An Underage Australian’s Guide to Getting Drunk in Austin

Hey guys!

Sorry I haven’t posted in ages, but you don’t care that much and I’ve been too busy discovering Santa Cruz’s rad fauna. Basically life as an exchange student in Santa Cruz is comprised of drinking tequila in your bedroom because most people are under 21, and then going to the meadow to meet high randoms and shoot laser beams amongst the redwood trees. Seriously, laser beams are awesome, everyone should get on it. Then the next day you wake up around 5pm, realize that you’ve missed all your classes, and you do the whole thing all over again – except for my flat mate Irish Shane, who is the pinnacle of studiousness and general goodness. So Shane’s parents, if you are reading this, Shane remains uncorrupted: he’s still the polite, IT genius legend you raised. Can we all just pause for a second and celebrate Shane? K thanks.

What a legend he is
What a legend he is

But now that the gf has arrived, we are currently in Austin, Texas, because YOLO. Usually you ask someone in America if they have travelled much and they will proudly list off a whole bunch of different cities – all in their home state. For Australians, as we well know, if you want to experience anything very different, you have to get on a plane. And unless your idea of a multicultural adventure is Auckland, chances are you’ll be on that big bird for several hours at the least. So the three and a half hour plane trip from San Francisco to Austin isn’t really a big deal. It takes longer to get from Sydney to Perth.

Austin: the land of new friends who buy you drinks @Shangri La Bar
Austin: the land of new friends who buy you drinks @Shangri La Bar

Now we are here, Iz and I are doing things a bit differently than we did in Santa Cruz – except for the sleeping during the day thing. That’s still working well for us. Luckily for Iz, she’s twenty-one. Unluckily for me, I am not. So, here is the first rule for being an underage Australian drinker in Austin:

Make sure to get a foreign 21 year old’s ID that looks a bit like you.

It’s not enough to get the ID of your 21-year-old American doppelgänger. Bouncers are accustomed to seeing these all the time, and they will easily pick out the fact that the person in the photo isn’t you. As once happened to me in Wholefoods while trying to buy artesian beer (I know, I’m a wanker – but it was Wholefoods! What was I supposed to get? They don’t have anything un-artesian), the sales assistant said, while peering at my ID, “This isn’t you.” To which I responded, “Um, yes it is?” And then he said, “No, it definitely isn’t.” To which I replied, “Good point,” and quickly got the hell out of there.

"I'm defs over 21"
“I’m defs over 21”

The key is to get a foreign ID, because this confuses American bouncers. You can see the bewilderment spread across their faces as they try to work out where the date is. In all this befuddlement, they forget to look at the actual photo. Bingo, you’re in. My British ID belongs to my cousin, so shout-out to her for looking vaguely like me, and for allowing me to explore my English accent talents when talking to bouncers.

Now that you know the key to actually getting into bars when you shouldn’t legally be there, the next step is to know the cool places to drink. A fake ID means nothing if you end up downing beers in a sports bar with mid-westerners. In Austin, you have two main choices. In other words,

Do you want to get drunk with a) povo students like you, or b) people who pretend to be povo students but are really interior designers wearing threadbare Phillip Lim 3.1?

If your answer is a), you want to go to ‘Dirty 6th’. This is a street jam-packed with grimy clubs, bars and pubs, and hawkers standing at every entrance yelling, “Get your $3 jaeger shots! $2 Irish car bombs!” One dude screamed this at Iz and me, to which we responded, “We might come back later!” He jovially replied, “That’s what my Papa said to me when he left our family one night when I was a kid, and he still hasn’t come back!” Ah, pathos.

Dirty 6th is located in the heart of downtown, and is basically where all the students from nearby University of Texas go, and where tourists from interstate come to experience ‘city life’. Not to mention the backpackers. So many backpackers.

