Tuesday, 7 June 2011

At Le Petit

The café I work almost every day it's located in a crossroads of different kind of hospitals, schools and high schools, the King Cross suburb -also known as the Sydney's red district- and the city itself, as people call here the down town area. Therefore, costumers have quite amazing stories. Or maybe they just seem amazing to me that see them passing through, picking their coffee and going ahead with their lives meanwhile I'm stopped watching them as they go.

Most of them, the regulars, consider Le Petit as an extension of their own kitchens, if it is that they have one at home, come every single day and without saying anything they have their favorite croissant, brioche or baguette ready along with their coffee of their preference. "Honey Bunnie" is my code name, given to me by one of my most beloved ones, the documentaries director. I didn't know what she did for the living when I suggested her watching Underground, by Emir Kusturica, one of the best films I have ever seen and that hardly recommend to everyone from here too, after she asked me what the capital of Croatia was as she needed to resolved a words game. She knew I must know it. We see each other everyday, we smile to each other day after day. We knit our relationship, hour after hour, smile after smile, one before the other and after again ours "see ya - have a great day - you too". They

Musicians, Jewish, Prostitutes, Film Directors, Porn Producers, People fighting cancers. All of them, come daily to Le Petit and for a couple of dollars we tried our best smile to improve each other lives and build relations. It's not business. I can't care less about my tips. It a primary necessity, to build bonds. And I love to build bonds with this people.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Time flies

Mates! Here I am! Still alive although whit some scars that hopefully will make me stronger.

These last two months have been quite busy, as you can imagine, since I finally got two jobs as a waitress ("so what do you do? oh yeah, I wait tables too..."), working on the master and having to travel abroad amongst other more revolutionary matters. Please, calm down: I was not the one pulling the trigger on Bin Laden. There have been so many things going on that I can hardly recall them in my memory.

With the job, apart from a lot of free good food such as eggs Benedicts (aka little chickens) and homemade pizzas, came the money and with the money new plans. Travels, lessons, moving places... and also a thought that it's likely to help me during my most emotional moments when I cannot do anything to sort things out: money makes the world go around. If it works and I stop being a "cry-my-eyes-out-for-all-the-unfair-reasons" I'll let you know.

Waiting tables: my job as a waitress started being quite interesting. My "petit creme" c'est chic and has a faithful group of regular costumers: Kevin - Earl grey tea, José - latte, Nick - short black and ashtray, Scott - long black and ashtray, Susan - half baguette with Vegemite and latte, Mr. Take Away lately introduced as Rel, Juanita - short black and croissant or chicken baguette take away, Jim - flat white and croissant with jam and butter, Mr. Dad - short black with three sugars and ashtray, the Perfect Gay Couple - bol of mocha + ashtray and regular mocha...

They never change their orders at least is a special day so I have an opportunity to develop my histories about people from what they drink or eat... At the end, I love them all because they are what I have created in my mind: I miss them when they don't come and received them with a big smile, really happy to see them coming back. These imaginaries characters are like a family to me, every single day saying "one usual for me, please" and wink their eyes. I cheer them to finish their OJs "because it's full of vitamins!" and they comment my hairdo or polish nail as in family.

Goals-Achieved-In-Oz Section: When I tried to go for a drums lesson, the teacher wasn't where he was supposed to be, that is taking care of the cars in the parking he is responsible of. I left him a note. I'll be back on my next day off. Wrong! I went surfing. Now, it's funny how a situation can change: one day something seems impossible, next morning, your head is so overwhelmed because of some more serious concerns that the first issue looks like the perfect way out.

Surf means escape and sea means freedom, remembers of my childhood, games and nakedness. You cannot pretend be another person when you are in the sea.

Trying to find the balance on the board it's a kind of learning how to walk again. Trying to stand on the board meanwhile you fall is so funny that you forget about "the danger in the waves" and become more conscious of your own power and self control. Everyone can do it! Trying to ride it although your are almost reaching the shore it's a bit more stressful but after all I'm just starting. One hour later I was exhausted and ready to eat a kangaroo hamburger. I don't usually eat meat but this is a must try.

Travel Abroad for Visa Requirements: my time in Auckland (49 hours) made me think of the short history of the cities around. They all look the same, built around the same years and developed during the decades by the same companies in one and other country. The duty free area is more than worthy, specially when traveling back to Australia where the "basics" are so expensive.

