A day in Sydney……
If you are in Oz and living here for a while, you definitely can’t afford to miss the shadow of the Opera House, a UNESCO world heritage site and 20th century’s most famous building known for its performing arts centre. I had to see it to believe it. People had warned me of Sydney being one of the most expensive city in Australia and to be honest, the bills were actually burning a hole in my wallet. The outrageous restaurant prices gave me goosebumps as the minimum cost of a one time meal was from $15 to $25. Apart from the food, the public transport was much expensive than other Australian cities and I had to recharge the Opel card to use the double decker trains, trams and the buses. But if I ignore the expenses, I could not have expected more than what this city had to offer me. I met amazing friendly people on the streets, the view of the entire city from the Sydney tower eye was magnificent. From enjoying the vivid Sydney festival near the harbor bridge to the Sydney film festival, it was one of the best time to visit and I was totally in love with it.
I was looking for an opportunity to explore this city for almost a year and my friend and travelling buddy Hui Dong was coming to Sydney for a TEDx conference and I decided to tag along. We landed in Sydney after the delay of our flight by an hour due to fog and low visibility at Melbourne’s Avalon airport. As soon as we landed, Hui Dong guided me to get an Opel card at the airport and take the train to the Museum station. From the Museum station we walked a KM to arrive at the central perk backpacker’s hostel in the China town. We left our luggage and took a walk to the China Town. For a moment, I realized that I was in China. There were only Asians around, whether I went to Mcdonalds(Maccas) or KFC or any other restaurants, encountered only Chinese. In fact the owner of the hostel we were staying in was also Chinese. I remember, Hui Dong on seeing a pretty white girl sitting in a restaurant told me: “ look at that foreigner” and I remember saying him back: ‘man she is not a foreigner, in fact we are foreigners’. I am sure he said that because he was already feeling that he was in his home in China. As we walked to the China town and the market nearby a Chinese woman requested me to get some free trial Chinese massage for 5 minutes. As soon as I sat she completely hijacked me and certainly convinced me to get the whole back massage for 15 minutes. She used all Chinese strategies, which helped me get rid of my back pain. While, she was doing massage, Hui chatted with her in mandarin and she told him that she was in this business over there for the last 30 years. She charged me $15 and it was totally worth it. In the evening, myself and Hui went to explore the city and passed through Hayd Park, Opera house and the Vivid Sydney festival. We had lovely dinner at Jimmy’s recipe, a Malaysian restaurant famous for its street food near the Circular Que station at the harbor bridge. Next day, Hui went for the conference and I decided to walk alone in the city. I met an American artist who were painting in the streets, and her name was Suki, as soon as she came to know that I am also referred as Suki, she got excited and we took pictures from my Go pro. Soon, I came across an Oz guy in a bar and he started talking cricket with me, assuming that I am Indian from my skin color. He betted me that Pakistan would win the match against India this time in London and trust me he was right. He was very friendly and sweet although we met for a very short while.
While returning back in the hostel, I met two girls from Chile who were travelling the world and were in Oz for few weeks. As Hui returned back, I cooked chicken tikka masala in the hostel and all the French guys staying in the hostel were curious to know what I was cooking as the smell was tempting. I made them taste. I invited Valeria and Victoria , the girls from Chile over dinner and started the dinner as soon as Hui arrived. They loved it and as we ate they shared their stories of travel. I realized that everyone in the hostel I came across had a unique story to share. Next day, we left for Macquerie University after breakfast and met our friend Fenicia who worked at Hokkaido. We retuned back to the CBD and Hui explored Madame Tussauds museum and the zoo since he had the free passes , while I waited for him. We went to the Sydney tower eye and enjoyed the amazing view of the city and the Queen Victoria market, an elegant European market and came across a talented construction worker. He was playing piano wearing the workers outfit and the whole crowd was mesmerized by it. One thing I liked about the city was there was talent flowing all over, everywhere I went over in the streets I came across musicians, artists, painters. I also came across a painter who was giving his sketches for free to people. I had not observed this anywhere else.
This trip was coming to an end and we went to a Nepalese restaurant for dinner. We had lovely samosa chat and tandoori chicken. It was an expensive restaurant but food and ambience was totally worth it. We still had time for our flight so we decided to explore the last day of the vivid Sydney festival. It was completely packed as we took pictures and saw the graffiti’s created through different colors of light. We also explored the Australian arts museum before heading back to the airport. These three days and two nights were a great learning experiences and i wish to travel more in future. Due to lack of time, we didn’t visited other popular places in Sydney like the Bondi beach, Blue mountains but I am looking forward to visit this beautiful city again in the future………..