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Jul. 28th, 2008

Hello old friend

So, evidently my grand plan to blog daily died a horrible death. In fact I have not blogged for 26 weeks, which is quite deplorable.

It's not that nothing has happened to me in those 26 weeks, because many exciting things have happened - I've just been too busy/tired/SLACK to write about them.

And too busy/tired/SLACK to write entries out of my book about saving the world!

In any case, I am endeavouring to reinvigorate this blog, so stay tuned.

Jan. 27th, 2008

two very different kinds of elixir...

I've realised that there is no way I am going to catch up on all the days I have missed blogging, all in one hit. Tis not possible, especially for me, blogging failure extraordinaire! Instead I'm going to attempt to blog my book entry for each day, and then blog an extra one I missed out on too. That's the plan, Jan.

So here we go, today's entry: January 27th:

give blood

This is such a simple one, that too few people take the time to do. I too, am guilty of this, as it has been far far too long since I have donated. And as not everyone can donate blood, its important that those of us who can, do, to make up for those who cannot. Not only do you get the satisfaction that you are saving someones life, one day you may need blood, and then you where would you be if people did not donate?

Obviously, I can't speak for those in other countries, but for those who live in Australia, here are some guidelines about who can give blood. Firstly, MOST PEOPLE CAN DONATE. Also:
  1. If you are in good health, between the ages of 18 and 70, and weigh more than 45 kg, then you can most probably give blood today.
  2. Some limitations: If you are pregnant, have just had a baby, are taking antibiotics, have HIV, malaria or are a hepatitis carrier, inject drugs, or lived in the UK for more than 6 months between 1980 and 1996 you WILL NOT be able to give blood.
The procedure takes about 10 minutes. That's a small amount of time to give for something that is so very valuable to those who need it.

Australian Red Cross Blood Service - 13 14 95, or www.donateblood.com.au

So backdated entry,  January 5th:


When you have a drink with your friends there are a number of things you can do to help your local economy and help the environment.

  1. Reduce your beer miles - that's the distance that the beverage in your hand has had to travel to make it to you. Support your local brewer. I must say that I don't drink beer, so there isn't a whole lot I can do about this one! I can say however, that wherever you are, try and pick a brew local to your area. For all of you Adelaidians, that means Coopers!! I mean, it is the best anyways, so it's not like you are compromising on quality :p
  2. Recycle all your bottles and cans - This one I am quite fastidious about. And it's a good thing considering the amount of Coke Zero I drink! Although maybe I should put my cans out on the street for people to collect, because I don't collect the 5c deposit! (On this note, it was pointed out to me the other day that you never see bottles or cans on the streets here, like you do in the capital cities interstate... because any cans lying around are collected and cashed in by the homeless, as SA is the only Aussie state that still gives you 5c deposit when you recycle a can!)
  3. If you're in the UK or Europe, choose bottles of wine that have natural cork stoppers - Oak corks biodegrade. The oak cork woodlands in Portugal and Spain produce 80% of the world's natural cork. These woodlands support a huge population of wildlife and are at risk of being felled to create even more intensively farmed fields when they no longer fulfil an economic purpose.

Jan. 15th, 2008

Yes, I too have been a victim of Rundle Street....

I was so amused to find this facebook group the other day:  I've had my heels stuck in Rundle Street. Why did I not think of this group?? I get my heels caught in the  cracks and gaps between the pavers on rundle street more than anyone I know, I think I spend most of every  Saturday or Friday night  pulling my shoes out of the cracks in the pavement.  And the worst thing is that it is always annoying and embarrassing because it's pretty much the busiest street in rAdelaide! I was also amused to see that there was actually an article in the paper about it, I always thought it was just a silly  little  inconvenience, but apparent it warrants the attention of the local government , he he. Aforementioned article, I've highlighted the bits I find amusing:


Don't put your foot in a fashion trap

Article from: The Advertiser

December 24, 2007 12:00am

IT'S one of the most stylish streets in Adelaide, but according to a group on social networking website Facebook, strutting along it can leave you open to an embarrassing fashion faux pas.

