Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Australian Coffee and Australian Wine

I don’t need vacations.

If I did, I know where I would be. I’d be in Australia just outside Sydney. I’d bring my husband and my son. They’d be delighted to keep each other busy and to leave me on my own. I’d see the friends that I so miss. We’d do the hugs and kisses thing. We’d reminisce and share stories of the times we’ve missed. We’d share a fabulous meal at their Australian table. We’d drink Australian coffee and have Australian wine.

I’d do reconnaissance and probably choose the coffee shop across the street from the crowd on Bondi Beach. I’d negotiate a deal with the owners for the table by the window in the front where I could use the power outlet and watch the people all day long. I’d hold court in my corner of tomorrow, upside-down from where I usually am, but with the sky still up above me. I would have my headphones on, my books, and my favorite pillow—the one that I sit on.

I’d have my computer on the table and some great Australian coffee with those narrow packs of sugar. What a writer I would feel like. What a writer I would be. How the people would look and wonder what things I must be writing. How they’d whisper and discuss who I possibly could be.

And my friends would come to see me, and I would sneak out to see them. And we would drink Australian coffee. I do like Australian coffee.

A day trip down the coast to see koalas sleeping—don’t stand under them, son—a ride to catch a flock of wild cockatoos taking flight out in the bush, and a road trip up the cliff with Australian wine and cheese, to watch the boats in the harbor while we talk of Captain Cook—all of these would blaze new memories neighbors to old ones—memories to hold me over for the winter of my life.

And I’d be with family and friends, and we would drink Australian wine. I do like Australian wine.

Once every other week my husband, son, and I would go to Sydney for dinner at Rockpool or another five star restaurant. Then the boys could go exploring, while I walked by the bridge and shared my thoughts with the water. Echoes of time passing would fill my soul and my heart with the meaning of safe harbor. My eyes would love the lights playing on the water like a mother at a playground wishes she could hug a moment into stillness, to save as precious cargo to carry in her heart to heaven’s gate.

Mostly though, I would sit by my computer, watch the beach and watch the water for months and months to come until boredom overtook me, until boredom without end. Boredom when it finally came is how I’d know that I was ready, that I was rested, that it was time to come home again. I figure it might take five years or maybe longer. I have lots of time I want to spend with my Australian friends.

Five tiny, little diamond chips like tiny, little stars are mine. Two are yellow. Two are pink. One is white. They hold a promise I’ll return to see lights play in the Sydney Harbor one dark and starry night. Five stars inside a tiny boomerang. I wear it on a tiny chain around my neck.

I don’t need vacations. I need safe harbor with my friends.

And some Australian coffee and, of course Australian wine.

—me strauss Letting me be


mojo shivers said...

Australia and Ireland are the only two countries I've ever wanted to visit. They both look so fantastic, how could I not want to go?

Ned said...

Australia is a wonderful place. It's too bad they put it so far away.

I agree about the Australian coffee, one of my friends in Oz ships me coffee on a fairly regular basis. I don't seem to know anyone in Sydney but an another Aussie friend of mine was on holiday in Sydney for the New Year's Eve Fireworks. She wrote to me of the dove that was lit up behind the bridge "it looked like a constipated rooster that was confused about what it was doing on the bridge in the first place". She's in Mandurah. I think I would have to go there first if I ever visited Australia, I need that kind of skewed viewpoint in my life.

Bluesky_Liz said...

Australia is wonderful place to stay for a while or for a holiday if you have a few weeks. I haven't seen Sydney; gave it a miss the last time around due to time constraints. My friend and I went the inland route instead to visit the Blue Mountains. They have such beautiful countrysides and farms.

Jennifer said...

I've been all over, but Austraia isn't one of them. It's on my list.

I love vacations...though my vacations aren't what most people call vacations. I pack as much as I can into a week or two week period and I always try to go somewhere I've never been before. That's the fun for me--discovering new places...seeing new things.

