The great Pinot Grigio debacle of 2003

I had thought the great Pinot Grigio debacle of 2003 had left me scarred of white wine for life. Thank goodness that phase has worn itself out. You see, as a 19 year-old college student living abroad for the first time, the sweet fruity yum yum in my tum tum of Pinot Grigio at a point in my life where my buds haven’t quite developed the appreciation for a dark roasted stout left me jumping into the wine world head first. There was so much Pinot Grigio consumed during that four month stint in London, late night benders of cheap two pound bottle after bottle, and long-afternoon sleep-ins that my body reached a point of saying, “white wine! Yuck!” But like I said, I’m so glad all of that is over.

Luckily for me, the proximity and availability of deliciousness gracing itself in my presence in the form of Sauvignon Blanc’s and Semillon’s and combo situations from South Australia and New South Wales and New Zealand keep surprising me quite regularly. Pinot Noir’s & Malbec’s – you’ll never out wear your welcome but while the sun is shining (although not as warmly as Id like, still!), you’ll have to move over and share my buds with your lighter variety friend.

My weekend evenings are spent drinking schooners (the larger size option, but not even a US pint size really) of craft beer in places with live music in West End and vintage-torn nooks and crannies of the Valley.  A young guy who reminded me a bit of Jesse Eisenberg asked me about Brisbane’s style – am I noticing any trends – I replied that in the types of places I’ve spent time the past few weekends – it looks like the same bunch of hipsters you’d find in the east village or Brooklyn. He thought that was cool apparently.

If someone were to ask you to drink your drink very fast, in comparison to a “chug”, that would be called “sculling.” For example, “hurry up; scull your beer so we can go.” Another point of observation, if you were the bar staff and it was your job to go around and pick up everyone’s empty glasses you’d perform the job of “glassying”, and be labelled a “glassy” to guests and other members of the staff.

I don’t drink tea, because I don’t drink caffeine really, at least on purpose, but tea is a form of life here as it is in the UK. Tea means tea, like what you would drink, but tea also means food. I have two tea breaks a day at work, morning tea and afternoon tea, and that usually consists of me eating the free cookies. So far, the cookies are winning the tug-of-war over my will power. These tea breaks are also conveniently, or perhaps inconveniently, timed in accordance to my old smoke breaks so conceivably the cookies have become a substitution. Let’s hope I’m not fat next time we meet. If I am, you’ll know why.

Monday evenings I play Bingo at the boutique beer cafe Archive in West End. I’ve gone twice and have not won yet. I also found out that the really really really really cute bartender is married so now I want to try something different. Bingo just became so lame. Thursday I go (well, I went once but plan to make it a regular thing) to a boot camp type workout class organized by Wiley that takes place out on the lawn next to the building. It’s fun, because it reminds me of my old boot camp type workout class on the lawn next to the  building in Hoboken. Only different.

I was tasked with obtaining an Australian hobby as a means to meet people but I don’t think I’ve accomplished that yet. Prior to my arrival we’ve determined the following limitations: no surfing because I’m scared of being eaten by a shark, no rugby because rugby players aren’t datable – and I’m a wuss, no scuba diving because I’m afraid of being eaten by a shark. I guess I’m left with learning how to play the didgeridoo. I’m still open to suggestions at this point.

Lollies are candy. And candy is chocolate. Make sense? Basically, lollies are hard candy and gummies. And they all are a bit not as awesome. I went to go see Harry Potter in 3D the other night, obviously, and was a bit perplexed by my candy options. Where are all the Sour Patch Kids, Swedish Fish, and Hot Tamales damn it!  It was a literally a tossup between Fairy Floss and popcorn. BTW – do you know I was asked, “Is it true in America you can put melted butter on your popcorn?” Sure is! What the heck do you call that unsalted, unflavoured bag of corn seeds? It’s also worth mentioning that for this particular movie theatre, when we purchased our tickets online, we also selected our seats in advance as you would on an airplane. Not too shabby for $21 thank you very much Australia.

My roomie Kate refers to herself as a Cadbury. There is a glass and half of milk that goes into a Cadbury bar of chocolate apparently. And therefore, she is a light drinker. The French Festival was on last weekend in Southbank. I’d never been to Southbank properly yet. Now I know where those weekend markets are, and where the lagoon is so I can tan hopefully very very soon (still unlikely). When we drove back in toward the city she said, “ahh, I love the Brisbane skyline, it feels like home.” Mind you, we were still in Brisbane, just crossing the river, but when she asked what in the States reminds me of home I could think of three distinct things, the Ben Franklin Bridge, the feeling you get when you first arrive down the shore, and the view of Manhattan from Hoboken.

I’ve been eating out a lot recently. I love to eat out. I think I’ve finally adjusted to the inflation on food. I don’t flinch as hard when my main costs anywhere from $20-35 and it’s just an easy night out. An entree is an appetizer and main is an entree. Make sense? I really craved a Mamouns falafel the other day, straight from the west village. I also eat a log of sushi. Often, you just get handed the whole roll over the counter, not cut up or anything, and just take a big bite from it like that, maybe dribble a little soy, but it’s kind of an on the go situation, unless you’re at a sushi train or something.

And I think that’s all I wanted to share with you for now.

4 thoughts on “The great Pinot Grigio debacle of 2003

  1. Nicole says:

    love reading your blogs..and love sushi trains. Also, you might want to check out ‘leagues’ in Brisbane. In Newcastle there was bocce ball and shuffleboard leagues on Sundays…they had little beer stands and it was a really fun outdoor gathering..

  2. Melissa says:

    This all sounds amazing.
    I just spent $65 to take a cab home from midtown west b/c I was too drunk to navigate the Path situation. I hung out with D tonight and introduced her to many of my drag queen friends, because that’s who I spend the majority of my time with.
    Remember when I left Wiley last year and said I was going to pursue a life of marriage equality activism and lgbtq advocacy? I’m actually doing it! It’s a great feeling to move out of your comfort zone and accomplish what you told others you hoped to do. It sounds like you are doing just that yourself!
    I am so happy for you, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss our nights of wine and too many cigarettes!

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