Just over 200 years ago, Captain Arthur Phillip brought his fleet of 10 square-rigged sailing ships to anchor in the peaceful little bay that was to become known as Sydney Cove. With his ships, dubbed the 1st Fleet, his crew, farm stock, a handful of settlers, an array of marines and the prisoners in their charge, Phillip established the farthest flung outpost of the British Empire.
And just over 4 days ago, Hurnain Hamid brought about $350 AD, one quite empty backpack as well as his trusty laptop, and had set his foot on Australian soil for the very first time in his life. Yet, he was not alone, as the Company had sponsored 36 other souls for the trip.
“Down-under”. The term was derived from the first settlers and they had proclaimed it such. Australia, was the closest to hell that they could ever be. However, it was anything but.
A charming town of western influence it was hard to believe that this was the site of penal colony, with a total of 568 male and 191 female convicts with 13 children, 206 marines with 26 wives and 13 children, and 20 officials that had made the voyage of the 1st Fleet.
A city of historical wonder, this was the place where Australia had started. It was a place to see, and people to meet. With his feet as his preferred transport, Hurnain Hamid had toured the city of Sydney. Most of the time he had walked. At times he had taken the Monorail/Train and twice he had taken the taxi. With a population of nearly 3.9 million people, he had noticed that the city was surprisingly calmer than the chaotic conditions of Kuala Lumpur.
His escapade had taken him to the Rocks, (where the first settlements had been established), Darling Harbour, Circular Quay, Historical Museum, Sydney Aquarium and the Zoo.
His visit to the Zoo had a meaningful quality to it as there he had witnessed a real-life Red Panda in the flesh. He always had a soft spot for Red Pandas. Also at the zoo, his first encounter of the South American Eye-Lash Pit Viper, deemed to be the most beautiful species of pit viper in the world, was equally memorable.
On the 4th day, when the time came for him to return home, he had promised himself that he must return to this beautiful city, sometime in the future.