Monday, July 30, 2012


My roommate's in Tonga with his girlfriend this weekend. I'd hoped to do something similar either this weekend or the next, but my passport's in Wellington getting an Indonesian visa put in it, so no dice. So I stuck around Auckland, got some work done, and went to some more markets.

A few months ago the Times published a blog post about a flea market down in Otara, a suburb of Auckland with a big Polynesian population. Can't compete with a real tropical island, but it's as close as I'm getting this time around. (One day!) It's a 45-minute bus ride from downtown to Otara, so I got a nice scenic tour of outer Auckland. The market itself is huge, set in a parking lot behind the local community center. First order of business was breakfast. I snagged a spring roll to tide me over while I looked for some Polynesian food, but most of the stalls were selling lo mien, burgers, prawn kebabs, and hot dogs, so I ended up with a Moroccan sausage made from New Zealand lamb from a German-themed weiner stall. Call it cosmopolitan. Every market around here seems to have a stall making fresh juice, so I got a cup of carrot/orange/ginger to go with.

The rest of the market is a mix of cheap clothes, housewares, crafts, and produce. Since for once I didn't walk home, uphill, with my groceries slung over my shoulder, I loaded up on fruit and the veggies called for in a Vietnamese noodle salad I wanted to make. (Which was phenomenal, by the way, and I just finished the leftovers for dinner.) And I found a stall selling mangosteens, so success. And I went by Pukeko Bakery, which has makes basically the best bread ever, for a loaf and a apricot pastry. I got their sourdough last time and it was fantastic; this time I went for a multigrain. This is the third market I've seen them at, so clearly I'm not the only one buying their stuff.

The best part of this market are the crafts. A few stalls were selling gorgeous woven-grass bags, like the one Ibu Amelia gave me in Papua last summer, alongside carved coconut-shell jewelry and one table with bark cloth. I very nearly bought a woven fan with 'Tonga' written across it just for the hell of it. I did get some NZ souvenirs, though - paua shell and carved bone earrings and hair combs with Maori patterns. There was some stunning carved greenstone (local jade), but that's a bit above my budget.

On the way out I finally nabbed some Island food: Samoan pork buns and poké, a dessert made from bananas and tapioca flour with coconut milk. Those made for dinner - the pork bun was pretty awful, but the poké's not bad.

Sunday was back to the French market, and thank god this time I found a route that went around one or two of the hills rather than straight over them. Lemongrass, mint, and cilantro for my noodle salad, a tart for breakfast, and local lamb chops because I'm in New Zealand and it's basically required. Those'll be seared for dinner tomorrow, just in time to make my roommate jealous.

ETA Tuesday night: rare seared New Zealand lamb loin chops, potatoes with onions and sage, and lemon garlic string beans, all but the onions, garlic, and oil from this weekend's market.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fun with Endangered Species: Fiordland & the Otago Peninsula

View Fiordland in a larger map

Things I saw this weekend:  
  • New Zealand fur seals
  • Little blue penguins
  • Yellow-eyed penguins
  • Fiordland crested penguins
  • Takahe
  • NZ parakeets
  • Kereru pigeons
  • Kea
  • Morepork owls
  • Kaka
  • Kotuku
  • Paradise ducks
  • Glowworms
  • Freshwater eel
  • Sandflies
  • Sheep
  • Cows

Okay, so not all of those are endangered, and not all were in the wild. Still, not a bad inventory of sightings, eh?

Landing in Queenstown
The Weekend of Critters started out with a 5:15am SuperShuttle pickup. I think I’m keeping those guys in business single-handedly. The upside of getting out at such an ungodly hour was the view from the plane – coming out of Auckland there was a low fog over everything, with mountain peaks poking up out of the clouds and a sunrise behind. There may have been something worth seeing over the ride to Queenstown; I wouldn’t know, I was asleep. Queenstown is up in the mountains, so to land there we had to fly between the mountains, winding around and through over valleys and lakes, which made for a spectacular ride. Lucky me, I had a window seat and a good camera.

Noel, her mom, and Daisy got in about an hour after I did. The van ride out to Te Anau was scenic, to put it mildly. And in the spirit of the rural Pacific, our driver stopped every half hour or so to drop off the day’s newspapers at the little towns around the way. Mallory met us there that evening.

