Sarsaparilla and other oddities

Let’s collect a few random observations. First, let me start with an apology. Before we took off, I already was complaining about Australian beer because all I knew and could think off was Foster’s whose taste cannot be described better than by the old joke:

What does Australian beer have in common with making love in a canoe? – It’s fucking close to water!

Truth is: Since we arrived here, I haven’t see Foster’s a single time. A quick research reveals that while it’s promoted as the Australian beer in Europe its popularity here is negligible. What a smart idea! Get all that tasteless piss out of the country! Instead, I enjoyed a variety of really nice lagers and pale ales. Kudos, Australia! Read More »

Canberra

I’ve never seen a city so functional and soulless. Australia’s capital was founded in 1913 in order to avoid having to choose either of the rival cities Melbourne or Sydney as the seat of newly formed federal government. So a new city was carved into New South Wales’s limestone somewhere in the middle of nowhere between the two big cities – in-land, to fortify it against any possible invasion. This hyper-planned, purpose-built nature of Canberra transcends every aspect of the city. There is absolutely no reason to live there unless you work for the government. It’s full of large, more or less representative buildings, all connected by huge highways. When our guidebook told that the city is totally geared towards the car I didn’t realise just how true this was. Our hotel was only about one block away from Parliament House, and still, there was no way of reaching it by foot. Read More »

Sydney and first days

Let me begin by describing one thing that has come up since we started our travelling lifestyle. I underestimated the tiredness and fatigue from jetlag and unprecedented physical demands on our bodies. As most of you know, we are mainly couch potatoes who like to eat and have few extra kilos around our waists. Now we have been walking everyday for several hours. I have really sore muscles all around my body and basically pass out immediately after we return to our accommodation. I know we should take this transition gradually but how to do that when there is so so much to explore and learn? So the tip for unfit people, be prepared for some aches and pains.

Now to actual interesting things we have learned. For me the most fascinating thing so far is that people here are totally obsessed with Christmas. Santa Claus is everywhere, on the bridges, inside supermarkets, in the alleyways. Buses and firetrucks have Christmas decorations on them, weird huh? Couple of days ago we passed a street musician who was playing Silent Night. All this in 30 degrees plus and people walking around in shorts.

Sydney is a lovely and vibrant city where you can see the influence of Asia. Most of the small shopkeepers are of Asian background (mainly Chinese I think but please forgive me if I am mistaken) and the food in Chinatown is really good, much better than what you get in London one. We have done all the main tourist things like Harbour Bridge, Opera House and Bondi beach. The highlight for us was a visit to Taronga zoo that not only allows you to  admire Sydney skyline but also has some uniquely Australian animals. Kangaroos really come right next to you, they are so tame. And how many different dwellers are there in the night in the outback. Read More »

Journey to the other side of the world and first impressions

I woke up in Sydney this morning. The feeling is incredible – I am on the other side of the world and still things seems to function here pretty much the same as in Europe. From our studio on 47th floor I am looking at morning’s rush hour – people hurrying to work, running errands. The big difference is that everyone is wearing t-shirts which quickly reminds me that it is summer here. Read More »