Veronica has been stalling, so I’m breaking the story first: there were baby seals. Seal babes. Scooching, flopping, rolling, tumbling, flubs of fatty cuteness. Tears were shed, hearts warmed. Here’s why:
We’re off to greener pastures.
The greenest, in fact, from what we hear. And full of sheep. If the world were a map of Catan, New Zealand would be that endless swathe of grass inviting you to forgo the toils of stone mines, lumber camps, or brick kilns and instead just pet a few woolly ruminants (or trade them two for one at the nearest port). In heed of that siren bleat, Veronica took a leave of absence at both the research clinic and her dental office. Slow to hear, I accepted a proposal to work remotely for CLEARLINK.
That’s how we found ourselves at LAX–that steaming pile of aviation–and (20 hours later) ended up wandering Sydney harbor like two Romero zombies. “Nothing is very impressive when you’re tired,” Napoleon once said, and we’re inclined to agree. Architectural delights merely thud against a jet lagged brain like so many bricks. For that reason, we’re excited to circle back around to this part of the world in January. It was unfair to expect too much of Sydney on a nine-hour layover.
In spite of the poor timing, we were granted the unexpected pleasure of watching an Australia’s Next Top Model hopeful traipse off a window ledge onto an adoring crowd below. She was attached to cables, of course, and I imagine the intended effect was that of a vertical runway (judging by the pedesimilitude of her flailing legs and the banner she was air stomping). There were a number of aborted attempts at this feat, but once the contestant was told she’d be doing it “for fashion,” she bravely (and tearfully) let the industrial cable hold aloft her waifish frame. When our sartorial Marie Curie finally touched ground, she took a moment to gather herself before stalking down the traditional runway as God intended. Altogether it was a successful adventure in the urban outback, which happens to feel a lot like Lake Wobegon, “where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.”