Te Anau is a lovely little town on New Zealand’s second-largest lake. In the summer it’s a rockin’ hub for all sorts of wilderness adventuring; in the winter it’s dead. Seriously, about 2/3 of the restaurants were closed, and plenty of the shops, and a good chunk of the activities. Which also means we basically had the place to ourselves.

Kea on van
Day two started with a bacon & cheese pie at the one place open that early, and a 7:45 pickup by the kayaking company. There’s only one that operates in the winter; luckily they’re good. More scenery as we headed into the mountains, with a hot-pink sunrise to boot. I pretty much spent the next two hours with my nose glued to the window, taking pictures of everything we passed. At one point, when we were pulled over at a scenic spot, a kea (world’s only alpine parrot!) landed on the roof of the van and started chewing on the door seals. Eventually we got to Milford Sound (‘Piopiotahi’ in Maori), which is technically a fiord, carved out of the granite by a glacier a couple thousand years ago. The sound gets about 270 inches a year of rain, we totally lucked out with a glorious sunny day. Picture bright blue skies, snow-capped mountains, glassy smooth water, hundreds of tiny waterfalls from recent rainfall, and a few bigger ones fed by runoff from the remaining glaciers up the mountains. We got outfitted in super-chic striped thermals and yellow lifejackets, and set out in our kayaks. I was in a double with Mallory, trying to steer. These kayaks had pedal-operated rudders, which was awesome. The catch being that to go right you push the right pedal, and left to go left, which is exactly the opposite of the push-the tiller-left-to-go-right deal I’m used to from sailing. Suffice it to say we veered the wrong way more than once. It’s also hard to steer right while you’re staring agape at the vista. But we didn’t run into any cliffs, so it’s all good.

Kayakin' in Milford
First sighting of the day was a fur seal. Apparently the young males like to hang out there and hunt, but mostly we saw them sunbathing and fooling around in the water. Next was the Fiordland crested penguin, apparently both one of the two smallest and two most endangered penguins in the world. The one we saw was a male, waddling along the rocks on the shoreline before turning back into the bush towards his nest. He was unfortunately much harder to catch on film than the seals, especially from our spot at the back of the crowd of kayaks. We might have paddled faster if I hadn’t been taking so many pictures, but look at the Picasa album and see if you can blame me. Once again I’m glad I sprang for the waterproof camera.

Bowen Falls
After the penguin were more seals, and a break for granola bars, and finally a paddle over to Bowen Falls, which is about three times as high as Niagara (162 meters vs 50) but looks tiny next to the peak behind it. On the way out we saw a kotuku, a species of white heron on the back of the $2 coin. Apparently there’s only about 120 breeding pairs left, and the one who hangs out at Milford is called Hector. Standing still he was too far to get a good photo of, but he flew right past us on his way out. The only things we missed were dolphins, which come up the fiord occasionally to hunt. On the way back, we pulled over at Monkey Creek, which runs straight down from the glacier, to fill up our water bottles, no filters or iodine needed. Eat that, Poland Spring.

Once we got back to Te Anau, the first order of business was wine. We ended up at the Redcliff, for a glass of mulled red and an antipasto platter that ended up being dinner. Between the warm spiced wine and four hours of paddling we slept well that night.

Kereru Pigeon
The plan for Saturday was to do some hiking around the lake, but the weather was gross so instead of a view we got a drizzly gray haze. It was a half-hour walk along the shore to the wildlife center, where the rest of the birds on that list were: another kea, a kaka (another endemic parrot), a tiny little owl called a morepork (???!), ducks, native kakariki parakeets, kereru (endemic pigeons), and the insanely endangered flightless takahe (aka blue swamp hen – aren’t the Maori names so much better?), which was thought to be extinct for about 50 years until they found a few living in the mountains. The gem of the afternoon was the glowworm caves. The boat ride across the lake would have been spectacular if we’d been able to see more than 10 feet out the windows. When we landed, the glowworm caves were about a 3-minute walk up a hill. We ducked under a low rock to get in, and from there followed a walkway into the hillside. Unlike the granite down at Milford, the rock at Te Anau is limestone, so the cave was carved out by a river (with the aforementioned eel in it), which created some amazing waterfalls and vaulted chambers. Unfortunately, no photography allowed.
Daisy at the glowworm cave entrance

The kicker was the last chamber. We climbed into a metal boat, and the guide turned off all the lights and guided us down the river by pulling us along a chain hung from the ceiling. At first it was total darkness, and then we started passing little blue pinpricks of light on the ceiling. They looked like constellations, but two feet from our faces. Technically we were looking at the glowing rear ends of fungus gnat larvae, trying to lure in insects to eat. But they’re pretty nonetheless.

