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Published: April 29th 2014
So i’ve been a busy bee since my last blog on Tuesday/ Wednesday. I survived the stupidly long flight and got to the hostel about 8.30am in the morning. Luckily the hostel allowed me to check in earlier so I made my way up to my room to find 3 people zonked out asleep, still inebriated from the night before. Not wanting to wake anyone up, I went downstairs for a few hours and got chatting to a Northern Irish guy called Charlie, who is on a working holiday visa too. Determined to keep myself awake until at least 10pm ( to adjust to the time difference) I decided to take a free walking tour around the city. This was a really great tour with lots of history and knowledge behind the buildings a tourist like myself would have just walked past by. The tour included the Rocks, Sydney Opera house and the harbour bridge. Tired from travelling, the evening was spent watching ‘ Wall street- money never sleeps’ and eating a subway sandwich.
The next day was an ‘administrative’ kind of day. I Sorted out my banking, medicare and tax file
number, before having lunch with Keith at a Whetherspoons style pub. Having tried my first of many ‘ Schooners’ ( Sydneys version of a pint) I went back for a nap before going out for a few drinks with a large group from the hostel, taking advantage of my duty free from the airport. I can’t believe how expensive the past-time of drinking is over here. The same bottle would cost about £50 here in Australia.
Friday was a public holiday in oz called ANZAC’s day, which is basically their version of Remembrance Day to remember the troops who fought in the various wars. For one day only a gambling game called two up is legalised in pubs and public places. I do not know the ins and outs of this game but I think it involves four games of ‘ heads or tales’ and betting on the odds to get all 4 correct. This was played by the ANZAC troops in the trenches so it is played to remember them.
So on Friday I got up fairly early to make my way over to my second couch-surfing host who lives in Summer Hills/Ashfield. Jackson ( my host)
helped me from the train station with my ultra heavy bags and we went round his flat for a bowl of reheated dinner from the night before which hit the spot as ANZAC’s day is known for is alcohol fuelled frolic’s. Jackson’s flat was rather on the small side, and when I first arrived my initial thought was ‘ I hope I get on with this guy’ as it was just me and him sleeping but a few metres apart. I needn’t have worried as we got on fine and he managed to tolerate me and my messiness so everything was A OK!
We then caught the train to the stadium to watch the Sydney Roosters v’s St George Illawarra, both teams deriving from the Sydney area. Jacksons friend was supporting St. Georges and unfortunately they lost 14-34. After the game our next point of call was a few nightclubs/ bars in the Rocks Area. At about 8pm it was utter carnage with lots of drunk serviceman, sick everywhere and many passed out people to step over.
We queued up to go into this one bar and as I approached the door the bouncer there started to ask
me a few questions to ascertain my sobriety. Not understanding his Accent, I misheard him say “ how many have you had to drink?” for “ how many of your are there?”, a typical bouncerish question back home. My reply to that was to count the amount of people in the group- “ Six Mate.” I was asked to step out of the line and refused entry to the nightclub. Oh the shame. But it wouldn’t be the first time to be honest.
On Saturday my host and I went for a coffee and I slipped away for an hour or two to do some research for this interview tomorrow at an internet cafe. I had 6 kids around me all playing call of duty whilst I was brushing up on temperature control for New South Wales.
To pass some time we went for a run to burn off the excess food and beer consumed over the last few days. The idea was to run to some stretch of water and back again, the distance being about 10k ( 6 miles.) 10 miles later and sweaty I arrived back after being shown the ‘scenic route by
Jackson’. I did not make too much of a fuss, I’m sure you sneyd Striders reading can relate to my extended runs in which I repeatedly get lost. Later that evening we met up with a few of his university friends that he hadn’t seen in a while and went for a Chinese. This was really yummy and very cheap- Ashfield has a large viatnamese/ Chinese population so it was in fitting with the local clientele. Desert was a icecream called Golden Gaytime LOL! sat on a park bench opposite the train station.
On Sunday we went to the Balmain Tigers v’s The Gold Coast Titans. Jackson and his friends are Balmain fans and again the game resulted in a loss. The weather was awful but I was glad to be there and have a beer with my adopted friends. After the game we took a bus to a bar and had a beer and burger before heading home to prepare for the working week.
Yesterday, the weather was awful so I stopped in the hostel and made some bread with Max- who should seriously consider going on the Americas version of the British Bake off as it was fantastic.
Right thats enough writing for one day, perhaps i’ll do another one in a weeks time. Back to EH revision now.
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