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A Clean, Less Populated Place September 1, 2009

Posted by KG in Food, FS Life, Travels.

Sydney is a beautiful, small city.  Somehow before coming here I pictured it as New York-like, an antipodean metropolis full of hustle and bustle, with endless options for things to do.  The reality is substantially different.  We’ve walked the whole of central Sydney over the last few days easily, as the major sights are all well enclosed in a single area, with a few notable outliers like Bondi Beach.  Not that this is a criticism.  I don’t know if I’d have enjoyed another megacity, especially when trying to relax from the crush of Bombay.  The small-town charm of Sydney is alluring.  We’ve been talking about this in our own, inimitable Foreign Service way — something my FS colleagues have all indubitably done.  “Could we live here?’ she asks.

We had dinner with a good friend last night who is doing just that.  He expressed some frustration with the very things I’ve found so charming.  “You see the same people all the time,” he said.  Maybe living here wouldn’t be so great.

Then again: yesterday for lunch I had a dozen raw oysters, a half pound of sashimi-grade fish that was sliced right in front of me, and a seaweed salad.  We bought the lunch fresh from the fish market, where we saw an endless variety of impossibly fresh seafood and had our pick of what to eat.  We ate sitting on a bench, next to a cove of clean(ish) blue water.  We had walked there, a 20-minute stroll where we passed a beautiful harbor and some charmingly run-down residences.  It was almost summer-warm in the sun, almost autumn-cold in the shade.  Cars stopped for us at crosswalks and I don’t recall ever hearing a horn.  While eating, my wife commented: “You do realize nothing in your lunch was really cooked, right?”

Maybe I could live here.


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