Random reflections upon leaving Sydney, Australia
Australian slang and nicknames....
-"septic tank" = Yank
-"budgie smuggler" = male speedo swim suit
-"bonzer" (pronounced bonz-uh) = fabulous, excellent, great
-"Nuns in a scrum" = Sydney Opera House
-"Bucket on a pole" = Sydney Tower
-"Coat Hanger" = Sydney Harbour Bridge
-"The Toaster" = the apartment buildings beside the opera house (Google "Toaster apartments Sydney" for images)
-"Sydney Lace" = the elegant and elaborate wrought iron railings on Victorian and Edwardian terrace houses
British influences in architecture and town planning...
-innumerable streets named after royalty (Kent, Clarence, George, Victoria to name just a few) and military officers...the name Flinders has kept popping up...streets, roads, university, schools, hospitals, and geographic landmarks such as the Flinders Range north of Adelaide and Flinders Island north of Tasmania. Matthew Flinders was a British naval officer who was the first to circumnavigate Australia around the turn of the 19th C, often in a row boat, mapping the coastline. "Macquarie" is another one--he was the governor in the early 19thC.
-London place names, e.g. Paddington, Piccadilly, Hyde Park (including a Speaker's Corner), St. James
-statues of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, King George and others
-early Victorian row housing made of bricks, and very unsuitable for this climate. This is Susanna Place Museum...these four houses were built in 1844 (two rooms up and two rooms down, kitchens in the basement, with flush toilets and bathrooms added on at the back more than 60 years later) and were occupied until the 1980s.
Terrace houses were later modified by adding verandas with curved roofs, and elegant wrought iron railings. Suburbs close to the CBD are still full of these terraces.
Along the harbour, they are being threatened with demolition because property values have skyrocketed. This is particularly evident in The Rocks, an inner city neighbourhood which has long housed people of low socioeconomic status (originally dock workers).
-Grand buildings in the CBD made of honey-coloured sandstone with elaborate carvings above the doors and windows. This is the former Post Office built in the 1860s. On the left is a very well dressed city woman buying stamps and on the right is a country woman excitedly greeting the postman (letters would arrive infrequently)...
Birds that whistle, chirp, laugh and squawk...Kookaburra, Gullah, cockatiel, cockatoo, pigeons, parrots, and Ravens... Even in the city they woke me up just before dawn.
Sydney traffic!! In spite of what appears to be a complex public transport system of ferries, buses, trains and light rail, there are huge numbers of cars driving into the city every morning. The cement infrastructure--flyovers, bridges and tunnels--is immense.
Wednesday was our last day in Sydney, and we took the bus out to Bondi Beach...lots of surfers in the water, but few swimmers--currents too strong...
...and walked a couple of kilometres around the headland to Bronte for lunch. The sandstone formations are very reminiscent of the Gulf Islands...we could be at Malaspina Galleries on Gabriola Island!