Sydney (3)

After rain on the previous day, yesterday turned out to be hot and sunny. I took advantage of this, heading out to the Olympic Park, after a little bit of laundry in the morning. I took a ferry from Circular Quay to Homebush Bay, which essentially gave me a tour of the entire harbour area, which was great. Arriving at the ferry stop, there was a busloop, but no bus, so I started to walk. This was a mistake, as the walk was much further than I thought, and a bus passed me not 5 minutes into my walk. The other downside is that I somehow arrived at the Olympic Park through the back door. I slipped in via this little gate that did not look official at all, and I ended up being ‘back stage’, behind all this pavillions that looked like they were all set up for students to take exams, only they were all empty. The entire Olympic Park felt like I’d shown up at a party, only to find that everyone had left, leaving behind only the detritus. It was really pretty disapointing.

The park got a little better, once I found the part still in use as a tourist attratction, but the vast scale and the complete lack of people still made me a little uneasy. Unsatisfied with my visit, I went to the Aquatic Centre for a swim, which was excellent. It was full of people, and felt used, which was good. I managed to do one lap in the competitive pool before being told I needed a special pass to use that pool, so I went over to the public lap pool. The water in this pool was good, but the difference between the competitive pool and the public pool was amazing – I felt much faster in the competitive pool. I’m not sure what the difference was, but there definitely was one. In addition to the lap pool, there was another ‘leisure’ pool area, that included a flowing river, a water slide, water spouts, etc. This was mostly full of school kids, but I fooled around in there for a while too, and hung out in the hot tub, too. It was good.

I took the train back into the city, and on the train, was surrounded by school kids on their way home. There were 4 teenage girls, maybe 13 or 14, who took an interested in me, so I fielded their somewhat inane questions all the way back into the city (where’re you from? is it cold there? do you think she’s pretty? Do you like it here? do you snowboard? etc).

I then hung out with my Dad a while, as it was his birthday, and he had a break in his meeting for a short while (of all the days of this trip, yesterday, his birthday, was the busiest for him, unfortunately), and we went for a little walk, and had a drink. I bought him a birthday beer, which, right on the harbor, with view of the bridhe & opera house, cost me $6 for the two. It’s just so cheap here to drink…

In the evening, I hooked up with one of the kids of one of my dad’s colleagues, named Juliette (or Jet), and some of her friends, who’d just finished exams and were going out to party. I was pretty stoked to go check out the club scene here too. Juliette and her friends are all 18-19, so a little bit younger, but it was alright. Of course, much like how I was then, we had to find the ‘right’ cheap place to drink before hitting the club, so we traipsed up and down downtown Sydney to find an alright place (we ended up in the same place we’d started nearly 1.5 hours earlier, of course). I was beginning to worry we’d never get to a club, when suddenly, we up and were on our way.

We went to a club called Y U, in King’s cross. It was the first anniversary of a night called ‘Ear Candy’ there, so we figured it would be good. And it was decent, but not great. There were two rooms, a hip-hop and a house room. In the ‘dance’ room, they were spinning top-40 house, with a couple of old classics — pretty commercial, and not reallly well mixed. It was a little like listening to a mix tape without the 2 second gaps between songs. But it was of course danceable, so dance I did. In the hip-hop room, which isn’t really my thing, it was much better. The DJ there was really working it, which made it a lot of fun. Also, I learned potentially why hip-hop is so popular. With the exception of the a run of old-school tracks, the beat of all the songs mixed remained constant. The line just kept running right through all the songs, from Jennie from the block to Get your freak on, all the recent hip hop had the same beat. Very odd. We stayed at Y U until around 4:15 or so, with me collapsing onto one of the couches a little earlier, my feet tired and getting blistered, then I came back to the hotel, and slept until quite late this morning.

On a completely seperate note, this hotel is good for celebrity sightings: When I arrived, I saw John Howard, the prime minister of Australia. Last night, I ran into Jay, from Jamiroquai (me: Hey! you’re the guy from Jamiroquai. Him: yeah. Me:You won’t remember, but I’ve now run into you in London, Vancouver and here. You following me? Him (laughing): apparently so. Bye. (and into the hotel he went)). Today, I believe that Prince Phillip (or some British Royal at any rate) will be arriving, so I could see him (or whoever)

And this evening, it’s off to Adelaide!