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Slippery in Sydney

AUSTRALIA | Thursday, 4 March 2010 | Views [920]

A setting sun makes even a cityscape look pretty

A setting sun makes even a cityscape look pretty

I need a holiday after all this talk about commitment, and marriage and every other aspect of human interactions that is scarier than watching 'Wolf Creek'. Its open wallet season and not one, not two, but three interstate trips are forcing my savings into its frequently compromised position. My pleasure receptacles are bracing for overload as the next month is all about fun and frivolity, and probably fasting, out of fiscal and physical necessity.

A five day man date to Sydney with Trev was the first leg. The UFC obsession that started in Broome has finally become a stadium spectacle instead of a couch riding experience. Such is the popularity of the sport that the event sold out in less than an hour. That was great news for us when we heard about it 3 days after ticket sales had opened. The $250 initial budget we discussed was made to look like chicken feed when we realised the only way to get tickets was through a professional scalper, for twice the price. That took a fair degree of resignation to sleep off, but shady deals multiplied exponentially until our only option was $620 for a corporate box. Already over committed, there was no way to back out by this stage without a large side salad of regret.

If that wasn't debilitating enough, Trev brought tickets for the Twenty20 cricket match through the same suspect character, and paid double the gate price for general admin. Amongst numerous other similarities, Trev and I obviously have the same approach to disposable income. I don't even like the Twenty20 format believing it to designed for people with limited attention spans. A point proven at the game when short snippets of music blared out between each delivery just in case the punters fell foul to a moment of self awareness. The fact that the current West Indies team would have trouble beating an under age suburban side, meant the game was never even a contest. Australian openers Warner and Watson provided some entertainment by hoisting every second ball into the crowds; an event celebrated with fire works and loud music to further enthral the mindless masses.

Compounding the pecuniary problem was our mutual love of beer, as every wander through town under the guise of sight seeing was just an extended pub crawl. One stop was at a German Brew-house where beer was consumed out of buckets with handles. Trev's larger frame happily absorbed a few full steins but the middle of the afternoon was not the time for me to tackle such slipperiness and expect to see anything of the evening. A visit to the Sydney version of our James Squires bar accommodated our desires in the name of business research, and helped put a rosy glow on the rest of the days perambulations.

We looked at all the iconic landmarks of Sydney from a respectful distance as neither of us had much intention to be tourists. I took a handful of the obligatory snapshots, including a rather impressive sunset as we caught the ferry over to Manly for dinner one night. Most of the cameras work was done at the UFC event, something so large it warrants its own journal entry. An early morning stroll through Newtown offered little in the way of alternative people or shops but a visit to Chinatown did. For $2 a smiley Eastern European man cut a profile portrait of me out of black card in about 2 minutes. While overly simplistic, the similarities were uncanny as it showed I had a chin, a nose, a hat on and a vastly sloping forehead like a frontal lobotomy had removed over half of my brain. Alcohol was probably doing that in reality, so perhaps the portrait wasn't too dissimilar after all.

The obvious contradiction between this party trip and my recent intoxicant abstention is somewhat lost on me. Life is a dynamic process and I'm not one to tie myself down to any one thing that cannot be contradicted by whatever follows it, especially when it comes to vows or personality traits. There is no rule that says we have to fulfil the expectations of ourselves or others and be anything but that exact person we want to be in that very moment. I think it makes life more interesting to be living like a rock star one day, contemplating life in a monastery the next, then celebrating the corporeal commitments of others after that.

Tags: friends, sight seeing, sport

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