14 June 2010

Sydney: The Day I LICKED The Opera House


So…………..Sydney that I found out is such an energetic and vibrant city I actually liked it almost instantly when I got there.
When it comes to Sydney, there are just so many ‘worlds’ that can be related to this marvelous city. Not only it houses some of the most iconic structures in the world and world famous beaches and world-class outdoor and sport arenas, it is also known as the city of origin for a number of the world’s most recognized faces such as Nicole Kidman (clapping!!!), Hugh Jackman (clapping!!!), Eric Bana (clapping!!) and Russell Crowe!
Errrrr, OK. Russell Crowe was not born in Sydney but he grew up there and still considers Sydney as his home city.
The very first thing that I noticed when I got there was – Sydney is SOOOOO Asian! Seriously, traversing along the crowded St. George’s Street to begin with, I actually caught myself counting how many mat sallehs that I found among the heavily Asian crowds.
So heavily Asian it is I was quite frustrated because I didn’t have or rather felt the privilege of being an Asian in what was supposed to be a mat salleh country. LOL!
Just as it is in most other major cities, crowded streets.
And unlike in Melbourne where everybody seemed to be so law-abiding, I found Sydney was quiet much like KL where people would just go across the road anytime, anywhere. LOL!

Accept that we probably have bigger monorails.

With bigger monorail beams and stations. Seriously, monorail stations in Sydney are more like circular culverts that were simply pasted on to buildings. LOL!

Good thing about Sydney is, despite its big metro size, it wouldn’t be easy for you to get lost.

St. George Street, which is like the main road, dashes across the city and divides Sydney almost into two halves so... anytime you feel like you’re losing your track, a little bit of sense of direction would bring you back to St. George Street and you can always start again from there.

Quite many of the streets in Sydney that I noticed are named after some of the street names in London.

You see, they even have their own Oxford Street.

I started off my journey with a map in my hand that I took from the hostel for free.

Going along St. George’s Street, I realized how constructions are still like everywhere in Sydney.

You see, being a big city, shops in Sydney for sure are not totally safe from potential break-ins. But I was quite amused at how they try to fool any potential thieves.

Some of them were just downright sincere, IF the thieves would believe them. LOL!

As a country that has originally ‘hailed’ from Europe, I noticed the existence of so many buildings with European architecture all over the rather modern city of Sydney.

One of the most prominent one is the Town Hall itself.

And the Queen Victoria Building.

On the front yard of this building is the Statue of Queen Victoria which was presented to Sydney by the Republic of Ireland as a sign of good will and friendship. Quite ironically as how there were talks that Australia would probably disengage itself entirely from its daddy country England and become a republic (war! War!WAR!!)

It is actually a shopping mall but I didn’t go inside considering the long walk that I was gonna be taking ahead.

Oh well, I didn’t really take a lot of photos from there because I was too excited to get to where I had always wanted to go. And based on the map that I had with me, I’d get to see THEM right after I go across this road here. *excited!

And check out how I recorded my very first HELLO to THEM. (with audio :=))
Hehe. THEY are of course two of the most iconic landmarks of Sydney – The Harbour Bridge and of course, the one and only Sydney Opera House.

They are both located in one of the touristiest areas in Sydney and probably the whole Australia, in an area called Circular Quay. (Quay pronounced ‘key’)

The Harbour Bridge could wait; my pre-planned schedule required me to go this way.

Though excitement was so boiling inside me, it still came to my ever-curious mind as to how did this guy here manage to put those panty- tight-hose jeans on him.

Seen from the other side of the quay, you could see the whole span of the Habour Bridge on the other side.  

Oh well, when I cited in my FB status how cool it was to be having a breakfast with the full view of Habour Bridge on the left and Sydney Opera House on the right, responses were steaming in like crazy. I knew, ALL of them had probably thought I was sitting at one of the cafes here.

Hehe. But no. I am a budget traveler. A little stupid breakfast right there would instantly make me at least AUD15 poorer. Instead, I went for this.

And bought these for my breakfast and AUD9 was saved for something else. :-P

The slice of pizza was not bad lahhh actually.

It was supposed to be enough for my little tight stomach but I had to share it with these husband and wife who were so adamantly sticking around me.