Our new mates! @Pete's Piano Bar
Our new mates! @Pete’s Piano Bar

Our favourite on this strip is probably Pete’s Piano Bar. Yes, it’s a $5 cover, but it is a feckload of fun. Walk in, and you’ve got tables of out-of-towners getting their Austin live music fix. You’ve also got two smooth-as piano players and crooners belting out pop covers and schmoozing the crowd with their sweet tunes. Additionally, you’ve got a hot waitress walking around selling $4 jello shots in syringes, and a bar full of cheap drinks, and bartenders who will take selfies of themselves instead of you when you ask them to take a happy snap of you and your mates. Iz and I came here on our first night and befriended some awesome women from Dallas who were celebrating one of their 40th birthdays. We became fast friends and bonded over tequila shots, jello shots, and every other shot. I woke up the next morning with a lovely email from one of them entitled, “We will be in Sydney in two years!” I guess I’ll be having houseguests…

Oh and I should mention that once you are drunk and after food, you should definitely walk east along the street until you find Gourdough’s, the amazing doughnut truck catering to people so inebriated they have forfeited all calorie qualms and just want stuff that tastes really freaking good. Iz and I are big fans of the ‘Fat Elvis’: a massive doughnut covered in peanut butter glaze, topped with caramelized banana and crispy bacon.

If you answered b), you’ll want to head to ‘East Sixth’. This area keeps winning all the sarcastic awards for ‘most quickly gentrified area in Austin’, but whatever. We still think it’s awesome, and the plethora of fabulous bars and delicious food trucks means that it will remain awesome for some time yet. Some winners in our eyes include

Cheer Up Charlie’s

Cheer Up, Patio!
Cheer Up, Patio!

This place is known for being ‘LGBT friendly’, so Iz and I were super stoked that we would have instant mates! But apart from this title, it’s also just a very rad bar, with patios out back and front, yummy drinks (including the amaze-balls hot apple cider with rum) and live bands and drag queen acts on Saturdays (and maybe other days: I have no idea, I was just there on a Saturday). When we were there, this incredible singer/rapper Katy B was performing, and she had everyone twerking and yelling and generally looking ridiculous. Charlie’s definitely cheered us up.

Shangri-La

Mehooo $4 each: vodka and something else but mostly vodka
Mehooo $4 each: vodka and something else but mostly vodka

To be honest, I don’t really remember that much of this place, apart from the fact that it was full of super-friendly people that bought us drinks, and wound up in our iPhone camera albums the next morning. However, I think one of the reasons I remember it so fondly is that it rocked in comparison to Yellow Jacket Social Club, the bar we had hit up just previously. This place is touted as being a ‘hipster haven’, so we assumed it would have a pretty liberal-minded clientele. But Iz was talking to some people who were being really friendly while I was in the bathroom, and then when I came back and she introduced me as her gf, they literally just walked away without saying another word. Literally. Just. Walked. Away. I would expect this in Tennessee maybe, but not in Austin. So thumbs down, Yellow Jacket, thumbs down. Another notable mention goes to The Liberty, whose drinks are delish, but whose food truck in the backyard, East Side King, served up the best pork buns I’ve ever tasted. (Obviously, I really like pork).

Brooklyn Lager and Liberty... and Pork Buns from the East Side Kings food truck in the back
Brooklyn Lager and Liberty… and Pork Buns from the East Side King food truck in the back

Now you’re drunk, you should hit up the food trucks just near Cheer Up Charlie’s. The al pastor (pork) taco at the taco truck was like actually the best thing I’d ever consumed, and the candy-covered bacon dipped in chocolate and salt from the fried food truck next to it, Fried and True, was heart attack heaven. Well done, Austin.

Finally, a special mention goes to Qui.

The first of my rabbit seven ways was a soup thingo that came in a CUP THAT LOOKED LIKE A RABBIT
The first of my rabbit seven ways was a soup thingo that came in a CUP THAT LOOKED LIKE A RABBIT

Also on East 6th, it is apparently the ‘hottest restaurant in Austin’ or some such hyperbole. But Iz and I went there for our one year anniversary dinner for a fancy, fancy night, and boy did it deliver. Some hits included rabbit seven ways, the crispy chicken skin cabbage salad and the (OMG SO GOOD TRUST ME) cheddar cheese ice cream with crispy waffles, goat milk cajeta, peanut praline, aged cheddar ice cream. Service was excellent, wine was delicious. And afterwards some cheeky cocktails at the East Side Showroom.