More than 400 women have descended on the group I've had my heels stuck in Rundle Street, created by two Adelaide women living in London.

Adelaide City Council has acknowledged the problem and is examining options including re-paving Rundle St.

The virtual group reveals postings of war stories where beloved (and often expensive) heels are wedged between the footpath on Rundle St.

Member Mia Dion, of Walkerville, said she often has to stop dead in her tracks to elegantly "yank-out" her heels from the clutches of gaping cement.

"The way the pavers are set, the grout is missing, and needs to be refilled," Ms Dion said.

"The council really should do something about it, or re-pave it."

Another member, Linda Romeo, of Vale Park, said despite the problem, women refused to give up Rundle St, or their heel fetish.

"We need the height, and heels look fantastic," she said.

The site acknowledges the role that cocktails from the street's numerous upmarket bars can play in the problem, but members claim that heel and ego damage can strike at any time.

Lord Mayor Michael Harbison said it was a "real" issue. "(It) plays merry hell with stiletto heels," he said.

"We are . . . working with some manufacturers, to try and come up with an edge that's durable, but doesn't create the wedge-shaped gap," he said.


P.s.  Entries about what I am supposed to be doing to change the world are being put into a word document and will be published soon!!! :P Not all of my blogs will be about things as important as this blog, I promise! :p

Jan. 13th, 2008

die computer!

okay, so I just typed out the first entry of my catch up blog... and it was loooooooooooong. And then my computer freaking ate it. It has gone far into the depths of cyberspace, never to return.
So now I am annoyed, and I cannot bring myself to blog it all again right now, so I am going to go for a run and come back later.
I also realised that I am going to have to split the entry into lots of smaller entries because I have a ridiculous amount to say on a few of these topics 

Sacre Bleu!!

Despite my good intentions, it appears there are few things that are as infrequent in this world as my blogging. Eek eek. I am now about 10 days behind on the list of things I should be trying to do to change the world. I have a half written unpublished blog from a week ago. Sigh. My feeble excuse is that I'm finding the transition from being slack sleeping holiday girl to actually have to go to work very tiring, and all I want to do when I get home is eat a block of choclate and go to bed. Plus, hospital has decided to block all internet access, so I can't facebook/gmail/livejournal at work either... sigggggggggh.

Work is going ok though. I have worked 4 days now, including yesterday, which was Saturday. It's weird going to work on the weekend, and it's weird that I think that, considering my jobs prior to this were all hospitality jobs where the weekend was the only time I worked! I'm still learning and making lots of mistakes, and its strange to make the transition from student to doctor - a lot of the time I still feel like I am a student who can now write prescriptions and has some responsibilities. My patient load is not too bad, although yesterday I had so much I had to do for my few patients that I did 4 hours of overtime, and didn't finish until 3pm. 

I was also supposed to go to the Schutzenfest after I finished work yesterday, but I was sooo tired from my week of accumulated sleep debt that all I wanted to do when I got home was sleep. I napped, and then eventually went out last night for a few hours, and had a great sleep last night. However, I am still tired today, which is frustrating; i want to sleep all day but I know if I do I won't sleep tonight and then I will feel horrible tomorrow. More frustrating still is the fact that I have to work tomorrow - do not get me wrong, I do like my job, its challenging and rewarding for me in a way that I know another career would not be, but tomorrow will not be a fun day. Monday is a day when we have a big case meeting, which I have to prepare all of the notes for, and it is going to take me ages, plus then I have to present all of the patients to 30 people, so I have to make sure I know my stuff. Oh to have a longer weekend!!!!

So, now I have moaned and complained about work, I can reveal my plans to get back on track with my blogging. I'm going to blog the something like 10 entries I have missed as one big condensed entry, and then I am going to go back and publish the blog I half finished last week, which was not 'change the world' orientated, but was rather random musings about many things, as a retrospective blog, so have a look back at that one too!

