||[May. 20th, 2007|07:43 pm]
It's the end of our second full week in Sydney, and we almost live here now. Our air shipment arrived Tuesday morning with papers, clothes shoes and some computer related items. The SF house is now in escrow for a pleasing price, and fingers are crossed that the flakiness of the last failed deal won't be repeated. We have applied to rent a great apartment on the waterfront at Elizabeth Bay, and toes are crossed that the board of directors approves us (it's a company title). Yuri has worked his first part time week at UNSW and other bits are crossed that this leads to something permanent and enjoyable. Let the luck continue - let the weather stay gorgeous, let the Australian dollar fall before I bring our money in, let us find an great house to buy later this year, let us all stay in good health, let the boys of Sydney throw themselves our way.|
yuriverse has chronicled our apartment hunting to which I can add a poignant hour or two in Double Bay while we waited between viewings. My Romanian Jewish grandparents lived there in Cross St. My Dad grew up right across the road from his primary school. Every other weekend we would go to visit Buni and Papa with the obligatory lunch at Twenty One, so for nostalgic reasons I headed us over there where Yuri had chicken noodle soup and I some chips and an iced coffee. The menu was mostly unchanged since I was a boy - Hungarian comfort food and your typical old fashioned cafe fare. The poofy waiter behind the counter was related to the Hungarian family who have run the place for at least forty years (probably more) - now it's family in both senses. We finished up at Twenty One and down we walked to the waterfront park. I retrod the paths that we always walked with Buni and Papa and Dad (all of whom were dead far too soon). Buni's ashes were scattered in the park there, and as soon as I get hold of them, Dad's ashes will be scattered there too. We walked back past the art deco dark purple brick flats at 74 Cross St. It was just as I remembered, but for the closeness of the next door buildings. A smaller me found the side entrance paths amply broad. I have visited that location many many times in dreams over the last twenty-six years. Buni's death was a terrible event in my young psyche, and Dad's death was close to unbearable four years later. The grief was wrapped up so tightly I was truly afraid to revisit the place, and having done so, the tears still didn't flow. Maybe my eyes are permanently dry now.
Friday night was another nostalgic outing - a happy evening with Yuri and two of my high school friends. We had reconnected at the great NSBHS reunion in March, and this was our chance to go and reminisce privately. We met at the after-work booze-up at the bottom of James's and my building (we work in the same tower on Darling Harbour). We had planned to eat at Golden Century Chinese restaurant on Sussex St, but it was far too busy (Friday night, of course), so we opted for BBQ King and finally a beer or two more at an old sandstone pub closer to our hotel. There was lots of story-telling of our lives these last sixteen years. (We fell out of regular contact in 1990). Michael had a very broad Australian accent developed for conversation with union representatives. When I commented on it, it softened quite a bit toward the lower North Shore. Mine was not too Americanised, apparently.
Saturday we viewed another Darling Point apartment (and a Double Bay dump) to appease Mum's protective concerns that we were being too hasty in our choice. The Darling Point place was very nice - a view to the East over Double Bay to Point Piper. The place just didn't grab us in the same way as Elizabeth Bay, but we took the application form anyway. Construction noise from the building next door would be a potential headache, then the agent brilliantly told us that the construction has been stalled off and on these last ten years as the court cases have piled up. Too bad.
Later we went over to Robert and Gary's place for dinner and to watch bootleg DVDs. "300" was criminally inane, and I'm glad Robert only spent $1.10 on the disc in a Chinese alley. "Keeping Mum" with Maggie Smith and Rowan Atkinson was much more our speed.
Today has been another glorious late Autumn day - bright and warm T-shirt weather. We went again with Robert and Gary, this time to visit a childhood friend of Gary's in a Northern Beaches suburb, with a nice trip to beach lookout between Harbord and Freshwater. Back to their place then a walk around our potential new 'hood, then watching the Sydney Swans back to winning form.
One more activity for the day - Bruno came to pick us up from Robert and Gary's to go out for coffee. In the end, we came back here to King St wharf and sat in one of the waterfront bar/restaurants to do more gossiping and up-catching. We came back here with a belly full of seafood and wine. Yuri has now conked out and I'm close on his heels. It's not even 9 pm, but I'm pooped.