Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The only shoe shop in the world

We flew from Coffs Harbour to Sydney in an airplane that had propellers. This is not my idea of a good plane – especially when I am sitting next to the propeller. 

I don’t trust them from my days reading Biggles books and I remember a nasty incident when a mechanic was badly injured because a lazy pilot did not have the choke fully in or out or something. Biggles remonstrated with the pilot and grounded him - but that did not bring back the mechanic’s fingers did it?

Turns out Cate is an ‘Ambassador’ at Intercontinental Hotels so we were given a harbour view room (photo), a bottle of wine, a bowl of fruit and significant amount of bowing and scraping.

Unfortunately the service did not extend to ironing Cate’s clothes so I still had to do this as we had to go out almost immediately. The pressure was on me to do this and there was an instant catastrophe as I could not get Cate’s suitcase open.

We had bought new Rimowa suitcases and I had set the combinations – and checked them multiple times – and Cate’s simply did not work.

It was 4:00 PM. We had to go to dinner at 6:00 PM. Prior to this Cate HAD to go shoe shopping. I was staring at a locked suit case – fiddling with the combinations. Cate was glaring at me and was just about to move into Death Stare mode and vapourise me.

 I was preparing to ring room service to get bolt cutters when a miracle happened. The Fuckup Fairy sneezed – lost focus - and I escaped death by seconds. I moved the combination one notch and the locked popped open.

So I ironed Cate’s clothes so she could hurtle down to her favourite shoe shop in Sydney before we went to dinner. She says this is the only shoe shop in the world in which she can buy shoes.

This makes me wonder why I spend countless hours in shoe shops in Vienna, Berlin, Copenhagen, Paris, Stockholm, etc. – but still.

Anyway she rushed in there and gave the sales assistant strict instructions that she was to be provided with as many pairs of shoes as possible in half an hour and she duly emerged with four pairs just as I arrived panting after running from the hotel (having ironed my owned clothes) and we leapt into a taxi and roared off to the restaurant to meet my children and grand-children.

This was at 6:00 PM. This is a very fashionable restaurant booked by my son Lenny and the early time was the only time they could guarantee to squeeze us in. It is called Porteno and is Argentinian – so is very meaty.

You can have lamp chops and beef ribs that have been cooked for eight hours. Fortunately they do this before you arrive.

The hostess (photo) is a minor celebrity by virtue of being married to the one of the owners and dresses like a Hollywood actress from the 50s and flounces around looking like a – well – Hollywood actress from the 50s.

But the food was really wonderful and some of the waiters wear braces (on their trousers not their teeth) and sport bushy beards so there is quite an interesting atmosphere. The music is Jackrabbit Slimmish.

It was quite an entertaining evening – although I am not locking the suitcases again – and I will see the kids again next weekend.

Cate is back in Vienna and the cats are well. Next – back to the Blue Mountains.


  1. I told you those Rimowa bags were slippery and now they are also laughing at you.

  2. I've never had lamp chops. Meat for the enlightened?


  3. @ Steph: *lol*
    Cooking them for eight hours must do wonders! ;-)

  4. The logic about spending time in all the inferior shoe shops is that its proves that one and only true shop is that one in Sydney, but requires constant vigilence by inspecting every other wanna be shoe store in the world. HOLD IT! She is wrong - I have a real shoe store as well!!! I have Vibram FiveFingers - has she tried those yet? I know they are available in Europe, they are an Italian company. I have been wearing them since February.

  5. I suddenly remembered that the very first pair of Vibrams that I sold went to one of my children's old girlfriends, and that one of her daughters is named Sidney, so in a very indirect minor way I have a shoe shop with a Sydney connection. Small world.

  6. Propellor or no, you are lucky to be able to fly from any part of regional Australia to a capital city, I reckon. Nice view in this lovely month of August, of the harbour...

  7. Sandy: and Tally Ho

    fmcgmcclic: The swines - I have to carry bolt cutters in my back pack.

    SK Waller: Oh clever clogs! You proff readers make me sick.

  8. Merisi: And just don't you start!

    esbboston: Oh purlease do not send her details of that shoe store. Have mercy.

    Simon: I do my best

    Merricks: I guess so - It will get harder to do so.