August 10th, 2016

First day of school

Hello Sydney!

From Mom: Day 1 in Sydney as We Continue to Shop

Emboldened by our success in identifying Hungry Jacks as fake Burger King (and getting a Sausage McMuffin, hash brown, and orange juice), we arrived at our hotel in Surrey after a three hour flight and immediately set off across town to Paddy's Market, a Tri County/old Roosevelt Field indoor flea market, loaded with genuine "silver" rings that turn your finger green, admittedly adorable stuffed toy kangaroos, useful polyester wigs, not especially useful plastic shoes, ridiculously appealing candy, and other must-have items with which to burden our family and friends.

At the far corner, a cascade of stalls held the most gorgeous produce, some of which we could identify and thus purchase (ruby strawberries, glorious tangerines) and other that we could not (green leafy things, purple round things) and thus did not purchase, which made me sad, as I love weird fruit and veggies. Yesterday, the produce kid at the Woolworth's (a food store here, with nary a painted turtle in sight) had given us a brief lesson on how to judge the ripeness of custard apples and how to eat one, but the ones in this market really were the size of toaster ovens, and so I wasn't brave enough to take a flyer on one. Nor did I want to carry it back to the hotel, as we walked uphill both ways. I am not kidding and I have no way to explain how we accomplished this impossible feat.

Yes, the market is located in Chinatown, and when we left and walked back uphill looking for a Chinese restaurant in which to eat dinner, a kindly woman pointed us back from whence we had come.

Sweeping Generalizations about Sydney
It's a cross between Toronto and San Francisco, with a dash of Queens thrown in for flavor. This section is very hilly, as my screaming calves prove, and a mix of residential and commercial. We're in a very well-appointed commercial hotel, with a fridge, hot pot, closet bigger than hubby's childhood room, and gorgeous modern bathroom.

From Sammi:
Sydney looks like NYC with better accents. We are staying in the business district though, so that may play a role. It is very hilly. Tomorrow we are touring the harbor and areas around.