Monday, April 10, 2006

Shouting in the streets of Sydney

I enjoy working in Sydney, there's always so many interesting people and things to see. Sometimes I wonder though.

I do NOT enjoy the fact that about the only place you can get some peace and quiet to do some reading at lunchtimes is in a dingy pub. Although I love my pubs, especially the dingy ones, I also love my beer, and that is just too much of a temptation for me while I'm on a diet. (Yes I'm on a diet.) Also they frown on you bringing your own little meals in, particularly when said little meals are wholemeal salad sandwiches. "Are you absolutely sure you won't have pie, chips and gravy with that beer, sir?" Steady. Steady...

But I digress.

Today, I went hunting for a pharmacist to buy some contact lens solution, as my left lens felt gritty and needed a clean. A colleague informed me that there is one near the corner of Market and York Streets. So off I go in the mid-afternoon.

As I was waiting at the corner, there came up behind a couple of young ladies, one carrying two half-full garbage bags, and the other pushing a wheeled spectacle display stand, minus the spectacles. I wondered for a second, then let it go, crossed with the traffic lights and went into the pharmacists. Within one minute I had chosen the lens solution and was preparing to pay for it at the counter.

The spectacles stand pusher appeared at the entrance to the store, in my wake:

(shouting loudly at the sales assistants in the store) WHERE ARE THE BLOODY KEYS TO THE BACK DOOR?

Then ensued a LOUD argument over my cringing shoulder about the location of the keys and what the bloody-hell the woman was doing without them anyway and I don't know you must have the bloody things, etc. I meekly went ahead with my purchase and resolved never to return to this particular shop. My resolution was doubled when the assistant attempted to charge me $18.75 for the product when it was clearly marked $15.95. Small amount, big principle. But he may have been distracted by the Third Battle of the Somme going on.

On exiting the store, I crossed back to where I had first met the laden ladies, and there were two older woman discussing in not so flattering terms a work colleague. I didn't deliberately overhear the women. I couldn't help but hear, as they were standing at least five metres apart and shouting the conversation to each other over the traffic noise. It was very, very surreal.

My eyes feel better though.

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