Feeling Lonely Down Under
I recently blogged that one of the loneliest places on the planet was the restaurant of a third-rate hotel in fourth-rate Dudley. This morning I discovered that there is at least one lonelier place. It is in the largest city in Australasia on the other side of that planet. And, ironically, I am not alone in this. Having failed to get back off to sleep after phoning C at 7am (my time) I got myself together and took myself in search of brunch. I thought I would try out the bacon and eggs at the Blue Fish (hmmmm…..but there isn’t a Blue Pig and Chicken…..). It was a restaurant that C and I had visited a couple of times – for fish/seafood – and had been recommended by a colleague.
There were not many people there when I arrived and I sat on my own and surveyed my fellow diners. There were four. They were all Brits (the fact that they were all wearing shorts and had legs that were far paler than their face and arms was an absolute give away) who were avoiding eye contact and trying to lose themselves in their paperbacks, Kindles, iPads and phones. They all looked a little lost, a little sad, a little homesick, and lonely.
As was I. I was lonely despite the fact that C was texting me updates regarding the strange characters and goings on on this year’s Celebrity Big Brother back in the UK (her way of keeping awake to fend off the jet lag).
The restaurant had tuned its radio to Smooth FM and the background melodies of the likes of Foreigner and Adele was almost enough to have this bunch of lonely men of a certain age to weep into their baked beans and hash browns. Almost.
I didn’t linger. I sought distraction and went to learn about the convict history of Sydney at the Hyde Park Barracks Museum. That cheered me up. I did feel a little better by lunchtime – about half way down my glass of IPA….
I am looking forward to travelling to Auckland, New Zealand tomorrow. It will be a distraction – new country and time to catch up with colleagues and have a beer with my cousin, who I haven’t seen in quite a while .
And, I’m counting down the days to coming home.