Jan. 6th, 2008

Climate change, coffee and a girl with no excuse...

well, I it didn't take me very long to break  slightly bend my NY resolution of blogging everyday. I don't even have a good excuse to offer, except I have been tired. And yesterday I was busy eating pizza and 4 snickers and thus did not have time to blog. I could blame my lack of blogging on the fact that I have had orientation for work since wednesday, but a) this would not be a good excuse, considering I have been doing 8-5 uni days since 4th year so i'm used to it and b) 8-5 is pretty much what I will be working all year, starting from this Wednesday. So, I must resolve to, however tired I am, blog blog blog! In any case, I have now got 4 entries to catch up on, so I am thinking I will do 2 tonight, and then 2 tomorrow.
So here we go, firstly the entry that should have been for
January 3rd:

Climate Change

A well known, much rehashed topic. Does my book have anything new to offer? Well the topic for one thing reminds me that I should really see An Inconvenient Truth, which I still haven't seen, just so I can have a bit more of an informed opinion, because I'm still working out exactly where I stand.

Stats that the book quotes: 'In the Antarctic peninsula, vast areas of ice are disintegrating. In parts of Canada, Alaska and Siberia, the melting of the permafrost is undermining roads, airports and buildings. Most significantly, the ice-sheet over Greenland is beginning to thin, releasing millions of cubic kilometres of fresh water into the North Atlantic. These climate changes are being cause by the emission of greenhouse gases'

So, the aim today is Take a carbon pledge to reduce your own carbon emissions. AND GET YOUR FRIENDS TO DO THE SAME. The average Australian 'emits directly and indirectly around 27.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents a year into the atmosphere'. Pledge to save 5-10% of your carbon emissions by:

  1. Replace 3 standard light bulbs with low energy bulbs - okay, so this one has to wait, because I literally do not have any money until Jan 18 when I get my first pay check! I can't even afford lightbulbs and that is very sad.
  2. Turn the thermostat down - well, I have been trying to use my airconditioner less, but it is so freaking hot here at the moment that I can't sleep if I don't run it a bit... it's not like winter where you can just put a jumper on instead of using the heater!
  3. Travel 24km fewer each week - well I do walk to work every day, but I think I might resolve to start taking public transport when I can to go shopping etc, even tho I lurve my car!!
And now the entry that should have been for January 4th:

Coffee at a fair price

Buy fairtrade coffee!

According to my book: 'Fairtrade cofee provides a higher income and greater security for small produces than is offered by the vagaries of the world market. The current fairtrade price for coffee is more than double the market price, which can fluctuate wildly. In 1994 coffe reached a high of US$4.40 per kilo, cause by frost and drought in Brazil, but by 2001 the price had fallen to US$1.10- where it has stayed. The impact of low cofee prices is felt particularly by small family producers, who depend on this cash crop for their livelihood. In countries such as Ethiopia, Uganda and Honduras, coffee is a particularly important export commodity, and a slump in prices can depress the whole economy'

I'm not a big coffee drinker at all. And that said, I already have a plethora of coffee in my house, and I reallllly don't need anymore. But I thought about it a bit, and decided this is not really about what I WANT and that waiting til I have consumed all of the coffee I already have (which will probably take about 20 years) and then pledging that all future coffeee will be fairtrade, is not really helping anyone. So I have decided that when I get paid I will go and get some, so I can make a difference NOW.

Okay, so that is me catching up on part one of my blogging!! I have to get up early to go to a breakfast thing tomorrow, so I am now going to sleeeeeeeeeeep zzzzzzzzzzzz.


Jan. 2nd, 2008

Making amends...

So, day 2 of the new year, and day 2 of my plan to blog every day. So far so good :P Today was also my first day of work, which was scary in that it was my first day, not in the actual nature of the work - today was just introductions, and lectures, and tours. It's not until friday until I go to the ward and meet the team that I will be working with... and I am glad tomorrow isn't friday, because I am feeling stressed already. What have I got myself into? Eek.