That evening Noel and her mother had to catch a bus back to Queenstown, so Mallory and Daisy and I went out and spent far too much money on souvenirs, then picked up a bottle of NZ wine from the supermarket, drank half of it in the hostel, and went back to Redcliff for dinner. I got the venison – we passed pastures full of deer all over on the way in – Mallory got hare, and Daisy had rump of lamb. Bloody expensive but awfully good.

Sunday we caught the bus to Dunedin, on the east coast, where Mallory’s working for the season. It’s a four-hour ride, through the inevitable morning mist, along which the landscape goes from serious mountains to pastoral rolling hills, with even more sheep. (Not that they’re short on sheep even in the Southern Alps.) Starting about two hours in the driver got on the mic to point out interesting tidbits about whatever we were passing through. (“This is the town of Gore! It’s just down the highway from Clinton, so in mid-2000 the Geographical Board named this stretch the Presidential Highway.” Whoops.) Except that pretty soon he stopped putting down the mic in between the interesting tidbits and pretty much just yammered on for two hours. (Actual quote: ‘This bridge here has no real historical significance, but it was built between 1932 and 1935…’). So much for sleeping on the bus.

Driving out on the Otago
That afternoon we looked around the Otago Museum, then drove Daisy out to the airport. Monday was the fun one. In the morning, Mallory went in to work at the university and I went online to rent a car. After a lunch of pies we picked up our car and drove (on the left!) down the Otago Peninsula. More beautiful views, lots of sheep, some cows. The road winds along a cliff, and for long stretches its only one lane wide, even though it’s two-way. Between stopping for pictures and slowing down for curves it took us an hour to drive the 28km out to the end.

Curious seal pup
And at the end was a tour of seal and penguin breeding colonies. The first stop was a lookout over a cliff where shag, a species of cormorant, were nesting. The ocean there comes up on a current from Antarctica, which is why the penguins like it, and the water was full of huge ropes of kelp, good food for the hundred-something species of squid and couple of whales and dolphins that come through. Next up was a seal colony, mostly a few females and a big group of 7-month-old pups. One of them got curious and waddled up to the group on a ledge at about shoulder-height, and started checking me out. They’re funny-looking at that age, little and chubby with a pointy nose and huge dark eyes, all out of proportion.

And from there to Penguin Beach. There’s a hide running along the edge of the cliff overlooking the beach, and from there we saw the little blue penguins sleeping in their nests. None of them came out, but I can hardly blame them for that. Looking back out over the beach we watched a pair of yellow-eyed penguins come in from the water and start to climb the dunes to their nests. Too far for a good picture, but the guide had binoculars.

Penguins through a telescope
And finally out to the airport so I could fly home. I drove the first chunk, so I can say I’ve done the left-side thing and it’s not as bad as you’d think, and Mallory took the rest. We forgot to print directions to the airport so we got a touch lost going through Dunedin, but luckily her sense of direction is better than mine, and we were at the airport early, which out there means more than 30 minutes ahead of time. Gotta love domestic flights in this country – keep your shoes on at security, bring as much liquid as you want, and no sitting at the gate for an hour waiting to board. at 7:00 I took off, and by 8:30 I’d landed in Auckland. Postcards are on the way.

ETA: Sandflies! How could I forget the sandflies? Little buggers ate me alive while we were kayaking. Nobody else had much of a reaction, but I was itching away at what were indistinguishable from mosquito bites for the rest of the weekend. And here I thought the whole point of winter was *not* to get any bug bites.

Fiordland photos here, Otago here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Farmers Markets of the Southern Hemisphere

At the moment I'm back in Auckland, drinking a North Island cabernet and watching a documentary about a supermarathon through the Moroccan desert. Not bad for a Tuesday evening. Things I've learned so far: 1) there are people crazy enough to run 156 miles through the Sahara; 2) you can actually do that and not die; and 3) they wear really funny shoe covers to keep the sand out. Not too much exciting has happened since I last wrote - finished up in Australia, came back to Auckland, got back to work. So here's a post about something else.

