The last days in Sydney were my recuperation time. On Monday, I literally did nothing all day, then Lorenzo came over in the evening to Mark’s. We went to the supermarket so I could make a quick meal of burrito type things, with my guacamole (yum) and then he made a really, really, really tasty blackberry slice. It was like a giant huge blackberry crostatine. The crust was like shortbread, mmm. I love Italian people who can cook. Actually, I love all people who can cook. We watched The Motorcycle Diaries in the wee hours of the morning, and I am really glad that we chose to do so. I think the last time I saw it had been in the States about 2 years ago, and it was a very appropriate choice for what’s happening at the moment. That being, I’m just in a bit of a slump, not really sure what the future holds, not sure why I’m traveling, where I’m going, how long I’ll be there for, etc…so seeing Che via Gael (sigh…) and his monumental physical, mental, and spiritual journey across South America was somehow fitting. A reminder of where I’ve been, as well as new things I haven’t seen yet, and perhaps the same inspiration and realization of a passion and dream. We shall just have to see.
Tuesday I was lazy all day, and then in the evening I went to the CBD to meet Lindsey. I last saw Lindsey when she and Andy stayed with me in Tokyo in Spring 2006 when they were finishing up their round the world trip of a year. I have to admit I was a bit nervous, not sure of how much she and I both had changed, but I was excited to see her anyway. It didn't take long to realize that we still have the same dynamic, and we quickly poured out our observations on where we’d come from and where we’re going, or not knowing, or something really confusing like that. She and Andy bought a wooden house in Mission Beach, in the jungle 2 hours from Cairns, which unfortunately I didn't get to go see on this trip. However, speaking with her about it made me really want to go and spend some time there in the future. We talked about family, distances of physical, emotional, and intellectual levels, and what we have thought of for the future. It was a short meeting time-wise, but it was so nourishing. Thanks Linz!
I had started some sort of moviewatching spree, since I haven’t seen basically any movies for the whole time I’ve lived in Japan. Mark had a good collection, and I watched Hidden (Cache) a French movie, then late night I watched Lantana, an Australian flick. Both were good.
On Wednesday I had been determined to get up early and do the coastal walk from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach, but in the morning it was rainy and not very inviting. Ahh well, back to bed. I ran errands before going to meet Matt at Town Hall. We went to Redoak Pub, where they brew their own beers, including their signature Framboise (yum), and we had a great lunch there. Porcini pappardelle, I was in heaven. I went back home to take a nap, and in the afternoon I went to meet Evin in Lewisham. We had a relaxed lazy night involving movies (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, then Dogville). Is it just me or are movies these days getting more disturbing, paranoid, and psychological? Or is it just the ones I happen to pick?
On Thursday morning, it was grey and uninviting again, but I worked up my willpower and decided that I had to go do the Bondi to Coogee walk. When I arrived at Bondi, it wasn't raining but it wasn't great weather either. Despite this, I thought it was beautiful. It’s remarkable that you can be this close to a large metropolis and have clean beaches with beautiful water. There were a few crazy surfers in the water, and a fair amount of tourists and exercise fanatics.
The walk takes about 2 hours, passing by coastal cliffs, several beaches, including Tamarama and Bronte Beaches, the spectacular Waverley Cemetery which looks out onto crashing waves, and several small parks that are nature reserves. It rained for most of the time I was walking, but it was a pleasant soft-falling rain for most of it, and I enjoyed it. From Coogee, I went back to Mark’s and chilled out for the afternoon.
Thursday night, Mark took me to dinner in Newtown. We went to Linda’s, a fancy Australian place. We shared everything we got – a blue cheese cauliflower custard, artichokes with marinated feta, lamb loin with asparagus fritters and grilled eggplant and tomato, and a huge steak with spinach and mashed potatoes in béarnaise sauce. Yum. Top it off with a bottle of New Zealand Pinot Noir and I could barely move.
At home, we performed our ritual of watching UK The Weakest Link and that was it. Friday morning was early, and I arrived at the airport with plenty of time.
So I’m headed to the US, and it will be interesting, part of me thinks that it must have changed a lot in the past 2 years since I’ve been there, and part of me thinks that it won’t have changed at all. The question, though, is how much I’ve changed. We shall see.