Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Nov 01 2001

I’ve found out the hard way that the temperatures …

I’ve found out the hard way that the temperatures in Sydney vary quite widely from morning to midday to night. It’s rather warm, almost hot these days at noon, but quite cool in the evenings. This means one should bring all of one’s clothes with one all day long or else risk either freezing for half the day or sweating for other half.

I met up with Simon’s friend Grant today, and we walked through a seemingly unending series of parks and photographed such interesting things as a half-eaten fruit bat lying on the grass. The crows whose meals we interrupted in order to capture that particular image sat suprisingly patiently in a nearby tree while we shot away. Later on Grant took me round his place of business, Fox Studios, where they’re currently busy on the second and third Matrix movies. One would expect a great deal of activity at such a place, but there was hardly anyone about. On the way in the guard wanted to know my name, and he of course also wanted to know what TC stands for. I said “It’s technical,” and he let us through. We passed a couple of open doors and saw some figures dressed in black lying on tables, but I suspect they were either tired staff or props.

I have learned some rather distressing news on this particular subject: Tank is apparently not in the sequels. Now, I don’t know what they were thinking, but why did they bother keeping him alive if not to put him in the sequels? All I can say is that they are going to have to come up with a hell of a replacement to top Tank. Tank is cool. Tank is sexy. Tank is hole-free.

We took a bus down to Darling Harbour, which is kind of touristy but fun and full of interesting things like concave fountains you can walk down into, a monorail, a submarine and a floating lighthouse shaped like a big tamale. We then went to Chinatown and browsed through an old comic store and were accosted by the owner, who apparently mistook the sentence “Do you take credit cards?” to be some sort of secret code. “The vole cries at midnight,” he replied. There wasn’t much else to do at that point but make a hasty exit, and we walked up to an enormous old market which apparently had something to do with Queen Victoria, as she was sitting on the top floor, enclosed in glass and spinning so she could wave at everyone. There were also shops.

At one of the shops outside the giant old market, a sign was posted advertising Zhenzhu Naicha, or Pearl Milk Tea, which is just tea full of little gelatinous balls one either chews on thoughtfully between gulps or cause one to wonder what the hell is in their tea, depending on whether one expects the little balls to be there or not. I was curious at this Taiwanese staple appearing in downtown Sydney, so I asked the owner, a large middle-aged man with a mustache, what it was all about.

“Oh, yeah, we’re about to launch the Pearl Tea. We hope to hook Australians on the whole concept of things to chew while you drink your tea,” he boomed. “And you know what? We’re going to sell it together with meat pies. You see, we’re also hoping to hook Asians on meat pies. That way, everyone wins.” He seemed very confident that he wouldn’t have to deal with most of his Australian customers exclaiming “Hang on! There’s something decidedly dodgy about this tea!”, while most of his Asian customers are complaining about the curious texture and flavor of the fruit in their pies.

We planned to meet up with Ryan, a self-described “half-pilot” who is another friend of Simon’s, so we took another bus out to Grant’s house, which is located in Randwick, a suburb of Sydney. By now it seems to me that Sydney is composed of a bunch of small beach towns all strung together. After we arrived and met up with Ryan, we walked down to the beach to look for a restaurant. We went into a swanky joint on the beach to look at the prices, and apparently you can cook your own steak there for just A$15. We decided it might be better to go to a hole-in-the-wall place with some ridiculous name I can’t remember right now. Funky Coogee or something like that. We got kebabs and took them out to the beach to enjoy before catching buses back to our respective abodes.

So I am back at Rick’s and Jimmy’s flat back in Bondi Junction. Neither of them are home yet, although Jimmy might be asleep in his room as he’s been feeling a bit under the weather lately. I suppose I’ll spend my evening much like most people in Sydney: watching TV and going to bed. That is, unless Jonathan, who is from New Zealand, who worked on the play with us a couple of months back and who might be in Sydney, comes to live here. In that case, I’ll be looking for another place to stay. So I’d better take my shower now, just in case.

On this auspicious date many (not too many, lest we offend) years ago, Shauna was born! Happy Birthday, you angry redhead! She’s rather busy at the moment, but I look forward to meeting her in person after she’s done sabotaging election websites. Ooh, er.

posted by Poagao at 9:51 am  

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