August 28th, 2000

emu

newsletter number 17 just went out.

Gerbie on tour (17)

Hi everyone,

I hope everybody is doing fine. Since almost a week I have arrived in Sydney, Australia and I considered it time for another update of my newsletter, so here I am.

The second part of my journet led me via Apeldoorn, Amsterdam Schiphol and London to Singapore. Almost everyone must have heard something about the country and the very strict rules that apply there. The results are visible though. I had walked for several hours before I saw the first bit of paper somewhere. At least you don't have to be continually aware of the hazards like bubblegum or dogshit, then again the state and the width of the pavement didn't help too much. It is a very safe place, which is easy, but the weird thing about it was, even though some of the rules are pretty pety (you can't cross the street here, there is an official crossing within 50 metres), in the nearly four days I was there I haven't seen a single policeman.

The city is good for an inbetween stop, I definetely enjoyed seeing it, but wouldn't want to be there for longer than a week. Nice to see is that every different culture has its own part of town, worth visiting. So I had three different walks on consecutive days through Little India, Arab street and Chinatown. On the very last day, before I flew, I visited Sentosa, a little island very close to the coast, which has been changed into some sort of eco-disney. Not worth it therefore, but you've got to see to believe I thought. But the museum on the island, with everything on the city-state's history made up for it. Especially the part about the second world war, in which the British made some fatal mistakes, given the Japanese an easy way of invading, was very interesting.

After a couple of days in Asia I have arrived here in Sydney. The main reason I went to this side of the world, instead of continuing my journey through South America, as I originally intended, are the Olympic games. From the day I arrived I have been looking for a job within the Olympics. And that turned out to be much more complicated than I had anticipated. Nobody knows where to sign in, everyone has helpfull hints, though none of them work and the organisation is only known for it's lack of what it's name says, if I may believe all locals writing to complain to the papers. My hope nearly went after a couple of days. The only thing on offer appeared to be streetsweeping. And even though it pays well, seeing anything within the olympics will be impossible.

But as always, the solution comes when you least expect it. When I showed up to deliver a form, suddenly it turned out they were doing interviews. Within a few minutes I found myself sitting at a table and ten minutes later I was back on the street with my working schedule as a volunteer in a 'response team'. I hadn't got a clue what that meant when they offered it, but as it turned out I have to be inside the stadium during the athletics events, although my exact job description isn't very clear to me yet, but it's a start I guess.

Now my main task will be to find lodging for the Olympics, which might turn out to be as complicated. All hotelrooms are either booked or unpayable, but I hope I'll find something soon. While searching, I anticipated on succes and bought some tickets for events on the days that I am not working. Only teamsports that aren't very popular around here, therefore are not only still available, but not even very expensive. So I'll see a couple of Baseball and Volleyball games and one hockey match, most, not all, involving a Dutch team. So I am definitely eagerly awaiting the Olympics, as is most of the city now

In nearly one week, I obviously haven't seen much of the town yet, time to play a tourist will be plenty though I guess. And I have already seen the Opera house and crossed the famous harbour bridge twice. It's a start.

So, until next time with, hopefully more Olympic news. Keep mailing me, by now I have become so addicted that I check my mailbox on a near-daily basis and I still like to know what is going on in your lifes!

take care,

Gerben
emu

8th july

stupid computer, cheapest internet though. The entry of the 8th of july was made last week, ignore it as the first comment please.