8 years ago I was in Oz for the 1st time, never thought I would come back there again until my best bud from my Trans Africa trip egged me on to stay with him at his new Gucci pad in the suburbs of Sydney, having not seen him for couple years and since I am in the neighborhood I decided to book a flight and spend the holidays with him. Arriving eventually at Sydney airport via Jetstar, I could not find him at the arrivals hall, luckily I have his number so after asking around where to buy a sim card, I tried to activate it but I was told it will take at least 24 hours to be functional! So what a guy to do? I asked the customer service girl to call my friend on my behalf and tell him where I was! She did me a massive favor and I met Mark totally confused thinking I will be arriving at the international hall.
Armed with a recent Vietnamese cooking diploma, I wasted no time in whipping up a storm in their kitchen, they have a cool kitchen and gadgets galore, Nicola his roommie was kind enough
to let me use her pots and pans and raid the condiments drawers. It was also a reunion of sorts from the Trans Africa trip Jo is here for the holidays as well, Tash and Jen lives around the area, lots of get togethers, volumes of good Aussie wine consumed, and frequent trips to the beach nearby, cold water but great surf!
I found out that there are a number of Filipinos living in the area, there is a Filipino store where I buy most ingredients I use for the Filipino recipes, they are all friendly, like US, Australia is home to a mix of immigrants which makes their cuisine a melting pot of tastes. Food is not cheap compared to SEAsia so every afternoon I go down to the local supermarket and check out meat on sale and top that with cheap veggies from an Asian market nearby, beef, lamb and pork are so tender and delicious, more than make up for the price, I thought their meat here is way better than what we have in the States.
Floods devastated the eastern coast while I was there, on the news all the time, I never thought
Sydney, at the zoo
bleeding heart pigeon
it could happen in a developed country, but disasters chose no one, it just happens. This is also the time for the Aussie open and I was glued on tv for the next 2 weeks it was on. So my daily routine was watch the news when I get up, tune in on the Oz open cook dinner and drink wine and beer and just be a couch potato.
Mark and I go back a long way since the Trans Africa trip, we were dubbed as Nanas of the truck, out of boredom we talk about the other people on the truck and bitch about everyone! just as one would do on a big brother on wheels! Seriously though, we have the same passion for food and photography, though am not as avid. I decided Australia is rest time from my trips and so I did not leave the state of NSW, I just have no enthusiasm to travel anymore, I hit the wall I think and just wanted to rest and hang out with Mark.
Chris, a motorbiker from Switzerland whom I met in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan 6 months before happened to be in Sydney the same time
and we met up and he stayed the night at Mark's place, great to reminisce, he is headed to Tasmania and the rest of Oz on his bike, lots of luck to him, I head back to Asia soon. Well after a month of doing domestic things, it's time to move on back to Asia!
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