Settling in in Sydney

My favourite fashion blogger, the sequin cat, mentioned recently that this month is          No Excuses November in blog-land. My current, just-as-of-this-evening excuses include: I am using my (new!) smartphone as a wifi hotspot and it keeps dropping out; I am quite uncomfortable sitting up in bed (which is the only place we have for sitting) because we only have three pillows and J has two of them which is fair enough since he started watching REPO the Genetic Opera ago), I probabaly should be either unpacking some more, or, going to sleep early so I can get up early, and unpack some more, and I am exhausted from the week/day/last couple hours of doing dishes.
I spent so much time planning and thinking and imagining each step of our move, but my imagination focused very obsessively on certain details – where all the stuff I wanted to get rid of would end up, what going-to-job-interviews clothes I had, how I should “sell” us to the real estate agents as Perfect Tenants – but I don’t think I ever pulled the mental camera back and thought about just how much there is, how everything an interstate move is, and how ongoing it is.

The world is very topsy-turvy at the moment: doing the grocery shopping is thrilling; each load of laundry is deeply, comfortingly satisfying; and having to remember to enjoy the pool or decide to wander leisurely around a farmer’s market is suddenly stressful.

Last night we walked up to the train & went a very cool (ie small) number of stops to get into town. I definitely had the most fun just walking along the street, people watching & enjoying being part of the night, but I also enjoyed my glass of wine at the fairy-lit Winery, which being uber-trendy was packed, but had such a nice garden that Jason & I were quite happy just standing in a corner observing the skyline and drinking our surprisingly sour white “Sauvign”. J was entertained by my pocket list of Sydney fashion trends: colourful tight pants, big chunky necklaces, lots of bracelets, flat shoes, lots of blue, lots of white. “Flat shoes?” he said, looking around. And, OK, there weren’t really any at the Winery.

We rejected Mexican (a good call, I think) and pizza for Thai food because really, if you’re going to buy food out why not buy the MOST DELICIOUS and I had the most delicious Pad Thai. But my enjoyment in my meal was spoilt, utterly, by the cigarette smoke blowing directly from the outside garden through the small restaurant. I am always so embarrased and upset when I have to get up periodically & go outside to gulp the air and get over feeling sick, and when I can’t help but drop my fork and gasp disgusted when a particularly strong gust hits me. As has happened many times before I was almost crying with the frustration of having a lovely – and expensive- meal absolutely ruined, but I never quite feel allowed to be angry, even though I am angry, at how someone else’s choice, and the restraunt owner’s indifference, can interfere with & kinda wreck a total stranger’s night. I’m always especially angry that the smoker never knows what a horrible horrible time they’re forcing me to have, and angry too that I’m the one that ends up embarrased (& my dining partner too) and I’m the one that so obviously annoys anyone who notices my reaction. But at the same time, it’s equally not cool for me to make it the cigarette smoker’s problem. And I’ve never had anything but hostility from cafe owners or waitstaff when I ask to move or for the door to be closed or for the law that says the smoker can’t be within 5 metres of the entrance of the eating place actually to be enforced.  So, as a result, this is my feelings here, in my blog, because frustrated feelings of having no forum for complaints is the true origin story of the Internet (Maybe not the factual or historical one, but the true explanation in terms of human nature).
At any rate, I did manage to finish my meal, because the happily unconscious smokers finished their cigarettes, and luckily I’m not actually asthmatic, so I recovered before J ate all my tofu. Next time will make sure to pick somewhere that has no outside.

We spent the next hour or so walking off our full stomachs and looking for another bar in a pretty desultory fashion, but in very snooty manner decided not to bother when the pub we eventually did scoot into turned out not to have a wine list. Their exact words were, “You can see the bottles behind the counter.”

I fell asleep on the train on the way home, half-way through a twitter conversation (hi bogurk!). Sydney trains are warm and comfortable (especially when you’ve been drinking wine and walking around and around and around in the cool night breeze).

And then we came home to our BED (spare-room mattress sitting on the floor) and it even had my doona on it, which I’d found in a box earlier that day, and meant to hang out to air, but then there it was all dusty and snuggly.

No matter how nice I am about wine lists set out by varietal or breathable air in Oxford Street restraunts, I am sincerely, unpretentiously grateful to have shelter. I love my bed, in a comfortable, lazy, luxuriating way, but also understand with great preciseness how fortunate I am to have my comfortable, dry, clean, secure place to sleep, and be able to get my clothes clean & dry, & leave my things & not worry about them. I guess it is the great upheaval of moving that really brings home home. The essentials of basic food and shelter and soap are luxuries, too. I have been enjoying them that way, lately, with gratitude and relief that they’re available seasoning my more usual hedonism.

It may be a flavour that immatures as the acquisitive and indulgent season of Christmas draws near…

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2 Responses to Settling in in Sydney

  1. Lost_Wanderings says:

    hang in there with the unpacking and make sure you have breaks! 🙂

    I also hate cigarette smoke! I think smokers should think about where their smoke is ending up. It’s pretty stupid with apathetic waitstaff cos all they probably need to do is ask the person smoking to stand down wind of the door or keep the door closed.

    • laurieormond says:

      Thanks, we are getting there with the unpacking! Although there has been a certain amount of unpacking a box only to re-pack it when we look around and have run out of floor space…

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