I spent the morning around The Rocks at Sydney. It’s a beautiful section of town where you look over to the iconic Sydney Opera House at the other side of the harbor while enjoying high end shopping (hello Burberry!) next to street vendors. Just after midday I hopped on an airport shuttle where I sat next to a really interesting man who is the general manager for a luxury cruise line in Chile, which is like hello new dream. I need to go to chile with my family and be on a cruise with 60 other people.

So I explained it to Mr. G in an email like this:

Also in a strange turn of events I’ve decided the four of us need to take a trip to Chile if you want to take a four day cruise.

And he responds with this:

Cruise scares me

Followed almost immediately by:

One more word…pirates

And a few seconds later:

One more…sleeping in piles of your own shit

Okay, he has a point, three really.

So I follow up with:

Small boat. Luxury boat!

And his last word was:

And I watched Life of Pi on airplane today and boat sinks and they all die

Which is awesome. I can really see how he’s coming around and I’m pretty sure I can book Chile for December.

We get to the airport and I exchange cards with my new Chilean friend.

The trip to Ballona is a short one and I find myself seated next to a man my father’s age with a kind face. He lives between California and Australia and has just been to Sydney to celebrate his adult child’s birthday there. He’s also wearing a sports coat on a Sunday. I don’t know why this matters.

As we arrive at the airport he asks me how I plan to get to my hotel I explain that I’ll take a taxi, “That’ll run you $100,” He exclaims and offers me a ride. Apparently it’s only a few minutes out of the way and he’ll be driving his ex-partner as well. I start to ask what the ex-business was when a woman kindly shakes my hand and explains that they were just celebrating their son’s birthday together. That kind of partner.

This is a kind couple and serial killers don’t have good tailors and lovely ex-whatevers so I hop in the front sea of the car (some people are ridiculously generous) and accept my ride to Byron Bay.

Well, in addition to a lovely ride down the coast my hosts drive past my hotel, up and around the shore and to the lighthouse, I take notes about the best places to eat and drink, where Mick Jagger stays and which beaches are good for long boarding. I have a sense of the town as we’ve driven it’s main streets now and I do believe I’ve struck gold with these people.

When we finally get to the hotel my seat mate carries in my luggage for me, I shake his hand and get his email address so I can pop him a line. I owe this man a spin around LA and a snooty lunch. So he gives me his name, number and email, we shake hands and I turn to the hotelier who asks me who that was.

I smiled and explained that I’d hitchhiked in. Then I asked her if they could charge back the room to my credit card because I’d accidentally brought too much cash.

Which is when her smile dropped for just a moment and I realized she thought I just might be a postitute.