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Manly – day one

I unpacked my board at Manly Bungalow to find a ding in the bottom. Quite a hole in fact. I was excited and ready to head out to surf, where the water was filled with people. I had just come back from the surf shop a block away called Aloha Surf, where I had bought some wax. Being new to surfboard care I couldn’t tell just how bad the ding was. After talking to a guy there, I brought the board over and he said it was no big deal. He put some good strong clear tape on it so I could go out and surf right away. And sold me a kit of Sun Cure to fix it myself. Seeing as there was little to no sun out, I put that off until tomorrow.

I like the little place I am staying. I have a room to myself with a window onto a little courtyard. A teapot, toaster and fridge – enough to keep me happy. And a TV, in case I don’t feel like going out at night. And it’s two blocks from the beach. Manly beach is long and curved and chocker with surfers all along it.

I had caught the 11am ferry from Circular Quay, after a taxi ride from the Maze. I didn’t know ferry times and just happened to show up at 10:58. The sun was out then and it was a lovely ride across the water. From the wharf at Manly, I walked with all my stuff to the bungalow, about 15 minutes away. Some young guy on a bus bench said something snarky to me about my surfboard, but I didn’t quite understand him.

I hadn’t eaten yet so I headed to the Blue Water Cafe. Pumpkin falafel wrap and fries and, of course, a coffee. I need to pick up some butter and jam for my toast, and maybe some muesli and rice milk. I booked myself in the Y Hotel back in central Sydney on May 3rd, the night before I leave. I still need to get back there and use my Wildlife World ticket. So I will leave here early on May 3rd, heading back into the city.

It was kind of cold and rainy out so I put on my rash guard under my 3/2 suit for extra warmth. Waxed the board and re-attached the fins. Then walked down to the beach. I was pleasantly surprised to find the water was warm. Right, right, Syndey is farther north than New Zealand. I even started to feel hot after paddling out. The water was clear enough that I could see down to some shadowy, rocklike thing on the bottom. There must have been a few hundred people in the water spread out all along. Multiple people would ride the same wave. It got a little frustrating with at least 5 people paddling for every wave. And I had to pull out of a few I would’ve caught because someone beat me to it. I got one decent one to the right, but someone else was also on it. The other one I caught someone else popped up on at the same time than whistled at me to get off it. Didn’t matter because I fell about that time anyways. After a couple hours out there I decided to come in.

Right now I am sitting in the laundromat next door to the bungalow. Maybe I will stop by the surf shop and ask the cute guy that helped me if he knows of any good coffee hangouts. Or not. I might just go walk around. Having run out of shampoo and left my conditioner (which I use to shave) behind because it was too heavy, and lost my nail clippers, I am not in the best-kept state. I am doing laundry because I don’t want to spend 24 hours in planes feeling dirty. There is still some soap left, so I might just squeak by on the cleanliness scale. Before I left Rod showed me how I could fit an 8 foot board into a regular car, so I am thinking I might just hail a taxi from JFK when I arrive on May 4th. I get in around 8:30pm. I could take the subway to my neighborhood, which isn’t too difficult. But then its a 3/4 mile walk home from the Dekalb Stop and chances are I won’t be up for that.

I have been daydreaming about a whole host of projects in my apartment. Our living room is sadly underutilized, mostly, I think, because it is a difficult space to furnish well. It’s just sort of awkward – there are a whole bunch of doors that open into the space, leaving few options. And there isn’t any light because it is in the middle of the apartment. I think if I make some kind of a barrier on part of it to separate the living area from the doors, it might help. Maybe I will recruit a friend like Einat whose interior design skills I admire. After all, I really like the transformation of Dylan’s one-time empty bachelor pad after she moved in.

1 comment

  1. Dear Beth,
    I have missed all of your last entries since I left Alexandria on April 19th. Just got to Strasbourg and am busy with my mom. I wish you a safe flight back home and hope to see you in June. Hugs and kisses! Danielle

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