Last I left you I was going to bed with full intention to write…
But when I get under the covers, slightly tired as I am, the only thing that I could possibly accomplish is sleep. 4:30 pm and I am gone into a land of slumber. So deeply am I asleep that I barely hear the loud knock on the door three hours later. Tonight I will sleep well. Besides, there is no better lullaby than the sound of crashing waves. And I did. I wake Sunday morning, September 16, at 9:00 am completely refreshed and ready to go out and explore. The day is miraculously mild and sunny. What a treat it is to set off on foot toward the beach, camera in hand. People are already out. I forgot it’s Sunday. No wonder the little park in front of the apartment has been so packed.
Love how they made a little salt water kiddie pool next to the beach. Don’t know if it is so in the rest of Sydney but the people here seem to be quite body conscious. Women and men are thin and athletic. On the beach there’s a lot of sunbathing and surfing going on. I walk along the beach and realize there is an “official” coastal walk/road filled with locals running, walking, chilling. Populated as well by tourists. I can hear so many languages spoken but –curiously so- no Spanish. All sorts and types of people pass by but somehow hardly any look like me. I am starting to feel like an actual minority. Funny how in a land that speaks my language I am feeling a bit out-of-place. Yet, as soon as I write this I realize I am so at ease in this beach town. I think it could turn out that I have been a beach bum at heart all along!
The water is the most beautiful blue. All shades of it.
The walk offers a lot of other type of views too… some are quirky like these ants painted on a house container wall. Some are imposing as these rocks along the way. Some infuse you with total tranquility as this lonely bench and kite… Some sculptures as well, framed by the crashing waves. Ahhhh… what visual overload this walk has been. I follow it up to Tamarama Beach and go a little further before turning around. I stop on the way back and have a salad. The place is not a fancy one; my grilled chicken salad is $18 AUD, nonetheless. The exchange rate is $1 AUD =$1.01 USD, however I have done an exchange in a Foreign Exchange place and got only $81 AUD for my $100 USD. Later I would learn that going into a bank they give you a better rate and charge only a nominal fee for it.
As I leave, before I cross the street, I hear it: Spanish, albeit from Spain. I head out to the supermarket, which is a relatively small one, and buy enough for snacks for the week (fruit and yogurt) and dinner tonight.
I pass a Chocolatería San Churro. That caught my attention. It is manned by Asians and on the wall they state that while eating a churro “you indulge in an experience in one of the oldest chocolate cultures in Europe.” I’ve been in Los Angeles so long that I have associated churros solely with Mexico, forgetting the late nights or early mornings (depending on how you see it) -while in Madrid, Spain- of dipping a churro in a chocolate so thick you could make it stand in it. I resist and do not stop and have one, even when the sign above the door says bienvenida, making it a welcoming sign catering exclusively to the female gender.
I get home and one of the neighbors is outside and, after I smile and say hello he immediately starts talking to me. Australians will not go out of their way to start a conversation but are innately friendly if you do. He started talking about the area and how a small one-bedroom with a kitchenette, like the one I’m staying at would go for $700,000 and his, a two-bedroom for about a million plus. So real estate prices are almost as high as in New York! He, his girlfriend, and baby boy are English and moving to the Canary Islands in a few weeks to be closer to the grandparents. He said that in the Canary Islands they could buy a house while here everything is pretty much out of their price range. Fortunately they have an Internet business which they can run from anywhere in the world.
I cook a bit with the door wide open listening to the sounds of people packing up and leaving. It is getting breezy and cold but the day has been truly perfect.
As I cut up some vegetables and find my bearings I marvel at the fact that I have been two days without an Internet connection. I could have and should have stopped at the café close to home and sat there a while but was on the lazy side and didn’t. I have one of those connection sticks I installed this morning but it didn’t work. I miss Facebook and being able to use Skype, however, I am doing things that I probably would not be doing if I were online. By tomorrow I’ll have it and am hoping that I won’t be whittling time in front of a computer when there is the whole of Sydney to discover.