Sunday, October 30, 2011
Today has been all about Bondi.
Well, Bondi and somewhat unhelpful people.
First off though, I think I remarked once before, either when we were here in Sydney or else on one of the trips to Melbourne, just how many accents you hear here in shops and cafes and just generally on the street that you don't hear back in Adelaide. Just today, for example, I've been served by an American girl, an English girl, an English guy plus a German guy and possibly a German girl (both in the same place... and they could actually have been Belgian for all I know), and I've heard people speaking in French and Spanish besides. Not to mention the Jewish wedding and the two Jewish guys buying electronic goods.
I woke up at around the same time as I would usually thanks to my slightly unhelpful body clock... it doesn't appear to understand the concept of "holiday"... although it might if I hadn't had to leave the hotel room windows open all night in the vain attempt to induce some cooler air into my room, which then meant I was woken up by some random truck in the laneway outside.
The dude on the front desk tomorrow is going to get such a talking to.
I pootled around on my iPhone for a while this morning, catching up on tweets, blogs and emails, then got myself organised and went down to Ma's room at about 8ish.
You know when you are aware that the last time you did something you didn't especially enjoy it, but you decide that maybe it has gotten better over time, so you try it again, only to realise you were right the first time.
I did that twice today... once with some of the strawberries that we bought from the Farmers Market (I tried some last night and they just tasted like acetone to me, which isn't pleasant... but I thought they might have improved overnight... not so much). The second time was when we went down to La Renaissance Patisserie at The Rocks this morning for breakfast. I knew that I didn't enjoy their ham and cheese filled croissant thing last year, but I had to get it again this year... still didn't enjoy it.
Fortunately their coffee and Danishes are delicious.
We also sat down by the water and watched the seemingly hundreds and hundreds of people troupe down Argyle Street and onto Circular Quay West as part of the Seven Bridges Walk. And that's a hell of a walk... and there really were a LOT of people doing it. More power to them!
Granted I've possibly walked an equal distance over the last four days anyway... perhaps even further.
Once the information centre was open we went in to ask about bus tickets and buses to Bondi and all of that good stuff (although the fact that the information centre doesn't actually sell bus tickets does seem a little bit bass-ackwards to me). I know it was first thing on a Sunday and we were pretty much their first customers, but the woman who served us seriously needed a fucking coffee or something... and for the most part she was pretty unhelpful.
Then we tried the information dude in the little office at Circular Quay... now he has the little pictograms for bus and train and ferry and probably a couple of other things on his door, so you would think he should know something about them. But no... he was singularly unhelpful, hardly even looked up while he was talking to us and just referred us to the Bus Transit booth thing in front of McDonalds. He couldn't even tell me what section Bondi was in, bus-wise.
Well, fuck you very much Mr Unhelpful, so very sorry to have interrupted your game of solitaire!
But between my iPhone, the brochure Ma picked up in the information centre and some common sense, I was able to get a couple of MyBus3 TravelTen tickets... which have actually served us well so far.
And even though it's a Sunday, we haven't had to wait for a bus for more than two or three minutes at a time, which is pretty good.
The 333 bus may be the quickest and most direct route to Bondi, but once you get past a certain point, it's not really much of a scenic tour. And I'm not sure that anyone would even go to Bondi were it not for the beach.
But I get slightly ahead of myself.
We got off the bus somewhere along the middle of Campbell Parade and wandered down to the Bondi Beach Public School for the Bondi Markets.
And I just checked the temperature on my iPhone, and once again Sydney's humidity is sitting on 99%... urgh... we're so coming in Winter next year.
There were a few decent things at the market, but oddly no food of any kind whatsoever... and a lot of clothes. But I did really like the paintings from the guy at Cheeky Bucket... there may have to be a postal purchase at some stage.
We also got sucked in at the Scentlogs stall... they had all these, essentially logs of scent... wax sticks scented with various things. And of course they were having a special just for the market, buy four, get one free... so we did.
That was really about it for the markets though... like I said, a LOT of clothes.
Aquabumps gallery... I think former blogger Tom originally turned me on to Eugene Tan's Aquabumps photography, and I had to see the gallery for myself.
Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous... the work is gorgeous, the gallery is gorgeous, Eugene is gorgeous.
