You know how every family has a secret that’s never spoken about? (Or maybe that’s just my family?)
Today I’ve discovered something about my family I didn’t know before. Or specifically, about my niece who came to Sydney to visit.
She came down from the country with her reasonably new boyfriend for a day or two in the city.
Specifically though, they came to see a show at the State Theatre, featuring a visiting American talk-show host who communicates with the dead. She’s a John Edwards-like character, I guess.
But the deep secret was not revealed by the visiting American, it was revealed by my niece herself.
And the secret is: neither she nor her boyfriend have absolutely any sense of direction at all.
I seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time on the phone today asking the question, “where are you and what can you see?”.
In particular I loved her response to my query about how far she was from Central Station. “I can see a pub”, she told me. My heart sunk, however, when she told me, “It’s called The Paragon”, a pub that’s almost at Circular Quay.
And it’s completely understandable. My family doesn’t come to visit me all that often. And while they know their way around Brisbane reasonably well, Sydney is a mystery for most of them.
The other most commonly used phrase was, “Can you slow down, Jim?” a timely reminder of the different walking paces between people who live in Sydney and those who live in the country.
It was, however, excellent to see them and we had a lovely day together.
We caught up around lunchtime and I showed them around Circular Quay. After lunch, I gave them instructions about how to get to Bondi and they had a terrific time.
And then tonight, while they were seeing the psychic woman, I went off to Swedish class.
I really got a great insight into the drinking culture in Sweden with our teacher’s observation tonight that “You must learn at least five drinking songs if you are to live in Sweden”.
Tonight, we got 80% of the way, learning four. My two favourites were the one about the drink on a string, and the one about the need to drink so your throat doesn’t rust. The drink on a string is very funny, as it revolves around the need to pull the string up and down so you can always have a drink going up and down your throat.
My niece, her boyfriend and I caught up again tonight, though again they were a little hazy on the directions. And while I’m off to bed in a moment, they’re planning on heading out for a bit of a night on the town. “Stay on well-lit streets and catch a cab home”, was my advice to them.
It’s great to have them here, even if they aren’t good with directions :) xx