“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?
There are many different ways to learn about a city. Sometimes you need a local guide to talk about why certain things are the way they are and to point out places or things that you might otherwise overlook. Ryan and I decided to try out a local tour that seemed interesting and it turned out to be well worth our time and money. If you come and visit us, we’ll probably send you on this tour too. (Check it out: Oh Hey WA!) It was a great way to see the heart of the city, hear about local history, art, food and the future of what’s happening as well.
From the oldest building in Perth to the current revitalization of buildings in the city. We were introduced to all the basics and then some. This tour answered some of the questions I had about spaces I was seeing in the city as well as asked me to look up, down and around some corners that I wouldn’t have otherwise noticed.
The street art in Perth is pretty amazing, especially if you know where to look. And when the tour guide mentioned two different pizza places in the city, she had Ryan’s attention. One spot even has half priced pizzas on Wednesdays. I know where we’re eating soon!
We also were introduced to some of the buildings and art installations that light up in the city. This has inspired us to take more evening walks. I’m hoping that those walks will lead us to a couple of the cool bars that our guide also mentioned. Evidently there use to be no nightlife in the city but recently bars and restaurants have been opening up and making their mark. After 5 o’clock there is a reason to be downtown now.
One thing I have noticed before was the mix of old and new in the city. This tour just emphasized that this juxtaposition is the result of a lot of intentional work and planning. And of course, I loved being introduced to some of the Noongar (aboriginal art) that can also be found around the city. This was a wonderful way to spend our morning and now we have even more ideas of how to explore and enjoy this great city.
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.