Likes and Dislikes

Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Randwick, New South Wales, Australia
1 . The food
I read in my guidebook that you could literally eat your way around the world in Sydney, and it's true. Chinese, Thai, Lebanese, Japanese, Nepalese, Italian, Mexican, Moroccan, Indian, etc. Asian food, especially, is everywhere and is very good. Yesterday afternoon I stopped in Chinatown for some seafood dumplings. Yum! Everything is just so good - the seafood, the bakery, the coffee, the gelato. It's a good thing I'm doing a lot of walking!

2. The people
Everyone is very friendly and helpful. Everyday I talk to several people, either tourists or locals. I met a guy on the ferry to Manly who is from Chile. I talked to a family who lives here. And people just seem pleasant, relaxed and laid back. But then again, it's sunny here most days, so who wouldn't be happy?

3. The transit system
So far I have only used the buses, but they have been great and easy to use. They aren't too crowded, run often, are clean and air-conditioned . You simply buy passes from convenience stores and swipe them when you get on. No messing around with loose change or counting coins. Nice!

1. The crowds
Yesterday, I got a true taste of how touristy it is here. Granted, it's a bad time to be here in terms of crowds, and the weather was beautiful. Manly Island was busy, as were the crowds in Chinatown and Paddy's Market (swap market). Here's another thing: if I ever have kids, I will not be bringing them on vacation unless they are old enough to walk. I'm sorry, but these parents look absolutely miserable pushing strollers or carrying kids on their backs. And will the kids remember anything? No. "Hey, don't say we never take you anywhere. Remember that time we pushed you across the Harbor Bridge? It's not our fault you were asleep in the stroller and missed out!!"  Yeah, no thanks.

2, The prices
Stuff costs a lot. And the USD is not strong right now, so that is not helping . I saw apples in the store the other day for around $6 per kilo. A kilo is equal to 2.2 pounds. I paid about $1.50 for a grapefruit and $.50 for a kiwi. Granted, I'm also used to Midwest prices, where things are less, and I'm also in a BIG city. Then again, I don't care too much, because it's not like I'm flying back anytime soon!

(The BYO (bring your own) concept at restaurants is pretty cool.This would be a "like." They do charge a corking fee of about $2, but it's still worth it! I did feel a little funny about walking into the Peruvian place the other night with wine in a brown bag. hahaha).

3. The "beach" thing
Manly Beach, Bondi Beach, Bronte Beach, Coogee Beach....all beautiful. Awesome sand, clean, terrific. But yesterday at Manly, I had to buy and pitch my own umbrella. There also wasn't a cabana boy walking around offering drinks. And, it was CROWDED. I decided I had had enough when I looked up and some dude's toe was about 5 feet from my face . My point is, if you really want an inexpensive beach/sun vacation, go to Mexico, the Caribbean, Costa Rica, etc. Sydney is not it. Then again, I didn't come here solely for the beaches.

The likes definitely outweigh the dislikes, but I have to play devil's advocate. Sydney is a wonderful city, and I can understand why it's such a hot (figuratively and literally) tourist destination.

After checking out of the High Cross Park Lodge (nicer than Randwick Lodge), I will head to Kangaroo Valley by train and do my first home stay. I'm looking forward to this and seeing how an Aussie family lives. And.....I'm hoping to see a kangaroo!!

All for now...,
Other Entries


Katie G

Any men at "Manly" Beach? ;)


Just some Europeans. Very white!! :)


I suspect that those parents traveling with babies are just desperate to travel. They were probably addicted to world travel before having a baby and don't want to stop!


Yes, most likely! It just doesn't look fun......