2017 May 17 [Wednesday]
So, obviously, I am disregarding the daily themes of this nonsense blog for the time being so that I may retroactively document parts of my and my lifemate’s most recent vacation/travels. Today, a Wednesday, ought to be reserved for the purpose of expressing things about which I wonder or whatnot, and now that I’m writing, something of that variety may actually reveal itself in the end. Firstly, however, I must insert a note here that I am also back to work on my writing writing (the serious stuff regarding my book and such). I still have 47 days and approximately 48,000 words to go before my final end date on July 12, 2017. Thus, I must admit that writing these little updates about our vacation seems less important, albeit somewhat important when considering the nature of forgetting. Therefore, I will do my best to get the details of our trip logged in a timely fashion, but with looming 1,000-word, far more important, fiction-writing, daily quotas, I promise nothing. Where were we?
Right, so we arrived at our Airbnb apartment after twenty-four hours of travel, walking walking walking, a little drama and ten flights of stairs later. Friday and Saturday were spent scoping out the King’s Cross and Newtown neighborhoods of the city, respectively. We were in specific search for something that we could not acquire, and so, by Saturday night, we conceded and proceeded to change gears and plan accordingly. This is that point where I now must reveal or reiterate (I don’t remember if I already spoke to this in the most recent post) that I either forgot to pack my camera or simply failed to take any pics during the first four days of the trip. I know that I must have had my camera the first day we landed because that’s when I shot the “Sugar Birds.” After that, however, I snapped zero pics until Monday. So, my words will have to do, which really is what I’m aspiring toward anyway, right?
Okay, quickly now since I don’t want to bore. On Friday, we slept in a bit and then hopped on a bus to King’s Cross (if anyone wants to know more about how to get around in Sydney via public transport, just ask, and I’ll write up a post; if not, I’ll just say that it’s easy but expensive). King’s Cross was a notoriously shady part of Sydney for most of its history, until about three years ago when the city decided to clean it up. For the purposes of my own naivete, I’ll simply state that we stopped through that hood for the … food. We ate gelato, found the naval base, scoped out a Woolworth’s (since we were planning on shopping at the one closer to our apartment, we thought we’d see what it had to offer), and then went back to our apartment, tired, disappointed and disillusioned. We failed to find the … food … for which we were searching. The area is quite posh, upscale, a reversal of its past notoriety. Then we regrouped at the apartment for an hour or two before heading down to Bondi Beach to a bar that was supposedly celebrating the “May 5th tradition of 420.” What a crock of bullshit! Again, disappointment soon followed, so we opted for libations and then went home and passed out by 2200.
On Saturday, we awoke feeling optimistic with new plans to travel to Newtown, another notoriously good place to find … food. We stopped in at the Happy Herb Shop where I spoke to the owner/healer lady for about thirty minutes before we both realized that she wasn’t speaking in code about anything and that, sadly, she did not have what we wanted. I did find out, nevertheless, that only about two years earlier, she could and would have easily and happily sold me the … item … I so desired right there in her shop. She was very apologetic and sent me off with a warning that I graciously heeded. Thus, the lifemate and I went in search for some real food. We stopped in at the self-proclaimed eatery of the stoned (yes, the … food … we had traveled so far to partake in was all around us, but we were not privy to it since we had no friends of direct connections of our own. At a time such as it is in Sydney, everything regarding the … delicacy is mum), D’Munchies, where we scarfed an amazing burger and fries and picked up a small tip. Unfortunately, the entire city of Sydney has gone cold to what was supposedly something so hot. By 1930 that evening, we conceded and made our way to the Wooly’s (Woolworth’s in vernacular, we soon learned) in our neighborhood. Happy again, we bought all sorts of goodies ranging from real muffins (yes, Seoul does not know how to make them) to lamb chops, asparagus to goat cheese and all sorts of dips, sundried tomatoes and garlic bread and western deliciousness we used to take for granted. We would return to that Wooly’s three or four more times to pick up libations in lieu of our disappointing discovery. Luckily, the liquor flowed freely and Wooly’s had an incredible “3 for $21” mix-and-match deal on wine. Needless to say, we drank about ten bottles of champagne (one of which is not pictured below since we bought it on our last day while burning time before heading to the airport … yea … we’re BAMFs [drunks] like that), five bottles of red (one bottle, one box that we left the rest of in the apartment cause we didn’t actually finish it), and four bottles of white (one box, completely finished, haha!) over the course of the trip, oh and lest not forget the bottle of Bulleit we purchased on our first night. Yes, we like to be … inebriated. Who wants to be sober on a vacation? Obviously, alcohol was not our drug of choice, but since it was the only readily available, legal substance, we had to do what we had to do. Come what may, right?
