Fellow SMPTE TC delegates:  Welcome to day-the-last of the TC meetings in Sydney.

It’s Sunday, which is the day we get real things done in this country.   Especially good for activity with high body stress and aerobic value, like watching sport and going to lunch.

Top temperature predicted for today:  18C

Best source of weather information for Australia:  www.bom.gov.au.
Best source of weather information for Sydney:  http://www.bom.gov.au/nsw/forecasts/sydney.shtml
Radar map:  http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDR033.loop.shtml

Help needed:   After the meeting we need to put the rooms back together and pack up.   Can you please help us with striking and rearrangement.   That includes moving all the tables back into the patterns shown on the door (in both rooms), packing up all the A/V gear, and getting it to various places… like my car.

The aim is to leave the rooms as we found them.

Shopping hours today
* until 1600 for most shops in town.
* Some departments stores, shopping centres and others until 1800.
* Paddy’s Market until 1700

On-your-own-today reminders
* the harbour will be cool but clear.  If you take a ferry, try to get a seat outside at the front (note:  “bow” is the nautical term, but since the ferries go both ways – are they sternless? – “front” unambiguously refers to the direction in which you’re heading)
* the view from the tower tonight should be very good
* public transport might be cheap if you buy the right ticket
* Powerhouse museum (until 1700)

How to find a hotel or car over the next few days:  try www.wotif.com which works reasonably well.   Select Australia and Sydney CBD if you expect to be staying in this area.

I checked for hotels over the next week, and if you scroll down far enough there are some good deals, especially in Potts Point (which is also known as Kings Cross).    That area used to be the red light district, but it’s always been safe for tourists and residents.   Elton John stayed in the area on his wedding night.   There is a train stop at Kings Cross on the Eastern Suburbs Line, and that takes you straight back into town.

The airports:   Sydney has one airport with two sets of terminals (Domestic and International).  They are on opposite sides of the runways, and you will need a train, bus or taxi ride to get from one to the other.   This is most important advice if you go to the wrong terminal by mistake…. check in advance if you’re not sure.  I have made that mistake, and it’s not fun.

Domestic flights leave from Terminal 3 (Qantas), and Terminal 2 (Virgin, Jetstar, regional carriers,  and those Qantas regional flights which leave from Terminal 2).

International flights leave from Terminal 1.

Tips for the airport:
* there is really good shopping in the international terminal airside, but also very good shopping groundside.   But once you cross the barrier at International, it’s very very very difficult to cross back.   It’s international after all, so when you pass through immigration you have left Australia.
* there is very good shopping in the domestic terminals airside.  Unlike the US, you don’t have to be travelling to go airside in the domestic airport, which is great if you want to have a cup of coffee with someone before they fly out.
* the train from Central is quick and not too expensive, but a taxi is about the same price as soon as there is more than one of you.

Qantas now has a fully automated check-in system at Terminal 3.  It’s a miracle, and it works.   You check your own bags without human intervention, and it even knows who is a priority traveller so that your bags come off first.   For tourists, there are desks which can help.

Secret US travel tip from an Australian:  did you know that you DON’T have to be flying to go airside in a US airport?  But you do need a non-travel pass, which can be issued at no charge at a check in counter.  They don’t make this obvious, but it’s an option…. a bit like getting a platform ticket so that you can see someone off at a railway station.

Australian language: here are some additional expressions that might be useful.

  • Tea mak fac    Tea making facilities, as supplied in a hotel room so that you can make your own cup of something hot.  Pronounced “tee mack fack” as a bit of a joke.
  • Ta    thank you.   (From UK English)
  • Thanks   (used instead of please, and in the same way as “thanks in advance”.  As in “I’ll have the blue one thanks”).   
  • Beg-yorz     Excuse me.   (from “I beg your pardon”)
  • shout    A round of drinks, or an offer to pay.   As in:  “my shout”:  I will pay (for this round of drinks).  “Your shout”:  it’s your turn to pay.   “Company’s shout”:  either a legitimate opportunity for your employer to cover the cost of something, or a potential rort.   Australians take this seriously and expect you to balance your contribution against the value contributed by others.   When it’s someone else’s shout, don’t ask for the $50/nip scotch if you plan to have a coke when it’s your turn to pay.   You can also shout someone to a meal, or a bus ride.   In this context, shout has nothing to do with volume (apart from volume of drinks consumed).
  • One pot screamer   Someone who is rapidly affected by alcohol.   A pot is about half a pint, and so this expression indicates someone who is going to be a liability after the first round of drinks.   Make it their shout, because the next round will be cheaper.
  • Bob’s your uncle.   Problem solved easily, as in “take the second left, park the car, look for the door, and Bob’s your Uncle”.    Also expanded to “Robert’s your Father’s Brother”.   Australians love taking an expression which has been shortened and making it longer again.
  • Bikkie:  have you forgotten already?
  • Sanger or sambo:  Sandwich
  • Seeya   Goodbye  (from “see you later”, an expression which can be used even if you have no expectation of seeing the other person ever again).
  • Servo:  somewhere you would purchase petrol (abbrev of Service Station)
  • Expert   Someone from out of town with a plane to catch


Art at Central   Don’t forget to check out the art in the tunnel that goes from the start of George Street to the other end of Central.  Down the escalator past McDonalds and KFC.

And that’s it.   It’s been a lot of fun seeing you all, and thank you for making this experience so painless.   I hope to see you all again in Australia in a few years, and will see many of you in Hollywood in October.   You ARE going to the SMPTE conference, right?

Have a good one, and safe travels home.