So, on another note.... the second topic in the book is called 'Make Amends'
Fairly self explanatory..... it goes through detailing how it is almost certain that everyone has at least someone they have wronged, saddened, being rude to, or lost contact with. It's not that we don't think of these people, as many of us will think of them often. It is simply that there is always something that is stopping us making the effort to change the situation.

So the task for today is:
"Make amends. Bury the past by apologising for what you have done. Admit responsibility. Heal the situation. In doing this, you will have done good - and it will be one less thing to worry about.

Pick up the phone, write a letter, or send an email.
It doesn't matter whether it is your fault or theirs that you are no longer speaking.
It doesn't matter if they choose not to respond.
You've taken the first step.
That is what it is important"

So there you go.
Swallowing my pride, and with a little humility, I did contact a couple of people with whom I would like to make things better. I have not yet heard back, and I must admit that whilst it is kind of a relief to do it, it's also scary because there is no guarantee that the situation will resolve positively, even if resolution is pursued with the best of intentions.

Jan. 1st, 2008

why hello there, 2008!

Well, it is now 2008! This is a good thing, because for the last month I have been referring to 2007 as 'last year' and 2008 as 'this year'. Really the new year should start at the end of November, just for my convenience.
So, as promised, I am blogging, on this day, the 1st January, the first thing out of my book! So here tis:

"New Year's Day is traditionally a time for looking forward, when we resolve to make a fresh start, do better try harder, live up to expectations. But too often these resolutions evaporate by the time we have cleared up the remain's of the previous night's party.

The entry then goes on to talk about how when there is so much going wrong in the world it seems futile to want to take small steps. The suggestion is then: Take the first step. Set targets. Don't be frightened of failure. Dream big. Do something and try your best to suceed. Even if you don't, you will have shown that you care enough to want to do something, you will probably have made some difference, and you will have learnt alot from the experience which you can put into practice next time."

So, January 1 is the day of the New Year's Revolution: ....resolve to change the world.

1. Go to www.tomphillips.co.uk/portrait/sbec and download the potrait of Samuel Beckett which is ringed by the quotation:
No matter
    Try again
    Fail again
    Fail better
Cut this picture out, frame it and put it somewhere you will see it everyday.

2. Make a New Years Resolution
So here are my resolutions:
       1. Maintain this blog daily, with the entries from this book.
       2. Try and complete the task outlined in the entry every day.
       3. Truly appreciate my friends and family every day - because life is short.
       4. Be the best doctor I can be.
       5. Keep my house clean!
       6. Try and actually make a tangible difference this year, on a local scale, at least.
       7. Start listening to the music, reading the books, watching the movies etc, from my lists!!
       8. Sit down with my lists of things to do before I die, and work out which ones I can do now, and  plan how and when to do the rest.
       9. Every day try and make at least one person's day better, somehow.
      10. Try and have regular discussions with people who have very different opinions and views to me!
      11. Volunteer for Lifeline.
      12. Run the City-Bay... maybe run the Sydney City-Surf too.
      13. Tutor pre-clin med students.
      14. Start working out exactly what I want to do next year, and put the wheels in motion.
      15. Brush up on my french
      16. Buy a Lomo camera,  buy a really good SLR, work on my photography!!
      17. Have fun doing all of the above!!

Probably more I want to do, but I can't think of any at the moment!!
So what are your resolutions?

Also, in other random unrelated news, I just found out that my birthday is Easter Sunday this year - March 23rd for those who need an update :P Easter is NEVER on my birthday! I am fairly sure that easter has, in the nearly 26 years I have been in existence, never been on my birthday weekend.
So anyhow, I have decided that instead of organising drinks, etc, like I normally do, I am going to head along to the Oakbank races on the Monday. So please ask for the time off work now!!!! I'm giving you a 3 month heads up :P

Dec. 27th, 2007

The Times They Are A-Changin'

I'm in a pretty good mood today... not for any particularly earth shattering reason, just a few small things... I bought some good books at the sales today, my Sneaky Sound System files finally finished downloading, the sun is shining, etc etc. I should be frolicking on the beach, etc. Instead I am at home, cleaning up my house, sigh.

