Saturday, October 25, 2008

The World In Sydney

One of the highlights of living in Sydney is its multicultural nature. Sometimes it feels like everyone's here, and I don't mean just during peak hour traffic.

Another highlight is listening to Adam Spencer on 702am ABC local radio. This guy is everything a radio presenter should be. Smart, funny, quick, witty and worldly. Last year he hosted "The World In Sydney" on his breakfast radio program and found people from more than 100 countries to join him. The show aired not long after I arrived and since then I've explored the neighborhoods and ethnic enclaves. Not a day goes by when I don't hear a second language, smell an Italian espresso or Thai lemongrass or Lebanese oregano. (I eat very well over here.)

Today, a year later, Adam did a second show. You can hear some of it here:

Last weekend, I went down to Darling Harbour, the main tourist district and visited the Chinese Garden. The experience stirred memories of the Middle Kingdom. Limestone formations set in lotus ponds, living curtains of bamboo, umbrellas of weeping willows and best of all, classical flute music, piped through hidden speakers, that emerged when the jackhammers paused. An oasis surrounded by skyscrapers, it lacked only two things: grey-suited guards and old men playing chess. But the toilets more than made up for it!

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