Friday, November 06, 2009

Ten Things I Would Miss About Sydney

1. The weather. I like the temperate nature and the changing seasons, even though I am not so keen on days turning dark at 4.30 pm. I like how the flowers bloom in Spring or even a warm late Winter, especially the luscious pink Cherry blossoms and the beautiful purple Jacaranda. I like the fresh days where it's not too cold. I like the warm days where 30% humidity garners a universal howl from Sydneysiders.

2. Treasure-hunting at weekend markets and opp shops. My all-time favourite activity. I love the different markets and the aspects special to them. Rozelle for new clothes made from vintage patterns and material, Surry Hills for all things retro and gorgeous, Glebe for wonderful, bohemian gift ideas, North Sydney for home-made yummy goodies, Kirribilli for a mish-mash of old cast-offs and new arts and crafts.
3. Great coffee and fabulous cafes. I like the cafe vibes and the lovely aroma of coffee. I like the independent cafes which means no one needs to ever go to a chain like Starbucks, pay a fortune to get a lousy coffee for their caffeine fix. I like how your regular barista remembers your order even if he doesn't know your name. I like the fact that soy milk is widely available for lactose-intolerant people like me.

4. Shop assistants and cashiers at the supermarkets sound genuinely friendly when they greet you and talk to you. Friendliness comes easily to them and is not forced and artificial. It makes going to the shops such a nice experience.

5. Strangers at the bus-stop or going for a walk in the neighbourhood or that you meet going alone to the cinema say hello or good morning to you. Sometimes, they even strike up an interesting and not-so-brief conversation. Once again, neighbourly friendliness is not frowned upon. It makes community living so pleasant.
6. Cheap and authentic Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. Due to the large number of immigrants from these communities, they have also brought their cuisine with them and their price range caters to the student and immigrant worker sectors.

7. To-die-for bread. Bread that is solid and heavy and filled with wholesome ingredients, freshly-baked and piled high on the shelves. Fennel and sour cherry, hazelnut and raisins, fig and barberry, caramelised onion, soy and linseed - these are some of my favourite varieties.
8. Bus drivers who will inevitably patiently wait till an elderly passenger with their shopping or a mother with a child, laden with a stroller and nappy bag, has shuffled down to their chosen seat, sat down before moving off. And also drivers who say hello and good morning and passengers who sing out a thank you from the back door to the driver before alighting at their stops.
9. The great parks and beach walks. A free and wonderful way to connect with Nature, breathe in fresh air, look at the beautiful blue skies and just enjoy Mother Nature's gift to our 5 senses.
10. Lastly, the handful of good friends that I've made, with whom I've shared many a soy flat white, Malaysian curry chicken with fried rice and a caramel slice.

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