Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Things that are different in Sydney

Skyscraper reflecting the QVB

1. Skyscrapers
Living in Edinburgh where every building is below about five storeys, coming here - to what feels really like a 'city' is certainly an eye-opener. Or rather an eye-widener, as I always seem to be looking upwards at the massive buildings looming overhead. If you want to look like a futuristic city there are three things you need - skyscrapers, neon, and a monorail. Sydney has ticks in all those boxes.

2. Asian Food
Of course we're nearer to Asia here, but Asian food is everywhere. Essentially Australia seems to have pilfered the best parts for their own cuisine (which they cunningly called 'fusion' so nobody would know what they borrowed). I can't think of a single day when I haven't eaten Asian food - Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Thai. It's all cheap, and it's all fantastic. Eating a great Thai meal for less that 3pounds is what I'm talking about.

3. Asian Women
Again, the proximity to Asia has something to do with this I'm sure. Everywhere you go in the city centre you are surrounded (not literally) by stunning Asian women. They all dress as if it's permanently Friday night, and they always seem to go round in pairs. I'm impressed - and it gives me something to look at when I'm eating Asian food, too...

4. Extreme weather
It's either way too hot or way too wet. I just don't get it. No mild boring days over here, oh no. On the weekend was one of the craziest storms I've ever seen - thunder and lightening every 30 seconds - bang/flash/bang/flash (or is it flash/bang/flash/bang?). They had a hailstorm in Northern NSW the other day - but the hailstones clumped together and formed cricketball-sized lumps that destroyed crops, trees, dented cars, and even - get this - punctured people's roofs! That would make you sit up and take notice...

5. Australian TV
Is rubbish. I was warned, yes, but it is rubbish. Guess what was on peak time the other day? Keeping up Appearances (that terrible sitcom with the Hyacinth Bucket character) and Inspector Morse. After the 8pm Simpsons/Neighbours/Home and Away slot - and yes they have them here too - it's time for the American acronym hour - CSI, NCIS, JAG, NYPD Blue - on every channel at once. Actually I quite like NYPD blue.