I could go on and on about all the other food and drinks we’ve consumed here, but suffice to say, this town is amazing. Young Australians, just remember to get your fake ID and practice your poker face, and you too can soon be losing your wallet while climbing a fence and yodeling into your hostel at 4am with the best of them. Good luck!

 

 

How To: Travel Alone And Not Be A Creep

I know, I know. I haven’t blogged in ages. And I’m not going to do one of those “I’m so sorry guys, I haven’t posted! I know I’ve let my readers down, it won’t happen again!” things, because I know you guys don’t care that much. You’re happy to read over this while doing shots. And that’s fine with me. As Tash said in her first (and only!) guest post for Why Don’t You, ambivalence is cool. Keep it up, everyone. Or don’t. Whatever.

Anyway, the reason I have not been posting is because I have been swept up in the delight that is being a solo tourist in the city of New York. I’m here for three weeks before I begin a University exchange for six months in Santa Cruz.

Before I came here, I thought travelling alone to be the most romantic concept ever. I would sit in cafes reading my book whilst handsome strangers questioned me about my clearly fascinating life and ideas. I would peruse cute little flea markets and make friends with everyone I talked to. I would never, ever be lonely. Unless of course it suited the song I was listening to (here’s looking at you, “New York I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down” by LCD Soundsystem). The thing is, travelling alone in a foreign city isn’t actually like this. Weirdly, native New Yorkers don’t just jump at the chance of being friends with that random chick they see sitting at the coffee shop. The people likely to talk to you at bars are not poets and bankers with hearts. They are sleazes. Or they are the bartender, asking if you would like the bill or your fifth margarita. At least that’s been my experience. Please don’t comment if it hasn’t been yours, it will just make me depressed. This is for those of us who don’t look like Miranda Kerr.

All this being said, my time in NY has been amazing. I’ve met great people and seen amazing things and drunk just plain weird things. But this has not happened through the laissez faire methods I had first envisaged. So here is a list identifying the fool-proof ways to make friends and discover the awesome stuff in whatever city you happen to be flying solo in.

  1. Stay Somewhere That People Have to Talk to You
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my caravan!

This can be a hostel, or a b and b or a shared room. Just make sure you avoid hotels, because they are the most depressing places ever if you are travelling alone and not a ridiculously gregarious person (a la Bill Murray if he hadn’t come across Scarlett Johannson in Lost In Translation). I’ve been staying in a caravan within this awesome artist’s commune place in Brooklyn. I know it sounds wanky, but it’s actually great for meeting people who do interesting things. They’re all artists and carpenters and ‘video artists’ and shit like that. Suspend your cynicism, because they’re all actually really cool. If you loiter around the communal kitchen area long enough, you’re bound to crack up a conversation with someone you think is funny and who will come to lunch with you (success!) In fact, the place I’m staying at ends up in a party most nights. If you’re in NY this Saturday, we’re having another portrait party as part of this art project that a few guys here are doing. They’re making a music video using antique tin-type photography and having a series of parties to celebrate. PM me for the address/ more info. I found my accommodation through air b and b. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a website through which you can rent out rooms in people’s apartments and houses (and communes!) I highly recommend it and it’s usually way cheaper than hotels.

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My Tin-Type Portrait!

 2. Hang Around Bookstores

Bookstores are great! I mean, if you’re not interested in books, clearly don’t hang around in bookstores. But if you are, then this a sure place to meet people with similar interests to you. Don’t go some generic bookstore. Pick a really arty one with a weird 80s theme or something so you can pretend to share a passion with the person standing next to you. I’m such a weirdo that I was just wandering around Chelsea and I heard this cool looking old guy say to his friend that he was walking to a particular bookstore nearby, so I literally followed him there. A bit dodgy on my part? Yes. But did it end up in me meeting these really cool Aussie blokes and one American and having a rad night drinking cocktails from dive bars and going to funny art exhibition openings? Yes. Seriously, book stores. They are the new Friendster.

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one of the artworks at the gallery we ended up at.
it’s so true.
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it’s a garden of plastic cameras!
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so true you can’t even see ‘thru’ it

3. Be Enigmatic at Markets

Markets are wonderful because people only see you for a second and then you disappear from sight amongst a throng of hip people. So, according to their naïve worldview, you might be a mysterious novelist from a foreign land walking through the market on your way to write a book about eggs! I went to Williamsburg Flea Market on my lonesome, ate a falafel roll and started reading my book (Zadie Smith’s ‘On Beauty’ – really good by the way) and then as it turned out the guy next to me was reading the exact same book. So then we got talking and he took me to a poetry reading that night. Too easy! Thanks Zadie, I owe you one.

