I’m one of those odd people that naturally wake up at about 7:30 or 8am, even on the weekends. So yesterday, because today is a public holiday and I had no plans with friends to explore something this weekend, I decided to take a run down to Cronulla. A few of my coworkers live down around there – it’s about an hour, hour fifteen outside of the Sydney CBD – and they were boasting one day about how close the beach was to the train station.
Unlike Bondi, which is a hike from Bondi Junction. And a pain in the ass to get to.
Sidebar about the pubic holiday – the Queen’s Birthday holiday is not the same date across the country, but rather is different in WA. And it’s not like it’s a few days or even a week different so that you’re vaguely in the same ballpark. WA celebrates the Queen’s Birthday in late September. WTF, Australia.
Anyway, back to my day yesterday. I hopped the train, changed at Town Hall and made my way down to Cronulla. I was absorbed in reading a book on my phone – even better, it was a beach read – so I didn’t pay overmuch attention to the scenery, simply walked off the train at the end of the line.
My coworkers were right – not like I assumed they were lying or anything – the beach was maybe a three-minute walk straight from the train station down to the water.
So I did what any normal person would do and walked down to the water.
It is getting into winter, so there was a briskness in the breeze. And for any of my potentially incredulous Northern Hemisphere friends, I now consider about 55F “brisk.” At the beach I alternated between squinting through sunglasses to read the book on my phone and sitting up and taking a look at this country that I’m living in. It happened to me when I was in China, and it’s happening to me more and more frequently here – those surreal moments where you wonder whose life you’re living and how you ended up here. That you shouldn’t be allowed to define yourself as “adult” quite yet and it’s weird that people think you are.
I mean, right now I’m sitting on my couch typing this up at 1 in the afternoon, eating dry Cheerios from a plastic cup with some black and white movie on in the background still in my PJs. I don’t think that really screams adult.
But back to Cronulla. My friend who writes over at FoodLee said her friend got her coffee from this place in Cronulla called Grind, and that they had the best coffee in the Sydney region. So I pulled myself up off the beach and walked up to Grind. Got up to the register and realised they only took cash and I didn’t have any. Also didn’t see a robust food menu, and I was starting to get hungry, and craving French Toast.
So with the intention of going up to the main street and getting cash out of the ATM, I got distracted by this moody cafe with old furniture and graffiti on the walls called Inc and ended up sitting down for breakfast. I was glad I did.
I got my French Toast fix – and here they did brioche French Toast with honey ricotta and strawberries. And I got chai tea (not latte), served like Turkish coffee in one of those little open pots with the handle thing? The chai was phenomenal. The French Toast fed my craving (and for some reason it’s important enough today that it’s earned the Capital Letters), though it didn’t quite meet my sweet tooth. There was a little too little honey over the ricotta for me, I would’ve like it a little bit sweeter.
Outside of beach and breakfast I didn’t do much in Cronulla; I probably spent as much time traveling as I did in the town, but I can’t say I regret it. It was a good choice to get out of the house on a lazy-ish Sunday.