I decided, over Christmas, whilst free of internet and phone distraction, and pondering the year that has been and the year that is coming, that I do a lot of THINKING and not enough DOING. I have so many lists and things in my life: lists of things to do before I die, things to buy, things to see, books to read, music to hear, things to do to make the world a better place.... but they stay on lists, and never actually see the light of day. For the most part. I've always got good excuses - mainly time and money, the fact that I am tied to Adelaide by my career at the moment. I'm also beginning to run out of excuses - in 3 weeks I am going to be receiving my first proper paycheck - and a good one at that. Time and being in Adelaide will still be a problem, but only for another year. So for these reasons, I think I need to stop talking about living my life, and stop talking about changing the world and actually DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

So, on this topic, I have a book, which I have had for a while, called '365 Ways To Change The World' by Michael Norton. Although it pains me to admit it, it has also sat on my bookshelf, unperused, for the best part of a year. There has always seemed to be something more interesting to read, something better to do, some more valuable way to spend my time than actually reading this book and trying to put something into action. However, when I choose the books to take to the country with me for Christmas, I picked this up.. kinda thinking that if I had nothing else to read, then I would HAVE to read this book.... also, I think another part of the reason that I haven't taken the time to read this book, is because I know it will make me feel guilty about the way I live my life. Yes, I do small things, I recycle, I give money to charity, I sponsor a World Vision Child. I don't think I am a bad person. But I also know that there is a lot more I could be doing to make the world a better place, even in the small microcosmos of my direct world.

In any case, this is turning into a very preachy blog post, and I did not particularly want it to be like that, because I know I hate it when people try to hit me over the head with righteousness and the state of the world, etc etc. But, in short, I did read this book, and it did make me think that I can begin to make a difference, starting very soon, and that is really exciting to me.

The aforementioned book has something, some issue, to contemplate and action every day, and I thought that I would, beginning from the 1st January put the issue for that day up on this blog, as well as contemplating it myself. Now, I know that may blog is not exactly overwhelmed by readers (:p) but I thought that maybe if even one of you, my few lovely readers, finds at least something I put up interesting than I am making even a little bit more of a difference.

So that's it. Starting January the 1st, I am going to DO SOMETHING. It also means that I will have to update my blog daily, which should be a challenge.

In other, more materialistic news, I bought a book this morning called 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, which will only add to the ever growing list of books, music and films I still need to appreciate :p. I did a little towards this task though, by heading down to JB HiFi with my chrissy gift voucher (thanks Dave!) and buying Blue by Joni Mitchell, Exile On Main St by the Rolling Stones, Ziggy Stardust by David Bowie and Blonde On Blonde by Bob Dylan... all of which were in the BARGAIN BIN, so that worked out quite economically for me :p. I also increased the non-daggy factor of my CD collection by about 600% because for once I did not buy Avril Lavigne or Justin Timberlake, etc... (don't worry JT, I still love you, OK? We will talk about this later)

So, I am going to end this meandering and strange blog by reposting a list I just found on the CNN Screening Room Website, because lets face it, I have a lot of love for a good list. Even if it is not really related to a whole lot in this blog, at all.

The Screening Room's Top 10 Life-Affirming Movie Moments

    (CNN) -- They might make you punch the air or bring a tear to your eye: this month on the Screening Room, we've picked our top ten life-affirming moments from the movies.

    Jimmy Stewart hugs his family at the end of

    Our number one: Jimmy Stewart discovers life is sweet in "It's A Wonderful Life"

    1. It's A Wonderful Life
    (Frank Capra, 1946)
    "Remember, no man is a failure who has friends." Perennial Christmas favorite "It's A Wonderful Life" sees habitual do-gooder George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) pulled back from the brink of despair by wannabe angel Clarence. As Bailey embraces his life with joy, it's his friend's final sign-off that draws a sentimental tear from even the most stone-hearted viewer.

