Getting to Know Perth

screen-shot-2017-02-24-at-5-12-58-pmGetting to know Perth is a priority for us.  We want to experience and enjoy this city while we’re living here.  During the Summer, there are a lot of activities to seek out and enjoy but we’ve been warned that there isn’t as much to do in the winter.  I’m not fully convinced yet because there still is a long list of places I want to explore.  Being out and about in the city also allows us to meet the people who live in, work in and make up the human part of city life.  The people are definitely a reflection of the city.  We’ve been finding activities on Instagram, through friends and also doing internet searches which turn up websites like: Guide to Perth and Experience Perth.  It’s fun to look up lists of things to do in Perth and see that we’ve already checked off a few of the big activities that everyone recommends.  What will our next adventure be?screen-shot-2017-02-24-at-5-12-03-pm

The Trees Speak

screen-shot-2017-02-12-at-9-47-04-pmPerth 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.screen-shot-2017-02-12-at-9-47-43-pm

The First Day of School

“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?

Getting to Know Perth: Fringe Festival

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.screen-shot-2017-02-04-at-11-46-10-amBut 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.

If You Give a Neighbor a Cookie

screen-shot-2017-01-17-at-9-51-33-amIf you give a neighbor a cookie, he’ll probably ask for a cup of tea.  And if he asks for a cup of tea, he will probably ask for a place to sit down.  And if he asks for a place to sit down, he’ll probably want to have a chat.  And if the chat lasts long enough, he might get hungry again.  And then he’ll probably ask for another cookie.screen-shot-2017-01-17-at-9-52-04-amOk so maybe that’s a little too simplistic.  But here’s the deal, Ryan and I have always known our neighbors to a certain extent.  And in a home, you just hang around outside and at some point you’ll see and get to chat with the people who live around you.  But we now live in a high-rise and no one can access our floor except us and our 9 neighbors.  Short of reading a book in the hallway, the only way to meet our neighbors is to cross paths while taking out the trash or in the elevator.screen-shot-2017-01-17-at-9-51-12-amI also enjoy baking and so we figured that some American chocolate chip cookies might help break the ice.  Please pray for us as we continue to get to know people in our building and in our community.  Please pray for our 9 neighbors who will be receiving chocolate chip cookies and an invitation for a cuppa (to share a warm beverage) at our place.  Who knows what will happen, but if you give your neighbor a cookie…

Getting to Know Perth- The American Store

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.screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-3-24-15-pm50 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:-)

Getting to Know Perth- Saturday Markets

screen-shot-2017-01-07-at-1-45-06-pmThis 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.  screen-shot-2017-01-07-at-1-45-24-pmWe 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.Screen Shot 2017-01-07 at 1.45.40 PM.png