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A good weekend (and pictures of food)

August 3, 2010

I know it’s been a while since I’ve made an update, but there hasn’t been too much excitement going on. Just the usual stuff of life. We did have a nice weekend though so I’ll give a quick update on that.

Friday night I met Oscar at a pub near his work. We had a few drinks with a couple of his co-workers, which once again illustrated the diversity of Australia. Both guys had lived in Australia for most of their lives, but they were both born and spent their early childhood abroad. One was Ecuadorean and the other was Indian. This seems to be the story of a huge percentage of Australians, especially in Sydney, I suppose. I may have mentioned it before, but in my own office the marketing team is entirely Asian, except my boss. They all have spent most of the later part of their lives in Australia and speak with an Aussie accent, but they were all born in their home countries: Malaysia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, South Korea.

It was interesting talking with Oscar’s two workmates, because they both said they felt they didn’t quite have a home country or ethnic identity. The people from their countries of origin didn’t see them as Ecuadorean or Indian, but Australians didn’t see them quite as Australian. This is a common thing you hear from immigrants, but it’s interesting since so many Australians are in that same boat. Australia is just as much a melting pot as the US (in my own personal experiences, even more so — though this is obviously because I’m living in a big city here and am less exposed to this much diversity in the smaller places have lived back in the States). To be Australian is to be an immigrant, in most cases.

Oscar and his meat pie from Bourke Street Bakery

But I digress. We had a nice night and then spent most of Saturday lazing around and not doing much of anything. On Sunday morning we hopped on Skype to see/talk to my family, as my brother and his family were up visiting and we were the missing members of the family reunion. We got to serve as judges in a transcontinental game of Apples to Apples, which was pretty fun and allowed us to pretend for at least a little while that we were actually there. I wish we could have been!

Then we decided to grab a late brunch at a bakery that’s supposed to be really amazing, Bourke Street Bakery. When we arrived it seemed that we weren’t the only ones to hear this, as there was a line out the door and around the corner!

On the recommendation of an earlier patron, we each grabbed a meat pie and split a yummy creme brulee tart. Both were extremely good, though I’m not sure I thought it was so good it was worth standing in line for. While everyone says Sydney is full of really spectacular food, I have yet to really experience this. Perhaps it’s because we can’t really afford to dine at really nice, hatted restaurants (or much of any restaurant, really, with the outrageous prices here!), but even when I’ve eaten out at nice and/or “famous” places for work, I have found myself unimpressed. Perhaps I have a different style of taste. I also worked out that if you were to eat an average-priced Thai meal (which is nearly 10 times the price of an equivalent — though probably better! — meal in Thailand) once every day for two months, you would have spent the same amount as if you had just bought a ticket to Thailand and ate there!

Huge, awesome dinner off the barbie!

Not that we haven’t had good food, but I think the only meals I’ve had in Australia that have really made me want to savour every bite and say, “Now THAT is amazing!” have been meals that Oscar has made!

We relaxed in the park with our late lunch and wandered around the city for a while, then we had plans. Another of Oscar’s co-works invited us to a dinner/game night. We ended up having a really great time, and it almost feel like we were back in South Carolina at one of our weekly dinner parties! We played Cranium, sipped wine, and then had the most amazing barbeque! Everyone reminded me a little bit of people from home and we all got on really well, so it was a really great night for us!

Pavlova from the Aroma Festival

And I almost forgot, we did do one interesting thing last weekend. Last Sunday was Sydney’s Aroma Festival. It’s a huge festival down in The Rocks dedicated to coffee, chocolate, and other yummy stuff. There were literally close to thousands of tents spread along The Rocks and the end of Circular Quay. They were split up by region (i.e. Latin American, Asian/Middle Eastern, European) with performances and music in some areas. It was really huge and crowded (especially adding in the fact they were doing camel rides around the quay!), but also just plain awesome! We indulged in some delicious Turkish food, native dessert (the most amazing pavlova!) and drinks (Turkish coffee for Oscar, hot chocolate for me). It was a good time and definitely something I’d recommend checking out if you’re in Sydney in winter.

Interested in more about food in the city? Check out my restaurant reviews and tips for Eating Out in Sydney.

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