Sitting pretty in Adelaide

Last month I discovered that Adelaide isn’t just the city of churches; it’s also the city of cyclists and crotches (as in lady parts).

But before I delve into how I came to be flashed twice in the space of five minutes, I’ll share some favourite parts of my trip to the land of wineries, the Queen’s English and the country’s most relaxed cannabis laws.

Generally I’m a pretty good friend to have but sometimes—like when you’ve moved interstate and keep inviting me to visit and I don’t—I’m a bit of a shit friend.

Despite my failure to visit in the past, my now Adelaide-based friend, former colleague and epic storyteller Elisa forgave me and dished up her most tantalizing invite yet—her wedding to long-time beau, Josh.

I couldn’t say no. Well, I probably could have … but I’m pretty sure I’d have soon found some flaming dog poop at my front door.

Plus, a girls’ weekend in Adelaide with our friends Resh and Fitzy seemed like the perfect start to 2014.

Having never visited South Australia before, I was filled with grand plans of a lazy day spent wandering among the vineyards of Barossa, chasing sharks while cage diving and indulging in so much cheese I’d start growing mould.

But my dreams were quickly shattered when I discovered that you can’t cage dive in Adelaide; you actually need to fly to Port Lincoln (must learn geography) before you can serve yourself up as fish food.

Strike one.

Barossa was also out of the question because the area was still struggling with bush fires—so much so that the organisers of the Tour Down Under almost called off the first stage which was scheduled to pass through the area.

Strike Two.

Thankfully there were other things to win me over including the Central Markets with their beautifully painted walls, wide selection of baked goods and the opportunity to eat the Coat of Arms—in the form of a kangaroo and emu sausage.

Yes, I ate Skippy. It was a bit peppery but not too bad.

Central Markets artwork.
Central Markets artwork.

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Despite the minor hiccups to my otherwise stellar plan of bucket list adventures, my travel buddies and I still managed to pack a lot into our four days—including a wine-tasting adventure in McLaren Vale (blog post to come), two pre-wedding parties and the big day.

It was at one of the pre-wedding events—Friday night dinner and drinks at a cool little pop up bar called Little Miss Mexico in Grenfell Street—that I came to be flashed. By two different women.

A strictly summer-venue, Little Miss Mexico has a large open courtyard which is where we set up, despite the sun still blazing down at 5pm, and quickly acquainted ourselves with the nachos and quesadillas on offer and some hipster-friendly Margaritas served in glass jars and topped with salty rims.

My travel buddies Fitzy and Reshni cool off with Margaritas at Little Miss Mexico.
Hipster alert … I like my drinks served in glasses with handles.

As guests mixed, mingled and traded stories about the bride and groom, we suddenly found interlopers in our midst and it was one of those moments where you question how they couldn’t see that they had settled down for a big old gossip within a group.

It seemed fairly clear that we weren’t their kind of people … mostly because we didn’t look like we’d wandered out of an audition for Willy Wonka’s Oompa Loompas.

There’s no kind way to say it—they looked like they had rolled in a packet of Doritos; like they had been dipped from head to toe into that oh-so-delicious bright orange fake cheese dust that gets stuck all over your fingers and requires you to practically pry it off with your teeth.

They were tanned, coiffed, filled with collagen and squeezed into tiny dresses.

And then it happened.

I was minding my own business, soaking up the last few rays of sunshine with a Margarita in one hand when I looked sideways and *bam* lady parts.

This was not a quick, ‘I’m re-crossing my legs, sorry you caught a glimpse of my pants’ move.

It was so prolonged she could give Sharon Stone a run for her money.

The only saving grace was that it wasn’t just me who got caught in the cross-hairs—so did everyone sitting within a metre of me.

As you can imagine, it caused a lot of laughter and witty banter.

Now, I understand it was a very hot night and they were wearing very tight dresses so maybe they just need to cool things down a little … but come on, that’s not the way to go about it; go to the bathroom, lock yourself in a cubicle and hoick your dress up or down and shake it all around, like a normal person!

Source: Couture for Christ.
Source: Couture for Christ.

When I was 16 years old, my parents sent me to a short course at June Dally-Watkins, ‘Australia’s first school of personal and professional development’ during the Christmas holidays.

I’m sure you’ll agree that it was money well spent as I am now quite the lady.

While many of the lessons have since been forgotten, I have always remembered that the most appropriate way for a lady to sit is with her legs crossed at the ankles and her knees together.

This not only looks graceful, but apparently it will help aid in the fight against veins and it can make you look slimmer … win, win!

Obviously, as a beacon of grace and poise in this unruly world, I follow this rule ALL THE TIME.

The Institute of Etiquette agrees with JDW’s teaching: “When sitting, a woman should cross her legs at the ankles. It is not considered lady-like to cross one’s legs at the knees, especially if one is wearing a short skirt. ”

Despite this rule, I’d have been far happier if the ‘ladies’ we encountered had put themselves at risk of spider veins and crossed their legs or knees or even, dare I say it, opted for a longer skirt!

“Throw your knees a party and invite your skirt down.”
—Bernice Falvey, my knowledgeable Nana—

Website becoming-a-lady.com suggested that some women in the 21st century suffer from a weakness in the thigh muscle which “makes it difficult to sit with their legs together, and crossing their legs is often the only way to stop their knees from falling apart”.

What is the world coming to when young women don’t have the inner thigh strength to hold our knees together?!  One can only hope that Santa delivers Thighmasters to all the young girls this year.

Anyway, with today’s etiquette lesson now complete, I will say that I loved Adelaide.

I loved the laid-back vibe of its residents (which could have something to do with those cannabis laws), the picturesque winery region and beaches that are just a short drive from the city and, of course, the chance to see my friends.

I am already thinking about when I can make a return visit to check out Barossa, indulge in more fine food and pop over to Port Lincoln so Elisa and I can test our underwater screams when face-to-face with some Great White Sharks.

A big thanks to the stunning bride and her handsome groom for including me in their big day—it turns out all it takes to get me to visit is for you to throw a bit of a party and make some grand declarations of love. 

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Mrs & Mr: Elisa and Josh.

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