Send My Conscience Home in a Taxi

Externalised Memory

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Sydney, Day Two: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaart
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Yo, a little behind on my blogging. My cousin, who's place I'm staying in is the only person on EARTH without an internet connection at home. Compelling me to spend many a pleasant hour in this Smelly Nerd Basement. It is, however, a mighty cheap Internerd Cafe, if you can't stand the stench :-)

Wednesday, my first full day in Sydney, I decided to spend looking at aaaaaaaaaart. First, of course, I had to catch the tram. Sydneysiders will insist that it's a "light rail vehicle". Bollocks, it's a tram. If I took of them light rail vehicles and plonked it down on Bourke Street, no one would bat an eyelid! The only difference being for the most part it travels on dedicated tracks.

And passes right across the top of Annandale where I'm staying! Cool. Another notable difference - they have conductors still.

For some reason, my usually infallible sense of direction is completely broken here. I step out the front door and I'm completely disorientated. Can't tell if I have to go left or right! This Wednesday morning I went left, thought better of it, went right, changed my mind again, and discovered that left was indeed the correct direction. The barely adequate maps I have probably aren't helping, but then I sometimes can't tell which way up I should be holding them. More on this later...

Trammed it into Central (do I sound like a local yet?) and trained to Circular Quay. Over to one side of said Quay is the Museum of Contemporary Aaaaaaaart. They had two really interesting exhibitions on, and a couple of passable ones... The first was some amazing work by a Pakistani, now living in New York, called Shahzia Sikander, who did some amazing things with traditional miniatures. Wasn't so fond of her larger works, but the little paintings and the pencil drawings were really brilliant. A kind of twenty first century spin on a traditional medium, with lots of dancers mixed with Kalashnikov's and soccer balls etc.

Upstairs was a big collection of works by an American I'd also never heard of. Chap called Tim Hawkinson. His most interesting stuff was a series of kinetic sculptures, which is a hard thing to get right. The largest was a motion detector controlled squid thing which dripped water into various buckets in a random yet rhythmic way. Was also very impressed with a Klien bottle he'd woven as a basket, then hung from the ceiling on a mount that turned it slowly in two directions. Like a rendering of something on a PC screen, summoned into Real Life.

Caught the ferry out Cremoine (spellin'?), Mosman way. Man, I could smell the money again. As usual, didn't actually get off the ferry.

Wandered over to the Aaaaaaaaaaaart Gallery of NSW, which is in a park sort of to the south east of the Opera House. I actually can't remember too much of what I saw there - I've seen most of their collection before, except the bits they rotate every now and again. They did have a new and recent Anselm Kiefer, a major work which looked like it weighted about five tons - and this was a painting, mind you. Otherwise... Oh, they had a large collection of early 20th century portraits by a German photographer who's name escapes me. They were quite touching.

Lets see, what did I get up to then? Ah yes... A trip to the unlikely named Strawberry Hills Hotel. In the suburb of... Strawberry hills. To meet up with some friends of mine. Well, in actual fact, I'd only met two of the five folks in Real Life, the other two I knew by reputation... Or, possibly, from a mailing list associated with a long-disbanded... band...


Anyway, they led me astray. It started with the first round - I figured, hey, I should have a couple of drinks, just to be friendly. First I had to ask what I should be ordering - didn't want to look like a right tourist and ask for "three pots" did I? So I ordered three "schooners" of... Carlton Draught... WTF???

We talked a lot of crap, and somehow they made me drink at least one more beer... and two Tequilas... and most of a Margaretta... I'm not equipped for this sort of thing! I'm so out of practice it ain't funny!!! We talked about good places to see bands in Sydney, which I might actually chase up over the weekend...

Anyway, after about five drinks, a chicken schnitzel, I bailed and attempted to find my way home. Walked under Central station, found my way to the bus stop...

Now, usually I have to catch the 433, except that after a certain time at night it becomes the 432. For some reason at 11PM, a little the worse for Victorian Beer and Mexican Firewater, I got on the 431. It terminated close to were I needed to be (Glebe point rather than Annandale), and thankfully it was only a pleasant walk across a park back to Annandale... Aside from the Dog Poo incident... Anyway, I spent Thursday with a mild hangover, but that's another story...
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Tequila!?!? Drinking? You've gone mad.

It was peer pressure I swear.

I do drink sometimes, this just got a bit out of hand... Although I did manage to cut it short!!!

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