Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sydney, Australia--Being a Tourist

My first post was about the Jewish/synagogue related side of Australia.  This post will cover more pedestrian topics.  Here's a slideshow of our adventure with some great Aussie music.  If you don't have the patience, just don't press play and read below.

The Family.  They're all doing well.  Karen is in Heaven here in Sydney, and my boys love it too.  They are a bit tired of each other at this point, as you might imagine, as they have to share a bed and spend virtually all their time together.   Overall they've actually been quite well behaved, but they have had their moments, to be sure.

The Food.  Speaking of food, that's part of the reason we seem to be spending so much money.  Food is fresh and plentiful.   One of the highlights for Karen and me was a visit to the Sydney Fish Market, one of the largest in the world.  Karen had sushi, and I had fish and chips, grilled instead of battered.  You can get any kind of fish here, but our favorites are John Dory and Barramundi.  I'm not a daily coffee drinker, but here, I seem to crave the "flat white" with one sugar scoop.  It's similar to a Cappucino,, but slightly less froth and somehow better.  There is fresh squeezed juice everywhere, and not just orange or carrot, but pineapple, watermelon, pear, rockmelon (cantaloupe), passion fruit, mango, and more.  We want to try every kind of candy bar and ice cream bar.  There are vegetarian pies (more like quiches) and salad sandwiches.  I had Thai food at a food court, and you could choose from a dozen different kinds of noodles.  I chose green tea.

And we can't seem to pass a bakery without wanting what they call a caramel slice, or a vanilla slice or a sticky date pudding, or a variety of mocha cakes.  It's too tempting all the time, and it is not cheap, which brings us to...

The Money.  Sydney is one of the most expensive cities in the world, and that's under normal circumstances.  The weakness of the U.S. Dollar is making it infinitely worse.  When we lived in Sydney 13  years ago, an Australian dollar was worth about 60 cents.  Today, it is worth about 95 cents.  Meals, or even a bag of fruit seems to cost a small fortune.  Plus, we want to see and do everything, so going to see the Aquarium and the Wildlife Park and the Sydney Tower all seem to burn a hole in my pocket.
The Lingo.  Nobody says "good day, mate!"  But they do call people matey.  And they say "how you going?" And if something good happens it's "good on you."  And we ask for serviettes instead of napkins.  Micah got to meet some kids at the synagogue, and they had a good time comparing how they pronounced "grass" or "grahss" as it sounds to us.

And, of course, the wildlife is amazing.  But you still have to visit the zoo (or, in our case, the Featherdale Wildlife Park) to see it.  It's not like koalas and kangaroos hop through the streets of Sydney.

To paraphrase Peter Allen, a part of me will always call Australia home.

1 comment:

  1. It was great seeing you in Sydney. Keep posting. Love Peter, Michelle and Abby.