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Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Back to country

Very early this morning - well before nine o'clock - I headed out because I had an appointment with the therapist in Bondi Junction. I headed down to Pyrmont Bridge and crossed with the morning foot traffic: what seemed like thousands of people walking eastward into the city with its towers and glass windows. It was brisk out and I went up Market Street then made my way to Martin Place, where I caught a train. A elderly man in shorts who was carrying a tennis raquet got on the train at Kings Cross and got off at Edgecliff. I got off the train at my destination and took the Grafton Street exit, walking north to the shopping centre, where I used the toilet.

I went to a cafe and ordered a flat white because I still had half-an-hour before the appointment. I took the order number on its stick and sat outside. There were three young men sitting at a table nearby but they got up and left while I was sitting down. I got out my phone and used social media while I waited for the coffee, which turned out to be strong and hot. After 15 minutes I got up and walked south down Spring Street to an office building, then went inside and caught the lift up. At my floor I got out and went to the waiting room for the consulting suite and sat down in a chair. There were two other people in the room. The therapist came out a couple of minutes later and went to a filing cabinet in the room, then turned back to her consulting room and called me in from the doorway. I went inside and sat down.

When the session was over I left the building and walked up Oxford Street to the bus terminus, then crossed the road and went to the park exit nearby, where there is a pedestrian crossing. I crossed Oxford Street at the lights and made my way up Queen Street. There was a council truck parked on the footpath at the corner of Oxford Street, where I turned right toward the city. A bit further down there was a young man on a small green plastic skateboard rolling along the footpath.

At Victoria Street I turned into Darlinghurst and walked along past the hospital. There were people on the footpath there from the wards sitting in the sun. One man sat in a wheelchair. I went into a restaurant near the Cross that I've been to before and sat down, ordering a glass of beer and a beef salad. After eating I paid and left, turning left up the street. I turned right into Liverpool Street and walked down the hill into East Sydney, then turned north and crossed William Street into Woolloomooloo. At the Domain I walked up the hill and turned right toward the gallery. "I know they had something earlier from last week," said a woman to her companion as they walked along the road under the trees.

Inside the art gallery, I asked at the desk where the watercolour exhibition was and the young man sitting there pointed me in the right direction. I bought a card after walking around and also a catalogue for the "Making Modernism" exhibition that I had recently seen, then left the building. A man sitting in a parked car was arguing with a woman standing on the footpath. A woman was walking toward me with two teenage children walking with her. As she passed me she said "It is a remembrance thing." To my left across the road at the Police Wall of Remembrance there was a crowd of people, some of whom were sitting on the grass. There were others standing. All of the people were facing the stone wall with its black granite.

In Hyde Park many people were enjoying the sunshine and I gave the coins that were in my pocket to a busker playing an electronic keyboard next to the fountain. In Market Street I heard a woman say to her companion, "I know, that's my theory." They walked past me down the street. Both were young. "Say yes to the taste you love," said an advertisement on the street in front of the pedestrian bridge. The people flocked past in both directions. On Pyrmont Bridge a man was taking a photo of the backs of two women seated on a bench, with the Western Distributor visible to him in the background. "Like, have a great day, walk away," a woman said loudly into her microphone as she walked along the bridge past me. "It's very complicated," said a man standing outside the pub at the end of the bridge, to his companion, an elderly woman, who was holding a smartphone in her hands.

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