Arrive in Sydney, blurry eyed, and meet Manami from Japan and Khun Air from Thailand (coincidentally my previous two postings) in an airport which could be Heathrow T3. We were driven through Anglo-American-looking suburbs to our hotel which is right by Circular Quay. Great location.
Two hours sleep, two hours work, then an afternoon's walk through the Botanical Gardens, Domain and New South Wales Art Gallery. I've been to Sydney just once before - 15 years ago with Liz. Unlike Chinese cities it doesn't appear to have changed much. I even did something I never do in China. I shopped. Including a visit to Red Eye Records which didn't disappoint. Didn't buy much (the cost of everything in Sydney is shocking), but spent a thoroughly enjoyable hour browsing.
The fresh air, blue skies, greenery and of course the magnificent harbour are proof enough that Beijing has a long way to go until it can compete with this city's quality of life.