    2. Spartacus
    (Stanley Kubrick, 1960)
    After the battle, Crassus (Laurence Olivier) promises to spare the rebel slaves' lives if they give up Spartacus (Kirk Douglas). In a stirring response, knowing that they are condemning themselves to death by crucifixion, they each rise with a cry of "I am Spartacus!" One moment's freedom has never tasted so sweet.

    3. Casablanca
    (Michael Curtiz, 1942)
    A tense frisson of resentment ripples through Rick's Bar as the boorish Nazi officers strike up in patriotic song. But a command from Lazlo (Paul Henreid), a nod from Rick (Humphrey Bogart), and a rousing chorus of the Marseillaise sees the hated occupiers put firmly back in their place.

    4. The Shawshank Redemption
    (Frank Darabont, 1994)
    In the harsh conditions of Shawshank Penitentiary, Andy (Tim Robbins) seizes an opportunity to lock himself in an office and broadcast a Mozart aria over the PA system. The heavenly voices shine light into the darkest depths of despair, bringing humanity to a place where there is none.

    5. Saving Private Ryan
    (Steven Spielberg, 1998)
    "James -- earn this. Earn it." As the gunfire pauses, Captain Miller (Tom Hanks) implores Private Ryan (Matt Damon) -- and, by proxy, us -- not to waste a drop of life: the greatest of gifts is too precious to be frittered away.

    6. Blade Runner
    (Ridley Scott, 1982)
    Roy the replicant's deep humanity comes to the fore as his last moments slip away. Rutger Hauer's lines on life's fleeting nature -- "lost in time like tears in the rain" -- are both provocative and poignant: has he become more human than the people who seek to hunt him down?

    7. American Beauty
    (Sam Mendes, 1999)
    "It's hard to stay mad when there's so much beauty in the world." Kevin Spacey's closing speech inspires us to look at the world around us with fresh eyes, from the flaws in our loved ones to plastic bags caught in the wind.

    8. Silent Running
    (Douglas Trumbull, 1972)
    "Take good care of the forest, Huey." Renegade botanist Freeman Lowell (Bruce Dern) blasts the world's last remaining plant life into deep space, with only a robot to tend to it. A timely reminder of how one man's actions can preserve life and hope.

    9. Dead Poets' Society
    (Peter Weir, 1989)
    Mr Keating (Robin Williams) inspires his young charges to seize the day and throw off the shackles of their privileged yet stuffy school. We challenge you not to feel a lump in your throat when Todd (played by a young Ethan Hawke) and his classmates stand on the desk in spirited tribute to their disgraced teacher.

    10. Victory
    (John Huston, 1981)
    "Come on lads, we can win this one!" Ludicrous yet rousing, "Victory" pitted plucky British footballers, led by Michael Caine and fortified by Pele and Sly, against a dastardly German team in a high-profile game that's weighted against them. Their plot? To escape during half time. But who wants to flee midway when there's a match to be won? "Victoire! Victoire!" chant the crowd.

    I will have to contemplate this list a bit lately.... glurge worthy? Appropriately sentimental? I guess, like most things, and certainly any pop culture lists, it is very subjective. I know, for example, a lot of people who think the end of Dead Poets' Society is incredibly corny, but it renders true to me.. I can imagine being that moved so strongly by a moment like that.

    Dec. 26th, 2007

    Oh, RADelaide, I'm so very proud of you....

    So, my beautiful home city got an article in the New York Times!!
    YAY ADELAIDE!!! (even if it is not actually on the 'Pacific Coast' :P)... still getting a review, and getting a GOOD review by the NY Times is just awesome.

    A ‘City of Churches’ Emerges as a Culinary Hub

    Tony Sernack for The New York Times

    A rowing team on the River Torrens.

