Long Weekend

7 11 2006

It’s a holiday today in Victoria because of the Melbourne Cup. It’s the biggest horse race in Australia that’s billed as “the race that stops a nation.” I thought it was just a waste of time and money, because aside from the tickets, you also have to buy yourself a nice dress to garb yourself in on race day. Because I had a big long weekend, I decided to spend the day in my pj’s washing laundry and recovering from 4 straight nights of drinking and staying up late. Will, a friend I met up in Sydney, said it’ll be good to experience the Cup once in your life, that the thunderous sound of the horse’s hooves would be enough to make the day worth your while. And watching the race today on TV, I’m guessing he’s right, so next year, I am definitely going. I’ll just buy my dress in Manila hehehe.

***

So the weekend trip to Sydney with Faye, Herb, Siopao and Eva was filled with overcast skies and cold winds and non-stop rain. It was a totally different city that I saw. But despite that I was still able to tick off most of the places I wanted to check out.


Since my first trip there was spent walking the tourist trail and checking out all the iconic places, I decided this time, I’d soak up the culture and lifestyle so I listed the suburbs of Glebe and Paddington as two of my targets.


Saturday afternoon was spent in bohemian Glebe, particularly in the Glebe market. It was definitely the best weekend market I’ve ever seen here, the clothes and stuff were out of the ordinary, although some of them were still a bit pricey for my cheapskate self.


Saturday night was spent hanging out with Will (I used to work with him but he resigned a few months ago) at his house and at a couple of places he frequents, and basically getting a feel of how Australians normally spend their weekend. Which consisted mainly of drinking. Kidding. It actually consist of great conversations, good food and wine. He lives in Paddington and we had dinner and wine at a Thai resto and went drinking at his favorite pub, which he calls “his royal pub.” It was kinda cool because most of his friends live around the area and it’s their local pub so they’d just walk down there and meet, without having to call each other. What I’ve noticed with Aussies is that night drinks are so much a part of their culture, whether it be at a pub or just a friend’s house. It’s a venue where people can relax after a hard day at work or a very busy week, meet new friends or to catch up with someone you haven’t seen in a long time. The atmosphere’s relaxing and the conversation flows freely (this one depends on where you are, if you’re at a pub with loud music, you prob’ly shouldn’t expect a decent conversation hehe). This has made me take on a different view on drinking because I used to think it was just for getting pissed and passing out and doing things you’d regret on the morning after.


Sunday started out late for me and I just went to the Australian Museum (to make good on my promise to be a culture vulture this time around) and St. Mary’s Cathedral. It was an interesting museum trip, if not politically-charged. The section on indigenous Australia introduced me to the different issues that have ailed and are still ailing aboriginal groups and their relationship with the government. Those of you who have Social Science degrees or have taken a course know the drill. What conflicts and problems arise when assimilation is implemented prematurely or without much planning. Indigenous cultures and their issues have mostly been treated as minority, even in the Philippines and I think there will always be conflict when two groups of people with different goals meet but hopefully, bridges have genuinely been rebuilt.


The cathedral was majestic and solemn but was no help at all in preventing myself from being under the weather so I just went back to the hotel while outside, rains continued and the skies remained heavy and dark. But I didn’t want the day to be a complete waste so Eva and I got two bottles of wine and with Herbie’s help, drank it all down while discussing past loves, issues and life in general. And that showed that alcohol is not only a social catalyst but a inanimate therapist too.


I scrapped the bridge climb I scheduled for our last day there because I didn’t want to spend money when the skies were overcast. Instead Eva and I just went up to the Sydney Tower. I honestly didn’t enjoy it much prob’ly because I didn’t see any value in it because of the weather but the view was interesting, and worth a try if you’re into that kind of thing.


I don’t really have anything enlightening to write to conclude the trip. Or maybe I do have some. Next time you go on a trip, get off the tourist trail as soon as you can and live the way the locals do, because it is definitely what will make the trip worthwhile. And every trip can turn into a mind-blowing and life-changing adventure, even if the only time you see the sun is when you’re just a few minutes away from your flight home. And again, at the end of the day, you never really regret the things that you did, just the things that you didn’t do.

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2 responses

9 11 2006
anto

Dude…. happy birthday! have fun with life dear! 😉 mwah!

9 11 2006
nan

hap hap happy birthday!!!

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