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Saturday 27 Dec 2003
Sydney, Australia

Latest update...

Might as well keep yall posted on the latest happenings in the "world of Pete" since Im sure youre all dying in agony waiting for the next instalment...

Christmas Day was a funny occasion. I went down to Bondi Beach after exchanging pressies with my host family.. Jonny went ahead of me and I thought there would be no worries in tracking him down if I got there later. How wrong I was...

I should have guessed by the number of Irish and Brit backpackers crammed into the bus going to Bondi Beach from the city (rather like something out of Vietnam or Laos) but when I got there it was like stepping off at Ibiza in mid-summer! "Packed to the brim" puts it mildly. No chance of finding Mad D I proceeded to find a small 2 metre square space to lay myself down in the hot hot weather (a murky humid 38 degrees!). Yet it wasnt bad at all.. you got the odd rowdy streaker and lots of crazies walking around drunk in their santa outfits (probably in hospital recovering from heat exhaustion now) but the majority of the people there were laid back and all out to enjoy themselves so I felt safe leaving my stuff on the beach. In I went to the water which had some great waves (despite being packed with revellers too!) and I body surfed for most of the day until I pulled a muscle in my leg! Doh!

Afterwards myself and Jonny retired to his hostel where they were having a BBQ on the roof over-looking Sydney Harbour bridge. We stuffed ourselves with frankfurters and pink champagne while playing Jonnys didge for whoever wanted to listen. From what I can remember of that night I ended staying up till around 4am drinking cheap red and white wine with a bunch of poms and an ex-sniper from the German army (he had a unique outlook on life since most of his army time (9 years) was spent lying on his stomach motionless for 36 hours at a time waiting for a target.. interesting guy.)

I crashed in a spare bed at Jonnys hostel that night... pretty tame night all in all... New Years will be a different story I reckon... well Ill make SURE it is

Boxing Day (i.e. Stephens Day.. i.e. yesterday!) was dedicated to "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King!". Jonny and I paid *cough* 11 dollars to get in.. we had to book 5 hours ahead cuz of the packed houses around the city. Still it was worth it. Another truly great trilogy finished which can stand proudly beside the Matrix trilogy. We also caught "Love Actually" just "cuz it was on" which was "actually" pretty funny.. if you liked "Four Weddings..." youll like this.

Lastly a quick note on Bondi. On Christmas Eve, Jonny and I went over to Bondi to meet up with an old Castleknock school buddy out here for the year too: "Murph". As soon as we arrived at the "Cock and Bull" nighclub I quickly understood why they call this "County Bondi". It was just like walking into any old club in Dublin: Packed with Irish football shirt-wearing laddies and ladies, full of smoke, loud thumping music and barely possible to move without having to squeeze through a sweaty mass of bodies. This is essentially the sort of place in Ireland that made me want to leave the country. I dont understand why someone comes all the way from Ireland to go to places like this... anyhoo Jonny agreed with me and we bailed out before either of us got crushed to death and found a better alternative to meet Murph:an ozzie bar. Apart from being decked wall to wall with "pokies" machines, the ozzie bar has a refreshing slant in drinking establishment architecture which Irish weather doesnt allow for: no walls on the front so the air is always fresh. Phew!

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