Saturday, June 03, 2006

Friday: Manly when it rains

Yesterday, I made the wonderful decision that, despite the low-hanging clouds and cutting wind, I was going to the beach! Brilliant, right? I figured that since it was my next-to-last full day here, I should see Manly one more time.

I took a ferry over to Circular Quay, and then caught the 11:00 Manly Ferry with abt. 100 other crazy people. The trip over was a little choppy, even in the harbor, but I spent the entire half an hour with my nose buried in my book, so I hardly noticed.

I got to the beach absolutely famished (those ferry rides can do that to you...;oP) so I quickly found a relatively cheap Indian restaurant where I was able to get a platter of nice, warm curry and rice. I ate outside with the seagulls who, oddly enough, were not the slightest bit interested in my food. Silly birds- I guess they just don't know what they're missing.

After lunch I walked down by the water for a little while, taking pictures and people watching. The beach and the ocean looked completely different this time around. The water, instead of glowing turquoise and shimmering, was a wonderful milky-looking blue, eventually changing to iron grey. The sand looked like suede- a light tan color and very soft.

After I felt that I had more than enough sand in my shoes, I went back up to the promenade and found a bench. Before too very long I was joined by an elderly man eating a slice of pizza. Or perhaps "eating" is an exaggeration. He took about 4 bites, and proceeded to feed the rest of the pizza to the pigeons. The seagulls wanted a piece of that action, but the man was determined that the seagulls wouldn't get anything from him. Any time they got close, he would swat them away. Everytime he gave a crumb to one of the legion of pigeons gathered around him, he would break out into a lovely, beatific smile.

When the pizza was gone, the old man left. His spot on the bench was soon filled by two punks who amused themselves by kicking at all the remaining pigeons, and cursing when they missed (which was very often....I was glad for the birds sake, but my ears weren't so happy.)

Eventually I just got too cold sitting out by the water, so I moved into the Corso, an open shopping area that stretches from the wharf on one side to the beach on the other. I found a bookshop filled with good browsing material (albeit a little out of my pricerange at the time) which was, above all else, WARM. When I came out of the store it was beginning to sprinkle, so I high-tailed it over to the bus station, where I immediately caught a bus back to Cremorne.

When I got off, it was pouring. Thank goodness I had had at least a little sense when I left the house, and there was an umbrella in my backpack. I stopped in at the bakery on my way home and picked up a lamington, by way of apology to myself for getting stuck in the rain. (So it's a terrible excuse. I just wanted a lamington.)

When I got back, Anne-Nicole was waiting for me with a cup of hot tea and the heaters cranked up.

The weather continued to be nasty the rest of the day, making us decide that maybe going out for dinner wasn't the best plan in the world. We ended up running to the newly opened Woolworths (grocery) and picking up some gourmet-type snacky foods (brie and soft bleu cheeses, french bread, smoked trout, pate.) We ate a lovely, light dinner by candlelight while watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. (Our other option was Pride and Prejudice, but I'm not sure I could take watching it with Uncle Sean. That's one movie I take waaaaay too seriously.)

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