November 11, 2009

I was lucky enough to have lunch in Cabramatta today, this is the great thing about working in Liverpool, Sydney. It’s like having a mini overseas trip to Asia, complete with extremely hot weather and food of dubious hygiene. I don’t know why we spend so much time, money and carbon gases to go overseas when a trip here is just the same.

It’s a colourful, noisy, dirty place and what I like is just the complete unexpectedness of what one might find in the shops. The public toilets are well signposted and well barred complete with sharp disposal boxes and signs that say “injecting drugs is illegal”, pointing to a darker side of Cabramatta. There are many fruits I have not seen before or can’t recognise. White Anglo people are a minority and as a half-ethnic generic looking dark haired person I even feel strange starting conversations in English.

By the time I arrive I am starving and can’t decide where to eat. I choose a “combination” white fluffy bun thingy but soon wish I had opted for the BBQ pork variety. After discovering a boiled egg and an unidentified piece of entrail I feel less enthusiastic about the eating side of the adventure. There are the customary red BBQ duck carcasses hanging in windows, and ridiculously cheap butcher shops with huge slabs of meat.

Banks and real estate agents have signs written in Asian letters. There are many jewellery, clothing, shoe and fabric shops but I don’t have time to fossick around for long enough to choose clothes or shoes. I suspect there is gold to be found here. I could find a tailor and buy fabrics, I could stock up on baby clothes and fancy little girls dresses for presents.

I buy mango stin and lychee for husband who loves this stuff, chillis for me. Couples are everywhere, I see one Vietnamese couple carrying a crates of mangos and arguing, another giggling together infectiously. I see an elderly white gay couple and several white men with Asian wives.

I will have lunch here more often.


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