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It's confirmed--I leave on Thursday. Bangkok, Hong Kong, Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, Chicago, New York, Dublin, London, Oxford, Paris, Munich, Venice...and Rome. Not necessarily in that order.

Now that departure is imminent it's clear what an experience Sydney has been. Often I loathed this town and it drove me nuts, but there were some great (and weird) times. Summer, which means that after 10 minutes outside you need a shower and a change of shirt. My glasses fogging up when I stepped out of the cool night into a steamy crowded nightclub, or when going out of an air-conditioned building into the humid outdoors. The streets full of tourists of all nationalities and accents. Olympics fever. Dancing to tunes by DJ Punk-Roc and Fatboy Slim. An excellent radio station called 2SER-FM. Hundreds of bats rising from the trees of Hyde Park as dusk. Watching the boats on the Harbor. Certain people and places. New Year's Eve and the week that preceded it.

Irrationally, the first thing I realized I'd miss was Nokia, the Danish-Australian 19-metre boat that won last year's Sydney-to-Hobart yacht race and has a mooring here. I first saw her about a week before the race; and have watched her from the window through binoculars almost everyday the last two months as she takes a spin around the Harbor a couple of hours before sunset. Waiting for her to appear is nerve-racking, seeing her come into view is like a consummation. If it's possible to fall in love with a yacht...

Another day of getting up at 4-bloody-o'clock AM. I hate my job.

Today, as it has been all week, was quite niftily warm. Nearly every last trace of snow is now gone from Southeastern Michigan. Very cool.

Monday my vacation from my classes starts. Very fun. Just as well that my work doesn't know it.

I tried to castrate myself again today. Word of advice to would-be eunuchs: Don't take a hot shower while having a tight elastic band around your testicles. The hot shower makes the pain more or less go away for the time being, but as soon as the hot water stops, you get hit with all the pain which was held back, and then some. I actually passed out from it.

In other news, my roommate has had some friends from California over for a couple days. They went skiing all day today (yes, in Southern New Mexico there is skiing nearby). When they got back, we watched Trainspotting.

Oh, and even though I failed to destroy my testicles, I did finally get a haircut, the first major shedding of head mass in about 4 years. It's nice and androgynous.

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