You know you live in a conservative city when the council erects giant bollards to stop office workers playing chicken across four lanes of peak-hour traffic. And yet that's exactly what Adelaide has done in Grenfell Street, as I discovered this morning.
I can clearly remember the early days of my working life, channeling my mad Frogger skills to make it across the street from my office, to the pub/cafe/shops. We travelled in packs back then - presumably figuring that even if just one of us made it to the pub, the journey would have been worth it. And it was on that road that I learned that chivalry was dead in the ass - none of my male colleagues would ever proactively use their bodies as shields to block traffic from careening into me. Jerks. But it was the way of life back then. The softer, pudgier office worker of this new generation has been denied the white-knuckle lunchtime dash, and instead is forced to use the (wait for it) pedestrian crossings. Eeek, the horror!
But I complied with Adelaide's road rules and wandered across the lights with Rockin' this morning, to enjoy a couple of strong and tasty coffees at Pepper's Espresso Bar in Regent Arcade. I'm still annoyed they shut the ancient cinema in this Arcade, but I remember participating in the closing celebrations and watching a digital restoration of "The Seven Year Itch" there with my aunt. But I digress. The catch-up with Rockin' was great and I got to reminisce about my old office stomping grounds, and play a bit of "where are they now?" about colleagues from the past. God Bless Rockin' for keeping her fingers firmly on the pulse.
I then dashed through the Rundle Mall shops and bought the Cellini purse I'd been looking for since I got home (red and leather - two of my favourite things!). I can't find a picture online to show you, but trust me that it's gorgeous. Then I went into Peter Alexander to try and find some pyjamas to take back with me. I was very disappointed to realise that the cute, frilly nightgowns looked frightful on me. Even sucking my stomach in was a waste of time (and tricky to maintain during sleepy time). So I turned my attention to full pyjamas instead. Many of the latest PJ pants had elastic around the ankles. The embryonic shop assistant tried to help by telling me, "oh they are HAREEEEEEM pants". No. Just, no. Needless to say I inched out of the store, wondering who would think of the children.
In the depths of my despair I was ever so fortunate to rendez-vous at The Mall's Balls with Don't-call-me-Chef, my Chicago chum whose culinary expertise is truly impressive. We had a delicious lunch and a great catch-up at Al Fresco in the east end of Rundle Street. I used to go here way back in the day, but it was really only good for gelati and coffee. Now the restaurant boasts an extensive Italian menu and a delicious wine list; both of which I sampled today. The Lobethal Road shiraz we shared was particularly good.
To continue the fine tradition of days spent stuffing my face, I was grateful for a few hours' rest at home before tackling a hot and spicy laksa at the gorgeous Danny's Thai Bistro on the Norwood Parade. Sharing a tasty meal with two of my favourite fellas on the planet was such a treat - and what's not to love about spicy, flavourful laksa washed down with crisp and ice-cold Singha beers?! Blissful.
Forsaking the hareem pant pyjamas for a pair of winter flannelette ones, I'm grateful for the peppermint tea at home and a semi-early night before tackling another busy day of catch-ups and yet more eating. When I was leaving New York I joked about having to join Weight Watchers upon my return. Somehow that throw-away comment doesn't seem quite so funny now...