Birthday surprise (for an old mate in Sydney)

I’m invited to Sydney, for a surprise birthday event of an old friend.

His nickname is “Old F.rt” (or OF) where mine is “Young F.rt (or YF)”. Our age difference is 3 months. Yep, he is older and it’s all relative. And I haven’t seen him for years. This will be fun!!

My plan was for 3 days and 2 nights away. One night with the birthday boy and one night in a Sydney hostel.

Good Mrs was also invited but unable to come. She had work commitments in Brisbane and a Sydney trip just wouldn’t work. Next time…

Sunday 12 March 2017

The Sunday 8am flight from Melbourne to Sydney first saw me meet the One and Only Son at Central. I did bring some hiking gear with me as he will hike Tasmania’s South Coast Track over Easter. His hiking experience and his supply of gear are both limited, but hey, he is young and, well, bulletproof.

The One and Only Son and I took the train to Marrickville where he lives, dropping off the hiking gear I transported from Melbourne. Followed by bus to Kensington and the home of OF.

OF had no idea this was coming.

His wife, the Organizer Extraordinaire, excused herself with some bulldust explanation. To let the two of us in. So the One and Only Son and I stormed in, yelled “happy birthday” and sang badly in front of the birthday boy.

Stunned!! Not known for being quiet, this time OF gaped. Big! It took minutes before he got over the shock. Poor old man. Bring out the wine…

Old Fart with wife Organizer Extraordinaire

OF’s wife had organised several successive days of birthday celebrations for him. Today was Day 2 and we heard the day before was equally successful. Do I need to mention plenty of food and drink were a recurrent theme?

OF has a de-facto wine cellar in his garage and he showed us his priced possessions. Some good stuff stored there…

Old F.rt and Old Wine

I stayed the night in their guest room while The One and Only Son later left due to work the following day.

Below, we had been eating and drinking for hours as the dark settles in. The old boys continued to drink and chat. As Organizer Extraordinaire found reprieve elsewhere in their apartment.

Drinking on OF’s balcony

Good district views from the balcony as we reminisced for hours about old times. A mild and lovely evening made it perfect.

Looking west towards Alexandria

Monday 13 March 2017

Next morning, I had to leave after breakfast. Day 3 of surprise celebrations were due. Sydney Fish Market was the couple’s midday destination and OF had no idea what was going to happen.

Good luck to him. May the next event be a “lesser” surprise. His heart can only take so much…

No time constraint for me. So I walked from Kensington to central Sydney. Stopped along the way at Bourke Street Bakery (a Sydney institution) for a cuppa and croissant. I then followed the construction of the new Sydney tramline to Central. To understand its route.

Lunch at my favourite Malaysian Restaurant anywhere, Malay Chinese Takeaway on Hunter Street. Combination Hor Fun is my favourite, but their Laksa and Har Mee are second to none.

Combination Hor Fun – YUMMY!!!

Check in at my hostel Sydney Central Inn on Pitt Street was 2pm so that’s what I did then.

Sydney Central Inn above and Chamberlain Hotel below

The entrance to Sydney Central Inn is to the left in the picture above. Two seperate businesses now, but likely one pub with beds upstairs in the olden days. The reception…

Reception at Sydney Central Inn

Typical pub accommodation, nothing special but comfortable enough. Plenty of space. You could sleep 3 people in there. Shared facilities kept the price down. Fine by me.

My room at Sydney Central Inn

The tower at Sydney Central Station was across the park from the hostel.

View from my hostel window

Looking out to the right was the Capital Theatre. The first blue sign advised that Alladin is their current attraction.

More views from my hostel window

My Day 2 plans were to catch up with another old friend, The Don, and then dining and drinking with The One and Only Son. Father and Son only. Doesn’t happen too often anymore. In-between, strolling through Sydney town, to see what’s new since last time I was there.

The One and Only Son and I had tapas and half-decent Vino Tinto at Encasa Spanish restaurant on Pitt Street. After La Cocina De Dianna (aka Good Mrs home cooking), Encasa is my favourite Spanish “basic” diner. Interesting, they also serve pizzas.

Afterwards, we crossed the street for Chamberlain Hotel. For some beer while sitting outside this warm evening. How it looked from our table…

Views from our outdoor pub table

In summary, we consumed some schooners that night. You feel old when your son keeps up with your drinking and you get more effected by alcohol than him. And have to stop drinking before him.

Afterwards, I walked upstairs for bed. He walked to the station, took the train, wandered some distance and then up for work the following morning… When you’re young…

Beer… and more beer…

In bed after midnight, but not after a final picture of my hostel room’s picture window and Sydney Central’s tower.

Tuesday 14 March 2017

I was a bit “dusty” the next morning. The hot and humid night didn’t help. Hostel checkout at 11am did. I returned for more sleep several times and didn’t leave until close to that checkout time.

The next day was uneventful. Thunderstorms and rain threatened. I wandered through town some more before boarding the train to Sydney Airport. My flight back home departed at 2pm.

Such a successful couple of days. I surprised and saw an old friend for a day and night and spent a whole evening with The One and Only Son. Nothing wrong with that 🙂