It's like a treasure chest: there's something magnificient to be found at each new location. All I have to do is open the lid.

Lee Carlon said...

That sounds fantastic, I could make it down to Bondi for a visit, share some of wine with you and watch the beach.

I've given up coffee, but that means I just drink more wine, so it all evens out in the end.

ME Strauss said...

Hi Mojo,
Interesing you should say that. I often say that were I single the three cities I would choose would be Chicago, Dublin, and Sydney.


ME Strauss said...

Hi Ned,
The more I hear about your skewed viewpoint the more I think I could break my "I only travel alone" rule for you. I only visit the famous sites on the second or third trip, if ever. I just hate the idea of being a tourist. I like seeing how the locals live.

Your friends description of the fireworks sounds "fabo." I wouldn't put it past the Aussie I know to make a fireworks chicken act that way on purpose.You know they have daily trips where you can walk across the top of the bridge. NO thank you. I challenge you Ned to write a poem about the fireworks chicken in the harbor--four lines would do. :)


ME Strauss said...

You were one of the friends I was planning to sneak off to meet. How nice that you would come over to see me. I'd gladly set aside the coffee and pull out the wine for you. It's a date!


ME Strauss said...

Hi Liz,
Austrailia is beautiful everywhere I've been, which is a good deal of places, all unique with a very big sky. But Sydney holds my heart because it so reminds me of Chicago without the snow.


ME Strauss said...

Jennifer the explorer, now I have to add that to my list of "ers" tha Jennif"er" is. I think ther is a children's book in there somewhere. In fact i know there is.

The distance makes it hard to get to Australia. You really have to plan for it. But once you're there. Your explorer will find plenty to do and see. And you can leave there and land in LA and hour before you left. I like that part. :)

Jennifer said...

:) Umm and then I'd have to go explore LA :)

That would be fun arriving before you left!

Oh and I'm sure I'd find a story somewhere out there.

ME Strauss said...

Hi Jennifer,
Yeah the two times I flew in that direction it was fun. I kept trying to figure what to do about my one-a-day vitamins. :)

The Hungry Writer said...

I've never been to Australia, but I would go and drink wine with you there. When are we going?

melly said...

I'm with Ned, it's too bad they put Australia so far away.
Never been but friends moved there and left me their cat. One of the best things that ever happened to me, despite 'losing' friends to distance...

ME Strauss said...

Yeah, Melly,
I agree. It's too bad Australia is so far away.

I wish I could go there lots more often than I do.


ME Strauss said...

Hi Hungry,
I'll go to Australia and drink wine with you anytime.

Ned said...

With only love as a booster
His heart was feeling a new stir
he rose like a dove
on wings of pure love
but fell like a constipated rooster

ME Strauss said...

Dear Ned,
She waits until
I'm not think of it
Then returns
knowing I will
love it.

Damn, you're good!
You are the best on the Internet without question.

Ned said...

Oh, to blog all day would be great!
But the day hands me a full plate
pity me, poor slob
still stuck at my job
So the writing of words must wait

ME Strauss said...

Ned, my darling,
Not to fret
not to worry
work with words
is work too.

zilla said...

::sigh:: Lovely...

ME Strauss said...

Thanks Z
Some time we'll have to do shots together. :)

Jozef Imrich, Esq. said...

I am waiting Liz ...

I am sitting at Bondi watching the waves with a coffee in my hand ;-)

ME Strauss said...

Is it too early for some wine?
I do like Australian wine.

Would that I could make there before dark I'd be there, but you're already in tomorrow and I am yesterday.

One day we'll be the same day.


Lee said...

What a beautiful post. I live in Sydney and if I had the time to do what you just described, I would do just that.

ME Strauss said...

Hi Lee,

Thank you.

How I do love Sydney. It has a personality very much like Chicago you know. I miss going there very much. I used to be in Sydney one a year.

My boomerang necklace says I'll be back then we'll do that together.