bright lights big city…

In ozstraylia, travelling on April 2, 2010 at 9:48 pm

So Sydney! It’s hot here, feels hotter and cooler than Melbourne all at once.

It also feels very much like a big city, tall buildings, high density living, more people, more hustle and bustle. And whilst I was in Melbourne I yearned (under my breath) for this size of urban space, but now I’m here I’m not as enthused as I thought I would be. Melbourne for all it’s lack of size, I got to know quite well, I spent time there, bedded in for a little piece, I’m having to fly through Sydney as I’m adding a couple of days onto the new Zealand leg of the journey, so I can see more of it during my fly drive.

Sydney doesn’t seem to have the nooks and crannies, the off the side roads eccentricities of Melbourne, that wonderful capacity to surprise you at every other corner.

I’m staying down or up in kings cross, and it’s by turns, seedy, touristy and chi chi, big faced, high heel wearing hookers line William st, titty bars and nightclubs line Darlinghurst st, and fashionable shops and delis line Macleay st.  Went out drinking in Darlinghurst and connecting environs with an Irish doctor called Damian, who was off travelling and climbing for a couple or four months, before he headed back for another tour as doctor on a cruise ship out of southampton, so he could make some tax free cash and begin a new life in new Zealand. As I found out along the way he also had a taste for expensive single malts.

So we walked around I had a couple or three bars that had been recommended, they proved to be a bit of a disappointment, and most of the ones we passed were either full on Australian hotel/pubs, gay bars or slighty pretentious wine bar type places. Finally ended up in one of the latter where we discussed fine malts and gins with the bar staff who told me that the more ice there is in your drink, the less likely it is to melt rapidly and water it down, as it can maintain it’s temperature better. I told him I’d still like half the ice so at least I could taste the alcohol to begin with, rather than not at all. I’m not sure this went down well.

Where was I? Oh the bars, so it felt very Soho, very this is where people from out of town come to experience Sydney nightlife and have a good time and this is where I didn’t want to be.

Got back to a bar/club called Melt which had been recommended and paid my ten dollar cover charge and the place was not that full, about twenty to thirty bods, mostly male listening to the same rnb and hip hop that I’d heard in various bars in Tokyo, it’s like the dj’s have the same playlist to choose from. God it was soul destroying, just proving to me that I am getting old as I sweepingly dismiss the music that the young people love and label it, in my mind as only this (holds forefinger and thumb mm’s apart) far away from just being unintelligible noise.

Down here in Kings Cross, all things blur into one, and you can’t tell the hookers, from the tourists, short skirts, stiletto’s and cleavage on display, some you pay for, some you don’t. On the weekend it heaves with people, just so many pushed into it’s environs, but as soon as you turn the corner away from Darlinghurst st, it quiets, the sound drops off and your into a residential area, where there’s a whispered hush that covers everything. We foreigners step outside and smoke and drink opposite the hostel, the quiet surrounding us. Some residents don’t feel we’re quiet enough. A man comes close, kicks over a drink, squares upto one of the french boys. He’s angry, think we’re making too much noise, declaims he would respect the cultures of wherever he was, as we should. He is xenophobic, and looking for a ruck, eyes bulging, claiming randomly that we are loud, night after night, after night, and perhaps some are. But tonight we weren’t and I’m not so drunk that I can’t stand and discuss the issue with him. But he doesn’t want to discuss, he wants to argue and yell, and be IN THE RIGHT! He makes me want to tar all australians, with this belligerent ignorant brush.

I sleep, I wake, and I head out for a ride. As they say be careful what you wish for, I wanted big city life and sydney is providing it…

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