I’m listening to the cars splashing through the puddles in the road. It’s a cool, drizzly day—a Sydney day. I was in Australia during their “winter,” and the coast in particular was rainy sometimes. In Sydney, I got really good at dodging under storefronts down George Street to stay out of the rain. Once I reached the Queen Victoria Building, I’d duck inside and keep dry for that block of the street. It didn’t hurt that the QVB is a beautiful old building, restored as a mall, so there was lots of architecture and stores to look at while I walked.
On one particularly rainy day, however, despite all my attempts at ducking inside shortcuts and under awnings, I arrived back at my hostel looking like my dog after her bath. I had a job interview that afternoon and didn’t want to arrive there wet, so I marched up to the desk and asked about the buses. The fellow was quite happy to explain which buses ran down George Street, and gave me a puzzled look when I asked about the fare. That depended on how far I was going.
I ventured back out into the rain armed with some change and waited for the bus. Unlike here, where if you haven’t got the exact change for your ride, you either won’t be riding or will be paying too much, drivers there carried change and only charged you for the distance you rode. So I arrived at my interview safe and dry, but walked back afterwards in the rain (it was a toss-up between the stress of the bus and the wet of the walk).
In about the middle of my holiday there, I spent a week in Katoomba with a Danish friend I’d met. We were looking forward to exploring the Blue Mountains, until we woke up to drizzling rain. All right, we decided, we’d go caving. Crawling around the Jenolan Caves, twisting through holes just as big as we were and crawled down corners nicknamed “the Toilet Bowl,” kept us out of the rain.
But the next day again dawned drizzly again. We weren’t going to be stopped by that, and set out for a trolley tour. Halfway through, we found the Prince Henry Cliff Walk. Well, we’d brought our rain jackets and rain hats, and surely there’d be enough trees there to keep the rain off. Have I mentioned that wet dog look before? Five kilometres in the rain requires an extremely waterproof jacket. Back at the hostel, though, others we’d talked to the night before had just spent the day sitting around waiting for the rain to stop.
In Adelaide, just before I came home, I discovered what an empty beach is like. Even the seagulls looked wet. But I only had a week there, and I wanted to see the city before I left. While I was growing up, my parents had never let rain get in the way of our family holidays and so I also didn’t let it stop me from seeing what I wanted to see in Australia. And now, as I listen to the rain outside, it brings back fun memories of things I’ve done on rainy days.