Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sydney Market, Flemington

There is a place in Sydney. We walked through it today. There are no pictures of it on the entire internet, despite hundreds (maybe thousands) of people going there every weekend.

There is a reason for this. Simply, you would be afraid to whip out anything more than a disposable mickey mouse cam, and even then you would have to pretend that you just picked it up off the ground (totally plausible in that context) and were trying it out.

It is the Sydney Market in Flemington. And it is chaos. And poverty. We were wondering where all the 2nd hand goods in Sydney were. They are there.

I cannot describe the chaos well without a picture. There were lots where vendors pulled up in trucks and unloaded used wares of all types. Some random things that pop to mind are - used electric oven heating elements - old toys - smelly jackets - cardboard.

At one point I noticed that Karin was the only white person around, teased her about it, then felt awkward and a little uneasy. When there's such a blatant line in the sand, as in Flemington, it's hard not to feel uneasy.

There's also a bulk fruits / vegs market which is enormous. We left back through the market and got lost in it, after the crowds were gone, and there were abandoned avocadoes, bread and tangerines and huge broken watermelons. A woman walked away with some small loafs of bread in hand. A man swept up corners, as fork lifts with giant dust-pan attachements pushed piles of garbage from the day's innefficiency into piles larger than trucks.

I must get a picture somehow. It is beyond words.

UPDATE: I have found pictures, but not of the sketchier part of the market we passed through, and not of the aftermath of the market... here they are:

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Home, Blackheath and Bondi

Home's been interesting lately, with a possum and a Huntsman spider showing up, both in / near the outside bathroom. The possum was stuck in a gutter, head first, and we had to use a hacksaw to cut him out. His belly was snagged on a self-tapping screw and when we finally pulled the pipe out of the ground he was sticking out but still stuck, and totally pissed. I've never seen a cuter animal more mad (except maybe my wife) and we couldn't do much for it because we would be bitten. It was actually dragging the drain pipe along the ground, so I grabbed the pipe to give it something to pull against. With a few more grunts and pulls he was out and free, no blood. We caught him in a box and put him by a big tree in the park outside the house.

This is the view of our house from the park just outside our doorstep. It's really nice here, but also pretty noisy.

Rainbows can help spruce a place up a bit.

Mr. Hunstsman, lives on the toilet now known as "unused." Just for scale, he's about 3" long, not stretched out.

I clambered across some rocks, to see if I could make it from one cove to another. It was a lot harder than it looked, mainly because some of the sandstone boulders are the size of a small house. Some back-tracking and caving happened and it was really fun. Having only one hand was a bit dodgy.

A sunset from one of the southern beaches in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs.

Same place, some fraggle-rock city action.

A gun emplacement, probably from WWII. It was getting dark and the sea definitely made it feel lonely out there.

This is basically the most interesting thing in the Maritime Museum. It is a Koala snow globe. I dunno, maybe it's an ash globe.

I have to justify my claim with "I was too cheap to pay $18 to go on the submarine."

Blue Mountains around Blackheath. An amazing valley below had sporadic frog chirps. We camped near the ridge and met a nice Japanese guy named Toshi.

The sun set and lit the canyon.

The moon rose and lit the canyon.

It was really much brighter than the photo.

It was hard to sleep. I didn't sleep until 2am, until 5am.

The sun rose ...

And we watched it, and hiked back to town.

On the way I was trying to get rides, and Karin was embarrassed. She said she didn't want to know that people were bad. I disagreed and stated proudly that "one must communicate ones needs!" I gave up and we got a ride.

This is a really steep part of the trail leading down into the canyon. It was really fun and every turn led to more excitement... alas we had a long way to go to get back into Sydney and turned back after a few exciting minutes. Which is pretty good because it was really beyond us with our 4 hours of sleep. We decided we would come back with a car so that we didn't have to walk the 5 miles from town to the trailhead again.

[camping trip ends, long train + bus ride home]
We went to Bondi Beach to the northern edge by bus. Guess what? It cost us $22.40 in bus fare to get there and back (10.6km). This city is madly expensive.

The sunset was worth it. We got home tired and ready to sleep, but someone else decided to upgrade the crosswalk, which, mind you, is a series of white lines on the road... jackhammers from 9pm to 5am last night. I think the whole job creation by infrastructure is a highly unimaginative (read: stupid) way to spend money. But hey, maybe I'm biased - maybe infrastructure upgrades won't disrupt the flow of daily life for 99% of everyone.

Today we had a car hunting adventure. We want something we can car camp in, maybe a Honda HR-V, or a Subaru wagon.