December 1, 2018

Practicing to be an Aussie

Well we have spent 40 days in Sydney practicing to be Aussie’s. Sydney is a great place to live. There is a lot to do everywhere from sightseeing like the Sydney Harbour and Bridge, the many cultural museums around the city and of course the beaches. There we days when we did nothing but go to a museum and have lunch. Some of our favorites were the Australian Maritime Museum on Darling Harbour and the Australian Museum near Hyde Park. 

The Maritime Museum in my opinion is a must see. The exhibits were very interesting and you definitely learn a lot about Capt. Cook and the discovery of all of the Pacific Islands. He is a very important figure in Australia the same as our Christopher Columbus as he discovered the south east coast near Sydney called Botany Bay. He then claimed all of it for the British Crown. There are also special exhibits that pay homage to the Aboriginal People of Australia. Outside of the museum there are several ships from all eras in maritime history including a submarine. You can even go on a cruise on a tall ship.

The Australian Museum is comparable to the Smithsonian with both natural history and anthropology exhibits. It is the oldest museum in Australia. The exhibits here range from taxidermy animals, rocks and minerals, dinosaurs and various artifacts that have been collected from the Pacific Islands. There is also a permanent gallery of Indigenous art that is pretty comprehensive. From didgeridoos, boomerangs, spears and even mask’s from the various Australian tribes. There is even a gallery with stuffed birds from all over Australia.

Room of Australian taxidermy animals 
Burial Poles


We visited both Bondi and Manly beach. Bondi was pretty commercialized and noisy and Manly was our favorite mainly because of the small town of Manly that is right next to the beach. We spent the entire Sunday afternoon at the beach watching the surfing and life guard classes as well as walking the esplanade. There are several cafes along the beach to enjoy a cool drink or lunch. The views are amazing since the water is such a beautiful color. On Sunday there is a market in town that you can shop for arts and crafts, jewelry and other cool stuff. On the other side of town by the ferry docks there is a walkway that takes you around the bay or you can just sit and enjoy watching all the boats coming and going from the Harbour. Best way to spend a Sunday afternoon. 

Manly Beach

Delwood Beach
Do you know what Aussie fast food is? You can’t find a restaurant in Australia that doesn’t serve the old standard Fish & Chips. You would have thought you were living in England. Although I love F & C’s and we have some very good fish & chips, I think I would get really tired of eating it that often if I lived here permanently. It’s as bad as seeing McDonalds everywhere in the US. The alternate we found was to visit the Sydney Fish Market near our apartment and buy fresh fish that we baked or put on the barbie. We tried some new varieties that we never had before from Specked Emperor, Barramundi and Egyptian Perch. It’s amazing how different the fish tasted compared to what we were used to buying in the states.  

Sydney Fish Market
The selection was huge!
Australian also love their coffee. But not just any coffee and especially not Starbucks. They are into the little coffee cafes that serve fresh pressed. We couldn’t walk down the street from our apartment without walking by several in a few blocks. Of course morning is a busy time for coffee but so is afternoon tea time. From around 3pm until 4:30 the coffee shops are packed with Aussie’s having coffee and cakes. OMG you should see all the different kinds of cakes and pastries they have to go with your coffee. Good thing I don’t drink coffee in the afternoon since I would have to have cake with it too!

What should I choose?

It’s funny some of the comparisons I made while we were visiting some of the museums in Sydney. The gold rushes of the 1850’s were not unique to the US. I hadn’t realized this fact until I noticed an exhibit that had large gold nuggets that were found in Australia and then saw the time period and thought this can’t be true. While the US was having a gold rush in California during 1850’s so was Australia in New South Wales.

Another comparison that disturbs me is the plight of the aboriginals and their rights in Australia. It is pretty much the same as the American Indian in the US back in the mid to late 1800’s. Many of their lands were taken from them and exploited while their people suffered. The only difference is that the American Indians have reclaimed some of their lands and were given the same rights as American citizens some time ago. However, in Australia the aboriginals are still fighting about the same issues as of today. As late as the year 2000 were they granted some basic rights by the government. I still cannot believe this is happening in this country at this place in time.

Aboriginal street art

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