Since that was exactly what I did feel like, the day before yesterday I got on the train that goes from Canberra to Central Station. What is more, I bought a meat pie on the train, thus overcoming a thirty-year long phobia, the result of an incident on a train taking me back to boarding school in Mittagong, when I also bought a meat pie. On that occasion, what I found inside the meat pie was a sea of writhing maggots. No horror film I've ever been to has managed to rival that sight for stomach churning ghastliness. Especially as I'd already taken a bite.
Anyway, the train was great this time, including the meat pie, both on the way there and on the way back, (although on the way back I didn't have a meat pie, as I'd already had one for lunch - but you probably weren't particularly interested to hear that, were you?)
I would like to point out that whoever does the hiring at NSW Trainlink deserves a medal. I've rarely travelled on any public transport where all the employees have been quite so friendly, helpful, cheerful and generally all round nice. Plus the carriages were clean - are you listening, all you British railway operators??? Also there weren't endless announcements, unlike some places I could mention, (yes, I do mean trains in the United Kingdom), plus it cost just $39.00, without endless fare permutations and restrictions and other stuff designed to make you decide to call the whole thing off and just drive instead.
From Central Station I walked up to the other end of the city to the place I was staying, passing all sorts of interesting sights - all especially exciting for a person from possibly the only capital city in the world that is genuinely provincial and without metropolitan flash or dash.
I enjoyed seeing old details on buildings, things that people hardly notice, I suspect, as they hurry past - this frieze near Central Station, for example:
Getting to the Wharf Theatre meant walking around Circular Quay, past the ferry terminals and then the Museum of Modern Art and enchanting Cadman's Cottage, past all the former storehouses, where ships unloaded their cargo - now turned into restaurants that look out at the Opera House - and then under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
When you get under the bridge, you can easily begin to think that, with enough time and a strong enough spanner, you could probably knock up your own Sydney Harbour Bridge, if you had plenty of nuts and bolts:
(I don't know what that umbrella and thermos were doing there, but they help give a sense of scale):
But then you look out at its span - (and can you see that gaudy Luna Park face with its sinister grin, over there on the other side of the water?) - and you realise that that wouldn't actually be possible:
I hope I will get round to writing about it on the blog where I promised myself I would write about the plays I see, (as I have since broken that promise to myself several times, only time will tell).
The main thing I will say about it now is that it was exceptionally funny. Its funniness, what is more, included the most amazing moment I've ever experienced in a theatre.
The play had reached a point where the two male characters were loosening up and admitting their sexual inadequacies to each other. One, having revealed that he didn't have a very large penis, added, "But people say women don't notice size."
There was a tiny pause, no more than an instant; but, in that instant, a single throaty laugh from what sounded like a very mature and experienced woman, (not sure how one can judge these things merely from a laugh, but I believe sometimes - including on this occasion - you can), echoed out into the packed and silent theatre. It was a laugh that said, 'Yeah, right, pull the other one, whatever makes you happy", et cetera. It was a laugh that said a very great deal, all of it shattering not only the illusions of the character but the illusions, I suspect, of most of the males in the audience.
And suddenly the entire theatre was roaring with laughter. And I don't just mean the audience. The actors were equally overcome by mirth. It was wonderful. I read somewhere that a minute of laughter is as restorative as half an hour's sleep. Well, hundreds of people got the equivalent of half a good night's sleep that evening, thanks to that woman's outburst.
In the interval, I might say, I bought a glass of wine, and looked out at the water, and even the Blues Point Tower didn't look quite that bad: