Monday, January 30, 2006

Eating, Swimming, A Comedy Of Errors & Cursing My Arch Nemeses

This weekend capped off the end of my friend Stephen's visit to Sydney from Brisbane, and we planned a little trip to both go and visit our friends Ian and Steve who live in Penrith (about an hour of Sydney city) on Saturday. The cunning plan had been to meet on a particular train from the city, I would get on in the city at Central and Stephen would get on at Parramatta, one of the stations along the way. I was already on the train to Central when I realised that I had forgotten to bring Stephen's phone number, or the number of my friends in Penrith, just in case something went wrong with the plan. Hey, what could possibly go wrong?

Now pay attention, because this gets complicated.

Well, of course my arch nemesis Shitty City Rail would pick this weekend for trackwork, so the line was closed and buses would be replacing the trains. Oh-kay. Express buses from Central straight to Penrith, with no opportunity to meet up with Stephen at Parramatta. What I didn't realise was that after I left home, Stephen rang my house to say that instead of getting the train he was going to be getting a lift into Penrith.

As he had missed me, Stephen and his friend Andrew (who was giving him a lift) instead concocted a crazy plan to meet my train at Parramatta and wave me off the train instead of getting on, so that I could join them in the car. Confused yet? The only problem with this plan is that it assumes that a) I would have been sitting on the platform side of the train, b) I would have seen them and c) I would have had time to get off the train. Oh and of course d) I was on a train at all, not an express bus. Anyhoo, the City Rail slow learners at Parrammatta station told Stephen and Andrew that yes there were no trains, but that the buses pulling up at the station to take people to Penrith were the only buses coming from the city (not true).

So I boarded a bus to Penrith, assuming logically that Stephen would be getting on a bus at Parramatta and we would instead just meet up at the end of the journey at Penrith Station. Instead Stephen was hanging out at Parramatta Station trying to see if I was on any of the buses that pulled in. For over an hour. When I arrived at Penrith I waited for a while as there was nobody at the station to meet me, then I decided to use a phone box to call Ian and Steve and find out what was going on. Only my second new arch nemesis Telstra told me that their number wasn't listed (untrue). The fuh?

So I jumped in a cab and set off to Ian & Steve's house, at exactly the same time that their friend Leonie left to come and see if I was at the train station. Cutting the story slightly shorter, about two hours after I arrived at Penrith (and a bunch of telephone calls later) we were all united at Ian & Steve's house.

We spent the rest of the afternoon playing with their dog Jack, hanging out with Ian (Steve was at work) and going into Penrith Plaza for a bit of a shopping expedition. When Steve got home we had a swim in their pool and then Ian, Steve, Stephen, Leonie and myself went out for dinner to the Penrith Hog's Breath Cafe. Dinner was OK, although a steak house is not the best place in the world for a vegetarian to have dinner. Afterwards we hung out and watched DVDs until the early hours of the morning, introducing Stephen to the twisted joys of Little Britain and reacquainting ourselves with the camp tackiness of Flesh Gordon.

Stephen and I crashed out at Ian & Steve's house, had a leisurely breakfast the next morning and then caught the Penrith to city bus back together around lunch time. Stephen had go leave to go back to Brisbane in the evening, so we headed our seperate ways. I spent the rest of the day pottering around, doing laundry and watching the DVD of my beloved Tales Of The City that I had bought in Penrith.

So a pleasant and relaxing weekend, despite comedy of errors and the efforts of my two arch nemeses. Lots of laughs and the company of friends. Good times.

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