Evening of Day One: The Sea Temple, Eurovision and Tina

I return from a business dinner at our hotel Sea Temple’s restaurant Seaduction to find Tina watching the Eurovision round one semi-finals in Azerbaijan.

I try to tell her about the restaurant that just opened downstairs and the interior tastefully done up in dark but pleasing tans and browns with bolts of color but she is jumping up and down on the sofa to the music of Irish duo Jedward.

I keep on about the textures of the interior design: striated wood, alcoves of Perrier-green bottles, woven wicker paneling. As if the floor to ceiling windows with the ocean view wasn’t enough decoration.

I can’t compete with Eurovision. It’s loud, it’s bright. It could bring on a migraine. I take a couple of Paracetamol that Tina was kind enough to purchase for me while I was at dinner from the Australian Woolworths.

I open a battle of Shiraz Cabernet Mt. Tamborine wine and pour each of us a glass. I love Australian wines. In fact, my favorite red wine experience was with Tina and her husband Patrick in the Blue Mountains. A ridiculously expensive Pemberton that broke our hearts with the cherry overtones.

I capitulate to the booming TV, and sit on the couch with Tina. It is impossible to resist Eurovision, especially the semi-finals. I know I’m experiencing a part of cultural history. Jedward has the raw energy of 1980’s Flock of Seagulls without the flash in the pan feeling. The singers sear themselves into your retina with every pump of the fist and pirouette. I might forget the menu at Seaduction, but I will never forget Jedward’s performance of Waterline. How did these two silver-and-gold-clad performers (let’s face it aliens) make it out of Ireland? Is this what James Joyce would have envisioned for his culture if he fast forwarded to the 21st century?

“Why don’t we have Eurovision in America?” I wail.

“Because Americans don’t live in Europe?” puts forth Tina.

I try to imagine Wolfgang being raised on Eurovision. We don’t even have cable in our house anymore. Not that we don’t get everything via Internet. Bob The Builder is British after all. And so is Timmy Time.

Jedward do cartwheels and come to a water-soaked finale. The armor-inspired costumes don’t allow for any wet T-shirt imagery but their drenched hair goes all floppy. Tina claps her hands.

A commercial for Azerbaijan comes on. I do a load of laundry just because I can.

I’m tired. So is Tina. We are spent from the intensity and drama of Jedward. We turn off the large flat-screen TV (no, I don’t have one and, yes, they still impress me). climb into the immensely comfortable king-size bed, and turn out the lights.

“We used to do this thing from a TV program,” says Tina. “Where we’d say goodnight to each other.”

I take my cue. “Good night, John Boy,” I reply.

“Good night, John Boy,” she says in return.

The slapping sounds of the ocean from Surfer’s Paradise beach is a beautiful bookend to the evening and we fall asleep.

The final results of the Eurovision competition can be found here.

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