jen yu: australia 2007 - day 8

australia 2007 - day 8

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march 15, 2007
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Jerad's work schedule is pretty horrible. He gets into work at 8 am and he comes home by 2 am. I think Kell mentioned that he'll get one day off a week. However, Kell emailed me that Jerad arranged to have three consecutive days off just for my visit. I was planning to noodle about Sydney on my own that day, but Jerad said if I was willing to wait for him to get up in the morning, he would happily accompany me to the aquarium and show me around town.

I could tell from the way Jerad and Kell talked about Sydney that they love their city. They knew so much about the history, the landmarks, sights to see, places to eat, current events - and it was all conveyed with a sincere affection and enthusiasm. I don't think I could have asked for a better pair of tour guides.

Jerad walked me toward Darling Harbour via the scenic route. We passed Paddy's Market on the way and he identified several points of interest for me to visit on my afternoon alone (Jerad had an appointment in the afternoon): Paddy's Market, Chinatown, Chinese Gardens, Oporto... The aquarium was terrific. My favorites included the platypus tank, shark tank, and the reef tank. The platypuses were super active! They swam and dove and wiggled and played - too much motion to get a decent shot in the low light, but really fun to watch. We still had time to kill before Jerad had to leave, so he showed me two beautiful buildings: the Queen Victoria Buildling (QVB) and The Strand. We stopped by BBQ King in Chinatown to split an order of Peking Duck pancakes. That was insanely good.

After parting ways, I wandered about Chinatown and then worked my way through Hyde Park. Sydney is a terrific walking city. It is also a city committed to providing beautiful gardens and parks for her people to enjoy. The day was quite warm for me, but I could always walk a path in the shade and breeze. From Hyde Park, I hopped over to the Royal Botanical Garden and made my way back to Woolloomooloo where Kell had pointed out the original Harry's Cafe de Wheels - an icon of the city. Harry's serves up meat pies and hot dogs. I ordered the spud meatpie, which is a meat pie with mashed potatoes and gravy on top. Tasted terrific to me. The stand has photos of world-famous visitors who have dined on The Tiger: a meat pie topped with mashed potatoes and mashed peas with gravy.

On my return to Redfern, I picked up asian groceries (missing Paddy's Market which was on the first floor) to cook a Chinese dinner for Kell and Jerad that night. There is an enormous asian influence in the city, which I felt very comfortable with. I spoke in Chinese with various shop keepers and they were so friendly. They all loved living in Sydney. I could see why. I met up with Jerad at the flat to go pick up beef and chicken for dinner that night. Dinner went over well, although it was nothing compared to the dinner Jerad had prepared for us the previous night. One thing we all have in common is our love of food.

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