More from Sydney

Howdy! I’m still in Sydney! I haven’t had a chance to cook any more, but last night I ate in a vegan restaurant and managed to take (rather bad) pictures. Smucky had decided that Newtown was a very Renae-like area and that we should spend the evening there. Several people had mentioned The Green Gourmet as a good vegan restaurant, so we grabbed dinner there. Newtown seemed very San Francisco to me. Which, yes, by extension means I felt right at home there! The Green Gourmet had an almost overwhelming number of options; nearly all of it mock meat. It was a decided reversal of fortunes for me and Luke and Smucky. I’d had nearly the same pasta dish three times already because it was the only thing on the menu I could eat, but Luke and Smucky both found only one thing on the menu at Green Gourmet they wanted: Singapore Noodles. Ha hah! I, however, could not decide and opted for the buffet instead so I could try a bunch of different things.

First I started off with a crazy green tea/lime/mint beverage:

I can’t say that I loved it; the green tea tasted like powder (it was powdered green tea), and it was $4.50, which I found extravagant. Beverage prices are pretty ridiculous here. Good thing the exchange rate is in my favor!

Luke and Smucky ordered appetizers: spring rolls and fried wontons, which I forgot to photograph. They said the fried wontons were better than the spring rolls. I went up to the buffet to get a few different appetizers (which I also neglected to photograph) and sat back down to eat them with my friends, only to be interrupted a few minutes later by a waitress who struggled to inform me that I was supposed to weigh my buffet food before eating it because it was priced by the pound. Oops. That was an epic fail on my part. (I’m picking up Smucky’s slang, by the way.) We agreed I’d just pay $3 for the plate.

Then I went up a second time and helped myself to a bite or two of just about every item they had. This time I managed to go to the scale as instructed before eating, although I hadn’t realized I was expected to pay at the time of weighing, so I hadn’t brought my wallet up with me. I eventually straightened all of this out and sat down to eat. Here is what I had:

I have no idea what it all was, but it was all very good. Not a lot of actual vegetables, but the fake meat was really good.

Here is Smucky’s Singapore noodles:

On the walk from the train station, we passed a place called Burgerlicious. Once we were in Green Gourmet, Smucky commented he couldn’t believe he’d walked past a place called Burgerlicious and ended up in a vegan restaurant. Don’t feel too bad for him, though. He liked his noodles and ate the entire plate!

In non-food adventures, Tuesday we took a train to the Blue Mountains and saw the Three Sisters:

Smucky and I enjoying the view:

And here’s what that view looked like to us:

Wednesday we took the ferry from Circular Quay (which does not rhyme with Renae as one might expect, but is instead pronounced “Key”) to Manly Beach. Here another ferry just like ours returns from another trip:

I LOVE all the mass transportation options in Sydney! I was talking with a new friend last night and she said some of the buses are less than reliable (she called them “phantom buses”, when they fail to appear), but other than that annoyance (which is a problem in DC as well), the train system is extensive and regular, the buses I have been on have been clean and comfortable and not terribly late, and they have their own lane on the freeway which means you avoid (the very heavy) traffic into and out of the city, and there is a monorail, water taxis, and ferries.

The ferry alighted in Manly Beach.

We took a walk, upon which we found tourists crowding around something, which turned out to be a lizard. I’m pretty sure this is a wild iguana, which I found very exciting.

I was a bit excited for nothing, however, as we ended up seeing numerous lizards as we continued our walk!

But I thought it was great anyway! Here is an ocean water pool that appears to be open to the public that we passed:

I liked the ornament that adorned it:

As we walked from Manly and towards a little cove of sorts, the water was very calm and there were a few snorkelers, as well as this lone canoer:

(Actually I’m not entirely sure if that’s a canoe or a kayak, but it seems smaller than the kayak I’ve been in so I’m guessing canoe.)

I felt a little creepy taking photos through my telephoto lens of this couple, but one thing I’ve seen a bit of on the beaches here is older couples who appear happy and affectionate, and it’s something that makes me happy. I think it says something about living in Australia!

Yesterday we went jet boating. I didn’t take my camera because it’s a very wet endeavor, but here is a photo I took from the ferry of the same sort of jet boat we were on:

The jet boat was a lot of fun. In fact, I’ve pretty much decided I want to be a jet boat operator when I move to Sydney.

Everything you’ve heard about Australia is true: the people really are the most friendly, most laid-back on earth! And get this: they queue at bars!! For some reason, that fact astounds me more than any other. One thing that strikes me is the huge number of American businesses though. In fact, there are so many familiar places here it barely seems as if I am half away across the globe. I’ve been in Target twice, which seems weird and wrong. Sydney seems to me like a cross between Baltimore and San Francisco with a twist of Miami and a healthy dose of London. Which if you know me at all is a recipe for AWESOME!

I’m meeting Smucky’s family today. I’ve met his sister once before, while in London if you can believe that, but I’ll get to meet her newish daughter, her boyfriend, and Smuck’s mum and dad for the first time. Then tomorrow morning his mum is driving is to their beach house in Mollymook where we will spend a few internet-less but relaxing days. Since I won’t have internet, you probably won’t hear from me and I won’t be able to moderate comments, so if you are a new commenter or if you’re commenting from a different location than usual, it might not show up right away. I’ll probably be back mid-week with another post, which may be about my trials of eating vegan in a little beach town three hours from the big city…hopefully the oven there works!


  1. Theresa Said,

    February 27, 2009 @ 6:59 pm

    I’m glad to hear you’ve having such a good time. You’re getting to all the good stuff down there! Make sure you head to Luna Park if you get time in Sydney. The ferris wheel is a bit dear but the views from the top are really lovely.

  2. kibbles Said,

    February 27, 2009 @ 7:31 pm

    What is this queue business? I’m befuddled.
    Anyway, Australia sounds amazing and you’re so lucky! I also hope they have a working oven. Have fun. 🙂

  3. Jes Said,

    February 28, 2009 @ 7:06 pm

    What a studly iguana. 🙂 Your trip looks wonderful! I would love to have a chance to swim in that ocean water pool–what a novelty!

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