Sunday, 16 April 2006
When I first went to Oz in 1993 I walked over the Bridge on my second day here. As I came down from the walk way a pub caught my eye. It was the Australian Hotel, seemed a good name for a pub in Australia so I went and had a look. Bit of a dump, paint falling of the walls, windows unwashed and cracked, door needed a bit of a hard shove to get it open. Now back in those days the only Ozzies I had met were in London where they seemed to spend a lot of time in the pub. So I entered this pub expecting thousands of friendly cobbers holding the bar down and greating every entering pom with bold cries of, "Good Day mate. " and similar well know australisums. No such luck. When I entered I doubled the number of people in the place. There was on guy on a bar stool who went round the bar and served me a schooner of VB. When I had paid him he looked at his watch and said," We don't usually get this busy at lunch time." Not quite what I expected.
He got talkative after a while and told me that the bar never got busy and he was expecting the place to close down any day and be turned in to a car park.
Now time change and all those tables are full of people eating $20 meals and inside there was only one bar stool empty for me to sit on while I drank a pint of VB to celebrate crossing the bridge, at $7.00 a pint. How times have changed since the Olympics came to Sydney.