Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Bubble wrapped laughs with a side of pizza

Saturday ended up as one of the most exciting days that I had in Sydney. I left in the early afternoon to do some shopping. The top item on my list: wine skins. If you haven't use these before, and you're a wine drinker, them you should try them. They are bubble wrap that's cut into the shape of a wine bottle with adhesive tape at the bottom. After visiting around 5 clueless wine stores who had never heard of them, I found a place with a huge supply. The guy working the counter was overly casual about them, as if they were a common item everywhere. 

During my quest, I stopped for a cupcake and hot chocolate. Almost every country had them, and I wanted to try at least one before I went home. I got a carrot cake cupcake with cream cheese icing and a plain hot chocolate. The cupcake alone was almost $5. I think this may be a similar cost to Muddy's in Memphis, but I suspect it's a bit more. The hot chocolate was surprisingly bitter, so I found myself adding multiple packages of sugar to it. 

I also stopped for a few other items including a grey tank and a few necklaces. While shopping, I visited the bottom floor of the department store Myers. They had a nice food court where I got an oddly tasting lemonade and another uncut sushi roll. I was able to stroll through the mall munching away on the roll. Australia is the only country where I saw these rolls. After trying them, I think that very country should adopt them. They're so easy and healthy. If I had not had the sushi option, I would have probably tried a cookie or an ice cream. The sushi was just as easy, but I felt so much better after eating it. (Oh, and they had an American food section in the store.  Check out the photo below.)

Once I had found everything I was looking for, I headed to the O Bar. Its located on the top floor of a tall building in the middle of the city. It has a full 360 degree view and it rotates. Although it was decorated to look very hip, the staff was extremely welcoming to the less than stylish tourists. One of the hostesses actually sat down with me to ask why I was alone. When I told her about my trip, she told me about a cross country road trip that she took in the US. She also recommended other local bars. O Bar was hands down my favorite in Sydney. If you have the chance to check it out, you should go for at least a drink. 

I received a text from Laura and Shane around this time that they were around the corner at another great bar, Frankie's. I walked over to meet them and Shane and I split my new favorite pizza. It was made with sausage, mushrooms, and most important- truffle oil. I want to try to make this in Memphis.  It was heavenly.

After inhaling the pizza, we went into the main section of the bar where a country band was setting up. The band was made up of four men in their 60s and 70s. They were singing songs by Johnny Cash, George Jones, and other old country artists. As with most singers, you can't tell where they might be from when they're singing.  For the most part, they sing with the accent of the country the music is from. But, their clothes looked very authentic and not the imitation of American culture like I'd seen in other places. I found out later that they were in fact Americans!  After I left, they befriended Shane and Laura.  They moved to Australia years ago and raised their children there.  Apparently, they speak with southern accents while their children have Australian accents.  

I headed out around 8 PM to go to the Sydney Comedy Festival again.  Eddie Ifft was performing and I had heard that he was very good.  It took two trains and a mile walk to make it to the theatre.  Little did I know, it was located inside a warehouse district.  That mile was one of the more uncomfortable ones of my entire trip.  But in the end, I made it and Eddie Ifft was great.  He's an American comedian who performs internationally quite a bit.

After the show, I visited a new bar called the Soda Factory.  It had a long line outside to get in, so you knew it had to be fun.  At the door, they had a woman wearing a poodle skirt and roller skates who was working.  She reminded me a bit of Sonic in the 50s.  To go into the bar, you had to walk through a big red door that I suspect used to be a door to a Coca-Cola fridge.  Inside, the bar was packed and everyone danced the night away to 80s music.

I didn't get back home until almost 2 AM.  By then, Shane and Laura were sleeping, so I did my best to tiptoe in.  I fell asleep quickly, excited about what my last full day in Sydney might bring.

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