Wednesday, March 28, 2012

An iconic beach

Being asked to organise an event for work is very often a pain.  It usually entails additional work with little to no recognition.

However, there can definitely be situations where the benefits outweigh the hard work.

For one thing, it means that you are able to control where it is you go and what it is you do.

More importantly, it means you get to arrange the allocation of rooms!
All things being equal, that meant that I got a lovely room with an ocean view.

The room itself was a bit older, but that wasn't a real concern to me.

In fact, I think I actually preferred it.  As I've said numerous times before, the bland ultra modern hotels seem  to lack soul and feeling.  Rather than make me feel at ease, the rooms they offer make me feel cold and alone.  I hardly see this as being a recipe for successfully providing comfort to patrons who are often traveling, by themselves and away from those they care about.
This room was a bit rougher than some of the other places I've been in lately.

The furniture was not perfectly matched.  It was a bit old fashioned.  The bathroom was tiled from floor to ceiling in a truly awful colour of off-white.

And yet I liked it.

I liked  the old wooden furniture that looked like it had been used.  I liked the couches that had clearly been sat in.  It actually felt like someone had been in the room at some point.

Of course, it also helped that the view from my balcony wasn't too bad.
Or rather, it was amazing.
This was the first time that I had the pleasure of staying in Bondi.  The weather was cool, so the beach front felt a bit sleepy.  There was a mood of a beach resort in winter, which I guess is what Bondi is during the cooler months.

It didn't stop me swimming.  Once I had a break from work, I rushed down to the beach and jumped into the water.  Looking north and then south up the long expanse of Bondi's sands, devoid of its usual crowds, it was peaceful.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Giants awaken

How often do you get to attend something truly historic?

How often is it that you are able to attend an event that you can say has never happened before?

You may think that this may occur when you have attended the "last" of something, but very often those things can change or revert.  My university days are a good example of that.  I thought I was done and dusted when I walked out of my final exams.  I celebrated, I partied and I even spent moments contemplating the time that had past.

This was a short lived "last" though, as within three years, I was back at a different university doing my masters.

Being at the FIRST time for an event, that is an entirely different situation.  Nothing can take that "first" away.  Once it's happened for the first time, it's locked in.  There can be no reverting and there can be no going back.

I was very excited to be at the very first AFL game for the Greater Western Sydney Giants!  A new franchise entering the AFL.

I was also fortunate that I was able to share this event with my good friends Philipp and Dana.  I had met them both through my LLM studies.  Having come all the way to Sydney from Switzerland, they were keen to get more of a taste of Australia.  Attending AFL games would be perfect for that.
So I had two firsts all set up.  The first ever GWS Giants game in the AFL and the first ever AFL game for my Swiss friends.
The day went off without a hitch (except for the crushing defeat of the Giants).

I had been part of something historic and I had been able to introduce my friends to something new, and incredibly, they loved it!