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  • Chloe O'Sullivan

Where Everybody Knows Your Name


I will preface this whole story by saying, I consider myself a little bit anti-social. Not that I don’t like people mind you, I do. I just find it all a bit draining. I see people having these abundant social lives, and it just makes me tired. These people out to dinner on a Wednesday night. Makeup on and hair on point. #withthegirls #livingmybestlife and I giggle to myself about what my hashtag would be, given I have usually just taken off my bra and put on my comfy pants.

On a weeknight after work, school, after school activities, getting the kids dinner and getting ready for the next day, if I have enough energy to drag myself into the shower and read a story before bedtime, then I consider that a win for the day.

Sundays, however, are the best. Usually, Sundays mean no sport, and if we happen to be birthday party free, it’s the chance to do the thing I love more than trash TV and chocolate. I love to people watch. I could do it all day. Watching people go about their day is fascinating to me. The only thing that makes it better is if I can do it with a nice coffee and a piece of caramel slice.

I prefer to sit somewhere quiet. Somewhere I can get a park, and last month I found my perfect spot – Matey's at Warners Bay. It is this beautifully renovated caravan parked out the front of Esplanade Motel at Warners Bay. It’s perfect, it’s away from the café strip and on the walking trail plus there is a little tunnel so you can walk under the busy road to get over to the lake.

We have only been there three times now but without fail the gorgeous couple who own the place already remember my coffee order and which milkshake the kid likes. It just felt like home straight away (despite the fact I had my bra on). The Motel itself has one of the best Japanese Restaurants called Fukusui and one of the only places I know of that still does teppanyaki. I had a little giggle thinking about the place because the first time I went there was on a first date.

At that time, there was no signage for a restaurant that you could see from the street. To get inside you had to walk through the driveway and up the stairs. Very disconcerting for a young 20-something for their date to pull up into a motel carpark and try and convince you that there is indeed a restaurant upstairs. I went along but had my keys between my fingers the whole time and was very relieved when the door flung open to see a very talented chef flipping food from the grill into someone’s bowl. Phew!

Last Sunday, the kid and I sat ourselves at Matey’s for a good hour. We watched all the people in their exercise gear walk, jog and cycle around the path by the lake. We saw a couple walking their dogs and one guy walking what I’m almost certain was a ferret on a lead. We yelled across the road to two on-duty police to see if they wanted a coffee. They very politely and professionally declined. I felt slightly guilty after watching all these very active humans, going back for a red velvet cupcake but hey, you do your kind of Sunday and I’ll do mine.

All in all, it was my perfect day. Jules, the owner, remembered me and we had a chat, and I got to catch up with a friend, which after a 65-hour workweek is all the human interaction I can cope with.

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