I woke up in the dimly lit plane and readjusted my body to lean out the window and see if I could spot anything… other than dark clouds and the glowing light of the wing, I was out of luck. But that didn’t put a damper on anything. After several hours we finally arrived and made a safe landing in a cloudy and drizzling Sydney…
After security, getting clearance for the Cheez-It’s that I brought Occy, and successfully grabbing my bag, this girl Alex (a college sophomore whose going to be an Au Pair for 4 months in Australia) and I anxiously walked out of the gates and into the hustle and bustle of people… Before I knew it there was Dave, my Australian co-worker from Triple C Day Camp, waiting with open arms to greet me and take me away from the constant traveling and into his home. It was a gloomy day, but that’s not what mattered. I was officially here, ready for my rendezvous with the three boys who made my early teen years so much more exciting, summer after summer.
Dave drove me around the city, quickly, considering he had to be at work and it was about 7:30 a.m. As he helped me unload my bags and gave me a tour of his home I couldn’t help but be fascinated in his lifestyle away from the U.S. From a tan working counselor who lived the dream in Charlottesville to a working boy who had so much composure… who would have thought? I gave him a hug and was so grateful to have made such good friends way back when, it’s rare that people open up their arms and their homes to you while traveling, yet these guys have made a point to go above and beyond in showing me the best 2 1/2 weeks of my life.
I instantly put on an eye mask (Mariah I thought of you) and crawled into bed to catch up on some sleep. As soon as I snuck under the covers and tried to think happy thoughts, I kept imagining things crawling on my legs. If you don’t know, Australia is home to some of the most poisonous and deadly animals in the world. So yes, I may be inside a nice warm home, but who says spiders couldn’t be lurking around every dark corner. In my fearful imagination I pictured a big, hairy 8-legged creature getting incredibly excited to crawl up my legs, bite me with all his might and send me instantly into paralysis. Leaving me, the idiot American, to die slowly… unable to contact anyone because I can’t understand what in the world their telephone numbers mean and how I could actually get a hold of someone to save me from such an incident. Well luckily jet lag took over and the next thing I knew I woke up a few hours later confused to where I was and what in the world had just happened.
But I’ll speed up the day, after a warm shower and lounging with Dave’s brother and watching daytime Australian medical shows, I freshened up and waited for Dave’s arrival during lunch. He made me a quick sandwich, warm cheese ham and tomato, and showed me the “Old Men’s Club” out his back door. They were playing a game called Long Balls I believe and walking back and forth in the sand. There were no cheers of excitement or anything, just old men teetering back and forth playing their favorite game. I challenged Dave to a duel in Long Balls and I feel that I may be able to channel my inner elderly man and beat him at his own game. Wish me luck…
That evening after a quick change of clothes we hopped in Dave’s car and headed for dinner and drinks. We drove past his old high school, a huge rugby stadium, some of his friends enormous houses and past… of course… the beach. Both sides of the road we were driving on were surrounded by water. Dave live’s right outside of Sydney, close to a place called Miranda, and this is what Australian’s refer to as the city. Dave, is of course, a city boy. We circled around and I was shown the beach walk and other establishments, all restaurants and bars that were quiet on a Wednesday night, but supposedly packed to the brim on weekends.
After realizing my debit card officially worked down under, we grabbed some cash and headed for sushi at a place where everything revolves on a sushi train. As the chef’s master pieces in front of you they slip various colored plates with sushi on the train and each plate is different in price and type of food created. Conversations began, old stories arose, the sushi plates piled up and we spun off our stools and headed for a few beers at a place that supposedly will be our haven this upcoming Sunday. I was introduced to the beer Victoria Bitter, VB, and we grabbed a seat outdoors to continue our conversation. It was amazing, I still don’t think the fact that I’m in the city has even hit me yet. We continued having a few drinks and watching a show called “Hey, Hey, It’s Saturday” on the couch, which let me tell you was the cheesiest show I have ever watched, but it was worth a few laughs. After a day catching up on sleep and getting a sneak-peak at the day to come, we both headed to bed which was necessary on both of our behalf.
Today I’ll be leaving the city and heading to the country-side in Newcastle where I’ll meet up with Chris Jones and Dean Murray (aka Occy). Dave Marchant and the other two were the three amigos at camp about 6 years or so ago, so the fact that Jonesy the native English boy headed to Australia obviously shows that the three of them have become incredibly close and have more fun when they’re together.
As we speak I’m going to head to the shower and prepare for my train ride to Central Station, where I’ll explore Sydney all alone… and I can’t wait! Other than the fact that I have to lug my suitcase around all day which will be a huge pain and I’ll look like even more of a tourist than I had hoped for. It’s time to take pictures and see the city before I hop on a train to Newcastle and head to the pub for dinner and drinks with Jonesy and Occy… Two hours of viewing the country side by train is more appealing than they can imagine. From city to country girl, it’s going to be a big change of pace!