Australia Day

“Ginaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!” I yelled from the couch towards the bedroom. “It’s Australia Day! Get up! Let’s party!”
I heard unimpressed groans coming from the bedroom. Why did we party so hard the night before?
I rolled off the couch and leaped into her bed to join her.
“Let’s go to the cockroach races!!” I exclaimed as she turned over to face me.
To be honest, I don’t know how I had any energy that morning. Maybe I was truly THAT excited about racing cockroaches. Maybe I was still drunk from the night before. Either way, before I knew it, we were up, showered, decked out in Aussie tattoos and walking towards Story Bridge Hotel for a feed and some celebrations.
It was about a half hour walk to the bar. When we arrived, our initial adrenaline had worn off and we were just tired and hungry. Food took 45 minutes to arrive, and up until that point we didn’t feel like socializing. Definitely not with anyone else, and hardly with each other. But when food came, and we got back to beer, we both perked up enough to enjoy the afternoon.
For Australia Day, the Story Bridge Hotel turns its entire parking lot into an all ages beer garden. The place has costume competitions, music, lots of places to buy beer, and of course, the infamous cockroach races…
You could buy and bet on cockroaches that were then placed into a giant ring and let loose. I have no idea how they keep track of the winners, or how they catch the first, second and third place cockroaches before they go skittering into the feet of the crowds, but it sure is entertaining!
I was surprised that the race was over so fast (with each race lasting about 1.5 seconds). But I suppose the real fun is listening to the screams of people as 40ish cockroaches scamper over the edge of the ring and into the crowds. Sadly for the little cockroaches, they have a crowd lifespan of about 15 seconds before someone squashes them. But with a parking lot full of drinking Aussies, it made for a fun afternoon!
When the evening rolled around and we started getting hungry, Gina and I strolled across Story Bridge to a party at her friend Anita’s place. There they were listening to the top 100 count down and having a big BBQ. “A true Australian Day” as everyone kept saying to me.
Anita’s place was beautiful. Right on the river, overlooking the bridge and the city… A view I could NEVER in a million years afford in Vancouver. The food was plentiful, the company was fantastic, and the beers continued well into the night. ‘Straya Day. Check!

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