Sunday, July 11, 2010

And the winner is... Sydney!

This is going to be a long post. Don't say I didn't warn you.

So there I was heading away for a long weekend, my first pleasure trip in almost 6 months. The idea had popped up a couple months earlier. A friend was going away himself and suggested I come with. Well I sat on it for at least a month, thinking naaaah it ain't happening. But eventually I thought why on earth not?! I need a change of scenery. So I looked into flights, accommodation, and everything else i'll need. I'd be there from the Friday to the Monday. He's be spending time with family so we'd hang out together sometime, and do our own thing sometime. Sounded perfect to me :) . I had some friends up there I wanted to hang with too. Some i'd been friends with for a while, and one was just some random guy I met on gaydar (yeah i know how that sounds, but really it's not what you think!) By the time I actually got my act together to actually book, my flights and hotel cost me a pretty penny, but it was well worth it. I had a hotel in CBD for the first night, then off to Darlinghurst for the rest and things actually turned out pretty well, even though I was told I should be staying in Darlinghurst for Friday night (thanks for the tip Mr Sydney). Once I had the hotel booked, I joined their frequent guest program, found a code to get free elite status on google, which gives free upgrades. Let's see if it works.

The thing with Mr Sydney was, well complicated. That is if you'd understood what on earth i'd been blabbering about in my last few posts. I didn't actually tell him I was coming for a visit. After everything that happened, I wasn't sure I even wanted to see him. It wasn't that i was intentionally keeping it a secret from him i just didn't tell him. Or maybe I was, subconsciously. Anyway, back on topic, i posted a status update that I was counting down. Of course I was asked counting to what and i reply i'm heading away for the long weekend. Well of course then Mr Sydney, who's my friend on facebook, asked where I was going. Well of course his ex is also my friend on there, replied matter of factly "Sydney of course, where else do you go for a long weekend!" Well of course Mr. Sydney comes back with "is he really? funny that he didnt tell me????" Well we got chatting, he was going away on the Saturday and invited me to pop by Friday night. I had plans, but i told him i'd see. He was heading away from the Saturday morning so it was Friday night or never.

Packing for a weekend away is almost impossible. I probably packed enough for an entire week, if not more. But better too much than not enough :) It was always a matter of should I wear this or that? And once I decide, should I wear this belt or that belt and this pair of shoes or that one? Maybe i'm a bit of a clothes freak, but it was good to have someone around to advise me. "Wear this, it'd look great on you. No wait, this would look amaaaaazing." lol.

The day arrived, I was going to head straight to the airport from work. I had made plans to hang out with someone that night, so it looked like I was gonna be a busy boy over there. As far as anyone was aware I was leaving work midday in order to arrive before the sabbath. Um yeah like that was gonna happen. I left work a couple hours early and headed to the airport. Traffic was horrendous on the way in and I was concerned about missing my flight. Of course i made it, and sat down at the gate waiting for boarding. They announced boarding, and everyone got in line. And waited. And waited. And waited some more. Periodically they would say the pilot was just finishing up checks and we'd be boarding in a few minutes. At one point there was an announcement throughout the terminal of a gate change for a flight to Brisbane. Their new gate was gate 3. Which is where we were all waiting to board. They better not be stealing our plane, I thought. But in a few minutes, well whad'ya know. they announced our flight was cancelled. Fuck. There goes my carefully made plans. Then they announced that everyone should go to baggage claim to collect their bags and back to to checkin to get rebooked. Double fuck for those who checked bags, but I didn't. I went straight up to the desk and asked if I could get on the next flight. I'd never seen someone type that fast on a keyboard, seriously, it was like someone typing and then pressing fast forward. Within a minute I was rebooked on a flight leaving an hour after my original departure. As I left the gate area I noticed a line of people behind me, obviously thinking the same thing I was but just weren't as quick. An announcement was heard telling them it'd be quicker just to go back to checkin than to wait in line. Thank goodness for good ideas and speed :)

I went to the gate of my next flight and sat down to wait. Then someone else from my original flight arrived too. She looked so familiar, but I wasn't sure where I recognised her from. It turned out she was Janelle Bloom of Ready Steady Cook fame. We were joined by another couple of women, and just sat there talking. Ms Bloom had been at the airport for hours, one flight after another got delayed or cancelled. But she's putting out a new cookbook in time for Xmas. But back to the story at hand, we finally boarded, took off, landed, and got my shuttle to my hotel.

At checkin I was offered an upgrade for X amount of dollars. "But aren't I supposed to get a free upgrade with my elite hotel status?" Why yes you are. Haha, score :) I got in touch with the guy I was gonna hang out with, he was at work drinks in the city, so being in the CBD was perfect. I showered, changed and met him in the lobby and we started walking. I don't know where were going, but we just started walking. I texted Mr Sydney that i had plans and wouldn't be making it, and another friend too. We picked a Japanese place for dinner, and the world cup opening ceremony was on the TV in the corner there was an interesting mix of background music. Anyway, after a teriyaki salmon bento box it was off to the Columbian.

