Down Under

Trip Start Feb 21, 2011
Trip End Jun 05, 2012

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Where I stayed
O'Malley's Hotel Sydney
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Saturday, February 4, 2012

Wow so Australia is like really far away. I guess they are a few farther places to get to but 14 hours in the air is a long time. Heck 14 hours doing anything is a lot of time. It would be hard to sit through 14 hours of adult entertainment at my favorite Gogo bar let alone sit in a coach seat for that time. To make the trip even more tedious is that it was on an American carrier. Which means hardly edible food, flight attendants almost as old as my grandma(and she lived a long life and hasn't been with us sadly for years). But I wouldn't be surprised if she was resurrected and was sitting next to me if she would have recognized our flight attendants Ethel and Myrtle as former sorority sisters of hers. Myrtle was in my pledge class Danny but Ethel she was a senior when we were pledging and goodness did she give us gals a hard time. That's how old these ladies were!

But lucky enough I had a window seat and the middle was unoccupied and a nice gentleman was manning the aisle. Things could've been worse like the bitch in front of me who had to just HAD to have her seat COMPLETELY reclined during the whole flight, even during the atrocious chicken like thingie. I retaliated by periodically pulling or pushing her seat whenever I suspected she was just about to sleep.

Australia supposedly has some harsh customs laws for importing foodstuffs. On the inside I was as nervous as a Turkish mule running the Midnight Express but tried to portray a tired and bored tourist. Maybe it wasn't a good idea to have a shaved head and goatee to go along with my badass tattoos. Perhaps my normal boring but professional haircut, a clean shave and a collared shirt would help me cruise through customs with my contraband. For I was smuggling in all kinds of foodstuffs. My mom had packed a great sack lunch as always and I still had with me a bag of peanuts, the customs form clearly stated importation of nuts was ILLEGAL. I also had chocolate covered pecans I had bought in L.A. to further the charges against me on nut smuggling. There was also a protein bar, a protein drink mix, cheese crackers, fake yet delicious girl scout mint knockoffs( I briefly toyed with downing these in line since I couldn't have beared to see those stripped from me) and all these items were in my carryon. I considered dumping them all because I knew if they found these in my backpack my big suitcase would be opened and in that was enough protein mix and protein bars to see a football team through a couple days of training camp. If criminals were categorized with misdemeanors or felonies based on the weight of their illegal contraband then certainly I would be a guest of Australia for awhile with a Class 2 or 3 felony. While slowly inching forward in line I wondered since Australia was originally a penal colony does that make them a good place to serve a sentence for smuggling? Or are they particularly harsh because of that heritage? Ok it was my turn, I stepped up nonchalantly gave a smile but not too big. The guy says to me ,"hey there mate do you have any snake food with ya." ummm, snake food? Puzzled I asked him to repeat himself into my good ear, you see officer I lost some hearing in the war. I always try to appeal to a man in uniform's respect for another man in uniform. And hey I'm not lying check my VA rating, 10% disabled for hearing loss attributed to my time in service for the Stars and Stripes. Customs officer repeats louder and slower "do you have any snake food with ya?" I replied no sir, I have none of that with me. I was already formulating my appeal to my sentence if the dogs got a whiff of my nuts or protein.  The guy clearly asked if I had any snake food, which as you have noticed I have none. Yes I do have some SNACK food but that is not the question he asked. I whizzed right past the second customs lady who took my form and I was out in the arrivals hall. Wow how do the people carrying drugs do this for a living?

Hmmm, vodafone is offering free sim cards. Ok, I like free. So I waited in line for one of those and topped it up with $10 in credit. Then off to the line to get a shared shuttle into the city $16 each way not too bad and the wait was less than 5 minutes. Lucky for me I was stop #3 and I got off at O'Malleys hostel and bar. Highly recommended by Lonely Planet guide as one of the better hostels in country not just in Sydney. It's 1030am and I couldn't the reception so I just wheeled my suitcase of contraband to the cute bartender and asked her where to check in. She says sorry reception closed early today, huh? It's 1030am? But she can take care of me right here. Unbeknownst to me when I booked this place is supposedly one of the rowdiest bars in town. Serious people I didn't know this! Why doesn't anyone believe me? While she is copying my passport and charging my credit card $89 a night for a single room in a hostel!!!! I ask  about the signs  for all the nightly drink specials. She then begins to inform me in a much sweeter Aussie accent than Immigration Officer Snake Food that tonight was $5 jäger bombs, oh boy, tomorrow $5 red bull and vodkas, double oh boys, she continues we Wednesdays we call Wicked Wednesdays cuz all yer body shots are free, "you are kidding me" I tell her, no you will see yerself she says. And Thursdays are topless Thursdays where all the waitresses are topless. "no shit" I say.  No shit she answers. "good thing I'm not leaving until Friday then. She replies " ya eet iz." seriously folks I didn't know that O'Malleys was like this. It's not like this is the Penthouse hotel I stay at in Pattaya that has it's own Gogo bar downstairs, the room comes with a jacuzzi for two(used nightly) stripper pole and platform attached to bed (used frequently) and sex swing(contemplated but never used since careful evaluation showed that one mishap in this thing and a serious injury was going to befall both participants) now I know when I book there this is what I'm going to get but I had no idea that O'Malleys had Wicked Wednesdays and Topless Thursdays. That's awesome for me but imagine the surprise of a family that booked here because of the glowing review in Lonely Planet. Mommy what's a jäger bomb? Dad what's a bodyshot? If we come to Topless Thursdays do we have be topless too?

