<<  Sydney, 20.5.2013  >>

Sydney, here I am!

Opera House, Opera House, Opera House and Harbor Bridge. And Nik!

After 11 hours night bus ride from Melbourne to Sydney the bus arrived to Sydney in early morning hours and already first glimpses out of the window made it clear from the very beginning: Sydney is The City. Or more precisely: The Metropolis. Compared to Sydney, Melbourne suddenly seemed like sleepy, slightly overgrown mid-size town. Right after I checked into a super nice hostel (it was expensive, as everything in Australia, but really super neat with god breakfast for free) I went to see Sydney Opera House and… meet Nik. Nik Sokol = originally Samo’s friend, whom I met during the road trip across USA when we stayed at his place in Queens in NYC for 10 days at the beginning of the trip when we needed to buy a minivan and prepare for the trip. So Nik, man of Slovak blood - Koloman Sokol’s grandson – had then hosted me and Samo in NYC and few months ago he and his family moved to Australia and so he offered to host me again, this time here, Down Under. And not only that. He’s going to give me his old car for my Australian road trip. I can drive it all around for free. Nik is the most generous and big hearted, or more precisely XXL-hearted person I have ever met. Tibetan Buddhists got it all wrong. 14th reincarnation of Avalokitesvara - the Buddha of Compassion - is definitely not Tenzin Gyatso, commonly known as Dalai Lama, but it must be Nik. I’m pretty lucky man that Nik is always somewhere where I’m just about to start a road trip. I wonder where he moves after Australia, because obviously, sooner or later I will end up there on a road trip… I just hope it’s not Hungary.
Nik currently works on a project of tunneling area below Sydney Opera House as they are building a new loading dock, which means that he works right outside of the Opera House. So, the first time I went to see that world’s premier sight I went there as well to meet a friend. Isn’t that just awesome? I met the real 14th reincarnation of Avalokitesvara and agreed to join movement Occupy Nik’s House when Aruna’s (his wife) parents, who leave on 26.5.2013, finish their occupation duty.

I stayed in Sydney for 3 days/nights leisurely exploring the city. Sydney is truly beautiful, largely thanks to impossibly shaped harbor, with myriads of bays and coves. It’s also slightly hilly which adds to the atmosphere. And dominating above this are Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge. They really do look amazing. The fact is, that except for the Opera and the Bridge, there’s nothing particularly super amazing in the town, architecturally-wise, but the overall feeling that the city emanates is simply very nice. But truth be told, without the Opera House and the Harbor Bridge Sydney would be much, much, much, much less interesting. It’s almost shocking how can two single structures so profoundly improve overall look and feel of the city. Long live the architecture :-)
And the weather? Ahhh. So much nicer than around Melbourne. May is basically equal to November in Europe, but it’s like late May in Europe. Sweet!
As Nik gave a bike I mostly rode through the city on bike which was really enjoyable.

The bad thing about Sydney is that when it comes to culture of the people, or some sort of alternative feel, it’s plain dead, way even behind Melbourne. Here it’s all about fancy clothes and MTV. I tried to google “hipster bars in Sydney”, which had worked out pretty good in Melbourne, but here in Sydney? No results! I mean no really meaningful results. WTF???
After a desperate attempt to go to some bars, I felt completely at the edge of society. There was simply no one I wanted to talk to. Where are all those nice, intelligent travelers from India?
Back then in 18th century the history of modern Australia began when England decided to establish here a convict colony and sent here down under their crappiest thieves and murderers. I would say that the tradition of European export of human trash to Australia is well alive and kicking, as the European backpackers who come here now are possibly the worst bunch of idiots I have ever met on my travels. Maybe the good old thieves and murderers would be more enlightened.

The magical encounters on the other side of the world continued and on Sunday I met Jakub, ex-boyfriend of my friend Dada. The world simply is too small. He moved here couple of months ago from New Zealand. As he had studied in Australia and also had worked here, now he has permanent residence so is free to stay and work in Australia as long as he pleases. It was just GREAT to have an intelligent conversation with someone, in this city of simple-minds. We met over bunch of fantastic crafted beers. As I found out, Jakub’s side job is being a beer connoisseur and so he took me to Sydney’s best beer bar, with approximately 40 beers on tap. Awesome beer! Taste, taste, taste! Jakub is doing pretty fine here in Australia and it was really pleasure to meet him and have some chat. And he also confirmed my own feelings about Oz: nice place but with serious lack of culture and he couldn’t imagine that he would stay in Australia for the rest of his life. Europe triumphs 2:0.

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     MARCEL STRBAK | www.strbak.com | www.facebook.com/marcel.strbak