Friday, May 9, 2008

Peanut Butter Jelly Time

April 18th

Peanut Butter Jelly Time.

High on the elation of my new purchase, I made my way back to Circular Quay to take the ferry to Manly Beach. It was cloudy and threatened of rain - as of late quite typical weather for Sydney. If I had not made my way through the country and seen the arid evidence, I would not have believed the country to be in a drought. Even on the grayest of days, Sydney Harbor is spectacular. No other harbor in the world has such recognizable character. I met a Canadian from Winnipeg who had been on the road for eight months, and chatting with her passed the time. After the ferry docked in Manly, I walked the 500 meters to the Pacific Ocean and stared out at the edge of the continent and thought briefly of Forrest Gump as he stared out over the oceans on either side of the US. I had no intention of turning around and heading back to Perth. I felt contacting Anthony for a ride and getting a fed was a much better idea. Anthony had just finished his exam and felt pretty average about it. However, he was done with mid-terms, and it really felt like it was going to turn into a night of celebrating endings. We went to his local with several of his friends, ate a meal, generally caught up with Anthony, Banks and Hamish (the guys from the fishing at the start of the trip). Turns out Banks will make it to Seattle this summer. I think we’ll have a good time. Most of the lads went home after this, leaving Anthony, Banks and I.

It was that point in every evening where you either head home or continue to go out. Having had a nice chunk of sleep the night before, a croc skin belt, and not yet having suitably celebrated the end of the trip, it was easy to predict my vote. Anthony and Banks were just as keen. We headed to the Rocks and a bar set inside one of the old stone buildings of the area. It was packed with the typical twenty-somethings of the city. Banks called some attractive American exchange students that he knew. I felt it strange my last few nights in Australia that I would hang out with the 7th and 8th yanks that I had met over the past three and a half months. Their names were Kelly and Courtney, and they were at the New School in Sydney; I think both for design. It was strange hearing the American accents. Banks and Anthony knew someone behind the bar, and we got our drinks for the reasonable price of free. This facilitated a night of dancing. Large, white men that we are, this went as well as you could expect. Later that evening we found real, but overpriced, American pancakes at a 24-hour pancake spot on the Rocks. I had crepes. It was a bad choice. Around the table, Banks and Anthony were the only Australians in a group of myself and the American exchange students. At this point in the trip, I really didn't feel like I was either.

Turns out that the cab's switch over around 3 or 4 in the morning, and this was about the time we all stumbled out of the pancake parlor. On our way to the cabs, Banks, Anthony, I and a yank named Scottie, who was willingly tormented the entire night by randomly shouted banal phases of "Scottie do!" or "Scottie doesn't know," began to sing the oddly catchy ballad of "Peanut Butter Jelly Time," while Kelly filmed it on her phone, much to Anthonys chagrin as he is rather phobic about being caught doing stupid things on film. For some reason, I don’t have this phobia. I do not know if "Peanut Butter Jelly Time" was ever a good idea. But at 3:30 am on the Rocks, it seemed like a bright, energy-saving lightbulb of an idea. We got the girls soundly off to their place on Bondi Beach, and we wandered the winding streets of Sydney until we finally found another cab willing to take us back to Anthony’s place at Middle Harbor. I was quite happy to find my soft bed in the loft of the fish camp.

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