The weather was dreary looking which nixed my plan of spending the first afternoon at one of Sydney's world class beaches. So I grabbed a quick lunch nearby and took a quick rest that almost turned into a full on nap. I wasn't jet lagged I was just tired. My days and nights and internal clock weren't all messed up at all. I just felt so tired like I had had a sleepless night back at home. Not wanting to take a massive nap and thereby screwing up my already synced clock I ventured out to get some air and exercise by walking down to the harbor passing through on the way the Botanical garden. Very nice and peaceful but nothing to wow you. Then down to the harbor to see the magnificent Opera House. Just an amazing building. If I was an architect and somedays I think I would have loved that job, this is what I would have wanted to create. Something bold and daring and unlike anything ever created before or since. And the location wowwwwww right on the water in the harbor. Really the Opera House is amazing. But it's location really magnifies the brilliance of it.  Off behind it you can see too the splendid Harbor Bridge. Right there at the harbor was some apartments with balconies looking towards the harbor, the Opera House and the Habor Bridge. Could there be a better city vista anywhere? A balcony overlooking Central Park would be incredible but no Opera house or bridge or harbor. Hong Kong has beautiful skyscrapers and harbor but no wonder of the world. Heaven on earth Rio de Janeiro has a wonder of the world in the Jesus statue, mountains and water but no harbor or incredible bridge. Capetown is hemmed in by the beautiful Table Mountain on one side and the blue ocean on the other but no amazing building. So many great cities with superlative apartments with indescribable views but Sydney comes in número uno on this.

Day 3- Sydney

Quite a disappointing breakfast, only cereal, toast and tea. But hey it was free and that counts for a lot here in expensive Australia. Before heading off to the wildlife park I stopped at the pie place again for two mini pecans. Hmmm yummy. When I paid I thought the bill seemed a little low but ok off I went. To my horror I opened my bag during the hike and found only one solitary pie. Obviously that's why it was cheaper today she hadn't heard me ask for two. Who would only ask for one of these anyways? Shouldn't it be standard that people order at least two?

I get to the wildlife park and bypass all exhibits to make it to the koala encounter. It was a brief 10 minute talk. The little dudes were all in the trees resting. Apparently koalas sleep 20-22 hours a day! Because they don't get a lot calories from their eucalyptus diet. They also have a special plate of bone in their backside that allows them to wedge themselves into the nooks of trees for hours and hours without falling. The guide also commented on their sharp claws and two thumbs on each hand along with their sharp little teeth for gnawing on branches or people if provoked.

Well talk was over and now it was time for photos but first you had to pay an extra $35 I promptly did this and was into their habitat in minutes. By now all but two of the other tourists had gone and they were outside watching. So it was just me and the guide and my little furry friend for 10 minutes. I was allowed to touch the fur on his back with the back of my hand and the guide got lots of pics with their camera. Some we were looking eye to eye and he was about to Eskimo kiss me in one when I pulled back a bit remembering her description of the sharp teeth and her remark that "koalas are cute but not cuddly". She took a few more pics with my camera then my visit was over and I headed to gift shop to collect my CD of all the pics.

I then ventured through the other exhibits and saw a humongous croc floating in the water both from above and from underwater room. This dude was enormous! Unfortunately the kangaroos weren't up to being fed, preferring to stay in the shade so that didn't happen. Overall so cool to spend time with koala but wish the other animals had been more interactive.

Then it was time to catch a ferry to Manly beach one of Sydney's famous surf beaches. The water taxi was great because to see the Opera house best you need to see it from the water. Upon arriving at Manly I stopped at pier at fast food restaurant Nando's, found throughout middle east and India. Nando's serves some yummy chicken sandwiches and their periperi sauce is good but a bit spicy for white people. I got up for 10 seconds to grab ketchup from two tables over when an opportunistic bird started grabbing French fries off my plate and calling his friends over. The waitress yelled at me and I quickly went back to defend my lunch from the aerial thieves.

Mouth on fire from Nando's I got a $5.50 single ice cream cone, damn u australia. The beach was nice and it was a sunny day. Fully lotioned up I found a spot on the beach where I could best view the waves and the girls in bikinis. Unfortunately only two were topless the whole afternoon. This isn't right, this is world famous beach and the chicks supposedly go topless here, but two does not make it a topless beach. Having properly sunned myself I caught the ferry back and then 45 minute road marched back to hotel.

So tired I wanted a nap but I figured to stay fit I needed to hit gym. So off to GNC I went for browse and pre workout drink. Sticker shock prevented me from buying anything and then one of the worker dudes gave me two free samples and when I asked him about the club next door, he said he thought it was $20 for a day pass! Ouchie! Damn you Australia. But he said I could go online and print off a free day pass. So off I went back to my room to do that.

The gym was nice nothing too good or bad just a normal gym. Australia seems to have attracted the gay guys to the weight lifting lifestyle. I've never seen so many homos in a gym. I got a good workout since I knew it would be at least 5 days until I hit Bali for the next workout.

Having saved myself $25 or so with free samples and free day pass I decided a Thai massage was in order. The prices were about normal for the U.S. but wanting to save a little money I only went for 45 minutes. The massage was exactly what the doctor ordered. Now almost all massages are at least enjoyable. This was phenomenal, the girl was from Thailand and when she heard me speak some Thai her face lit up. She hadn't been home in two years and even though here at work and in her apartment she s surrounded by Thais she took great delight in talking about Thailand. I very happily left the massage place later and went back to the bar below my hotel.

Yes it was true thursdays were indeed topless or at least one waitress was. But I couldn't see or smell the advertised free pizza and I didn't wanna fight for her attention with all the other dudes ogling her.

So I about faced and went back to the Pie place. This time went with a bacon and egg pie followed with 2 yes 2 mini pecan pies. I wasn't gonna be shorted again. Then back to the room to eat, shower and pack for my 4am reveille. 
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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