Thursday, September 25, 2008

Next Stop: Moscow Idaho and Paris Texas

I guess she shouldn't have made that left turn at the Falklands, huh? An Argentinian woman wanted to take a vacation to one of the world great cities, so she booked her flight online to Sydney and set out. She flew up the Atlantic coast and switched to the small turbo prop plane you have to take to Cape Breton Island and finally she realized that something wasn't right. She wasn't flying over the Australian countryside, she was flying over Eastern Canada.

To be fair, the small city of Sydney, Nova Scotia was founded around the same time as Sydney, New South Wales with the former settled in 1785 and the latter in 1788. They were both named in honor (or honour as the case may be) of the British Home Secretary, Lord Sydney, and they both are near water. Sydney Canada is just to the North of Port Hawkesbury which empties out into Chedabucto Bay, which in turn opens up to the North Atlantic. Sydney Australia is just south of the Hawkesbury River, which makes it's way to the South Pacific. Additionally, both these bodies of water were named for Baron Hawkesbury, the Earl of Liverpool.

See! They're practically the same place! I can totally understand how someone would set out to go to the Emerald City of the Southern Hemisphere and end up in a town of 25 thousand in the Northern Hemisphere. Not that I'm knocking far eastern Canada, mind you, because I'm sure it's lovely during the two or three months when it's not covered in snow. My family lives in Maine, which is like Florida to the people of Sydney Nova Scotia.

The best part of this story is that the wayward tourist stuck it out in Canada and tried to make the best of things. Wow! That's one hell of an optimist for you. I can't even tell you how unbelievably heartbroken I would have been if we had been dropped in Canada back in May rather than Sydney, Australia. I can't imagine a scenario wherein Inky and I would have been able to just "make the best of it."

I'm sure the largest fiddle in the world is quite a thing to see, but I know the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I've climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge, walked over it and rode on ferries under it. And you Worlds Largest Fiddle are no Sydney Harbour Bridge. None of this is meant to say that Sydney Canada is a hole that no one should ever visit, because some of the pictures I've
seen taken there in the summer time are beautiful, but few cites in the world can compare to the shining emerald of Oz. So had Inky and I found ourselves in the same situation as this unlucky tourist, and the others who this has apparently happened to, I think we would have just walked home, stopping every once and a while to tap a tree for some delicious maple syrup to maintain our strength, all the while weeping.

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