The handsome Barista who made the crap coffee kindly pointed me in the direction of the best bar in Freemantle. So I move in the direction of his finger...
I've already forgotten the name of the bar because my focus was on the line of his exquisite pointer. He had really nice hands. Lovely fingers. That's why I'm hopeless at Networking. I'm focused on the body language during introductions and I can't remember anyone's name. But I can tell you which way their knees were turned and the way that they looked into my eyes and whether their hand was clammy or dry. And how they made me feel. I could write you a story on that.
I walk three blocks and all I see are tourist restaurants with ridiculous prices. Who wants to eat an open sandwich with plastic cheese for sixteen dollars? A dash of aoli does not make it gourmet. I don't spose the Miners know the difference. Most Miners eat Chinese on their days off. It makes them feel exotic and connected to their childhood at the same time. Prawn toast never changes.
I rack my brain for the name of the bar? 'Cat and Monkey?' 'Monkey and elephant dancing? I really wasn't listening. I can't read a map and I can't remember the name of anything. It takes me months in a new town before I know what street I'm on. I find my way by getting lost. I'm geographically dyslexic. I've been this way ever since living in Tokyo. I couldn't read any of the signs so eventually I just surrendered. I learnt to use my nose.
'Best Bar' he said. But I don't know what best bar even means anymore? It used to mean Bar with most vibe, with good music and atmosphere. Now it mostly means Expensive. I've gotta start charging more for my service as Digital Strategist. So I can sit in the Best Bar and afford the Best cocktails. But for the moment I spy a pub called The Norfolk'. It looks friendly.
I cross the road and enter through the beer garden.
I walk through tables of men on my way to the bar. It's very exciting. I haven't smelt this much testosterone since I left Queensland. I take a deep breath and order a beer. The smokers have three tables with nice views. They're forced to share them. Smoking is a democratic habit. That's probably why they've banned it. Most smoking sections are by the trash bins or the toilets. This one has a view of the street and is the best vantage point to survey the beer garden. There is a table of twenty somethings with purple hair and fire sticks. There are tables of middle aged women. There are blacks standing next to my table in the smoking section. Kings Cross doesn't have this diversity. I already like it. The atmosphere is relaxed. You can tell most of the people here are on some sort of pay packet. Except for the twenty somethings but they're too young to care. Youth is its own currency. Two men ask if they can sit down at my table. They're drinking schooners of dark ale and neat glasses of white rum called 'Mount Gay'. One of the men said he was embarrassed asking for it'. Where he comes from it would be viewed as a proposition. I ask him where he comes from? He says 'Sydney'.
And that's where our conversation begins...