Saturday, February 14, 2009

City Walkabout

It was pissing down heavily, as its been the entire week. Actually, I've just recovered from a cold... because of the lack of sleep, the lack of yoga practice, and packing in too many house inspections, my immunity just bombed out.

Since I was feeling much better today after a day of rest, Kelly and I went walking about the city. The agent had gotten back to us to say that we can sign the contract on Monday, so we were pretty excited to go check out the possible new neighbourhood. (I say "possible" only coz until that contract's signed, nothing is a definite, no?)

The association for the blind were having a donation drive to fund their guide dogs. With so many cute pooches sleeping in broad daylight on the crowded pedestrian Pitt Street mall, how could you not donate any money?

We walked down to Chinatown and checked out Paddy's market... it's pretty much a very scaled down version of Chatuchak in Bangkok, or even the pasar malam in Bugis back home. It's funny how every single Chinatown in every major city around the world pretty much looks the same... inevitably dirty, rough on the edges, with the same kind of weird rotting garbage smell. Except in Sydney, things seem a lot more regulated. Oh, and we caught the occasional whiff of Hong Kong noodles. Yum! FINALLY! REAL CHINESE FOOD! :)

Saw a really funny name for a kids' toy store.

And on the edge of Chinatown, we saw a group of Falungong members meditating. It was so cool... in broad daylight out in public! They're such a peaceful group, I don't understand how the communists could've banned them in China.

(I've been so out of routine and slack with my own yoga practice I almost felt like going up and joining them)

We walked through Cockle Bay Wharf and crossed the bridge over to Darling Harbour, and saw an amazing naval ship with a submarine berthed at the harbour! I think it must've been a tourist attraction coz aren't submarines supposed to be classified information?

Then we ended up in the Queen Victoria Building, the QVB as its known, and it's just such a spectacular sight of oldskool grandeur, down to the clock that chimes every hour with a little glockenspiel thing that happens... y'know, when the clock moves and a whole spectacle happens kinda like a cuckoo clock but on a much larger scale? ...the word or the phrase escapes me now.

It's pretty amazing on the one side of the clock as it describes Australia's history... and up until about a year ago, the government was in denial about the wiping out of the aborigines back in the day. Hence, it was good to see an acknowledgement of this on the clock. The line reads "The taking of the children".

Don't get me wrong - it's a dastardly thing that happened, but the fact that it happened and the government was in denial about its history... makes it even more wrong. There's no difference between what had happened in South Africa with apartheid versus Australia, and somehow it's glossed over in Australia. (in fact, it's actually worse if you think about it, since they pretty much killed off the entire race!)

That is, until only about a year ago when Kevin Rudd finally made that public apology to the aboriginal people. It's a pretty fascinating history they've got here... (no, it's not just about the convicts!!) I'm slowly starting to learn more about it as I'd never really been bothered before.

It's exciting! Everything's still so new and fresh!

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