I’ve just had a memorable night out with some great friends at the Retro Hotel in Sussex Street Sydney. The night started out with a pleasant ferry trip into the city with my good friend Gee. I knew it was going to be a good night because my sarcastic, potty-mouth humour was on fire. This night proved to me, that I might be getting old but I can still have a blast.
Gee who lives in the Western Suburbs of Sydney was enthralled by the ferry trip as is most who see Sydney at its best – at night and from a boat – said she felt like she was in another country – which indicated to me that she needs to get out more.
I must add here that we started our trip into the city at 5.45pm. Yes folks it was pensioner hour so it doesn’t came as a surprise that this great night was going to end early.
When Gee and I arrived at Cockle Bay we met up with another friend Von and we headed straight to the Retro. I was surprised that at this early hour we were met at the door by large Maori man who wasn’t going to let us inside unless we had a booking, which we did. Once he was happy, he proceeded to stamp our wrist and let us through. It was at this time I realised how long it’s been since I’d been out to a night club – I’d forgotten about the stamp.
However, it did transport me back to the early 80s at the Lithgow Workies Club, which is a two bob joint in country NSW. I was also reminded of Lithgow when I asked the Retro barmaid for a Sauvignon Blanc and was told they only had Semillon Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay or a couple of reds which I wasn’t interested in drinking that night. On my last visit to Lithgow I asked the barmaid for a Sauvagine Blanc, she looked at me blankly and said we’ve only got white or red. I foolishly asked from what vineyard; this question was clearly lost on her. Not learning my lesson, a couple of hours later I asked the same barmaid for a Frangellico – obviously they haven’t heard of it in Lithgow.
Anyway back to the Retro, where I should add that the Retro caters for women’s hen nights; they offer a three course meal with a side of karaoke followed by dancing at either one of the two night clubs. I didn’t know beforehand they offered karaoke but Bel, another friend who’s mad keen on karaoke, couldn’t help but suggest this venue for the girl’s night out (plus one bloke).
Once we got past our big Maori friend a very drunk Irishman, who was with a group of his co-construction workers, asked which one of us were getting married. Now this question seems simple enough but let me set the scene – two of us are middle age and have been married twice, the other friend although early 30s had just recently separated from her husband, so needless to say we looked at him as if he was mad and set him straight about our circumstances of which he replied that he has also been married twice. Who’d a thought that this wonderful Irish man would have ever been sober enough to get married even once?
After a short time another five friends arrived and we headed downstairs to the restaurant – well technically it wasn’t a restaurant, it was more like a big room with approximately 6 long tables complete with balloon centrepieces and a big sign indicating who’s sitting where.
Only one of the tables had been occupied with what appeared to be around 30 women looking like they were attending a wake rather than a hen’s night. Once we sat down at our designated table we were off and running, our table was by far the one where ‘it’ was happening. By ‘it’ I mean from anyone else’s point of view, we were having a good time and our table was the place to be even though the average age of the bunch was 40. Proven again, we still know how to party!
On each table was a list of alcoholic shots with very crude names, including a Slippery Nipple, a Quick F*&k, a C*#k S#cking Cowboy and a Wet Pu##y. See what I mean when I say crude! It goes without saying that one middle-age pottymouth women, not naming any names, steered the night’s conversation well and truly into the gutter, setting the scene for the night ahead. But in my defence, I mean her defence, we laughed so hard I’m sure some of us wet our pants on several occasions – not that I did mind you.
I must mention here the only person to get up and partake in karaoke was Bel. I acted out the role an Idol judge who would make Simon Crowley come across as a good natured sole: “Get off – next!”
The night progressed, we got drunk and literally danced the night away. Fee, another friend, ensured the drinks kept flowing. She even served us up a round of Slippery Nipples, which tasted so damn good I got another round, but when I returned to the group, Fee had gone without a word to anyone. I’m sure she made it home, or to Oxford Street for more fun knowing her.
Obviously the cheap white wine and shots had a positive affect on me. As I’m not usually an outwardly friendly person to strangers, on this night I’m sure I had something nice to say to everyone that came within cooee. I’m also pretty sure I even dished out some non-smoking advice to a couple of nice Irish guys who had ducked outside for a fag. BTW Sydney must have to next biggest population of Irish than Dublin itself – which isn’t a bad thing – who can resist a sexy Irish accent.
As midnight approached and there was only 4 of us left, well actually only 3. Me, Gee and the bloke (Jas). The bloke’s missus (Sonia) was looking a bit shady and need to get home quick. With a quick dash out the door to catch a taxi, the party had now reduced to Gee and Me. We looked at each other and said – “I’m hungy!”