Hello from a very wet Sydney. We’ll look forward to finding out over the next few days whether it really deserves the ‘frappachino heaven’ accolade which Bill Bryson awarded to it.
We left Thailand behind with real regret. Part of the fascination lay in the realisation that it was very Irish. Smiling, charming, eager to please and totally confusing. Particularly it was the desire to respond to all questions not with the appropriate answer but by working out what they thought you wanted to hear. Wasan of Rainbow House described it as ‘Mai pen rai’ – meaning ‘No Problem’.
This in turn meant that there was a constant need for simultaneous translation.
‘Do you know where the restaurant is?’ Answer: ‘Yes of course. I was born in the next street’ Translation: ‘Haven’t a clue. But we’ll set out anyway.’
Sydney looks much more ‘straight up and down’ – indeed rather more Californian. But time will tell.