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I’ve been all over the world, yet, despite being Australian, have ironically never visited Sydney proper. (The graveyard does not count). This statement is now a thing of the past! I have now been to Sydney. The short version:  It was awesome.  Those who want the long version, keep reading.
 
One of the first things you notice about Sydney is the fact that there is a Japanese restaurant on almost every corner. I’m a fan of Japanese food, so this was a good thing, but it was still a little creepy. I don’t think that even Tokyo would have that many Japanese restaurants. They were like McDonalds or something. 
 
Another curious thing about Sydney was the strange lack of trash receptacles. In Brisbane you can barely walk more than half a block without coming across one, but we walked for at least six without seeing any in Sydney’s business district and were seriously starting to consider littering before we found one that was hidden and probably belonged to a business. It was rather full, which leads one to believe that it may very well have been the ONLY BIN for those whole six blocks. Thus I can only conclude that Sydney is inhabited entirely by robots that don't create any form of waste. The robots seem to be doing a good job, so I guess we’ll leave them in charge.
 
Even though Brisbane is still a cool two million people and by no means a country town, it suddenly felt like one after we discovered a shop that sold ONLY CUPCAKES. Nothing else. This is the second coolest store in all of Sydney.


Cupcakes


The first coolest store was BOOKS KINOKUNIYA. YES, THE ALL CAPS IS NECESSARY. Books Kinokuniya is essentially what would happen if you added Borders, McGills and Daily Planet together and then multiplied it by AWESOME. My purchases there were crippling in both the financial and physiological sense. Books Kinokuniya should definitely not be your first stop of the day if you value your spine. 
 
In the very same building that held the magical bookstore of happiness, we discovered another big city marvel – AUTOMATIC TAPS WITH NO SINKS!

Taps

Okay, so automatic taps aren’t new. But the lack of sink was seriously freaky. The counter was slightly angled so that the water would run off into a gutter drain against the wall, but it just felt like you were making a mess. An APPROVED mess. I washed my hands for a whole minute, marveling at the design, before I remembered water restrictions and felt guilty about wasting water. Then I remembered that I don’t live in Sydney, and spent another two minutes playing with the taps. Us small-city folk are easy to please like that. 
 
So, the actual point of the cross-country excursion was to go to Play! A Video Game Symphony. (Their exclamation mark, not mine). Despite being the purpose of the trip, it seemed to become buried by other events. The concert itself was good, even though the encore was the most fake thing ever. As if they would hold a video game symphony and not play One Winged Angel. And even thought the conductor left the stage, all of the musicians remained conspicuously seated. It was a bit silly, really. What would they have done if the audience was stupid and had stopped clapping?
 
Here’s another photo to prove I’m not just making stuff up. People always want proof these days. 

Play

It was held at the Sydney Opera House. You’re not supposed to take photos inside, but everyone else was so I took that one like a nonchalant ninja. Actually, the Sydney Opera house is not as large in person as it seems in photos. It’s still very pretty though, which is all that counts.

OperaHouse

While all of that was very cool, there is no doubt that the absolute highlight of the trip was the discovery of a SHOE SHINE MACHINE.

Shoeshine

Most cities have poor British orphans perform this service, but not Sydney! They’re fully automated. It took a while to figure out how it worked, but I think that was simply because my shoes hadn’t been shined for several years rather than poor design on the machine’s part. 
 
So that’s my impressions of Sydney. In summary, Australia’s largest city is populated by Japanese food-loving robots with shiny shoes.