Sunday, January 28, 2007

crank up the opera

"Could you please let us in?" asked Andy as he leaned his head out of the car window directing his request to two young ladies in the car next to us.

"Sorry, there's so many cars and we need to get through, as well."

"But we have a dwarf in the car."

The girls looked at each other in disbelief. What sort of made-up excuse is that?!

At this point Pete, the dwarf, in the front passenger seat, leaned over and waved at the two girls.

Shocked, they mutely waved our vehicle in front of theirs.

It was a balmy Sydney Saturday midnight. The streets in The Rock were not unlike the parks during Victorian London's Season. Sport cars crept by each other at a snail's pace carrying passengers decked out for clubbing. It was the typical "see and be seen" environment. And we were radically out of place.

Andy, Pete, Sophie, Amy, Dave, Mike, and I had spent the evening in a crowded park with thousands of Sydney's music-lovers enjoying Symphony Under the Stars. Being late arrivers we could only find a narrow patch of grass in between two blankets. We were positioned in between smoking Frenchmen on the left and a symphony snob on our right (complete with shushes and the occasional throwing of FOOD at an unruly young person who hadn't headed her warning to be silent!).

As the music played and the sun set behind the skyscrapers, the fruit bats emerged from their trees and swooped through the air to the rhythm of the music of the Americas. (One caused quite a stir among the crowd not too far from us when it's life abruptly ended and it plummeted to the earth in a heap on a picnic blanket.) At the end, fireworks accompanied the orchestra as it played the 1812 Overture.

After unfolding our limbs from our uncomfortable positions and picking ourselves up off the ground, we headed to Pancakes on the Rocks (open 24 hours never without a waiting line). Following a scrumptious late-night dessert of chocolate pancakes, chocolate ice cream, and strawberries, Amy and Dave parted ways for their own adventurous trip back home (which involved all trains shutting down, police helicopters hunting down a criminal, people shoving onto the last bus out to the Shire, the two of them getting separated in the confusion, and Dave almost threatening the bus driver to LET HIM OFF THE BUS so that he could be re-united with his friend) while the rest of us got into Andy's car.

Andy's car was rather dissimilar to the other cars around us. His did not have spinning hubcaps. Nor did it sport a booming bass. His passengers were also not dressed for the occasion. As we slowly made our way down the road, drivers and passengers in the sporty cars passing us did not bother to "check us out."

I had an idea.

"Andy, turn on the radio and crank up the opera!"

*pictures by Mike on our last weekend together in Sydney


Donna-May said...

Sounds like you've had an interesting trip to Sydney. I totally forgot about Symphony Under the Stars. I went to Jazz in the Domain a couple of weeks ago (same sort of thing but jazz instead of opera)and we had a great night. Nothing like listening to music with 100,000 other people!

Nixter said...

Pancakes on the Rocks (open 24 hours never without a waiting line)

Except for the night SP was going to take me for a date night (the weekend of the marriage seminar)- it was closed that night :( I was in a state of shock and so was everyone else when we told them. Pancakes on the Rocks is NEVER closed apparently, only for refurbishments on the night we wanted a date there!!!

I can't believe the bat story - yuck!

Martha said...

I love the bat story!

Priscilla said...

So...did you get to meet Ruth?

Sounds like you all had fun. I gotta get out more!

ckhnat said...

Indeed, I did.

Mike and I visited Christians in the Media and her husband, AB, offered to drive us to the station afterwards.

We also enjoyed a blogger bbq at their house the following weekend.