Sydney is not a place I usually go on my own. Usually when here, I’m accompanied by either friends or family and sometimes both. This trip though, I’m here for the Emerging Writers Festival which I’ll be attending tomorrow. As such, I’ve had a night and a day with Sydney all to myself.
Friday night I was nervous. Eating by myself has never been an issue for me. I quite like it, actually. What I don’t like, is bad food so not knowing what to eat where is a little bit unsettling. Fortunately at the bottom of my hotel, there is a lovely little cafe that was, conveniently enough, serving a crispy skinned salmon. So I ordered a glass of savignon blanc to go with the salmon then sat myself down to wait. Waiting was an unexpected pleasure. It turns out, every Friday night, the cafe (under the Medina Executive in Lee St, in case you’re wondering) has a jazz band playing. While waiting for my food, I was treated to gorgeous jazz and got to watch young couples dance beneath the yellowed light of chandeliers. Outside the rain soaked street seemed far away and foreign while I was snugged in my corner seat, just watching.
Saturday has also been a treat. I’ve walked the length of Pitt Street. Mostly I was hoping for some special item of clothing to catch my eye. I love to shop for clothes in cities not my own. It makes wearing the item feel even more special, just for the memory of its purchase. But no, today I stopped in at Mecca Cosmetica where I was greeted by Kym.
Kym is not some young bunny who wants to make me up as though I am. No, Kym paid attention to what I told her, asked thoughtful questions and was full of advice. I walked out with my purchases (the price of which will probably give hubby a heart attack) and a new image. “If you’re staying in a hotel room by yourself, you should make the most of it,” Kym advised. “Let me make you up a pamper package of all good things for you to play with.” So she did and my bag swelled with all the free samples she piled into it.
Now, I’m not an idiot. I realise that making me happy is to Kym’s benefit if I keep coming back. However, I have walked out of places having spent far more money yet having been given much worse service. As I was getting set to leave, Kym said, “Now, let me show you where to get the best coffee in town.” She walked me out of the shop and around the corner to a place called Workshop Esspresso. She was right, they serve great coffee.
Then there was the mandatory trip to Kinokuniya, where I browsed through books and ogled stationery. After that, a little bit of window shopping before I was off home to lounge about and read a bit. I have, of course, also used up all my test pots of various lotions and potions while soaking in the bath…and reading some more.
Now I’m going to wander through Chinatown and find myself a huge vat of noodles for dinner.
Diary-like as this blog may seem, I do have a point. Sydney is a great place to visit even on your own (even if you’re not interested in the nightclubs). All you need is a pair of walking shoes, a wallet and the willingness to use them!