“It’s very European”, he told me. And I responded with “It’s very New York”.
It’s interesting how you can have a different take on things depending upon your background and experiences.
I was the bloke from the bush who had ended up in Sydney pursuing his career.
And he was a bloke who worked mostly in IT and PR who came originally from Vienna.
“So how did you end up in Sydney?”, I asked him. He told me he came to Australia to study, went back to Austria, and then eventually came back to Australia because he enjoyed it so much
And how did you come up with this idea, I asked him, to erect an ice-skating rink and market stalls in the forecourt outside St Mary’s Cathedral?
“I was home with my family in Vienna”, he told me, “And over a few glasses of gluhwein we got talking about how good it would be to do something like this in Sydney”.
His name was Martin and he’s the Director of the Sydney Winter Festival. I met him quite by accident as I was looking for somewhere to get another glass of wine for Laura and myself. Although we had “snow flakes” (the currency to purchase drinks), he was in a better position to grab a couple of glasses of nice wine for us from behind the bar.
It wasn’t the only drink we enjoyed though, as we had the opportunity to taste some Australian made schnapps, made by a company from the Snowy Mountains called, Wildbrumby. Along with the regular peach and butterscotch, they also have a chilli schnaps which packs a bite.
In between chatting and drinking we also wandered outside tonight to watch the crazy people on ice-skates. Despite the heavy rain early in the day and the mist tonight, the people attending obviously enjoyed their ice-skating enough not to be put off by the weather.
Apparently it’s completely booked out for the three days, and Martin, the Festival Director said he hoped the festival would return next year for an extended period.
As Laura and I found ourselves almost soaked to the skin we just laughed and reflected how much fun it was just to walk out in the rain, get wet, get cold, watch people ice-skate, drink schnapps, and just enjoy ourselves.
What a great way to spend Thursday night!