Wednesday, 13 August 2014

My Heart for You Sydney

I left Sydney in a huff. I was bored and restless and I needed to see more of the world. In our first 3 months of travelling I was telling everyone not to go there because it was boring. But I was wrong. Living this past year in London has brought to light all the things I overlooked before. 

The beach. Oh the glorious beach! Bondi beach at sunset, a warm glow in the air. You're in the water and you catch your first wave (body boarding that is). And then you just relax and sit back and soak it all in. Maybe grab some hurricanes ribs or a strudel on the way back home.

And then there's the food. I dreamt about the food last night actually. I was back in Sydney and was so happy because all my favourite foods were laid out in a buffet and I was stuffing my face. Then a tiger ate me. But the food! After scouring the chinatowns of New York, LA, London, France and even Vietnam, I firmly believe that Cabramatta has the best Asian food in the whole world. It's a bold statement but I stand by it. We had 'banh mi' 20 years ago before it became 'a thing'. And we call it pork rolls. Because banh mi just means bread dummies. Yum cha, lobster, ox tongue, paw paw salad, pho, sugarcane drink, jackfruit, roast duck, crispy chicken, pork rolls. Oh if only I could tattoo the tastes on my tongue so I can savour them whenever I go.

I sorely miss the sun. Sure we get some sun here and the Summer nights are long and ocassionally balmy. But there, the sun makes an apperance even in the Winter. No one cares about making the most of good weather. Because it's just always there. You can go about your business without having to constantly try to cool or warm yourself. You're just always in a good thermoneutral zone. It's not going to start hailing on you when you're in a summer skirt and tshirt.

Yes, I'm a fair weather friend. However I am enjoying London. I'm making the most of the experience. I may not want to leave for a few years. And yet my heart belongs to Sydney. I send her little mental love notes in glass bottles and hope they wash up on her shores. And one day, I'll inevitably float back too.  

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Living the Life in Copenhagen

Yes life is good in Copenhagen. And it should be as it's known to be the word's most livable AND bikable city. During our 2 1/2 day stay there we were kindly invited to crash with Maria and Greg, whom we met in NYC last year. Maria is a Dane but Greg is a Jersey boy and they had met in Australia years ago. Since then they'd been building a long distance relationship until late last year when he moved himself permanently to Copenhagen, changed career paths and is learning Danish (a very difficult feat). It's all very romantic.

Well these locals gave us an insight into what it was like to live here and it sure does sound sweet. 'They don't like us very much in the business world because we don't work very hard' Maria told me. Her day seems to involve a few hours work at home in the back yard on her laptop (she's a journalist) and then a short bike trip to the local harbour pools for a swim during the longer summer days. Where do I go to sign up?

Our days there involved renting the public bikes which are electric and have an inbuilt GPS, making it very easy to get around the city. And at 25 kroner per hour, it didn't break the budget either. And Copenhagen has spacious bike lanes all throughout the city, so it's very safe and you get to see so much of the city so easily. Kevin and I rode along the beautiful canals, through the assistens cemetary (where the infamous Hans Christian Anderson resides), around the Tivoli pleasure gardens, through Frederiksberg Garden (where you can see Elephants from the zoo next door) arriving at Brygge island. 

At Brygge Island we met up with Maria who joined us for a swim and Kevin and I did the big jump of the high platform which can be fun yet painful if you land oddly like I did. Maria has yet to do it as she says she's heard some of the loud slaps from people landing in the water and isn't keen on the experience. We ate ice cream. And lay in the sun. And I only wished that London had something like this. Not that we'd use it all that much with the weather and all. But still. It was the perfect day.

During our chats, Maria also tells me about the progressive nature of Danish society. On how child rearing is divided 50/50 amongst the sexes, how it's not uncommon for men to take the woman's surname and how children are raised unisex so they can decide on their own what they want to be. A university education is free and the government actually give you an allowance to study. In fact most young people are still in their studies until they're in their late 20's. I guess without the financial pressures why wouldn't you?

Yes, we biked, swam, strolled and ate our way through Copenhagen and given the chance, I'd move there within a heart beat. Any spare Danish princes left?