I just thought I’d share a bit about the suburb where my workplace is, a place called Manly. This is where real Sydneysiders go surfing, not Bondi. (Even realer Sydneysiders go anywhere along the Northern beaches, Dee Why and up.) The southernmost of the Northern beaches, its still quite touriste, especially if you’re walking along the main street, called the Corso. At some point, you’ll be confronted by 2 sidewalk cafes fighting for business. Figuratively and literally. There’s also plenty of crappy fish and chips shops and every single Aussie “surf” label, and shops selling tees that say Bondi. Haha.

Just so you know, the best fish and chips is to be found at Benbry burger, which I mentioned previously. The best food at Chat Thai, an offshoot (I think!) of the Haymarket one which I’ve also mentioned before. The best coffee at a joint called Barefoot and there’s even a microbrewery here, 4 Pines. There’s also a Max Brenner for the chocolate plus a decent patisserie cafe in Laurent. Movenpick also has a nice little shop where they used a weighing scale to make sure I got my money’s worth in ice cream. My friend’s workplace, Hugo’s, affords the best views of Manly harbor with some nice cushy seats, if you can afford it. There’s also Garfish which was like one my earliest posts on this blog. I’ve somehow managed to come full circle sorta.

Another name for Manly is little Brazil, given the swarthe of Brazilians that live and work there. According to my Brazilian friends, they chose Manly on account of the fact that the weather is just like back home. Amazonian rainforest wut? Well the beachside bits of Brazil at least. Like Porto Alegre. And I meant caucasoid Brazil-ians. They aren’t the only ones who’ve made Manly home. Japanese, Brits, Swedes, French and Germans are also plentiful in supply.

The following are paragraph shaped recollections of things that fluttered through my mind as I’ve traipsed around the beach side locale that I have come to love and loathe.

  • I swear Mark E. Smith works in Manly. I see him like every other day on the bus home. Straggly, unkempt hair framing a wrinkled, pasty face, he’s always drawing out a fag real long right before we step on. That or some Fall track just always seem to be playing when he’s around. I swear its Mark E. Smith. I want his autograph but I’m shy and afraid of commiting hipster faux pas.
  • Today, a fat man was walking down the hill. He appeared at the very top, dressed in a white shirt that postively glimmered against the dark of the dawn. It was all seemingly normal until he went past me. His deodorant came alive and smacked me in the face. I keeled over and gasped, only to inhale more toxin and sputter endlessly. It smelt like mace and musk, artificial and metallic and also in excess. Like a rusting nail drilled into a piece of rotting wood pulverised into a fine smoke and piped into my nostrils without prior consent. Sounds like a scent that would be awesome with a CdG logo plastered on a solid bronze bottle called “Rusting nail drilled into rotting wood”. $345 at select stores from the soon-to-be defunct, ultra rare, one-time release only Haiku series.
  • I hate the physical labor and the sheer amount of time wasted in walking up a hill to work. I do enjoy the quiet solitude, the dark, the cuddly creatures and most of all, the amazing smell of pine as I walk past this school. There’s some trees that smell absolutely incredible in the early morning, before the sun smokes the ground and the vapors get lost in a pile of sweat and grass. These are Norfolk Island Pines that are a symbol of Manly. I wonder what pine smoked bacon would taste like? Or maybe smoke some bacon with pine and serve that with the edible seeds and a jus made of pine oil and searing juices. With a slice of caramelised apple.
  • There’s a busker that always breaks out a ukelele and chugs along some Beatles choons or something. He wears these short shorts that are so in vogue amongst local kids. He’s like a skinnier Morrissey with naff hair and suspenders. And short shorts. I have never placed a coin into that ukelele case of his. Because of the short shorts. It’s quite simply too offensive for me.
  • This dude takes the same bus with me. He happens to wear the same nudies as me. Only he’s skinny and they fit him better. I am insanely jealous. Plus he has a cool beard. Thankfully, he spoils his fit with some ugly ass Asics. There is a god.
  • A hospitality school is on the way to work. It is crammed with fobby Koreans and Chinese. They are hella noisy. At least I have something to look at. They are hella noisy. The engrish is cringe worthy. They are hella noisy.
  • Shitty fish & chips + crashing waves + ugly ass women + crying babies = nightmare gastronomic experience. Go to Benbry’s people, it costs less, you get barramundi, the chips are gud and you don’t have to pay $0.50 for a tiny tub of Masterfoods tartare. You get fresh robotcoupe enabled dill tartare or aioli instead. For free. You just walk another ten steps to get to the beach.
  • Why is the best food in Manly Chat Thai? Its Thai! And its a takeaway joint! I think its because a couple of the girls look cute. Until they speak. I’m not partial to the high pitch. The guys sound worse though. Why do all Thai guys speak like sopranos? Its shrill godamit! Pad See Ew is sweet Beef Hor Fun. Also, Chat Thai, you owe me money for describing your Pad Gra Pao as arrabiata basilico to a coupla I-talian ladies.
  • Girls wearing tees at Manly beach should be outlawed. This behaviour should not be condoned. It is utterly despicable and uncalled for. Whatever happened to decorum? Please undress yourselves ladies.
  • I wish I could look like Hiroshi Fujiwara with a wild long mane tamed into a ponytail with a beard halfway between scraggly and neat, and be decked out in beesbeems. Then I could steez on all the J-dudes at the beach and pull all the J-beezies, like that super cute one with the glasses and short hair.