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Beyond the Pale - A 'pale' is a fencepost. The English Pale was a boundary in Ireland marking out the part of Ireland under direct English rule circa 1450 (which included Dublin and environs). Those that lived 'beyond the pale', outside of English rule, were considered out of control and uncivilised. You decide...

Thursday, June 29, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 2) - Sydney

The Land of Plenty

G'DAY MATE!

When I first arrived in Sydney, Australia, it was rain, rain, rain. I was nay impressed and SO tempted to ask for my money back. However, rain never lasts long out here and ever since then it's been sunshine, lollipops and rainbows.

Ok, I’ll get all the boring rubbish out of the way first, I haven’t got a job yet, I was pretty stressed out initially about must-get-a-job and all that lark, but I went to a few agencies and they were throwing jobs at me (isn’t it always the way… chortle, chortle, I eat celtic tigers for breakfast, blah, blah, blah - I'm kidding). But they just wouldn’t listen to the fact that I didn’t want to do the same job I did back home, at one stage I was convinced I was going to have to get a restricting order against this Attila the Hun character who had me on speed dial. This other guy in an agency told me maybe I was better off bummin’ around the beach for a year, I was like, listen here ya string vest wearin’ beer guzzlin’ convict, don’t get lippy with me! (Obviously, I didn't say that out loud, I find a sigh usually conveys the same message). I changed my opinion when he said I was lovely. A recruitment person trying to flatter someone to keep them on the books, could it be possible... nah, they're as honest as the day is long. Everyone loves the Irish, or are they afraid of us, maybe a bit of both!

Anyway, the craic is great, myself and one of my bezzie's Sharon have been staying with my brother Colm out in Coogee. It's a excellent place to live, it's right by the beach, a good half hour bus trip from town but the place is really laid back, exactly what you would think of Aussieland. It's also where most of the English abroad call home. The Irish tend to hang up their washing in Bondi, also known to the Irish as the 33rd county of Ireland, county Bondi.

We made a few trips to the Coogee Bay Hotel (the infamous CBH), the haunt of backpackers or “travelers” as we are known. Great place! As most backpackers are on the same vibe ('livin the dream, maaan') it's a very friendly, casual spot. People here aren't drinking cosmopolitans and talking about a funny article they read in the New York Times. They are mainly drinking beer and talking about drinking more beer. It's got a beer garden (funnily enough) and is right by the beach, when you're backpacking in your early 20s, that's close to Nirvana.

Katrina, an old pal of mine from college, who lives permanently in Sydney, has taken us under her wing. Now, she is an absolute gem, the girl has an IQ that is off the charts, which is closely followed by her ability to party. We started off in North Sydney which involved someone's credit card being lashed behind the bar.
We somehow reappeared in another bar on Oxford St where the merriment continued until the wee hours, I was howling with laughter (for reasons nobody can remember!).

The next day we turned down going out with Colm and his flatmates thinking we would just play jigsaw with our memories of the night before. Five mins later we found ourselves in a nearby abandoned playground sitting on the swings contemplating the deep things in life like why are playgrounds only for kids (a good question!) then we broke into some brooding songs. After hearing the sound of clapping in the distance, (moooortified), we booted it down to the good old Coogee Bay Hotel where we knew the boyzzz were. Well, after being chatted up by a few local Aussies (oh dear). We decided to head back to the playground because it had an incredible view for the sunrise. (Australia has these relaxed drinking laws where places stay open waaaay later than you realize and you think you're leaving at a reasonable time but its actually disgraceful o'clock).

There we were, in the playground, sitting on the see-saw in lotus position like a couple of wackos, when the flippin sun only goes and rises behind us! Bloody hell, it was like "who turned on the light switch?".

We decided to drag our tired faces home.

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