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Williamsburg Flea Markets

4. Look at Paintings for A Long Time In Art Galleries

Because if you look at paintings for a short time, the dark stranger in the corner will assume you are a shallow tourist. If you stare at them for more than five minutes each, he/she will know that you are both interested and interesting. Then he/she will ask you what you think of the metaphorical composition of the cross-hatching, and you will respond that although you see its relevance within the circumference of fifteenth century Spanish fundamentalist sculpture, it doesn’t resonate with you as much as the simple zip painting on the floor above. This way he/she will note that your intelligence is tempered by self-aware modesty and the two of you will share a knowing laugh. By the way, this didn’t happen to me. But it might happen to you!

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it’s a penis chair… insightful?

5. Get A Positive Tattoo

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This way people will know that you are deep and tortured enough to get a tattoo, but not so depressed that you don’t want to talk to them. I got a tattoo in Williamsburg the other day and it reads ‘all will be well’ in my own handwriting. I actually did get it because it is something that my Dad always says to me when I am feeling catatonic/depressed/generally sad and it always gives me a light at the end of the tunnel to look forward to, but strangers don’t know that! They think I am just a fun-loving chick with an optimistic attitude to life! This is great, because even if I’m in a bad mood or my dress has tucked itself into my undies, they assume that I’ll get through it with a smile on my face! And then they will invite me to a rad warehouse party in Bushwick!

6. Drink

Need I say more? You’ll never be alone for long. And if you are, at least you’ll be having a good time.

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alone in a cafe

OR

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around a campfire w some random Germans (luv u conrad!)

One Night Stands: What The Morning After Says About Her

One night stands, we’ve all had them. (Except you, Sydney Uni Pentocostalists with the green shirts – no one doubts your chastity for a second!) The rest of us head to the Cross meat market on a Friday night to pick up our young hussy, and we head home for a night of drunken frivolity. Or maybe not the rest of us. Maybe just most of us. Perhaps hanging out with Jordan McVeigh and Matthew Cranley these past holidays has warped my view of the world. Matthew informed me this morning that one of his most memorable one night stand anecdotes is when he caught the chick he’d just rooted trying to do a runner, and upon further inquiry she revealed that she had “pissed the bed”. Charming. Regardless, one night stands are pretty omnipresent these days.

Contrary to traditional belief, it is not what the girl does before or during coitus that allows you to delve into the depths of her soul. It’s the morning after. In these shameful hours of sunlight (or darkness, depending how early your conquest scarpers off from your share house), the true character and motives of your almost-anonymous luvah are revealed. Here are a few types of babe and what her morning after tactics suggests about her and the probable longevity of your relationship.

The Girl Who Just Won’t Leave

Just because she acted like a chick with loose morals last night, doesn't mean she won't want a stable relationship in the morning
Just because she acted like a chick with loose morals last night, doesn’t mean she won’t want a stable relationship in the morning

Everyone’s bound to experience this at least once in his or her life. This girl was really cool last night, totally chill, told you that she just wanted a casual thing. You guys sipped mojitos and she let you feel her bum on the barstool. The sex was pretty good, if a bit fumbly. But now, the morning after, she Just. Won’t. Go. Whether this is because she is actually homeless, or because she is trying to force you into being in a relationship with her by literally always staying by your side, this one is a crazy. You hint that you have work and that your roommate hates strangers but she does not take the bait. Finally, you tell her to just wait outside for a sec while you get your car keys to drive her to the train station. And then you lock her out. Possible stalker successfully eliminated. (Thanks Cranley for the real life inspiration – you are a fountain of ONS wisdom).

The Girl Who Makes You Breakfast

When I say she'll make breakfast, she might just bring you wine. Wine is better.
When I say she’ll make breakfast, she might just bring you wine. Wine is better.

