The great grand E2G2G of the Sydney persuasion numero due occurred on Sunday the 11th of November 2001, starting at the legendary and definitely still cranky Kam Fook Sharks Fin Seafood Restaurant, in Sydney's Chinatown. It moved on to the Glenmore Hotel in The Rocks for beer, then to the roof-top of an undisclosed Sydney government building on the harbour, where the webcam at www.viewsydney.com.au was hacked. Then to the rooftop of the Palisade Hotel for more refreshing bevvies, concluding back in Chinatown at BBQ King (yes, sneff, I am a pork slut.)

The following folks said Good-Bye depression:

alex.tan, Anjum, arkaem, freaek, Inoshiro_K, jt, Kalon, lignocaine, mellamaphone, Collin the Man with No Name, simonc, sneff, VirtualWolf

Pictures at www.simoncousins.com

Debriefing

Sunday, November 11th 2001. 9:04 AM. I am violently woken by the severe tones of my $12 clock radio. Good, I am up early and trust me, this is VERY early for me. All my brain can think of is coffee, but I must get into gear. A quick call to simonc lets me know that he is already there. He had a 3 1/2 drive to get there. Errgghh, damn him!

I am out the door into glorious sunshine within minutes and following a brief walk, I am assailed by the sights, scents and sounds of Sydney's wonderful Chinatown. simonc and a friendly potential noder, anjum are waiting outside Kam Fook's. I plead with them, coffee!; things can get ugly in the absence of caffeine I assure them. After consuming perhaps the worst coffee available in Sydney, hungry noders start to arrive. First suspects are Freaek and roommate Colin, followed in quick fashion by alex.tan and Kalon, whose suit added an air of sophistication to an otherwise casual bunch. Greetings are exchanged, feet shuffle, stomachs rumble. A table must be secured. We are given 2 tables of eight, which turns out to be a little ambitious. Inoshiro_K and lignocaine soon arrive swelling our numbers to an acceptable level.

Food, food, let's get down to business. This is Sydney's best yum cha after all. 3 different guises of rice noodles, har gua dumplings, braised chicken feet, crisp shallot dumplings, jiaozi and simonc procured for us our very own char siew (BBQ pork) lady, bringing us copious quantities of the stuff.

Amidst flying chopsticks, steaming tea and rapid fire conversations, a lost looking VirtualWolf shows up with his mum. She politely asks me if we can arrange to see him safely home. I assure her VW's safety as images of subterranean bars and decadent drinks pass through my synapses. VW grabs a bowl and chopsticks and is soon in the swing of things. Just as we are holding our bellies and screaming "no more", Kalon's phone rings. It is mellamaphone, jt and arkaem who got a little lost.

No time to waste, we decamp, pile into cars and head to Sydney's historic Rocks area. The Glenmore Hotel is one of Sydney's better-kept secrets. Just an average working pub at street level, the rooftop is awash with million dollar vistas of the Bridge, harbour and Opera House. A few drinks, and it is off to Kalon's employer's rooftop around the corner. Well, the views here are even better, so good in fact that they have a remotely controlled streaming web cam, www.viewsydney.com.au Now it's a long story, but Freaek was in possession of a stuffed monkey, which soon replaced the harbour views for some unfortunate web surfer who was controlling the cam at the time.

Three rooftops were hit that day, the final being my place of employ, where noders understandably grew tired of the constant stair climbing. We stretched out and roasted in the sun for a while as Freaek and I tried to phone Ling Ling, the headless dog.

6PM. Things came full circle with a trip back to Chinatown and an early dinner at the infamous BBQ King. Peking Duck, everyday soup and gasp, more char siew. simonc, I have only one thing to say, "squeala come un miale". At this stage we lost the company of simonc, alex.tan, lignocaine, and VirtualWolf, who wisely saw that things could get unruly from here on. How right they were. I dragged the poor bunch up to Frigid at the Hopetoun Hotel, which I falsely declared to be just 'round the corner. Half an hour later, we arrived. How far did we walk that day? Anyone's guess, but we did need to work off the BBQ pork.

Pool was played, Chilled live beats were provided by Sub Bass Snarl and yet more alcohol was taken. At this point Inosiro_K performed one of the more amazing feats of the day by consuming a schooner (425 ml) of Guinness in a little less than 9 seconds. I felt dizzy just watching it.

8PM. Some are a little crossed eyed and unsure of foot by this stage, not the least myself. Polite goodbyes are exchanged and happy noders go of into the night.

Kudos go out to simonc, mellamaphone, jt, arkaem and lignocaine who all undertook long journeys to attend. To alex.tan and lignocaine for ordering the ma po dofu. To Kalon for allowing some superlative views and risking his job. To Inoshiro_K for just drinking that black beer so damn fast. To Freaek for brining the monkey and to VirtualWolf for bringing your mum. Thanks to all of you for making it a great day.


R.S.V.P

"It's huge. There are more people waiting outside this 800-seater restaurant for a weekend lunchtime table than would fit inside your average Sydney bistro. And its good. Yum cha here is terrific - madly noisy, tenemently crowded and unashamedly chaotic."

SMH Good Food Guide review of Kam Fook's.

Man, how could I miss out on Yum cha at a restaurant where the waiters sport walkie talkies.

