Saturday, 8 April 2017

#52Stories, Week 15, Where did you go the very first time you moved out of your parents' home ? Did you have roommates ? Did you live alone ? Did you get married right away ? Tell the story.


August 1979. Back when you didn't need a passport to jump the ditch.

I went with a friend - well she went first and I joined her later. Long story. We shared a unit with her sisters who had been in Sydney for a couple of years.

It didn't last. She went back to New Zealand about three weeks after I arrived. Her escape plan failed - or maybe it was her plan all along, there was a baby on the way !

But I stayed, I continued to share with her sisters, who I knew vaguely from Wellington. It was tough, but I'm not a quitter, and it made sense. They had a three bedroom unit, there were three of us. Ashfield, inner west, close to transport, close-ish to the city, good shopping. We fell into a comfortable sort of routine, sharing the shopping, cooking, housework etc. 

We would each buy the paper on the way home from work and see who could complete the crossword first and get the most words in the TARGET puzzle. Watch the Young Doctors, Cop Shop, Skyways, Dallas, Countdown - listen to Bob Dylan, Bob Seger, Cold Chisel, Dragon, Boomtown Rats, Little River Band, Doobie Brothers. The lady downstairs didn't like Bob Seger's Katmandu. She used to bang on her ceiling (our floor) with a broom or something until we turned it down.

On Fridays we would meet after work at Wynyard, have ravioli or canneloni for dinner at an Italian "restaurant" in the arcade then hit the bars. There were a few in the station complex, part of the Menzies I think. One was style like a plane long and narrow with fake windows  - a bit different. I learned pretty quickly to change how I ordered my drinks. 

"Vodka and Raro" 
"What ? Bloody Kiwis !" 
"Ooops, I meant Vodka and Orchy" or 

"Southern Comfort and Paeroa" 
"Huh ?" 
"Oh, I meant Coke"

Mostly we would end up at a couple of wine bars somewhere around Angel Place before making our way home in a cab or on a late train.

On Saturday nights we'd go back into town, running to the station in our heels to catch the train, catch a movie, have a wine or three, check out a live band at a pub, go to a party in Bondi, Paddington...or go to a Leagues club or RSA. 

Sundays sometimes we'd do a bit of shopping or sightseeing. See how far we could get on the trains without paying a fare, and if we got caught without a ticket we'd say we'd got on at the last station. Best deal ? A day out to Gosford to the Wildlife Park (where the bats had us scrambling, almost on the floor from one end of the nocturnal enclosure to the exit door, in fright) for just a 30 cent train fare- return ! Score.

After about six months we moved to the North Shore and lived in Artarmon, close to Chatswood in a great apartment. Eventually though, they decided to return to New Zealand so the partnership broke up and I went off on my own. 

In a new direction. Making new friends.

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