11/14/2008 70 °F
Last Friday a group of us went out to an area near the Harbor Bridge called The Rocks. It is a marketplace in a ritzier area in town (it's near the harbor, so it's going to be nice). The international exchange program that Dawn and I are using here in Australia organized an outing to go and see a popular Australian band called The Potbelleez. I had never heard of the band, but all the locals were ecstatic about them, so we figured we’d go and check it out. It didn’t hurt that it is free too.
We missed the group of people that left from the IEP office, so Dawn, Sharon, and I headed out from the hostel and figured we’d look for the group down there. We walked around, found the stage, and stumbled into the free wine tent. Yellow Tail had a section roped off and allowed you to try samples of all their wine. The only problem was that you were only allowed 4 samples (which amounted to about a glass). Sharon utilized a technique where she would go to different servers each time so that they wouldn’t be able to tell how many she had. We had our samples and decided to grab a bite to eat. It also started to rain, so it was a good thing that we found a place with a covered patio. Dawn and I decided to get a falafel wrap (even though neither of us had any clue what falafel was, I was hoping it was lamb). It only took one bite to figure out it wasn’t lamb, in fact, it wasn’t even meat. Hunger outweighed the curiosity of what we were eating, and we ate the entire thing.
Let me interject a side point about ordering food in Sydney. When you order a sandwich or wrap that comes with a sauce (in the US this would be like oil & vinegar or a dressing or mayo), you have a standard set to choose from regardless of what you are ordering. I have ordered a sandwich from a sandwich shop, a falafel wrap, a chicken burger, and have been presented with the same sauces to add to my order. Your options are BBQ sauce, ranch sauce, southwestern chipotle (I guessing US southwest unless the Australian southwest has chipotle too), and several other colors that I don’t even know about. I’m still working on which goes best with each meal.
Anyways, back on topic. We found out later that night that falafel is actually mashed chick peas balled and fried. I guess it’s worth trying once. After grabbing a bite to eat, it was back to the free wine tent. This was for three reasons. One—the obvious, they had free wine. Two—it was raining and they had some cover. Three—it offered a very good view of the stage without having to get involved with all the gyrating dancers. Sharon continued her bob-and-weave technique to get more drinks. Dawn and I stuck with the standard 4. The Potbelleez came on after a DJ that was playing techno music left the stage. One thing immediately struck me as weird, they didn’t really have any instruments. I hadn’t realized that they would be a techno rock band (a genre called “house”). They were glorified clap leaders and dancers, but they were very good. I think one guys job was just to get the fist pump started.
Here are the two most popular songs (I've heard them in every bar):
After the show we bounced around a couple of the local bars in The Rocks.
While we were out, we met up with Jeff and Andy and continued the falafel discussion. Jeff was intrigued, and ordered it on his way home to his hostel. I guess he missed the part where we talked about how it wasn’t meat and not overly tasty because he complained loudly the next morning about his wrap (although he ate the entire thing too).
PS - I need a serious break from techno music.