niina.amniisia » bits, pieces and photos from sydney, australia and elsewhere

i wanna make you mine (Monday January 12th, 2004 - 13:24)

category: mmhuh?

From the ages of 13-20 Sydney was my little town. I knew as much as I felt I needed to know about it – how to get from one part to another staying underground in air conditioned comfort by knowing the passageways through certain shops; where all the best music and bookstores were; what venues were comfortable to wander in to on any given night to watch a band I’d never heard of.

Now I’m meeting a stranger when I go to walk around Sydney. There are hoards of people everywhere – has the population suddenly increased or did I just never notice the people? The city feels a bit like a long lost friend turned up unrecogniseable – they’ve put on weight, changed their hair style and now say “Yo!” for a greeting. Thankfully this isn’t a big city, so soon enough, with a little effort, I’ll make Sydney mine again.

Overall it reminds me a lot of London now whereas when I moved to London I found it completely different from Sydney. Sydney’s center now has numerous youth fashion label shops; Borders bookshop has arrived; trendy bars with big glass frontages line the streets; Starbucks and various other cafe chains are filled with people like coffee beans in a jar.

Sydney seems like any other city.

Having been in to the city a few times now, I’ve re-discovered some old favourites like the Lounge cafe (it was my little piece of heaven on the weekends for .. er .. lounging about in but appears to have changed owners and been discovered by lots of people so I may be on the look out for another local layabout cafe); Ariel Books remain unchanged in the Rocks and Paddington (picked up a Murakami book, see below); Red Eye Records still has two stores; Hyde Park trees wear their fairy lights at night (the park itself seems so tiny now in comparison to London’s Hyde Park).

How long til I can make it mine?

From Haruki Murakami‘s Dance Dance Dance which I’m currently reading – the main character visits the city of Sapporo after a 4 year absence :

Along the way I stopped into a coffee shop. All around me normal, everyday city types were going about their normal, everyday affairs. Lovers were whispering to each other, businessmen were poring over spread sheets, college kids were planning their next ski trip and discussing the new Police album. We could have been in any city in Japan. Transplant this coffee shop scene to Yokohama or Fukuoka and nothing would seem out of place. In spite of which — or, rather, all the more because — here I was, sitting in this coffee shop, drinking my coffee, feeling a desperate loneliness. I alone was the outsider. I had no place here.

Of course, by the same token, I couldn’t really say I belonged to Tokyo and its coffee shops. But I had never felt this loneliness there. I could drink my coffee, read my book, pass the time of day without any special thought, all because I was part of the regular scenery. Here I had no ties to anyone. Fact is, I’d come to reclaim myself.

one comment to “i wanna make you mine”
tom said on November 26th, 2004 at 1:56 pm:

So, I’ve been in Sydney for a week. I read my first Maruki Murakami book yesterday. I’m working late tonight and I wanted to get another one for my flight home early tomorrow morning… Stuck out in Burwood all day and the A&R and Dymocks are no help… So I Google Haruki Murakami Sydney Bookshop for no good reason and your page comes up saying you bought one at Ariels… which google then tells me is open until midnight… so my flight home might be saved.

I’m sure you don’t care… but thanks anyway…