Despite not finding what we were looking for over the course of two days and two different neighborhoods, we, at the very least, got out of the apartment and perused the city. The rejection, however, and impending general disappointment of the trip as a whole all became a bit too much, and so, on Sunday, we woke with a new mental state about the reality of this vacation. We decided that the rest of the trip would be spent drunk on the beach, minus one more excursion to find the IMAX theater at some point. Champagne in hand, we finally hit the beach on Sunday afternoon for a precisely disciplined one-hour sunbath. We don’t get much sun here in Seoul, what with the skyscrapers lining every street and the horrid pollution, thus, we knew our bodies would be sensitive to the intensity of the Australian sun. Even in winter, we both returned with golden skin. The first day out, though, was spent very methodically slathered in sunscreen, turning and flipping so as to just introduce our flesh to a less-intense, 1500-hour sunshine. After exactly an hour, we clothed ourselves and picnicked on the grassy lawn just above the beach. I don’t remember what we did after that.
As a quick side note, I would like to interject that Seoul is absolutely a nighttime city; Sydney most definitely is not. People say that it used to be a great place to party and be out, but that was not the Sydney we witnessed. Basically, every shop and store was closed by 1800, and most restaurants shut down by 2100 or 2130 with the exception of one or two late-night joints, meaning they were open ‘til midnight. This was quite a shock to us, so we also had to shift our sleeping habits, rising early and sleeping somewhat earlier than usual. Also, Sydney and its beaches line the east coast of the continent, which means that the sun rises over the ocean and sets elsewhere, and since it’s winter down under, the days were shorter, which means that the sun left the beach cold and windy by about 1600. The time shift was also something we were not quite prepared for, but luckily, we adapted quickly and with the first few days spent scoping things out and getting a feel for the location, we were ready to suck this vacation’s dick by the time Monday morning rolled in.
And now the Wednesday Wonderer rears its curious head. I do wonder what the trip would have been like if we had found … the food we had so desperately wanted. Of course, we did not travel all the way to Sydney just for this one thing, but we did think that it would be a fun possibility. Looking back now, however, I do feel as though we may have lucked out in not finding it. I had a little bit of a pit in my stomach when thinking about acquiring it before we even left, and honestly, I’m kind of glad we didn’t. I don’t know what Sydney was like a few years ago, but I know what it’s like now. Sydney and the powers that be have cracked down, and its people are scared. The way I perceive the city is that she’s kind of a frigid bitch. You know the type, the hot girl who has always been hot, like so totally hot, and so, she’s never really had to work to attract people to her. Now, however, she’s kind of a butter-face, hidden in this facade of splendor and attractiveness, but once we actually get down under (haha), you find out that there’s not much there beneath the surface. The people are a bit frigid too, respectable and polite to strangers?, yes, but it’s just not a fun place. The reason for this I cannot know, perhaps it was I, and perhaps I am horrible, but what I wonder is if it is the fault of the government and what it did to “clean up” the city of its “disgraceful” lifestyle and habits. Unfortunately, what I did see was that something has changed, everyone we spoke to spoke to it. Hopefully, someday, Sydney, for the sake of its reputation and general future appeal, finds a balance between being able to provide the good time for which it is known and keeping its citizens safe. Until then, however, I will not return for a repeat visit.
And so, I leave it at that. With the first four days crawling by like time does when there’s much to be learned, the last week of the trip seemed to have escaped us in a flash once we settled in and really knew where we wanted to go and what we wanted to do. Until the next post about the rest of our time there, check out the 2017 ETMC Travels: Sydney Edition pics on my photography site! Lates.
Read Part I & Part III or Part IV