    Published: December 23, 2007

    “WE searched all over the world for where we could start the kind of restaurant I always wanted to go to,” said Jim Carreker, who left his job as a chief executive in Silicon Valley to start the much-lauded gastronome hotel, the Louise, in the Barossa Valley in Australia last year. “When we came to Adelaide, we were stunned to discover the area had the best of everything: great wine growing, people who raised good livestock, fantastic fruits and vegetables. It’s like the Australian version of Tuscany except we also have extraordinary seafood.”

    Two decades ago, Adelaide, the capital of the state of South Australia, was considered the dowdy wallflower to its lively coastal siblings, Melbourne and Sydney. Even its nickname, “City of Churches,” implied an innate conservatism. Australia’s most famous conservative, Rupert Murdoch, started his global media empire from the city.

    But now South Australia’s capital, nestled along the Pacific Coast and sprawled against the garden greenbelt of the gentle River Torrens, has become the colorful cosmopolitan hub of Australia’s culinary revolution — 51 percent of the country’s wine is produced in the region, while the Adelaide Hills are Australia’s fruit and veggie basket.

    Add to that picture the multiethnic population that has swarmed into this rapidly growing city of 1.1 million, and it seems inevitable that a teeming cafe and restaurant scene would arise. In fact, Adelaide claims the country’s highest number of restaurants per person, including the Grange and Petaluma’s Bridgewater Mill, often mentioned as among Australia’s best restaurants.

    Some claim that the region was a culinary haven even before the first Dutch ship spotted the coast in 1627. “See this wet bark? We used to peel it off and suck on it for its sweet taste,” said Haydn Bromley, an Aboriginal guide showing me a towering gum tree in the city’s more than century-old Botanic Garden (www.environment.sa.gov.au/botanicgardens/adelaide.html). “Aborigines ate really well here long before the Europeans showed up.”

    The Adelaide plains were home to the Kaurna Aboriginals, a dynamic people with their own distinct language who revered red kangaroos — still seen in the hills above town — as mythical relatives whose exploits formed the core of their creationist stories, or “dreamings.” Adelaide’s sprawling South Australian Museum (www.samuseum.sa.gov.au) has the largest collection of Aboriginal artifacts in the world, including boomerangs, painted “dreaming” maps and an exhibit of pharmaceutical plants used by the Aboriginals like grevillea leaves for mothers wanting to produce more breast milk.

    But Mr. Bromley had nutrition more relevant to my current needs in his pack. Amid a chorus of kookaburra birds throatily serenading us from the towering fauna, he spread out a picnic of “bush tea,” consisting of jams of native orange, peach, bush tomatoes and wild gooseberries produced by Aboriginal artisans who have created a thriving condiments industry in the Outback. The condiments are a zesty mix, like what you would find in an Indian restaurant, but with a smoky desert zing.

    Aboriginal bush spices are all over Adelaide’s supermarkets and gourmet stores. But for those who don’t want to cook, there’s a city of opportunities.

    One popular place for “up-market bush tucker” — food with an Aboriginal twist — is the Red Ochre Grill, overlooking downtown from the riverbank. Here, depending on the current menu, you can dig into kangaroo fillet with local chili glazes and tasting platters featuring a sweet ’n’ sour range of scallops, beet root confit, and dumplings with seasoning from the Outback.

    Adelaide offers a lot of ways to work off the grub. Surrounding the Square Mile, the original downtown district, built according to a grid-system planned with military precision in 1837 by Colonel William Light — is a giant square moat of green, consisting of parks, a horse racing track, and miles of meandering paths, some that follow the river. Light, a man ahead of his time, built the city inland from the sea to allow space for wide avenues and more firm ground for Adelaide’s gorgeous kaleidoscope of stone colonial buildings whose elaborate outdoor iron railings bring to mind New Orleans.

