Today felt strange. The streets of Sydney were quiet. Almost everybody who was travelling seemed to be either leaving the city or going to the shopping malls for the post-Christmas sales. We too were looking to buy. Worried by the rapid depreciation of our car and greatly restricted in space by the paraphernalia of raising a child we were in the hunt for good deals on a Mazda 6.
We drove first to North Parramatta, spent a long time negotiating, fed Alex in their rec room, but couldn’t close the deal. So we drove south, intending to return to the Sutherland dealer who had sold us our current car, a Mazda 3.
On the way down King George’s Road we stopped at Beverly Hills for lunch. Most of the cafes and restaurants were closed for the Christmas/New Year break, leaving the shopping strip dead but for the noise of main road traffic. We found a sleepy Thai restaurant with a dingy interior, ceiling fans turning languidly in the humid summer heat. Two Thai women manned the counter and the stoves. It felt like we were back in Thailand, B was even wearing a shirt purchased there. The food was good too.
As we drove along during the day I would stare up into the silver-grey sky and watch the silhouetted great jets fly northwards from the airport. From the inside of the car they floated silently, purposefully through the air. In this dreamy, quiet, hot atmosphere, the Qantas 747’s called to me, “fly away, seek adventure”, but spending our savings on a car means there will be no European vacation this year, or for a while. I console myself that our holiday dreams are not dead, just limited, but of that I can say no more.
The day ended with the breaking of the storm. But by then we had already signed our contract. Not quite what we were looking for, but it is enough that we have not exceeded our budget.
We arrived home into thunder, lightning and driving rain with an exhausted, crying child with equally tired parents. But it was a quiet day.