This one is in for the long haul. Not as desperate as the former, but she’s still interested in being your wifey, and she’s letting you know damn well that she’s good at domestic chores. Phew, no awkward gender role switching, just patriarchy at its finest. She brings you pancakes in bed to let you know that she’s not the brazen floozy she made herself out to be last night, and even though you know perfectly well that you love the single life, you ask her on a date because your Mum’s in another city and your washing hasn’t been done since you moved in here. And look, I know you’re happy with your bachelorhood atm, but best to keep this lady on the backburner fellas, as she’ll be damn useful once you’ve turned thirty five and realise you’re completely alone. Oh wait, no she won’t. Because it will have dawned on her what a pig you are and she will have become a lesbian.

The Girl Who Sneaks Out In The Middle Of The Night

#dreamgurl
#dreamgurl

You wake up and your dream girl is gone. This is because you are not her dream man. She slept with you because other viable male options were limited last night and you bought her the most drinks. She was disappointed with your attempts at giving her love bites as they really hurt and if she wanted to be bitten by a wannabe vampire she’d go to a fetishist. She didn’t leave because there was an emergency, like she apologetically texted to you (if she even bothered to make semi-conciliatory contact after the event). She left because you weren’t that good in bed and you only talked to her about your dreams to emulate your Dad’s business success and that’s why he paid for you to get into Commerce/Law. Unless you become a different person, chances of a relationship are none to none. But on the bright side, you’ll probably find someone in Commerce/Law who is as boring and arrogant as you. Good luck!

Why Don’t You… Lie On Your Resume?

And I don’t just mean on your actual resume, although that is a good idea too. I’m talking about embellishing your list of credentials generally. We live in a world where lying is considered ‘bad’. Let’s reconsider this. A little bit of white lying never hurt anyone, but it did help lots of individuals get better jobs, more money and more respect, albeit based on false premises.

When I get away with embellishing my resume

Recently I was hired as a debating coach. I’m not sure if you know about debating coaching, but it is a profession that is exorbitantly overpaid. Basically it’s a job that private school kids get when they are at uni so that they feel less guilty when taxi drivers driving them home to Vaucluse ask whether they work or not. Now I have joined them. The difference between me and most of these other coaches, though, is not our social background (for yes, I too went to a private school- surprise, surprise), but the fact that they are all actually good at debating, whereas I am pretty shit.

When someone says that lying simply to get stuff is morally wrong
When someone says that lying simply to get stuff is morally wrong

I was good at debating in Year Eight. A real talent, they called me. A kid with a lot of potential. Year Eight was the apex of that potential and it’s realisation. So when I got a call from the debating coordinator at my school, asking what experience I had in debating, I told her I had plenty. For example, I said:

1. “I won the Independent Schools’ Debating Association competition as third speaker”.

The truth? I did win. In Year Eight.

2. “I have debated in numerous debating competitions in my time at Sydney Uni”.

In reality? I have been to two Wednesday night debating practice sessions at Usyd. One of these times was to get the free gozleme. The other time my friends Will, Maria and I were on the affirmative in a debate about how the government should hire journalists or something. So we created a model involving a reality TV show with Matt Preston, Justice Kirby and the Pope as judges. The other side hated us and proceeded to destroy our piss-weak argument. The end. That’s my whole experience with Usyd debating.

3. “I love teaching”.

I hate teaching.

But you know what? I think that I’ll be a good debating coach, because I love to argue and I love my school and by extension any girl who goes there. I think debating is really important for young people in developing their confidence and their analytical skills. I wouldn’t have gotten the job if I hadn’t embellished a little. Well done me. Well done lying.

Some top-notch lies to tell around campus are:

"i can't sign your petition! I'm late for a tute!"
“I can’t sign your petition! I’m late for a tute!”

“I got into Harvard but I chose not to go”.

“I totally haven’t even studied for the test, I’m so screwed” (when you’ve studied for a month).

And to future employers?

“I am a count”.

“I thrive in stressful environments and enjoy hierarchy”.

Bam. Job received.

Ways To Procrastinate When You’ve Run Out of Food

The Internet.

