January 15-16, 2010
Those hard-earned vodka tonics from the night before did me no favors this morning. I slept in as long as I could, then hit the city in search of something to help my stomach. A pork and rice platter from a place in Chinatown called BBQ King did the trick.
All I wanted to do was read, so I hopped between various city parks and coffee shops to get my Tom Wolfe fix. I will finish this 700 page beast so that I can give it away and rely solely on my convenient Amazon Kindle for reading material!
After starting another night at Scary Canary I realized how much I dislike the place. They play the exact same crappy dance songs every night, and it’s way too loud to hold a conversation. I did a quick Google search for “best dive bar sydney” and discovered The Gaslight Inn in Darlinghurst. I finished my meal and walked the 2km over to the Gaslight.
I walked in the door and was happy to discover a few things I like in a bar: a complete lack of screaming German backpackers, cheap beer, and a good jukebox. I ordered a Toohey’s New, sat down at the bar, and within two minutes a group of Aussie girls came up to chat with me. One named Kat had a calculator watch that I immediately started making fun of. Dork alert! We got along, so they took me over to their table to meet the rest of their friends.
The group of people were coworkers at an internet company down the street. Programmers, artists, project managers — the usual. All young and attractive, lots of girls — unusual. What’s up Sydney? Even your computer nerds are hot?
The first day that the sun really came out! My first sunburn! My first day of taking pictures!
I took the ferry from Circular Quay over to Manly and spent the day moseying along the beach, taking pictures and checking out the various scenic nature walks. Should have put suntan lotion on my arms and face.
Finished The Bonfire of the Vanities — finally! After reading A Man in Full and this one, I have really come to appreciate Tom Wolfe’s work. No detail is superfluous. Like a good Tarantino movie, or a Dasariski show at iO West, the most random little things end up having huge significance. Styrofoam peanuts!
As usual, Scary Canary was a hot mess. Another hostel was doing a pub crawl, so there were even more screaming backpackers to deal with than usual — the guys were all dressed up like Tarzan, and the girls all had those strap-on angel wings and fairy wands. Ugh. Went to the Gaslight again, to escape.
After walking all day, a few drinks with the locals made me sleepy, so I headed back to the room to call it a night, only to find my roommates (minus the creepy tattooed old guy who never talks) and some random German guy playing drinking games with a box of goon (cheap box wine, for the uninitiated). This seemed like a good idea at the time (protip: it wasn’t). They finally scampered off to find food, and I tried to go to bed.
“Tried” being the key word here, because at that very moment I was treated to the sweet sounds of the FIRE ALARM going off. The entire hostel had to clear out to the street at 2am — a strange mix of sleepy nerds in their pajamas, and people whose party evenings were still going strong. Since I was still in my going out clothes I was able to pretend to be part of the latter crowd, and pass judgement on the sleepers. No calculator watches to make fun of, though.
On meat pies:
WHY DON’T WE HAVE THESE IN AMERICA? Amazingly tasty street food. Hot, savory meat… in a pie crust. I’m excited to try all of the flavors I’ve seen: Mince meat, chicken & mushroom, spicy thai chicken, mashed potato and bacon… the list goes on!
I need to get out of Sydney — or at the very least, find a hostel with better options for socializing. Surf camp should be an excellent adventure. I’m itching to head to Tasmania, but I’ve been told that spending Australia Day in Sydney is a great experience. Then again, it’s probably great in Hobart too!