I heard this called “AFL,” “Australian Rules Football,” and “Footie.”
How to play: (This is my own version, based on what I saw, and no doubt not entirely accurate.)
1. Be a hot muscular dude.
2. Put on very small shorts.
3. Run around a large circular field.
4. Let ref bounce a ball into the center of a group, and then chase the ball till you grab it.
5. If another guy wearing a different color grabs it, you can knock him down with a violent hug.
6. If you have the ball, you can drop kick it to another guy, or hit it volleyball-style.
7. If somebody actually catches the ball from a decent distance away, nobody gets to hit him.
8. If you get close to the end zone, get the ball through the uprights.
9. If you get the ball through the middle two poles, it’s 6 points. If you get it through the side poles, it’s one point. There is also something called a “Behind.” I have no idea what that is, despite careful explanations.
Rules for fans:
1. Wear Sydney Swans red gear, including but not limited to beanies.
2. Be very loud.
3. Get angry if the blue team scores.
Dinner gets its own separate post because it was my favorite meal of the trip.
We ordered vegetarian platters for the table to share, and everything was amazing. Will & Amelia were with us.
Highlights included the eggplant, cauliflower, and cabbage rolls. YUM.
We took the ferry out to Watson’s Bay. A friend of Will’s is studying in NZ, and came for a visit with one of her friends, so they all came too.
We stopped for some lunch:
Then we walked around and checked out the views.
It was so windy!
Amelia’s parents were in town visiting her, and looking for some business opportunities that could mean a move to Sydney. We all met for breakfast. Lovely people! So glad I got a chance to see them.
Wednesday night after the zoo we went to Sydney Cafe and had a great dinner with Robert’s friends Matt and Jane, and Will. Yum, and great views.
Robert is a volunteer at Sydney’s zoo, which is in a beautiful location right by the water, with a view of the skyline. I haven’t visited too many zoos, but wouldn’t be surprised if this was the prettiest in the world.
That is the view from the bird show, which I highly recommend. Here you can see the backside of a bird about a quarter second after it buzzed my head.
Parts of the zoo have double doors in and out to keep the wildlife in. Inside, wallabies and emus and such can walk around as they like, right with the people if they choose.
In another part of the zoo, we saw koalas. There is one in this tree, snoozing, but it is a little hard to see.
Here is a kookaburra:
That is the research office where Robert works. We met some of his coworkers who were very nice.
On to the giraffe:
Our host, my brother-in-law Robert, had an accident on his bicycle six years ago today. It’s a Happy Anniversary because he survived it! Every year he returns to the scene, so today he brought his mom and me along. It happened here in Coogee.
That is the intersection. Robert was riding toward the roundabout, when a car hit him, hard.
The car in the foreground was coming the same way as the car six years ago, and didn’t slow or stop coming into the roundabout. Robert was coming down the hill and already most of the way through the roundabout when it hit him. He was slammed up against the brick wall of a little convenience store on the opposite corner.
Robert recreates the scene where he lay after the accident.
His mom brought flowers to leave at the scene.
He was in a coma and suffered a major brain injury, but his recovery has been amazing. He works hard at it, and he gets better all the time. Actually, I can’t really tell much of a difference. He is still active and fun. I have been driving because he doesn’t drive, but that could change in the very near future. Yay Robert!