During the week, Beryl and Ian look after Heidi, and so Heidi came upstairs to brush her teeth with me, and show me all around the top floor (which is where they used to live, before they found an apartment). I blame this on the fact I left my camera at home, as I didn't have my full attention on packing what I needed for the day.
Beryl drove me and Heidi to the shops, and she showed me where I caught the bus from, and how to get back to their house on the way home. The bus dropped me off outside the Queen Victoria Building, which I felt like I recognised from when I came before (in particular I think I recognised a cafe we had macadamia cookies). I wanted to get Bex a baby shower present, so I asked for where some toy shops were, and then headed to Westfield Shopping Centre, although when I eventually managed to find a directory of shops, I don't think there were any top shops, so trudged back up to QVB. I also wanted to get Beryl and Ian some gifts to say Thank You for giving me such a wonderful time and letting me stay with them. Once in the shop I brought one gift from, I asked where I could buy cards, then when I was there, I asked where a Post Office was, so it felt like everywhere I was going was kind of a treasure hunt with clues to go to the next place.
Once I had taken care of all my errands, I walked to the Fish Market (instead of getting the hop on hop off bus there). Fernando and Ashleigh (the chef from Hogs Breath and his girlfriend) lived in Sydney for a while and had told me about it, and how it was the 2nd biggest fish market in the world, although when I got there it wasn't as big as I had imagined, although maybe I hadn't looked around all of it. The part I looked around was a mixture of fresh fish, and fish you could buy cooked, and there were a lot of Asians sharing the fantastic looking platters. I brought some salmon sushi from one place (still not as good as sushi paradise) and then a scallop Mornay from another, although the Mornay part kind of masked the scallop a bit. As a healthy pudding, I brought an apple at an extortionate $1.15!
Next I walked to the Chinese Garden of Friendship, and the journey took me along Darling Harbour, which I hadn't been particularly that bothered about going to, but meant I saw the outdoor Ping Pong tables and deck chairs that were free to use for the public, and also a stage set up for the Sydney Festival. The ground was a picture of a house, and then it had a mirror at a slant coming from the ground, so that it reflected the house, and so the kids walking on the ground looked like they were doing some sort of Wallace and Gromit 'The Wrong Trousers' walk up the house.
The Chinese Garden used to be free, as it was set up to show the friendship between Sydney and Guangzhou, but it had a $6 entry fee. Some of the scenes were beautifully tranquil, but would have been even better if a) the weather had been better and b) there weren't Novotel buildings and similar rising above them. I couldn't really make out which rocks were supposed to be which (or how they looked like what they were supposed to be) but there was a rock forest which told the story of the 'Dancing Maiden Ashima and the Landlord', although there were people in the way of my photos (I took pictures from today on my iPhone). The Googled story behind this was that Ashima was kidnapped by the son of an evil landlord, and was forced to marry him, but her love Ahei saved her with his magic bow and arrows. Ahei and the kidnapper had a singing competition which lasted 3 days and 3 nights, which Ahei eventually won. However, on the way home Ashima drowned in a flood and became a stone. I was very nearly tempted to pay $10 and get a photo of me dressed in traditional Chinese costumes around the garden, but thought given I'm in Australia, it's not really got anything to do with Australian culture. There were a few 'botanical highlights' I was interested in seeing what they looked like, for example the Red Silk Cotton Tree and Cherry Plum, but there were no plaques to tell you which were which, only a vague location on the map they gave you.
I made my way back to Circular Quay, to get the 333 bus to Bondi. It felt really strange because it looked so much like it does on Bondi Rescue (a TV program), that I felt like I could be on Bex's sofa with her and Caitlyn watching it on a Sunday. Well apart from the TV show is filmed when it's a lot sunnier!
I had brought bananas as I had eaten all of the ones at Beryl and Ian's, but Beryl had also brought some so we now have a lot. Their neighbour, Dennis, was around when I got back (dripping wet, as by the time I thought maybe I should put my raincoat on, I was already quite wet so I would have just been wet on the inside as well as out) and he stayed for dinner with us. He was asking what I wanted to do when I got back to England, and suggested a role in Business Analysing, as he was talking about how it's all to do with picot tables in Excel. He wants me to let Beryl and Ian what I end up doing in case I do end up doing that.
Ian showed me all their Africa trip photos, which made me extremely jealous- some of the pictures they got were incredible!