 Now don't get me wrong, I had fun there, the music just reminded me of an 80's night somewhere. Anyway the company was good, and with a few beers who was even thinking about the music? A mate of his joined us later in the night, and he seemed like he'd had quite a few to drink. From there the next place we hit was the Palms, where his mate wasn't allowed in, lol.. It may have looked a bit cheesy but that was my kind of music, drinks, dancing, eventually he called it a night and I was left alone. It wasn't long until people tried to make a move on me, and I realised yeah that's why I don't like going out alone.

I left and walked back to my hotel at about 3-ish and was really looking forward to a nice comfy sleep. Rise and shine, the hotel was fully booked that night so I couldn't get a full extended late checkout that I was entitled to thanks to my elite status, but i got an extra couple of hours which was more than enough. I didn't have firm plans for the day, i had a few possibilities including one i'd texted the previous night. He was at yoga, but we organised to go have brunch somewhere. I got my shit together and checked out. All the flight attendants from Virgin Atlantic were checking out and heading to the airport for their flight to Hong Kong and London. Their was a cute one, too bad I didn't know he was in the hotel till he checked out ;)  It was a beautiful saturday morning, the sun was out, it was fairly warm (at least compared to Melbourne on a wintery June day).

He picked me up and we went to a sushi place he'd discovered. And I must say, it was really good sushi! From there we stopped at his place, picked up another friend of his and it was off to the Museum of Contemporary Art. What a nice way to spend a saturday afternoon, some fairly interesting artwork, some were interesting as in cool, others were interesting as in WTF?! Walking along Circular Quay, we got some gelati and then went to one of his fave places to have a coffee and a shmooze. And shmooze we did until it was time to meet one of  my other mates at the hotel in Darlinghurst where i'd be staying for the rest of my trip. Once there we made plans to meet up with some of his friends. There was just enough time to chill out abit, have some fun, and shower and change.

We met at the Green Park Hotel, which has lost its beer garden area out the back thanks the expansion at St Vincents Hospital. Well it seems they own the area so they can do what they bloody well want. Shame though. We I met some of his good mates, we had a drink, then went around the corner to Fish Face for dinner, great food, a nice bottle of wine. And funnily enough popped back into the Green Park Hotel for another drink afterwards. It was then back to the hotel (the Medusa btw). At one point I was told by my friend that his friends were looking at getting some 'stuff' for the events of the next day. They didn't want to ask me directly but would I be interested? I've experimented with a few different things in my time, so why the hell not? Some went for some 'biscuits' - ecstasy, but most just went for some GHB, or as they called them 'fish'. I'd been a good boy my whole life, never really did drugs at all, never bought the stuff ever. I had no idea how much this was going to be, or what it was going to be like. But i was game. Then it was ready for a good nights sleep.

Up at a normal hour the next day it was time for brunch. We had decided on Petrol the night before, so that's where we met to eat and plan the rest of the day. The sun was out, it was a beautiful warm day. Lots of things to admire in the street. Some good food and then shopping on Oxford St through Paddington. Lots of walking and browsing before we decided to head back. Now I discovered the reason they were called 'fish' was because it was in liquid form and the way they would be transported would be in those little soy sauce bottles in the shape of a fish that you get with sushi. So it was off to find some fish, i.e. a place that sold sushi. We stopped at a number of places, but no luck. It was back to the hotel, where I thought i'd relax before we went to Fierce Angel later that afternoon, my mate met up with some friends of his for lunch. He returned with some sushi, and some fish. Forget the fish, the sushi was spectacular. The best sushi i've ever had!

Fierce Angel was an afternoon party, dunno what was up with that, but it was supposed to go from 2pm till 10pm. There was no way were going that early. We were aiming for a 4-5pm arrival. Enough time to get changed and pick up the stuff. I must say it was much cheaper than i thought it would be. And my inexperience shone through when I needed instructions on what I was supposed to do with the stuff. No alcohol, and it's bitter so empty the fish into a bit of juice and swallow. Easy enough. I had 2 of them with me, and each was supposed to last a couple hours or so.

