A normal nice day at Spice Alley.

Image result for spice alley sydney

With all that’s been going on we thought we would have a day in Sydney.  It came as if seeing doctors, visiting hospitals and getting referrals was becoming a routine. I would wake up, bleary eyed, and ask Helvi; ‘any appointments or doctor visits today?’ ‘ Do we need to get a referral?’ We had invested some money in fridge magnets, and as a result of possible memory lapses now pin appointments behind those magnets on the fridge. Of course, the canny quacks now get their secretaries to phone the day before to confirm appointments. It all adds up to the bottom line, you know.

Yesterday we drove to Sydney and parked our car near a friend who has lived in Balmain for many years. We never lost our love for this inner-city suburb which has now grown into a millionaire’s paradise. Our friend suggested we visit Broadway. In particular a site which used to have a large brewery now converted in smart shops and restaurants.

‘I’ll call an ‘uber’ and we will be there in twenty minutes,’ he said while pulling out revolver-like, his cell-phone. ‘I’ll show you,’ ‘I have special uber app.’  He is American and has always held a love for internet and computing. I have to admit also becoming handcuffed to cell-phones and the day is not far off I too will be applying for apps.

He tapped in his cell-phone the address in his uber app he wanted us to go to and within seconds he showed me a GPS map on his phone with  a spot resembling a car crawling towards our address of departure. It also let us know in minutes how long we might have to wait. It was three minutes. The uber car pulled up. Absolutely amazing. I like uber and so does Helvi.

Our friend in particular wanted to show us a part of Broadway/Chippendale that has an area of converted Victorian terrace house that now house a number of Asian eateries named ‘Spice Alley.’

https://spice-alley.com.au/

It is really an area now buzzing with life. The very essence of a city on the move. Of course, we were elderly just short of walking stick aids (it won’t be long now) and could not be more in contrast with all the hip-student mainly Asian hurriedly looking for a spicy lunch, pedestrians. No one shuffles or are hesitant. The young on the move, ambitious, furiously fast and still clear-sighted.

We also wanted to look at a building designed by a well known American architect Frank Gehry. His architecture is known for difficult execution, a nightmare for builders but brilliant in form and pure art.  Almost organic looking, sprouting from the ground up like a mushroom.

Here it is.

Image result for uts frank gehry

We had a beef Rendang. A lovely spicy well cooked Indonesian dish with rice and vegetables. We shall make visiting Sydney again ‘a must’.

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49 Responses to “A normal nice day at Spice Alley.”

  1. Carrie Rubin Says:

    Hope everything is going okay with Helvi. I’m sure the doctor visits are getting old.

    I’ve never taken Uber yet. I hear the drivers can rate the passengers on the app. They’d probably give me a low rating because I’m horrible at small talk. 😄

    Liked by 3 people

  2. gerard oosterman Says:

    Helvi is doing fine, out-eats me now. Even so, every three weeks chemo Herceptin by infusion for a year to maintain the fight. Hopefully with lots less side-effects.
    Uber is so simple. An invention based purely on software. The drivers were civil. One was Indian looking, the other on the way home, Chinese.
    A multi cultural society in action. Taxi drivers don’t like uber!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Carrie Rubin Says:

      Ha, no, I imagine they don’t. 😄

      Liked by 1 person

    • Big M Says:

      Ah, good, Gerard, Mrs M has been on Herceptin for about nine years, as her tumour was quite aggressive and she has had two secondaries. The side effects are often minimal, most commonly a decrease in heart function. This has only required treatment in the second half of last year. Most folk, like Helvi only need about a year of Herceptin. It’s actually a very cleverly designed drug. Give her our best.

      Like

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Thank you, Big M.
        Helvi is seeing her heart specialist this Wednesday. She normally does have a fast heart beat and low blood pressure. Her Herceptin starts next week and so does the radiation. She is back to her cheerful self.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. shoreacres Says:

    I laughed at your fridge magnets. I’ve begun doing the same. I have friends who swear by their cyber-calendars, but quite honestly, I don’t quite trust them. Besides, a person still has to consult them, and if I have to consult something, I’d rather get an apple or a yogurt while I’m doing it. Besides, the magnets all are from various museums and such that I’ve visited, so I can enjoy some memories while I’m trying to remember what I’m supposed to be doing.

    That Gehry building is quite something. I think I’d like it. I’m not fond of all of his work; sometimes it seems just too affected. But there’s a small museum he designed over in Biloxi, Mississippi, that I’d love to see. One of these days.

    I’ve never used Uber yet — haven’t had any need to, for one thing, and for another, without a smart phone and the app, I think it’s nigh impossible. I suppose I could use my iPad, but I don’t know. One of these days I may explore that, too. Or not.

