Late Wednesday, 8 July 2015.
Another day at home, waiting for an email or ‘phone call from my growing list of job applications or another recruiter.
I’d had enough. Although it was pleasant enough being at home, taking it easy and doing more of my favourite things like reading, I was also spending too much time at home waiting.
It was time to get out and do something different.
How about going to the zoo?
The last time I had been to Sydney’s Taronga Zoo was way back on 2 January 2014.
It was certainly time to go again – and best of all, I had the luxury of going on a weekday.
The zoo it was, tomorrow!
And then I had another idea.
I looked at Google Maps…
…and doing that gave me another idea.
I thought and planned some more, until finally tomorrow became a very full day indeed.
And if someone rang me on my smartphone about a job application or opportunity, big deal – I could find somewhere quiet and call them back, or as a last resort email them back from my iPad (which I had done a couple of weeks before from Wollongong one morning).
I went to bed very happy and slept soundly.
Thursday, 9 July 2015.
I got up around 9am, showered, shaved and relaxed.
Just before 11am I got ready to leave, and as I did I thought about taking two items with me or not.
One item was my long-walk hat, and ultimately I decided not to take that – it was a nice winter day outside, but not hot, so I didn’t think I’d need my hat if there wasn’t a blazing sun.
The other item was my large pair of headphones, in case I did get an important call and had to return it – instead of having to find a quiet place somewhere, I could just plug my headphones into my smartphone wherever (which had helped two weeks before in Wollongong, and other times I’d been out in public). As well, though, I decided that it wasn’t necessary because (a) I wanted to devote backpack space instead to a large bottle of water and (b) I thought that where I was planning to go after the zoo, there should be ample opportunity to find quiet places if need be.
And besides, I may not get a call after all.
At 11am, I set off on the first leg of my planned adventure.
Which was a 30-minute walk down to Circular Quay, where I could get a ferry across Sydney Harbour to the zoo.
I’d done this walk many times before, north through Hyde Park and down the slope of Macquarie Street to the Quay.
I completed it without incident, and also enjoyed the luxury of walking it near the middle of a weekday and as relaxed as I wanted to.
At around 11:30 I reached the Quay and especially City Extra, where I planned to tank up on a big breakfast and perhaps even a gelato dessert as well.
In the end I just went with a big breakfast, but that was enough to have me feeling tanked up for the hours ahead.
At around 12:15pm I left City Extra, and barely 10 minutes later I was on a ferry to the zoo.
And not long after 12:30pm, I got off the ferry across the harbour and entered Taronga Zoo.
I spent the next two hours at the zoo, walking around and seeing pretty much everything.
As always, it was good to be there – and today, after the previous few days of waiting at home, it was even better being there.
Every so often, I checked my smartphone – partly because it doubles as my clock, and partly to see if anyone had called.
No one called…
…until not long before 2:30pm, when I was almost done at the zoo and planning to leave.
I stood near the tree kangaroo enclosure and, with a finger in my free ear, listened to a voicemail from yet another recruiter about another possible job opportunity.
I thought about trying to return his call then and there, but (a) the zoo is a noisy place and (b) especially as the recruiter was calling from Canberra, I was worried about the call breaking up from uncertain reception, especially at a place like the zoo.
In the end, though, I decided that getting back to him could wait a little longer until I found a better place to do so.
Soon after, just past 2:30pm, I left the zoo by its Bradleys Head Road entrance.
While there, I considered returning the recruiter’s call as it was relatively quiet…but then I looked at the bus stop nearby and dreaded a noisy arrival during my call.
Once again, it could wait.
Instead, I decided to start the next planned leg of that day’s journey.
First, head north along Bradleys Head Road to downtown Mosman.
Second, head west along Military Road through Cremorne to Neutral Bay.
Third, cross the Warringah Freeway and follow Falcon Road further west into Crows Nest.
Finally, reach the Montezuma’s Mexican restaurant in Crows Nest for dinner.
I was familiar with all of the above areas from previous separate occasions…but I was unsure how long it would take to walk it all together.
I was thinking that it would perhaps take me two hours at least, and perhaps three hours at most.
But, again, I had the luxury of letting it take as long as I felt.
The only thing I had to consider was finding somewhere quiet to return the recruiter’s call.
That shouldn’t be a problem, though.
I began walking north up the gently rising slope of Bradleys Head Road.
TO BE CONTINUED