Seriously, they’d never leave me alone and they must have been fed thousands of times by the visitors to Circular Quay considering how good they were at snapping up the pieces of bread that I threw to them.  
And the husband would never ever let any other bird to come any nearer to me. Isn’t it sweet? LOL!
Done with my breakfast, I walked off towards the Sydney Opera House. I was so impressed to see how this man here treated his little daughter with all the love in the world.

Seriously, he’d bring the child around and take photos of her every now and then so fondly and fatherly and in total oblivion of the surrounding. It really was a pure love to me from a father to a child. He made me proud of sharing the same country with him and his people. (Yupp, he is a Malay-sian).

The problem with Sydney that I noticed was - the sun! It feels quite closer to earth than anywhere else that I’ve been to. Seriously, it is so bright and overly intense on a clear-sky day.

And when it comes to taking photos, the sun would be where you don’t want it to be. It tends to ruin you photos unless you take them from the right angles.

And probably the right spots.

But the problem is, it’s not easy to find the right angles and spots. The sun is like circulating around in the background of most photos that you probably want to take.

You gotta bear in mind that Australia is far down under from the Equator Line so there’s no chance of it going over the head like it does every 12pm here in Malaysia.

With the intensity of the sun, combined with the dry air, Sydney could dry you out in no time at all.
Luckily, the City Council was more than aware of it. They put water sprinklers just about everywhere.

I was busy camwhoring taking in the beauty of Sydney Opera House and actually getting amazed by its architectural superiority when I got a phone call from some work affiliate in Sandakan. Of course I wouldn’t pick it up. I was on holiday!!

Hehe. Not really. I just didn’t want him to die from a heart attack when he got his phone bill later. And again, I didn’t want to suffer over my ROAMING charges that would probably go as high as the Habour Bridge either.

The Opera House that I found out was only visually captivating when it is viewed from a distance and not up-close.

And yet, it was quite fascinating to explore.

You see, the sun would never leave me alone. Imagine if it wasn’t Pana Lumix LX3 that I used.

So guys, throw away your old cameras and get an LX3. You won’t regret it. :=P

Coming really really closer to the Opera House, I had come to find out that the building opens out to a wide expanse of open front yard from a fancy-looking restaurant.

And the world recognition of its architectural superiority is probably lays mostly on its shell-shaped roofs that are famously known as ‘the shells’.

With such a big recognition that they bear, I was expecting to see an array of gold or something on the outer layer. But no. There are merely porcelains, probably the same porcelains that we use on the floor of our toilets. :-D

And some of the porcelains were even cracking.

Oh well, don’t say I didn’t touch the shells.

I even licked it!!

You see, I could always go back to Malaysia and tell everybody that I had licked one of the most iconic buildings in the world, the Sydney Opera House!

Hehe. Inside the opera house, apart from a number of auditoriums and theater halls are some exhibition rooms. (I missed some free show by a few fcuking days!)

And of course the Sydney Opera House store.

From where I bought some postcards that would later make their way to some lucky friends.

A little walk from there was the Utzon Room, named after the architect designer of Opera House.

But coming inside of it, there was nothing to see but a bunch of asses.

Back on the outside, I realized how Sydney Opera House is not spared by the seagulls. Bring out your food and they’ll all come to you and you’ll instantly become the subject of unintended photography. LOL!

It was finally time to say good bye to the Opera House for now.

And say hello to the Royal Botanical Garden.

You know how appealing this was to me knowing how huge the park was.
But then, getting on anything mobile like that would make you miss out on many things. Experience, experience. He he.

If you want to see EVERYTHING, walking is always the best option. Besides, I’m not that old yet. :-P

Walking on along the shore, I noticed the existence of so many people jogging on the trails in the park.

And there were not merely jogging, they were running! I really thought there was a marathon or something.

And they exercised really really hard. I don’t know what was it that motivated them to exercise so hard and passionately like that.

Even to the extent that they have to rub their asses against the fence.

And what time was it? Go jogging in the midday in Malaysia and people would start offering you a blank form for a place at Tanjung Rambutan.

Australian people are just over the top when it comes to exercising which makes me thinking about re-considering my plan to do the Gold Coast run next year. I really don’t want to humiliate myself by doing a horrible timing by Aussies standard.

The Royal Botanical Garden is more like a zoo. There were so many animals that were quite weirdly unfamiliar to me walking freely in the park such as this.

