“So when was the last time you were here? Three or fours years?”, I asked the bloke next to me at lunch today. He was a friend of a friend visiting from the United States. I’ve met both his children and his nephew through our mutual friend, and we met a couple of years ago. Or so I thought. I turns out the last time we had a meal together was ten years ago. Ten bloody years ago. Can you believe it? How could time have gone so quickly?
We were a large and mixed group with two common connections: our friend Colin and the town of Wagga Wagga. As we chatted about these connections, there was a mutual agreement we all enjoyed our time in Wagga Wagga very much. “We were in our thirties. The kids were still young. And you had to make your own fun”, one of the guests commented, adding, “we lived in Port Macquarie and hated it. It was God’s waiting room.”
The other interesting connection for our American visitor was the connection with his home state of Kansas. Wagga has a sister sister, Levenworth. In practice that means a number of streets in Wagga Wagga are named Topeka and other such names, and there’s a chair I think in the Botanic Gardens, which recognises a visit by Miss Levenworth many years ago.
But when you have visitors from the US, one of the great places to take them, of course, is Opera Bar which is what we did for lunch today. Although the music was a little loud to have a good conversation – we moved – it was a very enjoyable afternoon. The linguini with crab meat was excellent, by the way.