overdue and complete and final sydney diaries

After the time warp that comes with the silly season and all its associated holidaying and partying, it feels as though my Sydney trip took place a lifetime ago. But actually, it was less than one month ago. And I finally have all of the films back. So here is the definitive selection of images from my recent interstate excursion.

Before the trip, I anticipated visiting the botanical gardens, various galleries, Bondi Beach, Oxford St and the lomo store. Like any good trip, though, things didn't go exactly according to plan. Cut from the itinerary for various reasons were the botanical gardens, the galleries and the lomo store. Though it was slightly regrettable to miss these activities, they were replaced with equally enjoyable expeditions; case in point, the impeccably manicured Chinese Garden of Friendship. The surrounding walls that essentially blocked out the city, the various flowing water features and the abundance of supremely chilled-out birds and lizards adorning the environment no doubt contributed to an overwhelming serenity throughout the garden. One of the local inhabitants is pictured above, checking out the view from atop a gorgeous weeping willow.

It was a perfect summer day, and the sweet relief the garden provided from the intensifying heat just added to its magic. I was a little bemused when faced with an entrance fee upon arrival, but the absolute beauty of the place made the loss of some loose coin wholly worthwhile.

True, I missed out on the galleries. But who needs arrogant arty types telling you what to like at your expense when you can take in the magnificent art on display around the city streets, just by looking up? A lot of time was spent wandering the footpaths of the CBD and admiring the rich history evident in the architecture. I guess this is the State Theatre, but I don't really remember. I took the shot simply because I loved the typeface and the sweeping vertical design.

Bondi! This place was a trip. Quite literally - because we perhaps foolishly decided that walking from the Junction to the beach in 30+ degree heat without having had any breakfast was a good idea. But also figuratively, as the sheer number of people there on a working-week Monday afternoon astonished me, as did the variety of languages being hurled across the sand. I have never seen as many tiny swimsuits and bad tattoos as I did on that day. And it was the only time I have ever been asked whether I spoke English. I think maybe this place should become an independent state; I grew up by the beach but Bondi is unequivocally unlike anything I have seen before.

It was such a perfect day to spend at the beach. I actually swam, too, as opposed to lying on the sand trying not to get burnt - the water wasn't cold like it is in Victoria! The natural structure of the beach itself is undeniably beautiful - combined with the clean water and ultra-fine sand, it really is a picturesque Aussie landmark. I get it now. The man-made aspects of the beach are equally interesting, though. Take this unusual lifeguard tower - what a great design! And the vibrant graffiti that lines the concrete walls. I'm so pleased this day trip wasn't culled from our busy schedule.

I wasn't going to include this photo because it's, well, kind of gratuitous... But in the end I couldn't not include it. Not only does it capture a crucial component of our visit - our night out on Oxford St - but it is also, quite accidentally, an almost-perfect shot in many ways. This is because it incorporates the following: 1 - the glorious, joyful sleaze that is bountiful along the very gay-and-sex-friendly strip; 2 - perfect placement of 'HER' over taka's face, which is hilariously fitting (you will know this if you have ever attended a dress-up party with him); 3 - taka's lovely action captured to reflect the name of this fine establishment (so is it actually a liquor store? I have no idea); and 4 - the subtle inclusion of the word 'TOOL' in the background. Yes taka, you are.

Finally, I didn't get to the lomo store (it was closed on the four days I was there), but here I am having dinner in Chinatown. (A side note: I was apprehensive including this seeing as I obviously didn't take it... but I did take the first exposure of the neon, and I otherwise totally acted as director, so I feel it's justified. Besides, I've done it before.) We wandered up and down the main strip, listening to all the spruikers and weighing up the best menus and offers, before finally settling on a modest but nice-looking place that included vegetarian dumplings (this was actually the dealbreaker - they're my favourite!). Perhaps we should have been more discerning instead of being seduced by the promise of meat-free morsels, though, because my main dish had a giant fly in it. True story! But I didn't mind so much; the bustling environment sufficiently distracted me from any significant distress.

So there it is - Sydney in a nutshell. I loved it, just like I hoped I would. It's very different to Melbourne, which is precisely why the amped-up rivalry is redundant.

(But don't worry, Melbourne. You still have my heart.)

1 comment:

  1. haha oh god that picture of taka is PERFECT! oh, sydney, you dirty girl.