I'll try to keep this gap for writing in the blog that you are following allegedly but you must help me with funny comments and making me feel that you care about what I write... deal? :)

"Obama... I wanna go surfing...!"

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

And the drums, the drums, the drums, the drums, the drums, the drums.

In this "listening-to-myself" period of life that I'm having I think I have recognized an inner, secret and hidden desire to play drums.

I really don't know when it all started but it wasn't that I woke up one day deciding I wanted to play drums. Or maybe yes. It was when I began to play the air drums in the street while listening the music in my iPod, something that we all have done some time so maybe not. Perhaps because every time that I'm in a life concert I try to search for the best point of view to the drummer and keep looking his or her arms and legs. No, I really don't know what is making me to want play drums. It could be because of the It might get loud documentary that I watched one more time recently where the almighty (just kidding) Jack White* describes how he pulled out the furniture in his room when he was a teenager in order to fill it with drums so he had to sleep on the floor.

Whatever the reasons, yesterday I went into a drums store and didn't try to make as If was looking for something, loosing time or playing here and there as I have been doing the last weeks so now everyone there know my face. I went into the store and simply said to the seller: "I want to play drums". He only smiled at me, understanding and as he was saying "finally, girl!", and took me to a garage where there are some soundproof rooms full of drums and introduced me to Milan, the garage guard and drum teacher at the same place and time. "Maybe I'm the worse student ever", I said. "Or maybe you become the best drummer of history", he replied.

Well the fact is that, it made me feel comfortable the he was even more enthusiastic than me because I was afraid they could think I was a weirdo (actually I would love that, who am I trying to lie here)

Anyway, although this story might sound promising and who knows where it will end, it won't be able to start until I find a job. Something that I'm still sorting out but I can feel it coming to an end soon (yes, I have to keep that attitude).

I'll let you know how it goes! ;)

*You all know that I deeply admire Jack White and most of the things that he does (I want to be cautious). I know he is normal and just a mortal but I find everything related to him really inspiring to me.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Golden Plains #5 - update!

My Golden Plains experience has been amazing.

And not only because of the supernatural atmosphere in Meredith and their compost loos, the Hare Krishna feast plate for 10 dollars only or the veggie burgers in the left side of the stage... but specially because of the wonderful people I shared the Festival with, friends from the diving cruise in the Great Barrier Reef and their friends that ended up being my friends too! As a big family with babies included, a couple brought their 6 months old baby Louis, a prospective musician and heart-breaker (drummer?, bass player?), we set our tents and got ready to enjoy a weekend of music all together, taking off our shoes with every band we really liked and waving them in the air. Yes, this is the way the audience shows their like and it seems that it's a kind of communication that only works in the Golden Plains Festival, not in any other even the Meredith Music Festival that has been running for 20 years now and that takes place in the same venue around Christmas time every year.

It always have moved me to see how people from different backgrounds, countries (with their own accents), works, etc. can agree in music, the international and the emotional language beyond all border...

That's why I want to thank everybody for a unique musical experience and specially to Pete Keogh and Dan Fuller, who came to rescue me from my Nash experience sleeping surrounded by flying bugs of all kinds and that help me to recover from the drama of the hypothetical and eventual loss of my passport. Special thanks too to my favorite chica from the Festival, Julie (Super) Spice, who let me use her spare tent, chair, sleeping bag, beer holder, her cooler and her car as wardrobe... what a real lady! thank you so much!