Missions to be accomplished this time around

  • Turn up on time. Ok, so I work late Saturday nights and usually go out partying with the restaurant crew. I can miss that for one week, I guess.

  • Get more gweilo's to eat the exotica. Freaek ate congee last time around. This was a good start. This time you are all gonna try steamed duck feet, blood jelly and braised intestine. I assure you; you will....

  • Try not to upset the staff so much. Aww stuff it... Maybe this can't be accomplished, it IS an E2 gathering after all.
  • Weather permitting, I suggest a jaunt down to The Rocks afterwards for some considered chit chat and polite imbibing at the Glenmore Hotel, 96 Cumberland St, The Rocks (see above for the URL), roof top views of the Harbour Bridge and Opera house and extremely surly bar staff.

    It was great! And my buttocks have never been so steely!

    The great malarkey trip began at 7.30am for the Newcastle crew (jt, arkaem and I). We had been to a party type thing the night before, so right from the start the day was a challenge. Moods were low (okay, my mood was low, as I'd forgotten my book and magazine for the trip) and it was too damn early.

    We eventually made it to Central Station, where we asked for directions to the rendevouz point... then got lost. We walked up and down Hay Street then wandered through Chinatown, tempers fraying, until I persuaded jt to give one of the noders a call. We then discovered that we'd walked past the damn restaurant way back at the start, right after alighting from the station. ("How hard can it be to find it?" Mmm, very?)

    We made it to the yum cha palace, and were met by the snazzily dressed kalon. He was a little too smartly dressed- were we dressed too casually? Would everyone be dressed in evening gowns and tuxes? But no, we were led to a decidedly casual group, and our fears were allayed.

    ...and as we arrived, the gang stood up to leave. We had dithered in Chinatown too long. As a group, we departed, taking a few group photos at the exit. Hurried introductions were made, and we forgot everyone's names immediately. arkaem and I whispered questions to each other- do you call people by their nick? Or real name? What's that guy's name again? Have we met her yet? We were nervous. And thirsty. Luckily we were headed to a pub.

    We climbed a million steps, and had some lovely drinks on the roof of the Glenmore Hotel. As the alcohol loosened our tongues, we started to talk to other noders. About e2, alex.tan's dreams of a better xp system, sneff's recipes, everything. We descended the stairs to refuel, climbed back up, then back down... We walked through The Rocks to... another rooftop. The view was gorgeous, more photos were taken, spank became an international star, and we walked back down.

    The Palisade was next on the list, and this rooftop proved that my legs and butt just aren't what they should be for a sprightly 22 year old. They hadn't experienced anything like that workout since my fleeting (and I do mean fleeting) experience with the Stairmaster. Up and down, up and down... oh yeah, and we talked to more noders. We got to know the lovely and charming lignocaine as we continued to drink in the hot Sydney sun; the fair skinned and Guiness slamming Inoshiro_K joined arkaem, Colin the man with no name and I in the shade as the others sweltered in the sun. It was then time to go- and get something to eat.

    BBQ King is where it's at, and we ate a veritable feast of yummy foodstuffs. I got to know simonc and anjum, and found them to be interesting, funny and sweet as we stuffed ourselves with the famous everyday soup, pork, duck, chicken and vegies. Mmmm, makes me hungry thinking about it!

    The group disbanded as everyone started to think about heading home. It was left to only a few of the noders to walk the ten million kilometres- all uphill!- to the Hopetoun, where we enjoyed the groovy samples and sounds of Sub Bass Snarl. Anjum and sneff whipped jt and colin at pool as I lost money on the pokies and we all continued drinking. But alas, it came time to leave, and jt, arkaem and I returned to Central. We made it in the knick of time, and enjoyed a lazy trip home; content, sunburnt, fitter.

    It was great to meet you all; you're all gorgeous, and smart, and funny, interesting and cool. Thank you to alex.tan for driving us around, and thanks to simonc for making us feel so comfortable and helping organise it all. My butt has never been better.

    Whoooaaaaa! This is certainly going to the best E2G2T ever! And it looks like a few people are going to be doing the distance, so I really shouldn’t comment on my travelling up from the lovely Gong.

    Count me in!

    Adding to sneff’s mission statement:
    To promote E2 amongst non-computer geeks (like me...).
    And to get more gweilo's to eat the exotica!

    What will our mascot be this time? Will simonc wear his geek T-shirt or alex.tan his E2 T-shirt for easy identification?? I am sure you can can’t miss us.


    And for the lead up to this occasion, MK will node a node a day until Sunday. Promise!
    The aftermath

    It was wonderful meeting all these geeks (computer and non-'s). Mission accomplished!

    It proved to be a day of stair-climbing and red-noses. The latter not from the promised black velvets, but from the strong Australian sun. But I truly enjoyed the best views that Sydney had to offer from the roof tops of the abovementioned buildings even if I did curse the stair-climbing, and the beer and pork, and the endless bowls of congee, and the varied topics of conversation. One thing I missed was having our mascot, Spank The Monkey (also known as Speaenk) sitting on my lap at BBQ King.

    Many thanks to simonc for making the trip up from the capital city of politics, and jt, mellamophone and arkaem from Newcastle, the othersteel city. And to Kalon for that roof-top spectacular. NSW E2 Community is well and truly alive! Next time we will further our plans on world domination, alex.tan.


    I did node a node a day, in fact - several nodes a day, leading up to the event!

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