I just got my visa to go to Australia (an event that turned out to be an illustration of how the Internet can make the physical world not irrelevant, but easier to navigate). Amazingly easy stuff.

Now I just need to figure out power plugs, change money, pack, and figure out if I can do anything during my layover in Sydney. Oh, and write a couple talks, of course.

Fortunately, I don’t leave until Saturday night, which means I probably have time to do all this.

Alas, it’ll be History’s Shortest Trip to Australia: I’m arriving in Perth Monday afternoon, working Tuesday and Wednesday, then leaving Thursday morning 1 a.m.– which seems to be when flights leave Perth for The Rest of the World. Fortunately, my visa is good for a year, so if I have a chance to go back….

And I’ve been working on a giant project proposal that, if approved, will allow me to do some serious traveling, in the name of research. (It feels a bit like that Far Side cartoon where the spiders have stretched a web across the bottom of a playground slide, and one is saying to the other, “If we pull this off, we’ll eat like kings;” but in all seriousness I think it’s important subject, and one I’m very passionate about.)

I’ve got a 5-hour layover in Sydney on the way to Perth, and an 8-hour layover on the way back; and according to the Sydney airport Web site, it’s a 15-minute train ride from the airport to downtown. So maybe I’ll get to see a little bit of that city, too. I should look for a map.

[To the tune of Yoshinori Sunahara, “Cross Wind Take Off,” from the album “Take Off and Landing”.]

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