    I hope Helvi is doing well — and you, too! I’m glad you got out. What ever happened with the cruise? Did you take part in that and I missed it? Or did you miss doing it?

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The Gehry building in Sydney is part of the University of Technology of Sydney of which $50 million was donated towards the cost of building it by Dr Chau Chak, a businessman and philanthropist. A further $5 million was donated by him to create an endowment fund for Australia-China student scholarships. His son studied at this UTS and graduated in 2011.

      Without magnets and the fridge we would be hopelessly lost, Linda. There is so much happening, so many dates and appointments. A fridge never changes and is solid.

      The cruise we never did. Helvi hates the idea of being locked up with hundreds of of people just waiting around for their next feed. People all grazing out on a belching bender is not her idea of a holiday. It is frightening how many ships are now racked by intestinal infections despite all handrails being wiped by alcohol disinfectants.

      I can recommend the uber. It is envisaged that the future will be free of car ownership. Self drive vehicles will take us wherever we want to go and on time. Why own a metal box that for most of its time stands still in the garage or in front of our home.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Sounds like you and Helvi had a “bang-up” time in Sidney. Now about those Uber drivers. I think, if I am correct, that my town’s Yellow cab service went out of business. The only thing about a Uber driver is that I worry if they could be a thief or worse. I don’t take the taxi since I have friends that will drive me should my vehicle be in the shop.

    I’m glad that Helvi is doing so good. May her improved health continue. She really is a jewel and I can’t stress enough that I think you two, are the perfect couple. You did yourself proud when you snagged Helvi as your life partner.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      We need to go more often for ‘bang-ups,’ Ivonne. There have been very few incidents of Uber drivers being thieves or misbehaving. Even so, I still practise and keep honing my ‘kick in the crutch’ technique, and I would not muck about with Helvi either. Helvi packs a good one too.
      We just had a call and it seems that apart from the Herceptin, she will also undergo radiation therapy.
      She is the best partner/wife and I feel she gives so much more than I give her.
      Thank you, Ivonne.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Robert Parker Says:

    Glad to read this story about a fun day and your wife doing well. And I really admire Gehry’s designs – – I’ve seen several in Germany and Hong Kong and got a kick out of them – there’s a few here in Boston & New York, but mostly on the west coast.
    Smartphones can be addictive time-wasters, but they’re also pretty useful gadgets when you’re traveling around – Uber/Lyfft, online maps, opening hours and train schedules, restaurant reviews, etc. And usually pretty decent cameras, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Gehry’s architecture I like. I know it can be a bit over the top but it’s creative and playful. A kind of child with play dough. I think of Marc Chagall and the happy bride floating about.
      The uber driver told me he likes his job and does it for extra money on top of his normal job.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. leggypeggy Says:

    Sounds like a great expedition to Sydney. We’ll have to give Spice Alley a go the next time we’re there. As for transport there. We have Opal cards and can use all public transport for $2.50 per day.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. gerard oosterman Says:

    That part of Sydney has changed so much.
    Years ago, as a young just married man, I was given the contract to white-ant proof the entire hoarding that used to protect the main Parramatta Road from a large hole that was dug next to it. The hole eventually filled up with the multi stage storey building of the now present UTS.
    The hole was there for years. NSW had run out of money to build the school. I used a Canadian product which I think was called Cabot- decking stain. Hundred of gallons. It was a huge hoarding on which was advertised the plan to build a Technical School.
    We have an Opal pass but getting it was difficult. It involved internet skills with pass words and when we lost our pension ( Thank you Mr TurnBull) we had to go all over the procedure again. We managed but as we haven’t used it I believe the credit on the card vanishes after six weeks.
    I suppose we could try it out and see what happens. It is very funny watching people go past that metal conductor and tapping their Opal cards looking very serious. I mean tapping against a metal post!
    I do recommend Spice Alley, Leggy. Poor John will be pleased with menu and reasonable prices.
    .

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Andrew Says:

    Sometimes its good to just do normal things. It has been so tough on you both the fact that you can do these things is a really good sign that Helvi is on the mend and you can start to plan normally again. Uber is illegal in Hong Kong because of the powerful taxi lobby. It still operates though but there is a similar app for the old taxis. Getting around here is pretty cheap but the traffic is so congested nothing moves very quickly. Beef rendang is one of my favourite meals. I first ate it in Malaysia and often order it if we go to the club bar for a quick meal. Yummy tucker.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Andrew, the normal is getting back into our lives. There is nothing like a health scare to make one focus on the joys of everyday events. Did I tell you our Japanese Windflower buds (Anemones) are sprouting up all over our garden. It is going to be a magnificent show.
      Our American friend who took us by uber to Spice Alley had returned from Hong Kong a week before. He loves HK and the quality of its transport.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Julia Lund Says:

