Sydney Update

I’m now sitting in my hotel room in Melbourne, so the Sydney experience is complete.

Originally I was told the Oracle University classes would be cancelled if there were less than 10 people. In Singapore I got 9 people, which was the smallest class I had ever taught for Oracle University. I immediately beat that record in Sydney by having 7 people in the class. I’m guessing that from an expenses point of view, the costs are lower because I’m doing four courses in what amounts to a single round trip to Australia. If this were just a single class requiring a requiring a return flight from UK to Sydney it wouldn’t have happened. Anyway…

Day 1 went smoothly. I got a few questions that made me think, which is always good. Once I had finished the class, it was straight off to the train station to get into town to speak at the Oracle Meetup organised by the Pythian guys. The train journey took longer than I expected, so I arrived about 20 minutes late, by which point the projector was irretrievable locked away. So instead I did my presentation with my laptop pointing at the people around the table and did a lot of zooming. πŸ™‚ Despite this setback, which was totally my fault, it seemed to go OK.

It’s always good to meet new people, but I was especially happy to finally meet Nuno “Noons” Souto and Gary Myers, whose blogs I’ve been following for ages and who have both helped me in the past by correcting my numerous mistakes. After the presentation finished and we had an informal chat, it was back to the train station and then the hotel.

Day 2 of the course went smoothly enough. I had finally got something resembling sleep, so I felt a bit more on top of my game. As always, I over ran. If they gave me 3 days I’m sure I would still over run. πŸ™‚

This morning was a 06:30 flight to Melbourne, so I had to get up at about 04:00 to get ready and get the taxi to the airport. I actually woke up at 03:00, so I guess I’m going to feel a bit rough later. Luckily I’ve got the rest of the day off to recover before I start the Melbourne class tomorrow.

Melbourne was the first class to confirm, so I’m guessing it has a minimum of 10 people, but you never know. Perhaps I can break my record again. πŸ™‚

On a slightly worrying note, I’m having a bit of trouble with my credit and debit cards. I warned the banks involved that I was travelling so my usage might look a little odd. I also banged some cash onto them to preempt any problems with bills coming in while I was away. Even so, it’s all been a bit random as to which cards are accepted and which cards fail. If all else fails I’ll get Larry to fly me over some cash… πŸ™‚



More Sydney stuff…

Today I started with a visit to Darling Harbour.

I’m a sucker for aquariums, so I ended up at the aquarium. It’s a bit bigger than AQWA in Perth, but the main difference was that the seals were swimming. πŸ™‚

Next I walked across the bridge,Β just on the normal footpath. πŸ™‚

Next I headed off to Bondi Beach to show the surfer types how we roll in the UK. This involved me walking round fully clothed trying desperately to keep out of the sun. I went a bit mad with the sun screen this morning leaving be with a silvery glow. I must have looked like an overdressed alien. Needless to say I didn’t get sunburn.

Later I was back in Sydney center, walking through the gardens when I noticed people checking out the trees. At first I thought these were some freaky sort of bird nests. It wasn’t until I zoomed in I noticed they were bats. Fun, fun, fun…



Perth to Sydney…

I got to Perth airport about 2 hours early, attempted to check in and was told I couldn’t until I paid the outstanding balance on my ticket. [Insert flashback to Frankfurt here] I called Oracle Travel and a couple of minutes later it was sorted and I got on the plane and survived the flight. Did you hear about that Qantas flight? That was on the taxi radio and the TV at the airport before I flew. πŸ™

I had booked the cheapest hotel in Sydney (CBD) I could find on I got off the plane and became increasingly worried that I had booked into a crack-house, but it turned out really cool. It’s a pretty small place above a pub in the center of town, but the room is really cool. I wonder if they will give me an extra discount because I’m unemployed? πŸ™‚

I went down to check out the harbour and took a ride on the Manly ferry. I know it’s a bit stupid, but the opera house is so iconic, I really feel like I’m in Australia now.

It was getting dark by the time the ferry came back from Manly.

I walked home through a park and saw a bloody big rat. I was going to photograph it and make some joke about Quokkas, but I was too slow. A little further on I heard a noise in a tree and saw something a little cuter than a rat.

Tomorrow is my only full day in Sydney before I go on to Gold Coast, so I’ve got to figure out what to do to make the most of my limited time.