Canberra's a city without much going on. It's not interesting, like New York or Boston; it's not terrible, like Syracuse. (No offense, Andrew.) It just kind of is. They built it a hundred years ago to be the capital and it seems it's yet to grow a soul. (Disclaimer: Everyone at the university was wonderful. A bland city doesn't mean bland people.) But the farmers market - daaamn. Appropriately known as Epic after the exhibition grounds where it's held. Place is huge. Di took me there on Saturday before I left for Bali. It's probably a good thing I was leaving town the next day, or I would have bought the place out. It sure doesn't hurt things to live in a climate where you can sell local olives alongside the honey, oranges, and lamb. And Australian truffles? (The fungus kind, as well as the chocolate kind.) Unfortunately no free samples there. If I'd had the chance I would've gotten a few of those kalamatas, a loaf of bread, some salami and tomatoes and one of those fruit tarts  and had myself a picnic. As is, the samples made a nice brunch. We picked up some sausages for dinner and a pile of produce. Later one Di poached a pile of quinces we'd bought - fantastic.

In Bali, a farmers market is just called a market. And I didn't go to a real one (not this trip, anyway), but I did go to the night market for cheap dinner. I can't vouch for the produce, but the soursop juice and nasi campur were great. Anyway, moving on.

For a big city, Auckland's downtown market at Britomart is pretty tiny. About the size of the Wooster Square market in New Haven, which, frankly, is pretty tiny. But what it's got is good. I came home Thursday night to a totally empty fridge, so Saturday I headed out there to restock. What Britomart's best for is breakfast - it is the middle of winter after all - and for the second time I got an apricot pastry worth shlepping up and down that hill for. Butter is a beautiful thing. Another stall was selling Argentinian empanadas. Given that the dough bore a striking resemblance to a wonton wrapper I'm not sure any real Argentinian would recognize them, but the filling was tasty. A fresh loaf of sourdough from the same place, two kinds of hummus, spinach and arugula, a bulb of fennel, broccoli, a lemon, a dozen pullet eggs, bagel chips, some apples, and a bag of kiwis. I love that you can buy kiwis at the market here. Not bad for the middle of winter.

And lastly, Sunday morning was 'the French market' at La Cigale, a French gourmet store about a mile from here. The place was packed. We're living off a dorm-sized fridge in our apartment here so there was literally nowhere left to put anything perishable, but brunch was definitely on the itinerary. True to the French theme I got a slice of leek tart (and paid an arm and a leg for it), a fresh orange/lemon/pineapple/ginger juice, and a feijoa macaron. The baked goods and sausages here looked pretty damn good too, but as I said, space is at a premium. In the produce tent I got a bag of basil (which thoroughly died within 24 hours, despite that it was still in dirt), a bunch of tomatoes, and a pair of casimaroa, advertized as 'vanilla ice cream fruit'. Turns out they're a close relative of my old favorite the soursop. Fresh sage and thyme with purchase, which made for a lovely pasta sauce last night. Alongside the usual suspects they were selling kaffir lime leaves, grapefruits the size of your fist (which seems to be the size grapefruits come in around here), chilis, purple carrots, and a small, lumpy root with slightly translucent red skin that was advertized as just 'yams', but which looked nothing like any yams I've ever seen. (Wikipedia says they're an Andean crop known as 'oca', which get called yams around here.) Next time I'm coming here with an empty fridge and trying some.

And now I'm craving another apricot pastry. Damn. Anyway on Thursday I leave ridiculously early to go to Fiordland, which should make for an eventful and photogenic weekend. Here's hoping for good weather and penguins.

Monday, July 9, 2012


Sanur Beach
  Bali is not a bad place to hold a conference. The food’s great, the taxis are cheap, and afterwards you can stick around for a few days and go to the beach. And by ‘you’ I mean ‘me’, since that’s what I just did.

I got in late Sunday afternoon. Apparently I hadn’t paid enough attention to the itinerary update sent to me by Virgin Australia, which put my departure half an hour later than originally planned and routed me through Sydney rather than Brisbane, but a quick round-the-world call to my father and his smartphone cleared that up. (And no, I’m not getting one myself til they make it small enough to fit in the front pocket of a snug pair of jeans.) After that things were fairly uneventful. Dinner on the beach, then crashed early, given the 2-hour time difference and my 4am wakeup time that morning.