And off we went. We got in and it was fairly empty. I know it was still light outside, but why on earth would they start at 2pm if no-one would show up? Well we sat down and just hung out. Checked out the scene, the guys. Other than a couple cute boys (i called dibs on #12 and i don't care that he was with his bf. #9 was a close second!). The one thing that would've made it better would've been alcohol. Only I couldn't have any bloody alcohol with the fish. FML. But i wasn't taking any fish yet either. So what do you do to pass the time? You have a non alcoholic drink. You go outside for some food. Pie Face anyone? But there's only so many time you can do that. Eventually people started arriving, it began filling up. I found a few friends that had arrived and it started turning into somewhat of a party. Music was going eventually it was time to try a fish. Got a bit of OJ, headed to the bathroom as there was security around. Pulled out my fish, emptied it into the glass and swallowed. Tasted really bitter, but it come with the territory. Lets see what happens. Waited and waited and waited for something to hit me. And it never arrived. WTF? I did not just abstain from alcohol these past few hours for some shit that doesn't work did I?

At one point I texted a mate of mine, who was a party animal btw, and told him I'd taken some G. His response was something like "You've had some G?!?!? I've just fallen off my chair!" He then turned into my drug advisor. You haven't had any alcohol, right? Right, but it didn't do anything! Did you take enough? I dunno, i took a fish. Well you're a big guy, maybe it wasn't full and you need more. Nah it was full. How did you take it? With a bit of OJ. Well of course it sucked! OJ is the mother of all fuckups when it comes to drugs. Maybe I should been asking him for advice the entire time. So what should I take it with? Just a bit of gatorade. Well this is a bar, they don't have gatorade. Red Bull? Now that they had. Well at least now I knew what to do, and I still had some left. A while later at about 8:50, when the effects we supposed to have worn off, i decided to take my second lot. I got some red bull, did the same thing and went back on to the dancefloor and danced while waiting for the magic. Now this was better!

At 9pm the DJ thanked everyone for coming and said their was an afterparty across the street at 10pm. What? It's over? It was supposed to go till 10pm! and I just had my fish! Jesus! Well that was shithouse. I effectively wasted both my fish. What can I see it was a fun walk back to the hotel. My friends were going to Matinee later on, but i had other plans (i know i can't believe I didn't go to Matinee either!)  I'd made plans to meet some a couple of friends later down Oxford St. Well not exactly my friends, they were friends of Mr Sydney that i'd sort of become friends with, had never met but wanted to. Until then we all hung back at the hotel, me on the freaking G, what a waste.

We all headed off to wherever we were going, I was stone cold sober at this point and was hoping the rest of the night would turn out better. I was supposed to meet them at the Palms. I had a bite to eat first and then got to the Palms where there was a queue. Oh well, a queue is a queue. About 20 minutes later I was in, but i couldn't find them. I got a drink and sent a text. "Oh the queue was too long, so we just went to the Stonewall". Great, it seemed nothing tonight was going according to plan.

I headed over to the Stonewall, of the 2 guys only 1 was there yet. He was with some other friends too. It turns out that the 2 guys were going to some party that was sold out, so it was suggested that I go with the other guys to a thing called Gaybash (bash as in party not bash as in i'm gonna bash the shit outta you). And since it'd take us some time to get in, friend #2 was on his way and they'd pop by to say hi. Well what do you know, they never showed, so I ended up going to Gaybash with these 3 guys i'd never met before. And it wasn't that great, there were a couple levels, the music sucked on one, was ok on the other, and the line at the bar was like five people deep the entire length of the bar. All in all, after a while I just gave up and went home. Hanging out with friends is one thing, but friends of friends? I'll try to remember next time to pass on that.

Back at the hotel I just watched some shitty late night TV while waiting for the arrival of my 'roommate'. He quite enjoyed Matinee, and I'm sure I would've too. The next day was our last day in town. We all met up at some place for breakfast after checking out. There were so many good little cafes around it was great! A hearty breakfast was followed by a walk through Kings Cross to Elizabeth Bay House. Nice gardens, great view of the harbour. And we just chilled there for a while. As the sun dipped behind some buildings and it cooled down we decided to head off. One of us was hungry, so we stopped by another cafe-ish place. One had a wine, one a tea and a beer for myself, just taking in the last of the Sydney air i'll be enjoying for a while. From there the 4 of us split up. One was heading to the airport but my flight wasn't till later that evening so I just decided to roam the streets a bit. Of course i updated my status to see if anyone was around, and popped into that sushi place for some delectable fish, rice and seaweed to have a bit later.

It was still a bit early, but with nothing doing, I thought i'd head to the airport, maybe get on an earlier flight. Well at checkin, guess who is standing in front of me with his boyfriend? It's funny enough bumping into shag buddies on the train to work, but at the airport in another city? Bloody hell! Of course I didn't say a word because I didn't want to get him into trouble. Had the flights not been full I would've got on an earlier flight, but to no avail that night. Looks like I had time to hang out in the gate lounge enjoying my sushi. And it was divine :) Arriving back in Melbourne it was a chilly 5 degrees. I already wanted to be back in Sydney.


A Lewis said...

I loved reading (your VERY LONG post) about your trip! Nice to have found your blog! Big hugs.

Jay said...

Thanks... it's nice to know this blog still has readers ;)