    Sounds like you had a lovely day. Here’s to many more.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    Glad you got out for a non-doctor day. What a building, Gaudi would be pleased.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    Oh! What a wonderful beautiful SPICEY day! 🙂
    I’m so glad you and Helvi had a day out and about with fun! 🙂
    Docs, med centers, tests, treatments, etc…it all gets tiring fast. 😦
    What a cool unique Gehry design/building! 🙂
    My youngest lives in a HUGE city, and even tho’ she has a car, sometimes she uses Uber. I’ve never Uber-ed or Lyft-ed! HA! 😀
    Love, best wishes, and (((HUGS))) for you and Helvi! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Caroline. Sometimes one has to take the trouble to break out and do something special. We shall visit Sydney a bit more often and probably by train.
      For a strange reason you can’t buy tickets anymore at the station and one has to go to a news agent or supermarket. It is all electronic and the train company now employs metal Opal posts on which to tap the ticket.
      No one whistles anymore when the train leaves the platform or raise a flag. There is just this metal Opal post that does it all.
      So many things are so baffling.
      Hugs to you too. Helvi and I hope you will enjoy good health for many years to come.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Forestwood Says:

    What a marvellous building! So different!

    Like

  13. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Strange how your car learns the routes to doctor’s offices and grocery stores as one ages. How is Helvi coping with all the Dr. visits? They get old in a hurry. We haven’t tried Uber yet, but I have the app on new phone and on iPad just in case. Dr. A thinks taxis would work better for the short trips we make. We’ll see. He just took DMV test, but hasn’t received new license yet. All our kids use uber & love it. Sounds like a lovely find in Spice Alley. Confusing the way young people are always in a hurry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, I can now drive to doctor’s surgeries blindfolded. We have 6 doctors, Kayti.
      1, Our house doctor for little problems ( referrals and sticky tape)
      2, Dr Della, ( The cancer specialist
      3, Dr Kim, ( The breast surgeon)
      4, Dr Pappadamus, ( The radiation specialist)
      5, Dr Tafoolie, ( The heart specialist)
      6, Dr Dunlop ( The haematologist)

      I can still drive everywhere and through peeking through my fingers still manage to pass my vision test…but for how much longer?

      Like

  14. janesmudgeegarden Says:

    I’ve just found your blog through a process of skipping from one person’s blog to another (as one does) and have enjoyed reading your largest blogs and enlightened comments from your other readers. I used to live in Sydney but now reside in Mudgee in the Central Tablelands of NSW. I think you have the same outlook as me politically and I would like to follow your blog, even though I really only write about gardening myself.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      You are especially welcome, Janes. Gardeners have top priority on this blog. We would have long perished if it wasn’t for our love of a garden. Ours is small but a paradise on earth. Helvi is a genius on how to make one feel good by sitting in our garden.

      Like

      • janesmudgeegarden Says:

        Thank you, Gerard. That should have been ‘latest’ blog, not largest! I’m looking forward to reading more of your blogs. Jane

        Like

  15. Julia Lund Says:

    Liked by 1 person

  16. auntyuta Says:

    Gerard, with referrals and doctor’s appointments we are in a similar situation as you probably know. It is so good to be getting away from it all for a bit. Our little holiday at our son’s place in Benalla is coming to an end today. Straightaway tomorrow I have to see a specialist in Wollongong. The appointment had been made months ago!
    Good to hear, Helvi is eating well. All the best to both of you.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, for a moment we thought it was calming down with appointments but our fridge is groaning again from the magnets holding a bewildering number of cards with dates and times.

      We are on first name terms with most of them, even professors. A day might well come where we invite the mammographers or pathologists for a slap-up lunch.
      Glad you had a good break at Benalla. All the best Uta and give Peter our fondest wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Lottie Nevin Says:

    OOOOOOoo, LOVE a Beef Rendang. They were always a bit hit and miss in Jakarta. Sometimes as tough as boot leather, inedible, sometimes a bowl of utter perfection. It just made it necessary that I should try as many as possible. Its such good news that Helvi is out and about and getting back an appetite. I’ve been thinking of you both a lot xxx

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Lottie. A good Rendang is hard to find. A Malaysian restaurant in George Street, Sydney, many years ago were known for their Rendang. The beef dish included Kentang. the humble potato. We queued up and so did many Asian students.
      Helvi is back to her good health and taps away at her political blogs.
      Thank you, Lottie. She has always followed your adventures, first in Jakarta and then in Spain.

      Liked by 1 person

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