Note to self: Little Pond Homestay is where I stayed two years ago, and it was lovely. This time around I was at Sindu Guesthouse, which was simple and clean, the major drawback being a 5:45am gamelan serenade each morning from the temple across the street. Nice place; bring earplugs. On my final night I upgraded from the $20/night single room to the $35/night double, which was comparatively swanky – a/c, a tv, electric teakettle, the works. Water pressure in the shower sucked in both rooms though. Ketut’s Place in Ubud, where some friends stayed, was gorgeous. Definitely going there next time I’m in town.

The conference was good, but I’ll spare you the details. I went to quite a few interesting ones, a pile of boring ones, and maybe four horrifically bad ones. (The prize goes to one talk in which we learned, over the course of seven minutes, the environments in which the glottal stop appears in one Kalimantan language. All of them, it turns out, except word-initially and word-finally after /i/. Nothing was made of this. During question period the speaker noted that because, unlike Indonesian, this language is not often written down, we cannot know if there are any alternations involving the glottal stop, or where it might be underlying vs. inserted in the phonology. Insert linguist shudder here.) My own talk went well, though I was talking at what felt like breakneck speed and still came in at 25 minutes, which cut into the question period a bit. The biggest critique (from more than one person, independently) was that the first half was all formal phonology, and who needs that kind of theory anyway? Which gives you an idea of the programmatic stance of many of the attendees. In this crowd I came across as the crazy Chomskian formalist, which is, to say the least, rather a departure from where I fall vis a vis the usual Yale perspective. By the last day, when I accidentally went to a syntax talk that turned out to be formalist as well, it felt like a breath of fresh air. (Though maybe that’s my own fault for going to mostly historical & anthropology talks. Based on the phonology talks I did see, though, maybe not.) But even if the approach mostly wasn’t what I’m used to, the presentations were by and large quite good, and it was also a nice change to be able to hang out with people for whom fieldwork and grammar-writing is the expectation rather than the exception, and who could swap their PNG or outer-island Vanuatu stories for my Papua ones. And the networking of course is a large part of the impetus for going, so in that respect too it was worth the trip.

Monkey Forest, Ubud
Outside of conference hours, of course, was Bali. Most nights I had drinks (watermelon juice, mostly) or dinner out with one group of linguists or another. The biggest success I think was my $1 plate of nasi campur, rice with various dishes on top, from the night market – almost as good as the $1 nasi campur I took to eating for breakfast at the university canteen in the morning. I don't know why I ever bother eating anywhere but canteens, markets, and warungs; the food's way more expensive and never nearly as good. Wednesday, July 4th, was the day off, and I started out by sitting out on the beach to work on my talk and getting a nice sunburn on my shins in the process. Long skirts and jeans for the rest of the week. In the afternoon was a conference-sponsored tour to a little temple, a boardwalk through a mangrove swamp, and a picturesque rice paddy. Given what Bali’s got to offer, it was kinda lame. The mangrove crabs were pretty cool though.And Friday night three of us went out to an 'upscale' dinner at Alise's Restauran, where a Batak band will play you any song you want, as long as it's in their rather limited repertoire. Mostly it was the Eagles. (At one of the big hotels, the house band sang 'Hotel Sanur Beach' in place of 'Hotel California' in the lyrics. Really guys? Are you sure that's the message you want to send?)

Monkey staring contest.
Friday was the last day of talks, and Saturday I went with one if the other students from the conference up to Ubud for the day. We did the usual touristy stuff – fed bananas to macaques at the Monkey Forest, ate babi guling (spit-roasted pig) at Ibu Oka’s, shopped for souvenirs. And today, Sunday, I read on the beach, did some last-minute shopping, and got my nails done. Now it’s 9:30pm and my flight’s about to board. I get to Canberra Melbourne at 5:30am, then Canberra at 8:20. Should be horrific. Oy.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Sydney & Canberra

 The thing that really gets me about Australia is the birds. It’s winter, it’s cold, most of the trees and all of the architecture are pretty standard generic modern Euro-American. If you’re not paying attention, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re in a town on the east coast somewhere, or maybe in England. And then you hear a squawk and there’s a parrot flying past your head, or an ibis eyeing your pie crumbs. Okay not an actual parrot, a sulphur-crested cockatoo or a galah or a rosella. Close enough. All of which are gorgeous, by the way, even the magpies. And they’re constantly singing (or squawking, in the case of the cockatoos), way more so than I’m used to in a US city. One of them, I’ve yet to figure out which (ETA: the magpie), sounds exactly like the beep-boop noise computers and robots made when they talked back in movies from the ‘80s. Taken together, it’s a techno-jungle out there – aurally, at least.

