Friday, March 13, 2009

The Lost Weekend

The pictures above are of some signs I find funny. Being illegal to Shoot at or over the Australian Hydrographic building? The 'over' part must be a carryover from notices on their ships. Plus co-worker Josh trying to find the building for the Visually Impaired? I don't see it either. I guess we need to get an exam. Also, just one of the unusual blossoms I see on the way to the train I thought I'd share.

Now, onto the title of this entry:

I know it's been a while since I've written anything about my exciting life and times in the Land of Oz, but after I describe last weekend, you may understand and give me a little sympathy (or disgust).

Friday night started off in a fairly manner. I rushed home since I now have to stay until 5:00 thereby missing the first hour and a half of Lingerie night at the Charles. On Thursday and Friday nights from 4:00 to 7:00, a service provides a model to serve drinks. They wear lingerie but lose the top after a short time. For some reason the place is packed, most likely because of the 3 B's guys like: Beer, Boobs and Buddies. Aussies do not tip! In fact, some people think it an insult if you tip them. This wonderful feature is slowly changing however, but in the case of these (usually) women who wait on us Thursday and Friday nights, tipping is expected but not necessarily done. In fact, when I tip, those who sit with me give me a bad time. I probably am setting a bad precedent.

But last weekend started off supercharged. I ran into Mark from the flat next door who was already there and having a good time. It's unusual as the drink driving level here is 0.05! 2 regular beers in an hour and you're over the limit. Naturally, most people are very cautious, especially Mark. He's the same age as I am and a high school teacher for Marine Biology and Chemistry. He's a great guy and was feeling great that night.

After the show, he offered to drive me back and while I asked him if he was ok to drive, he said he was...really. It's only about 4 blocks and on the way he invited me over for something to eat. I had some homemade chicken soup I said I'd heat up and bring over, but before I could do that, Mark showed up with an Esky full of beer, 4 meat pies (chicken) and a great mood! He was on fire!

I warmed the soup, popped the pies in the oven and started to work on the Esky with him. Btw, Esky is Aussie for Eskimo Cooler which I find so funny and a perfect example of how they shorten words and add an 'ie' at the end of words. After a couple of beers, I decided to pull out a bottle of Shiraz which Mark likes. It was a very one, Galway Vintage 2006 for my wine loving friends. I'm keeping a wine journal with my notes on Aussie wine as suggested by Craig Sweet and Mike Renslow, the Wine Doctor.

So, beer then wine (which is just fine) and we went to work on that bottle with a little cheese and salami while waiting for the chicken dishes to cook. We ate half the pies and all the soup and soon it was after midnight. It was great having a yarn as they say, with Mark and he got up to go home. Immediately he came back in a panic looking for his keys. Nope! No keys here. He said he'd left the front window open so could get in.

I went out with him to see if I could help in any way. He grabbed a milk crate and it was still a bit of a stretch to get up to the window so I put myself between the crate and the window, put my hands on my knees and told him to use my back as a step. That was fine until he just stood there and started to bounce slightly laughing. I said "If you were female and Asian, I'd be paying big bucks for this!" Of course, I was thinking that I hoped I wouldn't be paying big bucks to the Doctor. All was fine however.

Since we're in the midst of the dreaded Quarterlies, which is a massive volume calculating job for 2 of the world's largest mining companies, things at work are hectic. So, in my less than firing on all cylinders shape, went into the office for a few hours. Since these sites are in Western Australia and they're 2 hours behind us, not much was going on in the morning. I decided to take a long lunch and before I ate, went to the Thai Massage place and had a 40 minute workout, and it was. Some guy really worked my back over and it felt great! Onto a relaxed meal then back to the office to monitor activity on my projects.

Obviously Saturday night was pretty quiet and I went back to the office for a few hour Sunday. When I got back home, Mark was there working on changing a tire on his daughter's car. I helped again and then they all were going to the Towardgi Beach Hotel to listen to Sunday Afternoon Blues. It's only a few blocks away and I should go more often as the music is very good. We had a few and some snacks. It was a good time and that feeling of maybe one more drink when I got home was in the back of my mind, but I did resist as the memory of Friday night (and especially Saturday morning) were still lingering.

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