Monday, August 2, 2004

man this internet cafe is disgusting

all the computers are here are on their hind legs. riddled with spyware and probably many trojans. it really questions me about whether it is a good idea to check my email here or not. ray got his laptop on wireless but since he is away till the evening, and i'm usually dead tired from exploring sydney, i haven't got the opportunity to make use of his computer. i did upload the pics on jusspress.

so on saturday, we met up with ray's friend chuck. he took us to his christian church evening service. there we met so many asian people that spoke english with an australian accent. it was quite a trip. along with the hospitality you would find when you go to a church for the first time, i think there is something about the australian culture that made the experience more welcoming. for one, being an "american" is something to be admired here in australia from the people i talked to. just like anyone who hasn't had the opportunity to come and visit california, i think they all have the wrong impression when they think of places like Los Angeles, Hollywood, etc. what they think about is all the stuff they get to see on movie premiers and red carpet events. i think once they get the chance to come here, they'll appreciate what places like sydney has to offer. as i probably have said before, sydney is pretty much new york, and you won't find anything new or different. it is painstakingly clear that most of the influences in modern culture life here is adapted from american culture. so maybe they just want to meet sydney's big brother.

anyways, going to church was a great idea. we joined them at a surprise birthday dinner they were throwing for one of their youth members at this spanish restaurant. we made plans with them to tour the city a little bit and get dinner at their favorite restaurants. this is a far better way to see the best of what the city has to offer than any advice out of frommer's or lonely planet. on monday, ray went to work and my day began at the fish market. i got probably a close to a pound of salmon, and a dozen oysters. it was really cheap and unbelievably fresh. everyone kept telling me that their seafood was the best in the world, and after having some i would have to agree. it was an euphoric experience as i enjoyed them on the pier while fighting off the segulls. after my mindbending meal, i went to check out AMP (Centerpoint/Sydney) tower. went up to the top and took the tour. i got a tour package there to also see the aquarium and go on this 2 hour captain cook explorer tour. these three things are probably the first things that any tourist would do in syndey. should they be avoided? not sure. its something everyone should do once. so its like a general ed class everyone should take before they start exploring the finer parts of sydney. i did take the captain cook explorer tour, they met with ray for dinner at this korean place downstairs from our hotel. then we we got some dessert at this dessertflower place at darling harbor. some of the interesting flavors they had were wasabi and taro ice cream. i got the black seasame ice cream which was actually quite good. i'll have to look for it when i get back to the US.

today, i think my body needs a lot of rest. my toes have blisters, and my back doesn't feel too good. so i slept in today, and will probably take it easy. i'll probably just take the monorail to get another perspective of the city and stay off my feet as much as possible. we will be meeting up with some of ray's friends and their friends we met on sunday to get some chinese sea food that they highly recommended.

tomorrow, hopefully i'll be meeting up with someone i met at church who was gracious enough to offer to show me around sydney since she wasn't busy this week. things i'll have to do before the week is up is revisit The Rocks, take a thorough look at the malls and pick up some souveneirs, visit Manly and Bondi Beach, have a meat pie, revisit the Fish Market, watch a IMAX movie in 3D, see the Aquarium, and maybe see the Zoo and the wildlife park. Saturday will be the premier day....we're planning to go to the Blue Montains and check out the Jeanolan caves. that's just the things off the top of my head.

anyway, i must get out of here before i get some airborn disease from this third world internet cafe...

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