After the tender-hearted (and, if I’m honest, tender-headed) Koala Park excursion, we had a manic day in the City to look forward to on Friday. I think, if we’d known what was in store, we might have prepared a bit better. With, say, milk thistle?! Instead, we settled on the Hair-of-the-Dog method, which resulted in some preeeety interesting stories. We took the train into the city central station, which is just gorgeous! Steph protected me from a weirdo who started making his way over to me – thanks honey! – and we swiftly set off on foot into Sydney.
First port of call: Paddy’s Market. It was fun wandering around all the different stalls, from fresh produce to souvenirs to random crap that seems to feature at every flea market worldwide. It’s at Paddy’s that I picked up my beautiful didg, along with the bulk of the souvenirs and gifts I brought home. When the artificial light and noise got too much for us, we slipped out of Paddy’s and into Chinatown, which is where Steph introduced us to the confectionery interpretation of Heaven: Emperor Puffs. Bitesize hot, fluffy, light pastry, filled to bursting with hot, gooey custard. I’ve decided that Heaven is being inside a hot Emperor’s Puff and eating your way out.
|Straight from Heaven|
We meandered along the main market walkway of Chinatown, and I pouted when I found a McQueen-esque scarf, but in the wrong colours. The vendor didn’t have any other colours, so my budget remained roughly intact.
From there we headed toward Darling Harbour, and Ash and I were mesmerized as we turned the corner and were faced with the Chinese Garden of Friendship.
What better way for the three of us to celebrate our journey together?!?!
So we forked out our $6 each, slipped past a pregnant, semi-corseted bride-in-black and wandered around for a while. I fell in love with the beautiful little island of tranquility and peace in the middle of the bustling city, and went off at a tangent for a while.
There was a fleeting moment when I thought I’d been abandoned, only to see my friends totally absorbed in the twinkling water near the entrance. (I think they may also have been listening in on the wedding ceremony happening behind them, but hey…)
We wandered through Darling Harbour and, after deciding against a water taxi that cost $25 to Circular Quay (!!!!!), we caught the ferry, and some GORGEOUS sights (including another Friday Bride!). We strolled around a little, but ultimately ended up at the Orient again. We had a couple of drinks to warm up while listening to a cute boy play the guitar not-very-badly-at-all, backed my Friday-business-drinks-talk. And when Steph and Ash went to the loo, I was almost – almost – offered a drink by yet another weirdo. Lucky for me, they got back in the nick of time, and bought me one for my troubles! The end of the Orient-leg of the night came shortly after they changed the channel from a Super 15 game featuring the Stormers to some other sport channel featuring a tiny local rugby league club.
We met up with Stephy’s parents and aunt (who all looked super cool and cosmopolitan chic!) and we all headed over to the Sydney Tower 360 Restaurant, which is a revolving restaurant. You get the most spectacular night views of the whole freaking city.
It revolves quite slowly, but when you’re a leeetle bit tipsy, the motion is quite fun. It took me a while to balance and actually see evidence that we’d moved at all, but once I saw the motion, I was thrilled. It was so much fun! Also: the chocolate tart! It’s a chocolate martini that tastes like heaven, but somehow sobered me up. It was fantastic!!
When we parted ways a little while later, the three of us decided to call it a night and headed back to the station. When we got there, we saw that we had loads of time before the next train, so we pulled into McDonald’s for a bite. We were lucky, because as we nibbled and nommed, Ash had a wonderful time perving at a group of cuties and we discussed their merits in Afrikaans. Rude? Maybe. Worth it? Totally. Set the trend for the ride home? Without a doubt! When we ambled back toward the platform, we realized that we’d miscalculated something somewhere, because we’d missed our train by about 17 minutes. Ha! We scanned the boards and came up with a back up plan: Epping Station. Once we’d got our tickets, we scuttled off in search of the platform and leapt onto the train, giggling like the tipsy three we were! I settled in and took in my surroundings, letting slip an “Ooh, asseblief ja!” as I laid eyes on a cute boy in the upstairs carriage.
The girls were curious, and Ash summed him up pretty well. “He looks like a mix between Victor Matfield and Mick Jagger.” Testosterone and glitter in one? “Yes please!” The trouble was that Steph thought we were talking about someone else, a little dude who looked to be about 14. We tried really hard to be subtle, but I’m not sure it worked, what with the sniggering and giggling and, every now and then, a cackle. We tried our best to explain the situation to her in Afrikaans, but it all just ended up like a game of VERY broken telephone. When she finally got onto the same page as Ash and I, her only comment was that he looked like he needed a bath. I may have volunteered to give him one, but she very cruelly reminded me that she only had a shower at her house. “That’ll do,” I giggled. It was only when she brought up the fact that he would need a bed too, and it would likely be the futon-cave I’d created, that I gave up. There was no-way, no-how that I was going to share that cozy cave with ANYONE. So, score one for good behavior (for once in my life!) Still, by the time the train stopped, we were wiping tears from our eyes as we hung onto each other in hysterics.
And thus concludes the story of the dirty-train-boy.
Until next time, possums!
Still to come: Wedding Round Up; Cruising Sydney; The Entrance Road Trip; Newton Part II; Coming Home; What I Learnt in Australia