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Away from the desk - August 2015

28 Jul 2015

Away from the desk - August 2015 Image

What do you get when you combine friendship and fireworks? Good times!

Last Friday night, I really did get away from the desk.

After a long slog at the office, I power-walked to one of my favourite places in Docklands – Costco. It was there I met my dear friend, Joy, and her cute daughter, Nicole.

As I’m a bit of a cheapskate and don’t have my own Costco membership, my lovely ladies were waiting for me out the front. A hug and a kiss later, we headed inside together and made a beeline straight for the food court.

Ahhh, the Costco food court! Let me tell you – if you’re on a budget and enjoy the odd fast-food treat, and have membership-card-wielding friends like I do, this place is heaven on earth. Where else in Melbourne can you get a hotdog and unlimited soft drinks for $1.99?

Anyway, back to my story. We loaded our plates with all the good stuff – hotdogs, pizza and drinks. As I started to chow down on my wiener, I noticed a little boy break away from his unsuspecting parents who, like me, were focusing on their cheaper-than-the-1980s meal deal.

The boy seemed to find great pleasure in touching every square millimetre of the nearby rubbish bin. He then moved on to the self-serve drinks machine, making sure he handled every drink cup lid in procession. Finally, just to make sure his germs spread as far as they possibly could, he wiped his hands all over the self-serve sauce dispensers. Lovely.

I suddenly lost my appetite and put down my hotdog.

We decided to make our way to the Waterfront City piazza. The place was buzzing with kids and families, all waiting excitedly for the fireworks show to begin.

At 7.30pm on the dot – fireworks erupt, smiles everywhere. In the background, the Bolte Bridge had never looked so good.

As I tapped my feet to the pop songs blaring through the speakers, I started to forget about the grotty little boy. The fireworks had, errr, worked.

Back to Costco. It was time to shop. I loaded Joy’s trolley with cheap imported alcohol and chocolates – the antidotes to pretty much everything. It was turning out to be a great night!

Enthusiasm turned to self-pity, however, when my portion of the shop tallied $289. Maybe I went a little bit overboard on the alcohol, I thought, so I considered putting the coffee-flavoured tequila back on the shelf. But then I thought about how nice it would taste, which spelled the end of that silly thought bubble. Out with the credit card.

Our ‘last stop’ involved eating ice-cream under the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel. Deciding which flavours would work best together, and how many nuts and other yummy things should be ‘smashed’ into it, proved quite difficult. It was a classic case of – dare I say it – a first world problem. On a more serious and pleasing note though, the grotty little boy was nowhere to be seen.

As we shared stories and laughed under the wheel, it dawned on me that Joy and Nicole mean so much to me. Although we’d seen spectacular fireworks, devoured tasty treats and shopped ‘til we dropped, it was the company I was with that made the night so special. I realised how lucky I was to have such wonderful friends.

Looking back, we managed to cover a fair bit of ground that night: Costco (check), Waterfront City piazza (check), observation wheel (check). But the night was much more than just ticking things off a list; it was about good old-fashioned friendship. And that has to be worth its weight in hotdogs, ice-cream, alcohol …

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