Sunday, January 16, 2005

Harbour blog.

I haven’t posted any notes from the past recently, and since my most recent trip was barely worth a mention, I might as well.

January 10, 1992.

Up late, out of the house at about 1:30. We are decadent. Went down to Circular Quay and caught the ferry to Manly. Nice ride in a stiff wind. Good panoramic view of the harbor. Returned by the same ferry after lunch in Manly—another gyro—and proceeded to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and walked across it, south to north, fulfilling one ambition of this trip. Matt pointed out the places he’d once climbed on the outside of the bridge as many young fools in high school do, occasionally taking a final plunge into Sydney Harbour.

We rode a tram back across the bridge to Sydney’s diminutive Chinatown and from there walked over to Darling Harbour, site of extensive waterside redevelopment. Formerly a shipping quay, it’s becoming a conference center, shopping and entertainment district. We did no conferencing and no shopping, but we did entertain ourselves at a pub, sitting outdoors. A 10-man bicycle went by. A bicycle complex, really, with all the riders wearing barbershop quartet duds, except for the bicycle helmets. But they weren’t singing. Instead, they formed a small brass band, playing as they tooled around Darling Harbour.

Left Darling by monorail, which took us to the “World Trade Centre” station. As yet, there’s no World Trade Centre there, just an enormous construction site—a big hole in the ground, a whole city block of a hole—with nothing to fill it due to hard times in Australian real estate development. We met Gill at the _______ Hotel and caught two comedy shows. Many fine jokes were told. Occasionally Matt or Gill had to explain something to me, such as that a “ute” (u-tee) was a utility truck, so I could understand the punchline of a mother-in-law joke. Also, one of the comedians was something I hadn’t seen in years, something out of fashion in the States: a comic drunk.

After the comedy, we had some fine pizza, including a bacon and egg pizza. A new thing for me, but good.


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