._ 1 a .j ‘
s , . .~ .3 3.; unanchored. filling up with water. giant-sized Balmain bugs and a dry. warm. still bed.
Back ashore the next day. bouncing from jet-lag and sleeplessness. the suburb of Balmain had turned Venice. You needed a canoe to get to the shops. Unused to such inhospitable climes. the house had no heating and there was no drying. The only solution seemed to be to get more saturated. But worse was still to come. Fosters were on strike.
The next week shambled past. a
blur ofgrey. a pile ofwet clothes and
a series of miserable attempts to hang things out to dry in the rain. There were consolations. The mozzies had been ﬂattened. The red-backed spiders had scuttled under the vegetation. Even the cockroaches were playing coy. Fortified by imported sloe gin and Twiglets. we decided to ignore the rain and bussed it to Bondi Beach. It was deserted except for some serious musclemen jogging past. Even the surf couldn‘t manage a rise. Eating New Zealand Mud Chocolate icecream as. diluted by rain. it ran down the cone. trickled onto my hand and then pursued its course down my arm proved an absorbing
But it wasn‘t all bad. To be honest.
none of it was. It was fascinating.
'Even the telly was full ofsurprises.
On the morning programmes. the
"presenters interviewed guests and
'then. having sent them off screen. 7 described the guests‘ points ofview
3 as utter rubbish. They also scattered
‘bugger' and 'bloody‘ through their
’ discourse with abandon. Theatre
reviews analysed shows as ‘cons. designed just to get bums on seats and money at the door. ‘ There's no beating about the bush for delicate epithets in Australia.
Nightlife was vigorous. Many pubs have live bands (ofexcellent quality). Two visits to nightclubs
. were marred only when 1 had my
crotch grabbed from the rear by invisible hands on each occasion. I turned round to heft a stiletto (well. it was more like a Doc Marten boot). only to find twenty-five male faces looking up at the ceiling. whistling. (I have since been told that. hadl verbally threatened to kick. the innocents would soon have blabbed on the perpetrator).
On a damp (again) dark night. our
hosts insisted on showing us the
seedy red-light district around King‘s Cross where a prostitute bellowed at us ladies ‘Hey. get off my patch.‘ A typical paradox. the most expensive houses in Sydney are just around the corner.
We had to go to the zoo to see kangaroos (you could buy purses made ofkangaroo hide there too). kbalas (stoned on eucalyptus) and predatory sharks. Prospective
; visitors should be told that. despite - the men. the bravado and the
bullshit. Sydney is sophisticated and relatively wildlife-free. Crocs don‘t swim the sewers and the last shark to do any damage in the Harbour was
,ﬂuﬁt‘ ‘ a k i: ‘l‘ h' ‘1'} ,1 :.; ’ . 5 1Q. “£31: Sqmii-e’} 2,. "xv .‘ .a i '9‘-" .*‘~"1:'."\.:a v’ “i-- .‘X' f? " H.779” '1'). 1‘ , .
way back in 1958. so you’d be fairly unlucky ifsomething snapped at you. It‘s easy to forget the red. red outback and the enormity of the ocean when you're in the city. But the locals still like to prey on your pale and peaky British timidity with tales of what nearly happened to Ihan
’l‘axi-drivers all have their pioneering tale to tell too. and. although none of them know where they’re going and you have to give directions. their stories will make thi trip worthwhile. They'll even dock cents off your fare to round it down.
Australian vagaries are plentiful: sport is a touch over-emphasized. with 24 hour-a-day. non-stop sport on satellite TV being all the rage (many MPs are ex-sportsmen). (‘orrupt politicians and officials are a fascinating subject. and their Prime Minister. the silver-tongued Teddy Boy. Bob llawke. is quite something in action. The bulk of papers and TV stations are owned by the same three men — not much room for unbiased reporting there. Australian-speak is rich and alive: ‘mad as a cut snake' being just one example.
There is one thing that Sydney-siders are world-experts at. and that's pleasure. It comes cheap. You can gorge yourselfon bloody good kweezeen. cruise around clubs and pubs or plain booze yourself under the table (and many do). When it's not pouring. you can party. party. party. Work is just something to do while you’re waiting for the next jamboree. In summer. there‘s the beach. In winter. there‘s still the beach. If you can’t be bothered to eat out, the fresh fruit and vegetables are mind-blowingly healthy-looking and make ours look like antique miniatures.
Finally. on our last day. a chink of blue appeared. suddenly dispelling the mizzle to allow the Sydney views to break through. The sails ofthe Opera House. Sydney 1 larbour Bridge vaulting from the City to North Sydney and flotillas ofboats all swam into sight.
With the sun smiling. Sydney life took up as normal: bright clothes. business men in shorts. plenty of chilled beer. There is. they say. only one problem with Australia. and that‘s leaving it.
A totally different eating experience fondue with hot oil or stock
30 Sandport Street Leith, Edinburgh
Phone 031 554 2921 for reservation
You may claim as many different offers as you wish, but please take the whole magazine with you each time. All oilers are strictly subject to availability and the individual management’s decisions are final. Only one ticket olier lor each voucher. First come, first served. Enjoy the show!
A pair of tree tickets to see SEPTEMBER IN THE RAIN on Fri 12, Sat 13, Sun 14 or Mon 15 (3.45pm). Exchange this voucher at the Assembly Rooms Box Office. Show runs until 3 Sept. Up to 5 pairs of tickets available per show.
A pair of lree tickets to see SALT OF THE EARTH on Sat13 or Mon 15 (1pm) or VIVA ESPANA on Fri 12, Sat 13, or Mon 15 (10pm). Exchange this voucher at George Square Theatre Box Oliice. Both shows run until 3 Sept. Up to 5 pairs 0 tickets available per show.
A pair oi iree tickets to see LLEWLLYN/OEB'BORA in MAMMON on Fri 12. Exchange this voucher at the Assembly Rooms
Box Office. Show runs until 3 Sept. Up to 10 pairs oitlckets available.
A pair at lree tickets to see OUR TOWN (7.30pm) or SCENES FROM AMERICAN LIFE (10pm) on Mon 15 or Wed 17, or BUS STOP (7.30pm) or THE EARLY GIRL (10pm) on Tue 16 orThurs 18. Exchange this voucher at The Royal Scots Club Box Office. Shows run until 3 Sept. Up to 5 pairs of tickets available per show.
A pair oi lree tickets to see GLYNN WITH A WHY— GLYNN NICHOLAS (5pm) orASSORTEO THINGS IN TINS (midnight) on Fri 12, Sat 13 or Sun 14. Exchange this voucher at The Gilded Balloon Box Oliice. Both shows run until 3 Sept. Up to 5 pairs available pershow.
A pair ol lree tickets to see REOUIEM FOR A WOMAN’S SOUL on Mon 15, Tue 16 or Wed 17 (9pm). Exchange tis voucher at the Mandela Theatre Box Oiiice. Show runs until 3 Sept. Up to live pairs oi tickets available per show.
THE MANDELA THEATRE
A tree ticket to the first 10 people and a hall price ticket for the next 25 people to turn up at
DAN KAMIKAZE at Holy Rood Catholic High School at any show between Mon 15 and Fri 19 at 10.30am and 2.30pm.
The List 12— 18 August 1988 81