Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 16) - A Sydney Weekend

Australia- Sheilagh, Katrina, Sharon and Lian


It was time for the Manly to Spit bridge walk

It’s a 2 hour walk over very hilly ground (at least, the way we did it). We started off all chat with a skip in our steps and a twinkle in our eyes. We ended in silence, pain coursing through our muscles, shooting deadly glares at eachother trying to remember which one of us bright sparks had suggested such a foolish plan (I’m pretty sure it was me!). Out of the three of us I really struggled, way more than I thought I would, walking up the hills felt like a ton of pressure on my lungs, I could barely find any breath in me at all. 

After we had a chance to sit down and regain the power of speech, we were happy we had done it. Nothing like the high of exercise to give you that false air of superiority. I mean none of us said it, but at that point in time, I’m pretty sure we were all thinking, “Olympic athletes, whatever!! LOOOOSERS… I am the BEST of the BEST, float like a butterfly, sting like a bee… Oh yeah, I’m feelin it, I am the GREATEST”.

Then the phone calls started….

We had arranged to go out to dinner for Katrina’s birthday, she has been great to us since we came here, so we were looking forward to it. My brother Colm rings and it turns out that he is having a barbeque, we were raging, we have been hanging out to go to a barbie since we got here. Couldn’t make it, so we put on a smile and comforted ourselves with the fact we’d be invited again really soon.

At the back of our minds we all thought, hey asked to 2 parties on the one night, not bad, our social standing is holding its own. Then the phone rings again, it’s a girl I used to work with back home, it’s her friends birthday and she is having a "gathering" in her flat. Now, she talks about this flat like it’s the birth place of Our Lord, I was dying to see it, not to mention meet up with her and her wide array of culchie friends she has accumulated over here.

Once again we had to nail it on the head, vague promises of ‘we were committed to something else but we’d try and pop in’ (try to soften the blow). The girls were blindly sideswiped for the second time in 10 mins, they too were keen to go to see the famed apartment. I could see the disappointment turn into delight as the idea formed in our heads that we had just propelled ourselves up the A list of social climbing.

Then, a girl we had gone to school with also called, seeing if we were free (C’mon, please!!). Not to leave it at that, another call, this time from friends of friends from back home, who I personally have met twice at home, they had our number, had arrived in Sydney, were heading out and wondered if we wanted to join them. As they are new, we decided not to point out that they had made the ultimate faux pas of ringing us, the inner circle, the yin to everyones yang, available on a Saturday night, even Paddy Powers wouldn't touch that one.

I think I should point out at this stage that the last paragraph has been dripping with sarcasm, we usually spend our Saturday nights in a last minute scramble, madly scanning the phone book for Rent-a-Friend! We also seem to have followed the well-worn traveler path of socializing in ex-pat circles. Ah well, who gives a flyin' flahula!

The dinner with Katrina was in a fancy Italian restaurant, we were sure we would have to hock Sharon’s pearls, but it turned out very reasonable (as is often the case in Sydney). We had a great laugh.

Sunday, I had the fantastic idea of going to watch the camel races. As it turned out, it was for families not for backpackers; all face painting, bouncy castles, and knackered old camels trotting along. I even managed to get head butted by an infant, thought about wrestling him to the ground in a half nelson, but he was sooo cutsie wootsie.

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  1. Lol..."Hock Sharon's pearls".....Fantastic sense of whole adventure of being away....Brings me back to getting your emails at the time. Used to love it!


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