Sydney to Canberra

I can’t remember the last time I got a night club stamp. Aside from the first glow-in-the-dark stamp I received twenty years or so ago from Tracks nightclub in Brisbane, nightclub stamps are mostly fairly forgettable. But the one I got tonight from Cube nightclub in Canberra has to go down in history as the first one I’ve ever seen based around a day-time tv quiz show.

As with the last time we came to Canberra, Sam and I have travelled by bus. It’s fast (only slightly longer than driving), cheap (much less than hiring a car), and reasonably comfortable. That said, the air conditioner did struggle with Sydney’s high temperatures.

As we travelled we chatted, read, listened to music, dozed, and looked out at the rural NSW landscape. “It’s a lot greener than the last time we travelled to Canberra” (twelve months ago), I said to Sam, and then seconds later realised the side-windows of the bus were tinted green.

Along the way we spotted a couple of things which made us laugh/cry. We felt incredibly sorry for the fully-decorated wedding limousine (presumably containing a bride) which had been pulled over by the police for speeding. And we laughed at the road sign declaring “Rydges Canberra” was”now four stars”. “So what were they previously?”. I said to Sam. “Have they gone up from three stars or down from five?”

Soon after arriving in Canberra, Patrick picked us up from the bus centre, and we then proceeded to have a bit to eat at “Edgars Inn” at the Ainslie Shops, followed by a drink at “Tilleys” at the Lyneham Shops.

It’s a delightfully quaint naming tradition from Canberra – that everywhere seems to be called “the shops” – that we’ve decided we just have to bring it back to Sydney. “Where shall we meet”?, someone can ask. “I’ll meet you at the Potts Point Shops”, another can reply. “Where do you live?”, I can be asked. “I live just behind the Surry Hills Shops”, I can reply.

As we came back to Patrick’s place we chatted and listened to a variety of musical styles that spanned Marilyn Manson to Melodifestivalen.

After a suitable rest period, we headed out for a bit of a night on the town, visiting a number of bars, including the Canberra-cool of “Hipp” (five dollar entry), located right above “The Happy Chinese” and “The Kremlin” which must have the busiest toilet in Australia. The music is good, the surroundings are great, the crowd lacking in pretension. But for some reason or other, there always seems to be a regular flow of people to and from the toilets. “It’s like those clown cars”, I said to Patrick at one point, where seemingly hundreds of clowns emerge one by one from a tiny car.

Our evening ended with a dance and a drink at Cube. For just a moment I was transported back to my European trip last year when “September” came on with “Cry For You”, and the wonderful refrain of “You’ll never see me again”. And that’s where I got this stupid nightclub stamp from.

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