I'm in Sydney on a rainy weekend in November.
I'm staying at the ridiculously hip QT Hotel. It's very very dark in the bathroom, which makes looking at myself naked easier, but putting on my makeup a disaster.
Available in my mini bar are a nifty selection of wondrous oddities. We have Pick-Up-Sticks, a super sexy beard kit, and a ridiculously expensive macadamia fudge thing.
The door woman is a tall leggy red head in stilettos. She swings my suitcase like a professional male cross-trainer. She's quite the picture in retro hot pants, fish nets and perfectly applied makeup. Clearly she didn't apply her makeup in my hotel room's bathroom mirror.
This hotel is filled with sensory wonders and excruciatingly hot people. A supermodel is a few seats away from me in the bar, but the wait staff are all super-model-esque anyway. I'm sure they don't blatantly say "no uglies need apply", but no one it this hotel is less than a perfect 11.
I feel very squat. I normally don't describe myself as squat. 'Hulkish', but not squat.
Sydney is busy. I ask my cab driver what the occasion is, and he tells me "November" is the occasion.
You apparently don't need Fleetwood Mac in town to sell out every hotel in the city.
It's November, it's raining like I've never seen it rain before. The sky opened all it's rain-ducts at 1.30pm and 10 hours later the steady downpour continues.
But this doesn't keep thousands of tourists and Sydney-siders off the streets. With all my heart I wish it would.
I have one mission I must complete. My daughter has sent me to Sephora with a shopping list. Sephora, for you non-followers of fashion, is a mega store for makeup and fragrance.
Sephora was the reason girls used to go to LA. Now they can go to Sydney, and they do, in large manic packs.
Arriving at the front of Sephora is like arriving at the Vector Arena for a One Direction concert. It's teeming with thousands of teenage girls. There is no patch in the store for refuge, it's simply a matter of head down and charge through a sea of short shorts and squeaky voices.
I make it to the stand I'm looking for and after fiercely elbow-fighting my way to the testers I discover there is nothing left to buy. I'm not exaggerating. There is no stock left in any colour. I would have settled for an eyebrow pencil in mauve, but nothing.
It takes me 20 minutes to get out of the store. It was a teenage girl maze. I failed.
I text my daughter: "I couldn't get you anything. I'm so sorry."
There was no reply.
Sephora please open a store in Auckland soon. No, REALLY.
Walking deeper downtown, the crowds thin. I find myself outside Martin Square, the site of the infamous Lindt Café terrorist massacre of December 2014.
Not even a year has passed. It's deathly quiet. It's a million times quieter than Sephora.
It's Sunday and there are no businesses open. I am struck with a strange feeling. In Paris there are scenes of intense mourning and raw anger. A year ago similar scenes here in Sydney. How do we witness such awful civilian horrors, and yet move on so quickly, resuming business as usual? Will Paris move on as quickly? Will they too forget in the weeks and months ahead the carnage and horrors?
There are no mourners left. There are no markers or signs that anything abnormal happened here. No signs. No echoes of gunfire. There are not even tourists taking inappropriate selfies.
Is that a good thing? As a western world are we too stoic? Are we too ready to forgive? The Poms went back on the tube the day after their terror attacks in July 2005. Have we rightly or wrongly lost our passion for revenge?
I have no answers. I live in a time where news channels like CNN convince me there is terror everywhere and we are all living on a "doom and disaster" roller coaster. Am I numb or dumb? Perhaps I'm both.