And this.

Hey, I was talking about the bird la! :-D And I found these yellow-crested cockatoos here so mind-engaging.

They have that rare yellow crest on their heads.

And they wouldn’t shy away even when I touched them.

Walking further on had led me to this square plaque here. It was the first spot where Queen Elizabeth I had first landed on Australian Land.

And if you keep walking on along  the seashore, you’ll reach the Mrs Macguaries Point.

It is the spot from where the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House can be best photographed together making it a magnate for photographers from all around the world.

And of course wedding couples who wish to have the scenic beauty of those two iconic structures in the background of their wedding pictures.

Somehow, they gave me some idea of something that was hopefully gonna come in the future.  

But for now, let me take a photo ALONE. :-P

A little bit of cawhoring wouldn’t hurt.

Hehe. And I was more than happy to give this tree here a hug.

But I did it because I was invited to. What do they call it? Social obligation? What O ever. :-P

And of course, Malaysians are everywhere nowadays. *prawd
A little bit of asking around had led me to this.

It was actually the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Free for admission, most of the collection of arts here had been painted in the 19th century.

Representing modern and contemporary arts, the paintings here are mostly ‘direct to the point’ and easier to understand. It wasn’t as difficult to read what the painters were trying to show in their paintings as it had been for me when I went to the museums in Paris.

I’d say arts are valued highly for the time taken to complete them.

I mean it might take years to complete just a single painting to get to exactly how the painter wants it to be.

It sure takes an enormous amount of patience to put on dozens of layers to form something that is ‘art enough’ to be placed in a place like the Art Gallery of NSW.

What I like about museums in Sydney and Australia as a whole is the existence of couched seats in just about every room to ease your legs down.

But then, a gallery is a gallery. There are always those weird stuff that I am probably too stupid to comprehend.

I would never understand these and why there were inside the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

And why a broken concrete stairs on a wall is an art at all.

I wondered what was it these people see in those weird paintings.

A mom is looking at the picture of her son masturbating? What the hell?

Errrrk!! I had to get outta there before I confused myself quite too much.

A little walk away from the Art Gallery is this.

The St. Mary’s Cathedral it was.

Just on the outside of the cathedral is this golden statue of the late Pope John Paul which was donated by the Italian-Australian Community in Sydney in conjunction with the 23rd World Youth Day in Sydney back in 2008.

Oh well, the statue Pope this year, the real Pope next year. Amen? Amennnnnn! :-P

And I should have come through the main entrance. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have missed seeing this ‘No Photography’ signage here.

Coming in via a little shop on the left side of the building, I was unsuspectingly taking photos just like any tourist would do and suddenly out of nowhere, some stupid God’s servant came up to me, showed his cheap-looking hand phone and said ‘You put off those pictures that you took or I am calling the police..’. Right to my face!

Jeez, calling the police?? I was almost dumb-struck. I mean, wouldn’t it be more, errrr, Godly if he just said “I’m sorry mister, but photography is not allowed here. You’ll have to put those pics off..”? Did he think he’s gonna get a ticket to heaven by doing something like that? Shithead! Thinking back of his ignorant act now, I assume he was probably one of those church geeks who tried too hard to impress the priests while he remained the laughing object of the other church people.

Oh well, St. Mary’s Cathedral was beautiful but then church is something that when you see one, you’ve seen them all. :-P

A little walk from the cathedral had led me to the Australian Museum.

Welcoming its visitors at the entrance is this skeletal head of a dinosaur sticking out from the wall.

And some admission fee applies.

Oh well, considering how I was gonna have to spend at least few more hours exploring the museum IF I did go inside, I decided to skip it. I didn’t know what there were inside so what I don’t know of missing doesn’t really hurt me does it? :-P I didn’t leave from the there with an empty hand though. I bought this from its canteen. :-P

You know you’re at the Hyde Park when you see this plaque here.

It is another tribute to the memory of Captain James Cook – the founder of Australia. Not really the founder, the aboriginal people are the founders of Australia. I’d say, the man who found Australia is probably a better term to describe Captain James Cook.

Then walking along a walkway across the Hyde Park, I reached the Anzac Memorial.

By then, I must have covered at least half the city centre of Sydney my legs really were in need of some break. I took a seat at one of the benches and watched a bunch of teenagers showing their so so talent in skateboarding.

