Saturday, April 08, 2006

Fish and Chips and the Big Smoke

Gryphon has been curious about fish and chips and so far he's seen a lot of shops selling this meal around Melbourne. It's composed of the side of the fish marinated and having some batter either deep fried or grilled and potato chips (fat versions of French fries). We had some last night and it was nice with some salad. But we wondered out loud how this dish became an icon in Britain (it was probably just imported to Australia).

I've had a full week's work this week and Gryphon has been so nice taking me to and from the train station. He's learned to get to the CBD (Central Business District) or "the City" for short via train. Last Sunday (his birthday), we went to the city to watch a movie (Tristan and Isolde) and bought a shower caddy. Afterwards, we walked along Swanston Street (the main city street) and took in the sights and sounds. Gryphon wondered at the many people walking the streets and how people actually felt safe just casually strolling around at night. That day, the temperature had dropped from 30 degrees to 10 degrees and we were both shocked at the sudden autumn weather. So we were clutching tightly at our jackets.

Gryphon was excited about our walk and marveled at the old sights such as St Paul's Cathedral and the Flinders Street Train Station which looked like a real old-time train station.
Flinders Street Train Station
However, right in front of these icons is the post-modern Federation Square. When we got beyond the square, we discovered the Yarra River boulevard. The night was quiet, the lights were romantic and the river was placid. It was a time for us to just reflect on how blessed we were. We found ourselves praying aloud for all our loved ones while sitting on one of the benches. We miss the families we left behind but glad that we have each other and the opportunity to experience all these sights and sounds.

Gryphon traveled again to the city last Wednesday so we can get his Medicare card (to enable him to get into the public health care system of Australia). On Thursday, he came with me during the morning and we had brekkie (breakfast) together. That inspired me for the whole day.When in Oz...

When people refer to "The Big Smoke" they aren't referring to a barbecue (which is popular in Australia). It actually refers to "The City".
Then he came for me after my night class. As both of us were feeling adventurous, we walked along the Southbank (other river bank) of the Yarra. It was so romantic. But we couldn't find a place to eat. Finally, we got some sandwiches at the train station and watched the pigeons feeding on bread being scattered by an old woman.

We will have a new feature in this blog entitled "When in Oz" giving tips and things we've learned from living here. So here's the first one, in a box on the right.