I’m generally crap with all technology. I’m a two-finger typer because I always cheated on Type Quick so that the crocodile wouldn’t eat my koala, and I don’t know anything about coding or htmls or ‘SEO’ (what is that??) However, for some time now I’ve just had this feeling that there is this great Internet world out there that I’m missing out on. I tried to get involved. I typed ‘funny video’ into Youtube. I Googled ‘best memes’. But to no avail. The internet gave me fuck all.

But then I started this blogging thing and it’s like the poached egg has been pierced. Awesome sites and online magazines are spilling onto my plate with unparalleled speed as I attempt to mop them up with my mouse. Here are a few fave blogs, sites, internet caves for you to trawl:

Junkee: http://junkee.com/

It’s funny. It’s pop culture: music, art, film, social stuff, politics, media. And it’s good writing, which is always nice. Cameron Tyeson’s piece on songs that might be used during the election campaign was as insightful as it was hilarious and it made me a bit more inclined to give a rat’s ass about Australian politics. Check it out here: http://junkee.com/seven-songs-that-might-be-used-during-the-election-campaign/14028

Slutever: http://slutever.com/

This chick Karley has had a cray-cray life and continues to do so. Here she writes about her self-celebratory slutty escapades and muses about stuff like double anal (apparently it’s when two guys stick their penis in your bum at the same time WAYHOE) .She calls herself a ‘pro-sex feminist’. Some people are like ‘bahh! think of the children!’ and I’m like ‘I think her articles are really intelligent and thoughtful and pretty dang funny’. Like, she just interviewed a porn star and the whole thing could have been an Austen novel (apart from the fact that they were talking about extreme sex acts) because surprise, surprise – porn stars are people with brains too. Awesome work, Karley.

Vice: http://www.vice.com/en_au

You’re probably already onto it but whatever. Vice is renowned for being edgy, smart, avant etc. And it is all these things, although I kind of feel like they would be the adjectives that a forty plus demographic newspaper would use to describe it, so sorry for sounding so middle-aged. But it’s really good. Covers music, fashion, cultyah, news, travel and so on. Is not afraid to be a bit controversial. Hires solid young writers and puts a lot of thought into everything it publishes.

Yeahnah: http://yeahnah.tv/

Yes, I also write for it, so this is shameless cross-promotion. But it’s a great website. Completely Australian, completely young, completely unpretentious. The layout is purposefully crass in its simplicity and the articles are purposefully not. It’s got the tone just right: a good mix of lengthier, meatier pieces and snappy bits. Their Amanda Bynes video is a killer as well.

A Square Girl, in A Round World: http://www.squaregirlinroundworld.com/

This is my m8 Sam’s blog. (When I say m8, I’ve never actually met her in person. But we’ve had great Internet chats and our mutual friend Cerealmonk vows to me that she really does exist. Anyway, her stuff is phat. She just writes about her life and she has a really fresh take on being twenty-four and not having a clue about what to do with your life. And she Internet dates for our reading pleasure. And talks about cellulite. Good.

Check em out, people. Soon I’ll be hitting you with the next instalment of how to procrastinate when you’ve run out of food. The theme will be ‘Making Shit’. Get excited.

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Why are some cafes so shit?

It’s the ultimate first world problem, but one we need to discuss. Because a good cafe makes you feel something special. Like you belong to a hip community that understands you and your coffee order. You have a place to read your Hemingway, your Meyer, your Brown, your Wilde and everyone accepts you for the awesome person you are whilst also bringing you food and clearing away your crap at the same time. Some people say books are our friends. I agree with them. But I also challenge them to find a book that isn’t enhanced by being read in a rad cafe with awesome service and a solid breakfast menu. Ha. I won. How satisfying. This is a topic I will surely come back to many times in the near future, because I spend many days ordering piccolo lattes and taking three hours to finish them so whatever cafe I’m in can’t kick me out. But for the moment, here is what I want from a cafe, in an article I wrote for yeahnah.tv.

YEAHNAH.TV

what-want-form-a-cafe-madeline-gray-yeahnah-cover
WHAT I WANT FROM A CAFE

I’m not a picky customer. I don’t ask for a double shot, decaf, skim milk piccolo latte. That’s not my style. I try not to be a wanker/ admit to the world that I am actually a wanker.