Last I posted I was in Auckland eating mediocre pie and getting over a cold. That Saturday morning I got a 6am Supershuttle pickup to the airport to fly to Sydney. The kid across the aisle from me started the flight by puking. Other than that it was delayed but uneventful. Once there I dropped my bags at Eco-House – I was staying in their yoga room for the night, way more interesting than a hostel – and continued down Jen’s list of Things To Do In Sydney. Eat a meat pie from Harry’s CafĂ© de Wheels: check. Actually, it was from a kiosk in the train station, but it was Harry’s brand. I got a bacon & cheese pie, which it turns out is just a usual meat pie with bacon and cheese added. Kind of a salt bomb, but totally delicious. Might have something to do with the bacon & cheese, on both fronts. Score one for Oz over NZ. (Take that, Rationalists!)

Walk two miles to the harbor: check. Scenic ferry ride to the zoo: check. Actually see the zoo: well, no; it was an hour before closing time by that point and I didn’t think I’d get my $44 (!?!) worth. But there’s a lovely bushwalk around Bradleys Head starting there, so I strolled through a few kilometers of Australian bush unchanged in the last two hundred years, except for the view of downtown Sydney you get over the harbor, and the occasional gum wrapper. The view’s stunning. No really exciting wildlife, but plenty of swooping, cacophonous birds.

Ferry back to the harbor, followed by a trip up to the Sky Tower Eye: check. Tallest building in Sydney, with exorbitant ticket prices and more spectacular views from the observation deck up top. I missed sunset, but the night view was still great. Then soup dumplings voted the tastiest in the world – maybe not the tastiest, but pretty darn tasty – followed by the monorail (check) to Chinatown (check), where I had Uighur food for dinner. And then back to Eco-House to crash on the futon. (Ridiculously sore feet: check.)

Day 2 in Sydney was lower-key, with some overpriced dim sum and a stroll through Paddy’s Markets, the cheap-o tourist souvenir market in Chinatown. Right next to the knockoff Uggs and boomerangs most stalls were selling kangaroo paws made into keychains and backscratchers, which might be the creepiest things I’ve ever seen. Also kangaroo scrotums made into keychains or, for an extra $10, a larger pair attached to a beer opener. I’d like to know who came up with that idea.

That’s the other thing down here – they like to make things out of marsupials. I’ve seen possum merino sweaters and kangaroo-leather purses. I’m just waiting for the Koala-fur beer cozies. I will say I sprang for a $3 jar of emu-oil hand cream. Seemed appropriate, all things considered.

It was a 3-hour bus trip south to Canberra, where I was picked up by Di, the woman I’m staying with there. She’s an older lady with affiliations in Music and Linguistics at the university, voluble as anyone I’ve met, and a fantastic cook. At ANU they gave me a lovely sunny office with a window, just around the corner from Simon Greenhill, who I’m there to work with. They also gave me an ANU email address, which seems silly since it expires in a few weeks, but I appreciate the gesture. So I’ve spent the last week meeting people there and working with Simon on my phylogenetics project, which is what sent me over to this part of the world in the first place. I have to say working with him has been fantastic – the models I’m working with are fairly complicated, and his explanations of how things work have been exponentially clearer than any of the articles out there about them. (Seriously, Simon, if somehow you’re reading this: write a book.) I had lunch with the Australianists and photocopied for hours at the archive and went to the national museum. (The point goes to New Zealand on this one. You’ve got a 12-minute intro video on the history of Australia and you give 2 minutes to 60,000 years of Aboriginal history and 10 to 200 years of European colonization? Really?) Finally on Saturday Di drove me out to the farmers’ market, where I would have bought out the whole place if I hadn’t been leaving, and up Mt. Ainslie for another view.

 And this morning I got a 4:15am cab ride out to the airport to fly to Bali for the ICAL conference, and on the way we passed a big grey kangaroo sitting and munching by the side of the road. Check.