I am astonished and yet not astonished. Things are both different and the same; exotic and familiar. From the 747 porthole, between watching films and reading a paperback - A History of Modern Greece - I gazed out at lightning darting across three hundred miles of cumulo-nimbus over Pakistan. Hours over the ocean beneath small cloudlets, then the Northern Territory of Australia, glimpsing the ancient void of the Great Sandy Desert thirty thousand feet below, a passage marked on a screen by my seat - one of many viewing options controlled by a handset. At Sydney after minimal formalities I bought a local mobile chip, reassured myself at an auto cash machine, that the world banking system would give me credit in AU$ (credo=I believe). I came to my hotel at Broadbeach, Gold Coast - after an evening connecting flight from Sydney - in a bus in the dark along the Pacific Boulevard up Hooker Avenue, and, after an easy check-in surrounded by young people enjoying the night club and casino at Conrad Jupiters, I ascended to my room with the help of a key-card, which also worked the lift, unpacked, showered, slept - until nearly noon (UK time 1.00 in the morning), then gazed on a landscape with a familiar foreground - shopping mall, suburban houses, roads with traffic on the left, but a horizon that seemed different.