August & Everything After

I left you with a story that ended in August, and it’s now November. I didn’t actually tell the whole story, there have been a few bumps along the road. Some were fun, some weren’t. I’ll start with one…

Finally, I’d convinced a fellow American, a fellow sorority girl to take the leap across the Pacific. Finally.

Katie Mac was always a shoe-in for the one that’d finally take that plunge. I visited her in her new home in Los Angeles in December of 2012, and one night she’d turned to me, in the midst of a drunken version of Secret Santa and said, I feel like Australia is my place. At first, I just smiled, because Australia was my place. Then I laughed at this little adventurer who’d never even been to the sunburned country. But I knew as well as she did that she would fit right in. You could probably put Katie anywhere and she’d find a way to have a great time, but she thrives in cities that are vibrant, controversial, laid back and full of good people.

It wasn’t even her that told me she was coming, it was our mutual friend Jenn, who’d moved to Sydney the year before. Thailand Jenn. When she’d told me, I wasn’t sure if I should be ecstatic at a new friend finally joining me down under, upset that she had failed to mention it to me or just plain satisfied that I’d actually managed to convince someone that the life is better down here.

Sororiry Years

The day Katie arrived, I was in a state. The messages to Claire and Elaine as I sat on a very surprisingly full train early on a Saturday morning consisted of ‘One more bottle they said, it’ll be fun they said… you assholes’. It’d been a leaving drinks for a much loved workmate, where we were splitting one bottle of wine between the three of us. One bottle turned into three and some management sponsored tequila shots. It wasn’t long until I was passing a lanky {almost sure ginger} bartender my number and heading to the Beresford via a cab ride highlighted by a Celine Dion sing-along.

Tilbury Hotel Sydney

My hands were shaking like a junkie as I tried to snap a photo of my Katie, finally in a Sydney taxi. We’d arrived at her hotel, where she was being put up for the next two weeks, and I slept it off as she came down from the high of a 16-hour flight and ten suitcases in a new country. Finally in a sober state, we ventured to the city for food and coffee. I was so proud to finally be introducing my happy-go-lucky Katie to the meaning of coffee snobbery. She’d never be the same. The afternoon concluded with drinks at the one and only Opera Bar, the only place to take someone new in the city. Every single evening or day spent at Opera Bar, even after over two years in the country, leaves me in awe that I lucky enough to call this amazing city home.

Cabritto Coffee Traders - Sydney Australian

In true sorority girl, trooper-who-never-gives-up form, on her first ever Saturday night in Sydney, Katie accompanied us to Enmore Theatre for a Passion Pit show. Her third {or was it fourth?} time seeing them. My first. It was a brilliant show, we drank and sang and danced. The photos of us was just like a page out of the book of our old selves, in the beer garden at The Duke next door.

Passion Pit

The next few days and nights were full of showing Katie the absolute best places in Sydney, from the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Run {only 1 more km to go!}, to the hipster bars of Surry Hills. We spent a few days checking out potential rooms in Surry Hills, where Katie navigated the complicated pathways of sharing houses with strangers. I think my favourite question from the process was So, are we like, allowed to bring boys home? It’s not the sorority, Katie. You’re all grown-up now.

Those potential flatmates, of course, loved her and now she fits right in.

In a way, it was my two worlds crashing gloriously together.