Friday, March 05, 2010

[The Life of Shaun #396] Shrove Sydney

The last weekend of my Australasian adventure has arrived; tomorrow is the official Mardi Gras party and it's pretty much a nonstop progression of inebriation into hangover and onto the plane from there. So in that sense, today's my last day on holiday! Boo!

Sydney (and Mary Keany) has been a gracious and welcoming host. I came here in 2002, intentionally not for Mardi Gras, as I wanted to see the city as it was in situ as I was thinking of trying to move over. But I was newly in love with New York, and after the bright lights of Manhattan, Sydney, despite all its charms, couldn't compare.

I am not sure if it's because it's Mardi Gras, I am older and in a different place, that I have friends here now, or if the city's just matured - most likely all if it - but I am loving it this time. Had this been my first experience here, I could've had a very different noughties.

But lovely as it is, Sydney can't escape its one disabling drawback: isolation. It is so far from everywhere else. New Zealand, its closest neighbour, is 3.5 hours away. If everything and everyone you care about is already here and you are content with holidaying in the Blue Mountains, then well enough. But I am already too far from too many people, thankyouverymuch, and I'd live a life of penury satisfying my travel compulsion here.

And, alas, as great as the hypothetical of another week or two here sounds, it is time to get back to my London. I've had a few pangs of homesickness and am ready to get back in the saddle. Also, life is falling apart without me there - Marco is buying wine from Iceland, Kimb'uh and Lottie are exchanging recipes rather than hangover cures, XXL is wrapped in a cloak of sadness and Alexi and I are down to five months to achieve our 2010 aspirations. My friends and city need me and I need them.

But first I have a hangover to get started on...


Mary Keany's horrible building - it's been quite a hardship staying here. Her neighbourhood, Potts Point, is like a little antipodean New York - I like it immensely.

Equally as wretched, the view from down her street

On the left: the restaurant with Opera House views we wanted to eat at; on the right: the cruise ship they've parked in front of it. There was not a single customer inside. We ended up farther along the pier where we could have lunch with a view, but it meant A$40 fish & chips. Still? Worth it.

My unsuccessful attempt at taking the obligatory photo with Mary Keany

The improved version, thanks to a kind couple from Missouri

Dusk from the other end of Mary's street

And the city from her neighbourhood

Ms. Lapore made the rounds (she says "Hi", Mike! Well, with all the collagen she really says "Mmhhmm!")

Me and my Aussie girlfriend; she's offered to marry me if I change my mind about relocating.

And, summing up the week, me and Sue She after she did her reworking of "Bad Romance" entitled "I Think I Pooped My Pants" at a drag competition. She won.

Shaun H. Coley
Sydney, NSW

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1 comment:

Marco said...

Oi! How did you know about the wine from Iceland?!