Perth International Arts Festival opened this weekend with an amazing light show through Kings Park. Boorna Waanginy: The Trees Speak explored the Australian landscape through lights music and story telling.
The pictures from my phone don’t do it any justice. But it was pretty spectacular even with the crowds of other people surrounding us. Just listening to the music was mesmerizing. Another wonderful free Perth event was a great way to end the weekend.
“Smile, make friends and eat a healthy lunch,” was the advice from a friend when I expressed that I was a bit nervous about today. It’s been 10 years since I graduated from UCSB so I do feel a little out of practice with this whole student thing.
But here I am ready for my first day with my healthy lunch packed, smile on my face and ready to make friends. Please pray for this week of learning and adjustment. Graduate school can’t be too difficult, right?
Perth may be a small town masquerading as a big city but there seems to be some event or festival happening all the time. Maybe it’s the time of the year but in addition to Australia Day and Chinese New Year events, Fringe Festival has taken over the city. While out on the town yesterday evening there were lines of people waiting for shows, live music playing and a general festive tone. Nothing was too full or busy for a Friday night but couples, groups of friends and families were all out enjoying the evening.
We explored Perth in a different way these past couple of weekends. We walked around and watched some of the street performers, and I loved the mermaid tank. Since we live in East Perth, everything is an easy bus ride or walking distance from our place. We stumbled across the dress rehearsal for an open-air Opera on our way home yesterday and since it looked fun we’re headed back tonight for the show.But so far the highlight of Fridge Festival for me has been the Djuki Mala dancers. I went on Tuesday with friends to see their fun show. It was a great mix of traditional Aboriginal dance and storytelling mixed with modern music and stylized performances. Bollywood, Michael Jackson and singing in the rain, just to name a few. It was a very fun way to spend an evening, getting a little more Australian culture with a fun, energetic twist.
Ryan and I have some newfound freedom this week because we are borrowing a car. Because of this, we’ve taken the opportunity to do a big grocery shopping trip at Coles (not clothing but food) as well as visit Ikea (the same wonderful store). It’s been interesting hauling our purchases up to the 18th floor but praise the Lord for elevators (or the lift for all you Australians). And it is worth mentioning that the driving has been interesting for us too. I’m sure I will blog more about our Australian road adventures another time. But now is the time to share about The American Store.50 States American Foodmart has two locations in Perth. There is a small shop in the CBD (central business district) and a larger in the suburbs just outside of East Perth. We’ve checked out both of them now and the only thing we bought was 4 jars of non-Old El Paso salsa that was awesomely on sale. Side note: Old El Paso is pretty much the main Mexican food provider here at the grocery store. Hard shell tacos, taco kits and salsa are all Old El Paso brand. We’ve already tried some Australian salsas but it’s not quite the same. We’re going to keep trying though because Mexican food is slowly gaining in popularity here.
50 States does have many speciality American items that you won’t find on the grocery store shelves. But there are many American products that can also be found at a normal grocery store as well. Some things like ranch packets and taco seasoning you can find here but they just cost more. Other things like chocolate chips, salsa and marshmallows can also be bought, however, they are different and don’t really taste the same. But don’t hear this as complaining, we’re thankful for all the food options and choices that we do have. And I’m following @50statesinperth now so that I can have a heads up if something special does come in that we can’t live without.
And at least for now we don’t have to pay the super high prices for our hot sauce of choice, Cholula, because we brought our own extra large bottle with us:-)
This morning we woke up and took a walk over to a local market. Perth has a few markets open on Saturdays and Sundays: Weekend Markets in Perth. However, located in East Perth, the Perth City Farmer’s Market is just a 20 minute walk from our place. We’re still trying to stock our pantry and figure out how to adjust our cooking here but it’s wonderful to find fresh, local produce. There is also a little cafe so maybe we’ll get breakfast one Saturday and hang out awhile longer. We only bought a few things because we’re still figuring out prices, and getting use to carrying all our groceries and purchases home, but we are thankful for the variety. Ryan and I even talked to a local beekeeper, tasted a few different varieties of honey and learned more about farming in this area. We then of course bought some honey to take with us and I’m sure we’ll be back for more.