- Os Mutantes: not for me, although I enjoyed for a few minutes.
- The Hold Steady: this band from Minesota, where part of my friends are (again Dan and Ben, son of the right hand), didn't get me into the move but also it was fun at the beginning until I started found them a bit "lyrics-full". Some of you already know what I think about this kind of "music": if you have that much to speak, then write a book... :) - no hurt feelings please!
- Joanna Newsom: I missed her!
- Belle & Sebastian: front row, girls from college all around me, screaming, crying, pushing... and me in the middle, still and cold. Mmmm no, they didn't get me either.
- Best Coast: fun, fun, fun, fun!! New dance moves inventions with Kristy and Phil.
- Architecture In Helsinki: who knew they were from Melbourne? I didn't! They played late at night and I was feeling quite exhausted but every time I tried to go back to my tent, they kept pushing me back to the crowd and making me dance with any of their big songs or just with a cover going back to the 80ies of I've been thinking about you by Londonbeat.
- Wavves: missed them
- Hawkwind: missed them
- Jamie Lidell: OMG, he rocked! he was my big band handsome man, yeah.
- The Clean: missed them
- The Middle East: great band! hope to catch them again soon since they are a big and good Aussi product... not as Vegemite, I'm afraid! "We’re from Townsville, Australia and we play music" I'm Ilu from Spain. Nice to love the music you play and it would be a pleasure to see you grow and grow!
- Boy & Bear: nice too
- Mount Kimbie: missed them
- Airbourne: oooooh ho ho ho, McKeefe forgot for a couple of seconds to use his voice of hell and it made me feel that he was a human being but apart from that... excellent!
- Robert Forster: missed him
- Pulled Apart By Horses: between the veggie burger I was eating and the band, I prefer the burguer... not my kind!
- The Besnard Lakes: rocked me!
- Cosmic Psychos: I think they were fine...
- Justin Townes Earle: missed them
- Wildbirds & Peacedrums: OMG, reminded me somehow to Florence + the Machine, but with no machine at all, just drums and other percussion instruments such as xylophones!! very good one. Shoes off!
- Imelda May (again and always!): excuse me. Imelda you were the Queen of Hearts in the Festival. All shoes off for her and her band!
- Bamboo Musik DJs: missed them
- Graveyard Train: really good, we all are gonna die. Let's live the moment. Shoes off!
- Brain Children: no idea... missed them
- World's End Press: oh, no! it looks I missed a lot of bands :(!!
- J-Wow feat. MC Kalaf (Buraka Som Sistema DJ/MC set):
bit tiring, kuduru was all that I could hear from my tent in a very "cold cold night".
- Magic Kids: missed
- Sonny & The Sunsets: missed

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Golden Plains #5

Thanks to my wonderful wonderful friends back home -Carmetta, Alby and Marta- I'm now packing my things for a weekend of music and booze in Melbourne... well, around.

I have the ticket and the "surprise factor", I have a sleeping bed bag... and I have a bunch of good reasons just to let me go.

It would be from Saturday 12th to Monday 14th and the bands playing are:

More about the Festival when I'm back.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Things to do and see in Sydney for free

Here it goes a list of the things that are free in Sydney for tourist and locals. I have done already some of them and will be writing about them shortly. Others should wait a bit more:

1.- NSW Art Gallery
2.- Museum of Contemporary Arts
3.- Royal Botanical Gardens
4.- Bus 555, circular service from Central Station to Circular Quay
5.- Rocks Discovery Museum
6.- Museum of Australian Currency Notes
7.- Custom House
8.- Fish Market
9.- Paddy's Market
10.- White Rabbit Gallery
11.- Australia National Maritime Museum
12.- The Mint
13.- Government House
14.- Parliament House
15.- Sydney Observatory
16.- State Library
17.- Manly Art Gallery
18.- Manly Scenic Walkway
19.- Coastal walk from Bondi to Cogee

Monday, 7 March 2011

Say Something!

And most of the sydneysiders did. That was the slogan for Mardi Gras 2011 in Sydney and they got a real response not only in the social media but in real life as I could see in the parade held on Saturday, 5th March. Children, seniors, fire fighters, police, ambulance and bus drivers, tradies, skaters, people from sport, life guards, politicians, surfers and any other sector of the Australian life you can imagine were there showing their support to gay and lesbian community, being proud of taking part of it or coming out for the first time.

Although the route of the parade was not as long as I expected to be, it was concentrated in a way I couldn't guess. Energy, happiness, pride, glitter and feathers, made Oxford St. shiver from Hyde Park to Taylors Square even though the rain joined the ride sometimes.

As counter part, the crowd gathered along Oxford St. made difficult to see and enjoy the parade to those who were a bit late. Besides many people bought steps to see the parade from above and place them in the front row, making it impossible to see to the people placed behind. On the other hand, the rubbish in the street took a huge effort from the cleaning services of the city and the taxi drivers had to deal with customers more impulsive than usual.

But these all seemed small concessions that everyone could manage with after experiencing a real explosion of joy and passion, with all those shouts echoing in the air ("I can't even think straight", "I love cocks, deal with it", "at the end is all about love", "don't be sad, be gay"), that ended up with a macro party in the streets of Sydney until the sun arose.