Truth is, they do all kinds of things.
A lot of them sit at home scratching their bums.
Others do nuclear physics just for kicks.
Or they watch sport.
Rugby League is the city’s football code of choice, but you wouldn’t catch me dead at a game. Nope… because in the part of Sydney that I’m from, the men are prone to spending as much time as possible in sunbaths, and to getting their nails done. And the sport of choice is that of seeing just how tight a top you can squeeze yourself into, before you faint. Yes, that’s right – I live in Darlinghurst, Australia’s gayest suburb.
So, I want to show my mates a good time… what are we going to do?
Well, let’s suppose that I’ve collected them from the train-station. It’s morning, so the first thing we do is head for the coast. There’s a heat wave on right now, so it’s a great time to be heading pretty much anywhere but inland… Western Sydney heats up like a frypan. And it was 31 degrees Celsius yesterday (that’s about 90 degrees Fahrenheit). Sticky – and it’s barely Spring yet! It’s going to be a long Summer.
Thinking ahead, I’ve packed picnic enough for us all – and now it’s off to Clovelly Beach for a swim. Clovelly Beach is one of Sydney’s less discovered Eastern Suburbs beaches, with mostly families and locals. But it’s cool, very pretty and relaxed, and without even a hint of the pretension and money that can mar some Sydney bathing spots. Heading south one hundred meters or so, we hit Gordon’s Bay, which has great snorkeling. Being the in-the-know local that I am, and the eager host, I’ve brought along snorkels for all.
But that can wait for a little while. First, me ‘n the boys laze around munching and chatting, and passing around the bottle of bubbly that one of my cheeky pals brought with him. Later, we slip into the cool ocean and swim around with the fishes. There are thousands, so if you’re going to come swimming here, you’d better like your ocean friends with fins. If you’re especially lucky, you’ll meet one of the huge, bright blue groupers for which the area is famous – some are a meter long. In fact, when someone spear-fished a grouper at Clovelly Beach a few years back, the Premier of NSW brought the issue up in parliament (he lives in the area). Moral: the locals love these big blue fishes, so don’t spear them to death!
Anyway, after we start to feel the sting of the sun a little too keenly, it’s time to head back to Darlo to relax with a few cold beers. Australian blokes (translation: ‘men’) like ‘sinking a few cold tinnies’ (translation: drinking beer together). And that’s what we do, me and my boys – we go home and sink a few cold tinnies. Oh! The mateship! We head to The Hopetoun, the indie-rock staple of inner-city Sydney, and say hi to Paul, the omnipresent proprietor, who joins us for a drink.
Feeling hunger coming on, we head just down the road to Sushi Suma, Surry Hills’ worst kept secret – it can be a busy busy place. And the reason? The food here is just eggs-cellent.
Afterwards, we retire to my veranda and let the dinner settle, watching the evening light glow first radiant and then paler until darkness finally comes. Of course, we have the long-necks at hand (translation: large bottles of beer), and once we’ve had enough to make us feel (just that little bit) frisky – only then has the time come to get dressed for a party. For like all great cities, Sydney never sleeps.
Luckily, I’ve got a grand old room with nice big mirrors, so we all crowd around to frock up. Slap-a-dap-dap… nice. Careful not to smear the mascara! And then, giggling like a bunch of schoolgirls, we’re out the door and into the night. Who knows – if the night goes in a particularly trashy direction, we might end up at the Columbian, or perhaps even Stonewall. But to start off, we’re looking for somewhere classy – ‘cause we’re classy ladies…