Friday, 26 February 2010

Friday Night

If I hadn't just googled it, I'd just describe the area where I've been living as well, farmland. As in, it's not a village, as that would imply there's something there. It's just, well, fields and stuff.

The nearest place for your basics is 17km away in Town. Town consists of a few quiet streets, shop fronts with wooden verandas and stencilled signage straight out of the 1920s, a train station and a supermarket. For chain stores and shopping centres, you'll want the city of Wagga Wagga, which is over 50km away. For special occasions (or polo matches), Sydney and Melbourne are both reachable after a five hour drive on a long, straight road where there's nothing but sheep and cows on either side.

But where I am is none of these things. Google calls it a "locality", a blink-and-you'll-miss-it section of road to somewhere else; population 190. What it does have, is a central hub. And by this, I mean pub. Which is also a hotel. Which also doubles as a post office and general store selling only the essentials (coca cola, bread, milk and beer).

Although the Polo Player and his family frequent this Pub regularly, Friday was my first time in there. The Polo Player took Matty and I for a meal and some drinks before our weekend of polo began. "Woo, Friday night" said Matty, who, on his fourth visit, had a hint of sarcasm to his voice. "It'll be going off"

Now, clearly I'm not the average patron of this particular Pub. For one, I didn't know absolutely everyone by name, as the 30 or so other people in there seemed to. Secondly, I wasn't sporting a beer gut, beard, plaid shirt or work boots. In fact, for the first time since bootcut went out, I walked into a drinking establishment and was the only girl dressed in super skinny jeans and a Zara cardigan. Which as any European girl knows, is a pretty rare occurrence.

While families sat eating and chatting in big groups, the usual lone suspects sat at the bar, swapping brief comments with the barman, ordering schooners and middies of beer, or cans of mixed spirits. Conversation was focused on local, not worldly issues. We got stools and sat around the bar, while the Polo Player greeted those who walked past and talked about farming in a drought and other subjects a million miles away from my London life.

As the night wore on, the families went home. I could tell the night was really about to kick off when some wild thing put Guns N Roses on the jukebox.

It wasn't long before a chubby blonde 30-something trucky, who later told me he'd left school at 14 and "can't read or write too good" but thankfully "can count alright!", sidled up and offered to buy me a drink. Having politely declined, he commenced the 'getting to know you' chat, much to the amusement of a smirking Matty who was earwigging in between pool shots.

As it ticked onto midnight and our 5am wake up crept ever closer, the three of us called it a night. At this point the bloke I'd been chatting to earlier shuffled up and put a piece of paper in my hand. "Err...umm...this is for if you're ever in Sydney" he said, before disappearing back to his side of the bar.

I got into the car and unfolded the paper.



It's safe to say that Hayden won't be getting a phone call, but for all the amusement it gave me, I reckon the Local Pub is definitely worth another visit.

8 comments:

Brennig said...

Blimey, outback boozers have come up in the world since I was there last.

AFC 30K said...

As for Hayden, you can't blame a bloke for trying....

The Unbearable Banishment said...

It'll be interesting to see what effect all this exposure to the Australian vastness will have on how you view London. You'll not return the same person who left. I can promise you that.

roseski said...

I'm wearing skinnies and a Zara cardigan! What a coinc- 'nough said.

theperpetualspiral said...

Please tell me that there were people wearing hats with dangling corks there.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Brennig - How so, kind sir?

AFC - Indeed...he gave it a shot, I'll give him that.

Unbearable - I meant to add to this post that it's strange how you can be in the middle of nowhere, and get talking to more people than you would in a city where the population is several million more. Think I still like the anonymity of London though.

roseski - Haha, proven my point nicely ;)

perp - I spotted one cowboy hat, minus corks.

You Make My Date said...

Haha oh man, these guys sound like bogans! (Aussie slang for rednecks) Please stay in Sydney, at least it's sort of civilised! :)

Can't wait to hear more tales - makes me want to wander out to the countryside...almost.

http://youmakemydate.blogspot.com/

Brennig said...

How so? They were scary, spit, sawdust and no Shielas allowed places.

 

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