Looking around, more of the unfamiliar creatures.

Apparently the Wild Department seems to keep track of them. They were all tag-numbered.
Mind to tell you that most Sydney attractions close at 5pm. Looking at my wristwatch, I had less than 1 hour to go. I knew I had to get going.

Walking towards the Anzac Memorial, I had come to realize that it wasn’t as ‘grand’ as the one in Melbourne.

But still, it is worth a visit. As usual, silence is the always the best offering.

Getting inside, I was taken quite aback by what I saw in the middle of the building.

It appeared to me like some lady who was doing some seductive pose and strange enough, the pose seemed quite so familiar to me.

And sure enough.

It was the pose that I’d seen so many female bloggers did in their blogs before. The only male blogger that I knew who did it in his blog was probably this guy here.

Hehe. Oh well, while I’d heard a lot about Anzac before, I only knew that it was a shortened name for Australian and New Zealand Army corps. I later learnt that it was a large group of troops from Australia & New Zealand that were sent to help Britain in its battle against Germany during the World War II.

Apparently, Australia as part of the British Empire was so eager to help out it actually sent just about every one of its troops away and left its own land unguarded. That was when the Japanese began its successful series of invasion across Australia that began in Darwin.

Australia was so fucked up by the Japanese and was actually going so down until the Americans came to their rescue. So that explains why even until today, America can always ask Australia eat whatever shit they want. Australia owes America a big one.

Out of Anzac Memorial later, I walked across the Hyde Park on this beautiful walk way here.

According to the map bumped into later, the walk way would lead me right to the Archibald Fountain.

And sure enough,
Highly regarded the finest public fountain in all over Australia, Archibald really is simply breath-taking.

And only then I realized it was so close to St. Mary’s Cathedral making the view of this fountains with the cathedral in the background such a picturesque one.

And take a picture of Archibald Fountain from the other side and you’ll have the towering Sydney Tower in the background.

By then it was beginning to get dark and quite cold, and my legs were shaking after the all-day walk.

Night in Sydney offers a lot of interesting things to see IF YOU WALKED. I was far from wowed by this group of Korean teenagers who sang Korean songs here but they deserved some credit for their willingness and perseverance. 

I actually stopped at a convenience store to buy this.

Errr, AUD3 if I remember it correctly because I remember the conversion as RM9 and how I almost peed in my pants buying one pack of it. LOL!
But then, continuously eating the likes of McDonald’s and Hungry Jack’s would make my mouth go numb I’d probably have to brush my teeth every 5 minutes to keep me breathing normally. Besides, Maggie noodles keep reminding me of the fact that I am a Malaysian who needs Malaysian food no matter which part of the world I am in.

Getting into a deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep sleep later, I woke up with a big smile on my face the next morning. It would be the day when I’d get manly. But of course, it’ll be all in my next post.

10 comments:

aud said...

What a grand day out!

Haha, you actually licked the Opera House! I wouldn't mind hugging a tree but I think I'll draw the line at licking buildings.

Thanks for the walk :)

kenwooi said...

i was reading so nicely, then suddenly saw my own face! LOLLL!

anyway, it's a great insight to Sydney.. never been there, hope to visit one day! =)

JIPP said...

Hehe. Sorry Ken. Pinjam your pic. Don't sue me over copyright. :-D

Aud: Somehow it didn't taste that bad. LOL!

Kelvin said...

I got a shock when i saw kenwooi. Scary leh XD

JIPP said...

He he he. Ken vs Nicole. :-D

**~Pu-3~** said...

Another super long post :P must have taken a long time to post this up!

The sea gulls sounded different than the ones in Scotland(less annoying?). And they are usually like that - preventing other seagulls from exploiting their food resource LOL.

JIPP said...

Hehe. Yupp, long posts do take time. Well, although Australia is a very nature-loving country, some of them think seagulls are a nuisance. They are like everywhere. :-D

Ken said...

WOW!!!
A super duper long yet GREAT post!

U really licked the Opera House!! How it taste like? Haha...

U travel alone?

chegu carol said...

Yabah, apalah rasa tu opera house? hahaha!

JIPP said...

Ken: Yupp, travel alone. Most of my friends are too important in their job to travel with me. :-D
Carol: Errrr, a bit salty. LOL!

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