“I really like your shirt”, a bloke told me as I stood outside Sydney’s “Hero Of Waterloo”. We had been sitting in a chilly area, and although shorts and t-shirts were fine for the earlier part of the day, I was beginning to feel the cold, and so I wandered out onto the street to enjoy the sunshine.
The t-shirt I was wearing was one I picked up in Sweden in 2008. It’s amazing the number of times the shirt has been a conversation opener, usually from a visiting Swede who looks a little shocked to see a t-shirt that isn’t necessarily the typical of those you pick up in Gamla Stan.
The bloke who came up to me for a chat was middle-aged Swedish bloke (he said he had a backpacker aged daughter) who moved to Sydney about six months ago, loving being here, and thinking he might like to stay for the longer-term. We had a fairly lengthy chat about life, the universe, Sydney and Stockholm until I began to feel guilty about having abandoned my friends.
“You were flirting with him”, my friends joked when I arrived back at the table. “It was in your body language. You’re blushing now”. they added. “Wedding ring?”, I was asked. My friends are such bastards :):)
It was a day of catching up with a broader group of friends, as we enjoyed the company of our friends visiting from overseas.
The day had started with lunch at The Glenmore Hotel which is, seriously, one of the best, most affordable places to take visitors from overseas. In the midst of some of the more expensive places around Circular Quay, the Glenmore enjoys good beer prices, good food prices, and spectacular views of the Opera House (though ours was disrupted by a visiting cruise ship). In contrast to the last time we visited The Glenmore as a group, they’ve had a major renovation to the hotel, and the place was packed. They’ve done a really good job and we enjoyed the renovation.
When the chilly winds got altogether to much, we sought indoor accommodation at the nearby Harbour View (our third pub of the day).
By about seven o’clock I was anxious to get home, do some washing and ironing for the week ahead, and relax on the couch. Entertaining people can be an exhausting business :)