Tuesday, February 13. Landed in Sydney much worse for wear. So exhausted! Had to buy an Australian adaptor plug at the airport to plug in my electronics, which is different from the UK, most of Europe and Italy (which is different still). Then the last leg of my extremely long journey. Another four hours on to Perth, Western Australia. I couldn’t help sleeping for an hour, thank goodness. Last night in the wee hours when I couldn’t sleep I saw the documentary on Amy Winehouse. What a waste of talent; what a waste of a life! If she had only known the Three Principles, maybe she’d still be alive and singing today. Anyway, I staggered out of the plane, where Joanne graciously picked me up. It feels so weird to have so little sleep, as if there is a fog over everything. So I was barely functioning and probably not a great conversationalist. But I was determined to stay up until it was time to go to bed in WA time, which was tough, but that’s how I’ve learned to beat jet lag—wake up in the morning and then you’re on schedule again, but meanehile it’s a struggle that first day. Joanne took me to my place, an Airbnb where the Asian fellow who runs it showed us the ins and outs of the place. This is the neatest and most meticulous man I’ve ever met. There is nothing out of place in this apartment—all the utensils are lined up in the drawers in perfect rows. He wants the place kept immaculate. I can’t possibly live up to his expectations, but I love clean places. Then Joanne took me to do a little shopping for the week. After she dropped me off I took a long walk through a very nice park that starts just a few blocks from my place. I loved that. Everything is different in Australia: trees, “the bush,” plants, animals, birds, snakes. Snakes– very poisonous ones–are no joke in Australia; there are signs everywhere to not pet the snakes (okay, it doesn’t exactly say that, but you get the idea). Virtually nothing looks like the USA or Europe. For lunch I walked to a mall (the mall is one thing that’s pretty much the same) which is not too far away that has the best food court I have ever seen in a mall. Every nationality of food one could think of is there: Malaysian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Mexican, French, Turkish and other Middle Eastern, Italian, and so much more. I saw a Chinese buffet that looked appealing, and it was great! I will keep going back to this food court for many of my meals. (Later, for dinner, though, I made myself some gluten-free pasta). Watched the Winter Olympics until I fell asleep.
Wednesday, February 14. I woke up feeling pretty okay, after sleeping about eight hours. It was kind of a fitful sleep— my body must still have been thinking it was on the plane, so I kept waking up but then going right back to sleep. Today would be a day of recovery for me. I only had two obligations, and I nearly forgot one of them. In the morning, Jen, who set up this training for me, took me over to the training venue, so I could check out the room. We couldn’t get into the room because a classroom of kids were in it, but we are able to see through the glass windows, and it looks like a beautiful training room. It’s in a nature center, so there are stuffed crazy-looking Australian animals and birds all over the place. Then we sat down for coffee (for her) and a natural juice drink (for me), and talked about the upcoming training. The venue is in the park I walked in yesterday, and not too far from where I live, so I left Jen and walked back to my place through the park. Then I went back to the food court, this time for a Turkish kebab wrap, which was also excellent. This time I walked through the entire mall, which is really huge and then walked back through the park to my apartment. Just the kind of chill-out day I needed. I tried to do some work and watch the Olympics at the same time. Then before I knew it, just as I was about to jump into the shower, my phone rang. Sheila, who is a friend of Richard’s from my book, Seduced by Consciousness, and whom Richard said I had to meet, was outside waiting for me. Holy cow, I had lost track of the time. So I asked her permission to allow me to take a very quick shower. She then took me for a Valentine’s Day dinner at a nice Italian restaurant, after having gotten permission from her husband to go with me on Valentine’s Day, since I was in from the States. That was really nice of both of them. Good conversation— we talked a lot about Richard—and good food. Sheila originally started working with Jen to try to get the training to be held three hours to the south down in Margaret River, where she lives on a farm, but it didn’t work out that way. Sheila showed me some pictures of when Richard visited her down there, and the place looked really beautiful. But it’s too far away for me to get down there on this trip. And because Western Australia is so far away I’m not sure I will ever be here again. I really liked Perth when I was here the first time about 20 years ago, and I’m happy to be back. At night I watched more Winter Olympics and saw Shaun White, who used to hang out in Vermont, at 31 years old, win his third gold medal on the snowboard pipe, especially after having had a horrible accident in his last competition where he had to have 60 stitches in his face. It was amazing to see him come back and have the courage to do the same impossible maneuver that he had wiped out on last time. It just goes to show you, all extraneous thought can be blocked out to just be one with the moment.