I’m in Sydney. It takes 20 hours on planes to get here from Boston,
many more if you fold in the waits and to and fro from airports.

If that doesn’t make it perfectly clear that this is almost
another planet a visit to the botanical garden will. White parrots
with yellow horns pick at the grass in flocks. Fig trees the size of
althletic fields. Some trees with 70% of their mass dedicated to
their trunk; some like bottles and others like cones. The trees are
tough here. The axes of the settlers would break when they attempted
remove them.

The most stricking though are the flying foxes. They rest like
wasp nests in the high branches of trees; five hundred or a thousand
of them. Occationally one comes or goes. The size of a large hawk
but with a sound like a large canvas of leather, a huge bat.
Occationally a vast number of them take the air in flock; very

Against that ecological background it is odd how very much like
London Sydney is. Herds of business men in identical color, black.
Subways with tiles and signage right out of the 19th century. Largen
department stores, with men in tuxs playing pianos at the base of the
elevator wells, entire floors of shoes, ladies hats that remind me of
Easter sunday in the early 1960s outragous piles of feathers.

Very good wine.

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