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Saturday, August 27, 2016

CIRCLE PACIFIC ADVENTURE 2016: Day #18--The Season Kick-Off of American Football

I had a small breakfast, for I was planning to eat something at the football game:


As I had been on the Transport Sydney Trains yesterday, getting to ANZ Stadium was a snap.  This was not the Big Game, between Cal and Stanford, but the Sydney Cup. an insignificant American football game, Hawaii versus Cal, the first ever for this city, and the kick-off of the college football stadium.  

Yes, the primary motivation for this almost month-long trip that took me from Honolulu to Japan to Thailand to Australia was this event.  You ask why?  I say why not, and further indicate that there are some things in my life I just can't share at this time.

I got to the ticket gate and paid for my ticket.  I would say how much, but it was so expensive I'd rather not.

I had to walk up to the top of those circular walkways:


I bought a hot dog and french fries, with beer:


I was in the midst of mostly Hawaii fans, and that was the kick-off in photo 2:


A crowd of 83,500 can be accommodated in ANZ Stadium.  The reported  attendance for this game was 61,247.  I would guess that about half the seats were taken, so there was some exaggeration.  Cal was clearly the better team, prevailing 51 to 31.  The fact that Hawaii scored so much gives something to be hopeful for into the rest of the season.  Unfortunately, things will get worse next Saturday, for Hawaii travels to Ann Arbor to get crushed by Michigan.

The mass transport system for these crowds is very well organized.  The train from Olympic Park goes straight to Central Station in town.  No rush for seats, as the guards stop allowing people in when seats run out.  Central Station looks like a typical terminal train station in Europe:


I decided to walk back to my hotel and drop by Sepia , the best restaurant in the country, to see if I could sneak into a dinner seat.   I ate here five years ago and it was a gastronomical experience.  They said they were fully booked, but could seat me at the bar.  Same food.  However, this was just 5PM and they did not open until 6:30PM.  Only a five minute walk from the 4 Points, but the thought of returning at dark and walking back after that was sufficient for me to keep looking.  I stumbled upon Akaneya, and ordered takeout:


Kingfish  (Australian version of Hirame or Yellowtail) sashimi, curry rice with chicken cutlet over rice, miso soup and the rest of the Wolf Blass Red and beer.  Not bad at all,  Maybe even good.  Tomorrow, perhaps,  I'll have an Australian dinner.

Oh, just as I'm completing this posting, fireworks in Darling Harbour:


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Tropical Storm Madeline suddenly popped up and will soon become a hurricane headed almost surely for Hawaii.  Looks like Madeline and I will meet in Hawaii on Friday when I fly in from San Francisco:


However, the odds are that Madeline will be back to being a tropical storm before hitting any Hawaiian Island.  Right behind is Hurricane Lester, and who knows for sure if Hawaii will be seriously affected:


It was exactly a week ago that I reported on Humphrey Bogart missing Ingrid Bergman in the rain at the Paris Train Station in the movie Casablanca.  At that moment Bogey, Typhoon Lionrock, was heading away from Japan towards Okinawa.  Well, the strangest of cyclonic storms of all-time, Lionrock made a U-turn, is now a monster at 130 MPH, and could well make landfall near Tokyo.  However, the latest models have the eye now over Sendai:


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