When I woke up this morning I woke up with the WORST sunburn imaginable. Lucky for me, I had brought my strange miracle gel to sooth the pain. Oddly enough I bought it in Thailand to help calm my many mosquito bites, and brought it to Oz just in case I suffered the same fate. In my desperation I checked the packaging again only to notice it also soothes burned skin! Double yay! I sent a message to Katie, the girl I’d met through GirlsLoveTravel Facebook group, about meeting up for a coffee since I’d bailed on her on the hike yesterday. We decided to meet up in the center part of the Central Business District (CBD) at a cafe with many stars that ended up not existing. Undefeated and exchanging stories about our hikes yesterday, we happened upon another cafe called Cafe Amici.
I was eager to practice my Italian so when I reached the counter I asked for an iced latte in the most Italian accent I could muster. The gentlemen in the kitchen all perked their heads up to look at me in amazement asking if I was Italian. Score! I proceeded to talk to them in Italian saying that my boyfriend was from Sicily, to which they responded “Where well is your boyfriend? Why is he not with you”. Big mistake! By now Katie is also looking at me with a surprised face and orders her iced latte in English. We sit down and the guys continue to ask me questions about my life and where I live/where I come from etc. I don’t mind, but it’s clear to me that it’s unfair to speak a different language in front of your friends when they don’t understand. In order to stay a bit longer I ordered a cheese and ham plate, it was just delicious. Katie had mentioned that she was thinking of going to the Female outdoor Baths by Coogee beach later today and asked me to join. Assessing the pain and redness on the upper-half of my body, I decided against it.
When we finally finished our lattes, by the way in Australia they put ice cream in their iced coffees instead of ice, Katie went on her way and I stayed to chat with the cafe employees. I spent all afternoon there. Even after there were no more customers I stayed just chatting away with the owner. He is such a friendly man, I’m happy I could have some company. Since Emma had to go to work during the day, I was left to explore on my own and that can get rather lonely. I enjoy a country the most when I can talk to the locals, and so far by happening upon this little cafe I got just what I wanted. One of the chefs also invited me to a party in the evening. Being the “yes (wo)man” that I am, I accepted his offer.
After spending nearly all day inside a cafe, I decided it was time to head towards Darling Harbour. The sun was starting to go down, so that meant my burns would be safe from further irritation. I sent a message to Emma to ask her when we were to meet for dinner, and she replied that she still had 2 hours of work left to do. So I walked around aimlessly taking in the beauty of the harbour and all the seagulls that live there. There are a few really nice looking restaurants that had decent happy hours, but it’s hard to choose one!
Following the harbour around I found the Hard Rock Cafe where I was to meet Emma and her colleagues for dinner. Since I was 2 hours early I debated walking around the Chinese Garden of Friendship beforehand, but the laziness kicked in and I just went straight to Hard Rock. I regret missing out on this garden after seeing the pictures ;-;.
Hard Rock Cafe
Many people collect normal things, like postcards, to remember their travels. Not me! Okay I do sometimes. I always go to Hard Rock Cafe in each country I visit, if they have one, and I order the same EXACT thing each time. The Local legendary burger. Each burger is specific to it’s country, or city, of origin and uses the most common flavours and typical cuisine to influence each burger. “The Australian Legendary features a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with caramelized onions, a fried egg, Cheddar cheese, crispy bacon and beetroot.” To see a list of some of the local legendarys (usually it’s a surprise) you can click here.
So while I waited for Emma to order my burger, I sat at the bar talking to the bartender. There was a guy sitting next to me that was also sitting alone and he decided to join in the conversation. His name is Andy and he’s from Germany. He showed me some photos he’d taking while tourist-ing around Australia, and he shared some tips on things to do/see. We talked for a while and exchanged info to reconnect once I arrived in Melbourne the next week. When Emma finally arrived, we enjoyed our dinner and then went for ice cream.~
Sicilian Birthday Party
I always seem to find myself getting into the most awkward and random situations. I’m not sure if my face just screams “Hey I like to be put into uncomfortable situations!”or if I’m just so friendly that people think I’m down for anything. Okay, maybe a little of both. Emma wasn’t feeling well and dropped me off at the party I was invited to near Bondi beach. The guy, let’s just call him Sandro, was waiting eagerly to bring me to the rest of the group. Emma was just a phone call away just in case this happened to become dangerous. I mean, I was just entering a stranger’s house that I’d met this morning. To my surprise I’d just walked into A FREAKING BIRTHDAY PARTY. WHAT?!
All the people inside looked a bit puzzled as to why I was even there, as they were all from the same part of Sicily and I was just a random American girl. Nevertheless they let me sit at the “men’s table” and offered me food, which I didn’t eat though it looked delicious. At one point I heard one of the women, thinking I didn’t understand Italian, say “Why don’t we ask the girl that shouldn’t be here to take the picture of us?” OUCH. Look lady, I didn’t know I was going to be coming to a BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR A MAN IN A WHEELCHAIR. OR JUST ANYONE! JEEZ. It was the most uncomfortable 2 hours of my life. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. Meanwhile, I texted my BF about the situation and he just laughed. He told me that these guys were hunting me, just like he once did. I later found out that American women are highly desirable to Italians, TO INCLUDE my BF who has told me that he fell in love with my American accent, though I’ll never understand why.