There are a few basic things that I ask for from a café. I don’t care if the barista is hot but if you’re a business owner and you want more business, there’s a sure-fire way to achieve it. I won’t make a fuss if my milkshake is served in a glass jar as opposed to a traditional blue paper cup (here’s looking at you, Grounds of Alexandria). I also don’t give a flying duck’s bum if the ingredients are sourced or not sourced from organic local farmers who have names like ‘Rain’ and ‘Shine.’. Be your bacon from Woolworths or Terry Wright, I salute you because you serve bacon.

But here are a few things that are really, really necessary in a café:

Someone should greet me at the door.

There is nothing worse than coming into a small café for the first time and feeling like you don’t belong there as you stand like an awkward idiot trying to see if there is a table available. My friend and I entered a cheeky little café in Marrickville the other day. We stood, perplexed, feeling like virgins who just don’t know what to do. A cute guy sitting near the door saw our creased brows and politely offered us his table as he had finished his brekky bowl. Gratified, we sat down. Only the next minute, a hot, angry, hipster waitress prowled over to us and snarkily exclaimed, “Excuse me, a woman and her small child were here first. This table is theirs!”.

We felt like awful people but this was not our fault, dammit. If only the café had implemented some system whereby there was a sign telling us to wait to be seated, or a person for that matter.  Perhaps a fucking green light above free tables like they have in the new Westfield parking lots. Anything to avoid the shame of commandeering the eating space of an innocent young woman and child and having a whole lot of hipsters stare at us with disdain in their eyes and on their beards.

Give me water.

Not in five minutes. Not after I’ve finished my side of wilted spinach that has weirdly arrived before anything else. Now.

When I ask you what is good here, tell me what is good here.

Don’t try and be diplomatic and tell me that everything you have is delicious. I’ve never been here before and my attitude towards food in the mornings is distinctly indecisive. Tell me that I should order the chorizo egg shwarma and I’ll probably get it. Thank you.

If you fuck up my order, tell me.

I’ve worked in a café before. I understand that you get a billion orders a day and you don’t actually care about any of them. So if you forget to enter my haloumi into the system, that’s cool. If you realise you’ve actually run out of fig jam and therefore can’t make my fig jam French toast, fine. Just let me know so that I can process it. I’ll recalibrate my expectations. I’ll stop staring at you with evil eyes every time you walk by me so that you have to look the other way. I’ll be amiable. I’ll make a joke about it being my flat white to have fig jam. You’ll pity laugh and your day will go on. Cool.

University is a Poem: Write It!

As exams roll past, and everyone is stressed, and I see people running comically to the bathroom at five to nine, we must remember to live, to breathe. This too shall pass! University is a soufflé that continues to rise and fall! The substance is always good even if it appears to have set wrong every now and again. Be a cook!

Sorry, I’ve been Googling haikus this morning and my brain has become a fortune cookie dispenser. Here are a few poems about some subjects I have studied at Uni. Feel free to write your own! The best entry gets a prize (the prize being a vaguely educational procrastination technique).

Torts

Ginger beer gone wrong

Causes much desolation

Kirby dissents, no!

American History

They said it would be easy

They said I’d learn about States

They said I’d get the Civil war

That I wouldn’t need to memorise dates

But the History department were liars

They courted no romance

They’d prefer to hand out credits

Than let the bell curve advance

They asked me what I thought of historicism

I said, “Yeah, it’s alright”

I didn’t know what historicism was

And I don’t think I was right

The marks came out

I was fucked

Michael Rees beat me by far

But that’s the way that Michael plays

A silent killer

An HD student, a star.

Foundations of Law

Textbooks laden on my bed

Textbooks crammed inside my head

Turns out I didn’t need to know

Anything

There was no exam.

Just a hand-in.

Ha.

Art History

The lecturer said, “I know about drugs!”

Some laughed awkwardly

Counterculture was beat

And beat was counterculture

The lecturer was shit.

Philosophy

I Kant do this anymore

It’s confusing

I can’t justify free will

My brain is Fuller but nothing makes sense

Socrates get up off my grill

Questions upon questions

I start to Hum(e) a tune

I read Locke but find no keys

I try to Plato my strengths

But to no avail

Heart says one thing; logic disagrees

Damn.

History of God

Stick figures on rocks

Must be sacrificial rite

No mention of Him