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Friday, March 29, 2013

MUGA Day #4: Sydney--Australian Royal Easter Show

MUGA:  My Ultimate Global Adventure.  First, a tip is not expected in Australia.  Sure, go ahead and leave 10% at the top restaurants, if you must, but this is not necessary.

I'm here on the four days of Easter holidays, so many of the finest restaurants are closed, as workers go on holiday.  Thus, I again will miss Quay, probably the best in Australia.  By the way, fish markets are open, for people here eat seafood on Good Friday, plus hot cross buns.  Has something to do with the death of Jesus and avoiding mammal flesh.  I remember fish being served every Friday night at my Stanford eating club.  Today, Catholics I know consume whatever they want on Fridays.  About a quarter of the population here are Catholics.

I arrived Friday morning, and there were a lot of people walking around, but McDonald's was one of the very few places open.  So I had a Grand Angus for lunch.  My dinner was at the Executive Club of the Westin:

I had an Australian Cabernet and a Shiraz, with a new drink I created:  Australian lime liquor, Australian rum, Australian sparkling wine, vodka, cointreau and ice (maybe a C-, for it tasted like a medicinal potion), with cheeses, nuts, etc. Not worth finding a name.

Oh, a TV station over the 4-day weekend is showing the top 1000 music videos of all time, and they're now down to #715, Jennifer Warnes and Joe Cocker, Up Where We Belong.

I awoke today to #678, J. Geils Band and Centerfold on the MaxTV 1000 Greatest Songs of All Time.  Apparently, Sydney TV station Max is playing 200/day, stopping the count from late night till almost dawn.  Now on, #591, You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate.

The biggest deal of of the year (according to my taxi driver--and the ride cost around $45 from the airport with all the fees and taxes) is the Sydney Royal Easter Show at their Olympic Park (site of the 2000 Summer Olympics). 

The Royal Easter Show?  Combine ten American state fairs and you have this largest national ag show with rides, etc.  Over a 12 day period a million people will come.  The City Rail train roundtrip plus entrance ticket cost around $40.  The system is aging, as one of the trains I sat in smelled badly of a tired bar.  But all is functional and the announcements were loud and almost understandable.  They talk kind of British, but I'm sure anyone in the UK would laugh at such a description.

There were exhibits:

That largest pumpkin is around 1400 pounds.  Hardly saw any animals.  Must have made the wrong turn.

For lunch, mate, I settled on an Australian barbie of ribs, with corn:

What you see here cost around $22.  They do everything possible to prevent you from drinking alcohol and eating, with fences, etc., so that's a Coke.

There was a lot of color:

Tonight, est., one of nine Australian 3- hat (sort of like Michelin 3-Star for this continent) restaurants.  Many of them are closed this weekend.  #580, David Bowie, Golden Years.


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