden table. I keep hearing geeks over in the gaming area yelling out stuff about giant moths. Ah, such ambience. And the best bit is, it’s really reasonably priced – much better value than the crappier touristy interweb places up the hill.

Ok, tomorrow I return to Aotearoa. I’m not sure if I will be able to manage to attend Mobile Stud Unit’s 10th anniversary hooley on Friday. The thought of more travel and unfamiliar beds isn’t so appealing at the moment.

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