And although I REALLY have no hanging space left, I just fell in love with one of the images, Pink Silk... but they didn't have a copy of it in store, so I've ordered it, and they're going to send it out to me at the end of next week.
Then we wandered down to the water so that I could sexually harass surfers and/or half naked men with my 300mm telephoto lens, thusly (and throughout this post)...
Then it was time for lunch at Moo Gourmet Burgers where my eyes were perhaps bigger than my belly... which is an accomplishment in itself. Or perhaps I really didn't expect my burger to look like THIS when it arrived...
But between the gigantic Big Moo Burger (Ma had the much more reasonably sized Classic Beef Burger), the very tasty basket of onion rings and the banana smoothie, I was a very, very full little bunny when we were done eating. I think somewhere that serves salad is the way to go for dinner tonight.
We decided to walk off the food a little, so we headed up Hall Street, which according to one of the brochures Ma had, was supposed to be a "shopping strip". Errr... no. It wasn't Glenelg level shopping, it wasn't even Brighton level shopping... so, no.
But it helped to make the food go down a bit before we got on the bus.
Once we were on, Ma decided that she wanted to stop at Bondi Junction... but it turns out that it was only so that I could go to Target for shorts and a better hat than the one I have.
And I swear that whoever owns the Westfield properties in Sydney is SO not the person who owns Westfield Marion. Both Westfield Sydney and Westfield Bondi Junction feel so much higher class than anything we have... it's all high profile stores, shiny reflective things and big comfortable cow covered seats.
Fortunately though they do have a Target, right up at the top where it won't offend the more high profile shopper... and I got a pair of shorts identical to a pair of my gym shorts and a hat that actually fits my big fat head!
Normally all store that sells hats has is size 57. Why even put a size on it if you're only going to stock the one size... but the very first hat I picked up in Target was a size 59... HUZZAH! It fitted and everything.
I also got Ma a Hallmark Keepsake Ornament snowman, because a) she likes snowmen, and b) the only reason she wanted to stop at Bondi Junction was because of me. Bless her.
On the way out we stopped at Boost Juice and Ma got some berry juice thing, but I was feeling adventurous, so I decided to invent my own juice. Lemon, watermelon and pineapple... I call it Summer Tang. Very tasty!
Then we jumped back on the bus AGAIN and headed back to the hotel.
So I left Ma on the bus and wandered back along the road to The Bookshop.
I pretty much did a repeat of last year's excursion, only with different titles... two calendars, Pura Vida Corbin Fisher and Bel Ami Paradise Found by Howard Roffman plus a copy of I Love You Phillip Morris, only because it was on sale.
Then I wandered back to the bus stop and jumped on the next 333 bus that came along... and resisted the urge to jump the surfer still in half of his wetsuit (the bottom half unfortunately) carrying his slight sandy surfboard on the bus.
So all up, a very good use of our MyBus tickets and we saw something different. Plus it also means we can just concentrate on the sculptures on Thursday.
In the end we didn't really have dinner... well, we did, but it was pretty much just dessert.
We left the hotel at around 6:30 or so... later than usual, but I got back to the hotel later than Ma this afternoon, and I really wanted the sun to have started to set before we went back out again.
And after the GIANORMOUS burger at lunch, I really didn't feel like much dinner at all... I just wanted something light and fresh.
So, seemingly for the millionth time since we got here, we headed over to The Rocks and went to the Guylian Belgian Chocolate Café. Which doesn't really sound like the right place if you want something light and fresh, I know, but it turned out to be pretty much spot on.
I do like well put together hospitality staff... and when a guy wraps his apron strings just around his hips so that it makes the roundness and perkiness of his butt all the more apparent... works for me.
But as much as I would have like to strip him naked and just lick chocolate off him for dessert, what we actually ended up having were a couple of milkshakes and a dipping plate filled with fruit and a little bowl of some kind of chocolate sauce. Was quite nice really.
Then we meandered back here...
And I'm about to watch teevee for the first time in our whole trip! It'll probably only be one of two things I watch during the whole trip... but I may watch either a movie or something on my netbook at some stage.
Normally, that would actually have been pretty much our whole holiday... we usually only spend about four or five days away... but this time we have the whole week ahead of us. Which is probably just as well since nobody quite seems to know what the fuck is going on with Qantas yet.