Monday, August 22, 2005

The Not-So-Bad City

So I arrived back in Christchurch late last night from a busy long, long weekend in Sydney. The purpose of the visit was to see the Nine Inch Nails concert, but there was a definite 'God I've got to get away from work and Christchurch for a little while' motivation behind the trip too.

The flight over was relatively painless. I was pleased because the movie they showed was 'The Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy', although I only got to see part of since I was sitting behind the guy with the hugest head in Australasia. Of course, like most peasant class flights the seats were cramped and uncomfortable. In the future I think I'll make an effort to fly on one of the nicer airlines like Singapore or Emirates when I go overseas, since the extra comfort is well worth paying a bit more.

The first stop after the plane arrived was naturally to the duty free store, where me and my trusty companion loaded up on booze and cigarettes. Of course, trying to navigate the public transport system halfway across one of the biggest cities in the world while carrying my luggage and a bag full of liquor bottles turned out to be more than a little awkward. Fortunately our host met us at the central bus station, which was just as well because the directions to his house he had given me the night before had gone in one drunken ear and out the other.

So we spent Thursday evening wandering around the city, paying a social visit to another ex-pat, looking in all the cheap CD stores and debating the relative merits of Australian and Kiwi girls. Sydney reminds me a lot of Auckland. It's big (in that it sprawls out far further than most cities with it's population do), it's grown up around a harbour (with a big bridge) and the CBD seems to be laid out in a similar manner. Despite being way larger, Sydney also seems cleaner and more organised than Auckland.

Friday was much the same, i.e. wandering around, plus a visit to the aquarium. Jellyfish are neat. Later on we went to the beach. A somewhat strange idea on a grey cloudy day in the middle of winter but hey, compared to Christchurch at this time of year it felt like it was summer.

A Nine Inch Nails day at the beach:

Later on we went to the concert, but I'll save that for another post. Hopefully coming tomorrow.

On Saturday night we tried to go out. The evening started out well enough, with moderate to large quantities of alcohol being consumed (hence the somewhat incoherent posts earlier), but things went a little awry after that. Firstly I learned that it's a bad idea to go to the casino while plastered. You can lose a lot of money, and then keep gambling because you're 'pretty sure you're about to win it all back'. Anyhow, after that we wandered around looking for a good club to go to. As neither of us had been out in Sydney before we didn't really have any idea to go, and since all the clubs over there have $20 cover charges, we weren't about to go in to any of them unless it looked really good. So after a little bit more drinking and a lot more walking we called it a night. Of course, I later found out that if we'd kept walking just a little further down Pitt Street we would have come across a big three level club hosting the NIN after party. We never should have stopped following the green man! Either that or I should have just gone to the second NIN show on Saturday night.

So on Sunday it was a stunningly clear day so we walked around, watched some street performers, did the tourist thing and went to see the opera house. A visit to the botanical gardens was also in order, as J. wanted to steal some palm seeds. Don't ask why, those of you that know him can attribute it to another crazy scheme.

Anyway, a good time was had by all. Sydney really appealed to me, being so big and busy, so it's gone on the list of places I'll think about moving to when I decide to get the hell out of shitty old Christchurch.


Anonymous said...

what are those people doing in the background (right) of the beach photo.

Jon said...

Not sure, but obviously nothing interesting enough to stick in my memory.

Joel said...

Allow me to be of assistance.

I am the person on the left and I remember turning around to see these people walk up from underground, one carrying the other on their back. What looks like their legs is actually the outline of a pit to the bowels of the earth. They'd just gotten back from a tour of down there and the one being given the lift was a bit tired.

Of course, I have been known to speak bollocks.