Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Return from Backwards Land

So it's been a day and a half since we got back from the other side of the equator and date line (New Zealand and Australia), and we're still adjusting from the return from backwards land.

There's the obvious time zone difference.  Poor Chad found himself unable to sleep at 8:30am Sydney time last night.  Aside from the giant dark circles under her eyes, bouncy Nim appears to be unaffected. I'm just hungry at all the wrong times, and suffering from caffeine withdrawal (I drink decaf at home, but vacation rules are different).  I clearly need our typical New Zealand lunch of a meat pie and a flat white about now:

Also for Chad, there is the readjustment to driving on the right side of the road rather than the left.  Much concentration was put into driving on the correct side of the road, especially around the many roundabouts.  As I've noticed on other trips, the hardest part of driving on the other side of the road (at least in cheap rental cars) is that the windshield wiper and turn signal levers are reversed, leading to much spurious windshield wiping at inopportune moments.

I finally got adjusted to "other side of the road" effect as a pedestrian just before we left, and am now confusing people on sidewalks around here.  One wouldn't think this is hard, but it is.

Weather differences are also apparent.  New Zealand was full of rainbows; here in California, the grass has turned brown, it hasn't rained in what seems like forever, and the daytime highs are around 90 degrees.
But the weirdest thing for me at the moment is the abrupt shift in light levels from winter to summer.  We were used to it getting dark around 5pm (often before the end of the day's adventures).

Late afternoon view from Flagstaff Hill, near Russell, a small town known as the "Hellhole of the South Pacific" during colonial times.  Awfully nice now.

Waiting for the 5:00 ferry back from Russell.

View of Manly, Australia, from Dobroyd Head at approximately 5:00 pm.

Crazed kids after a full afternoon of walking. Pictured are Lexi, Aiden, and Nimue + Austin (before getting in trouble for sitting on the convertible).  I think Addison was still enjoying the walk with the rest of the adults while I took these, so I missed him.

Right now at home, at about 5pm, it's bright and sunny and over 80 degrees.  It won't get to the dimness level of the above pictures for another 4 or 5 hours.  Most confusing to the jet-lagged...

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