    Despite a serious attitude toward food, Aussie informality and fun supersedes any preciousness one might expect from a foodie destination. Even the local wines, despite all the international accolades, are not spared. “Make wine, not love” a sign in a local wine shop exhorts. To ensure that consummation is an uncomplicated affair, screw tops have replaced corks, even in South Australia’s most virtuous bottles. “Why make a big fuss over corks that have a 20-percent failure rate?” asked a local winemaker, Stuart Blackwell, pouring an excellent bottle of citrony St. Hallett Poacher’s Blend — the name honors a tasty truckload of grapes he’d secretly harvested from another wine grower to collect on an overdue debt.

    But for all the fun and games, everyone — from the guy deep frying the pastry-like fish and chips made from local King George whiting at Paul’s Seafood at 79 Gouger Street (“these were probably swimming yesterday”) to the Grange’s celebrity chef, Cheong Liew, whom I spotted in Adelaide’s Central Market examining a kangaroo sausage as if he were diffusing a bomb — seems to have an obvious passion to live up to the cornucopia of fresh produce that is South Australia.

    A walk though the sprawling Victorian-era stalls of the indoor Central Market gives an idea just how rich that cornucopia is. A mouth-watering mega-mall of the four food groups and the artisans — chocolatiers, bakers, olive oil makers, and the like — who transform them, the Central Market is heaven for gawkers and snackers. Blink and you’d think you were in one of Bologna’s famous food markets, albeit one inhabited by people who talk like “The Wiggles.” Indeed, one of the most beloved stop-off points in the market is Lucias (www.lucias.com.au), an island of Italian culture, which for over half a century has been serving pastry and coffee worthy of the Old Country.

    But for sheer diversity, the Central Market is hard to match: stalls featuring butchers with kangaroo and emu meat stand side by side with shops selling Russian, Asian and other international food products — the beginning of a vast assembly line that extends to the kitchens of Gouger Street in front of the Market where a mind-boggling array of ethnic restaurants await.

    “I’m a Kurdish political refugee,” the cab driver who drove me from the airport told me. “But I married a Chinese woman, converted to Buddhism and now speak Mandarin at home.” It seems a typical story for the international Cuisinart that is Adelaide. Strolling down Gouger Street and nearby Hindley Street is like wandering through the set of “Blade Runner” with a garish mishmash of neon signs fronting old British colonial buildings where, as night descends, the rich smells of world cooking are joined by Arabic pop songs, German techno and other tunes from around the planet.

    With all these cultures, how could Adelaide not help but have a fascinatingly eclectic night life? Places like the Moskva Vodka Bar with a number of distinct bars mashed into three levels, or the back-lit marble jewelry box of a place at Escobar with its live jazz, or the heavy metal and garage music of Enigma Bar, are vibrant venues to mix it up with Adelaide’s unusually good-natured glamazons, Goths and preppies.

    And why wouldn’t they be friendly? Most have probably been very well fed.


    A 15-minute cab ride from the airport to the city center costs about 15 Australian dollars, or about $13 at 1.16 Australian dollars to the U.S. dollar. Otherwise, use Adelaide’s public transportation system (www.adelaidemetro.com.au), which runs a regular JetBus service to and from the airport. Day tickets on the bus, train and tram system are 7.70 Australian dollars.


    For one-of-a-kind lodgings, North Adelaide Heritage Group (61-8-8272-1355; www.adelaideheritage.com) offers 20 restored properties around Adelaide, including a comfortable 19th-century firehouse with a 1942 fire truck and fireman’s pole. The main double suite costs 330 Australian dollars a night.

    The Hyatt Regency Adelaide (North Terrace, 61-8-8231-1234; www.adelaide.regency.hyatt.com) is an elegant, centrally located high-rise on the river. Rates for a double room start at about 250 Australian dollars.

    The Louise, Seppeltsfield Road, Barossa Valley (61-8-8562-2722; www.thelouise.com.au) is an outstanding gastronomical hotel in the midst of the vineyards an hour’s drive from Adelaide. Doubles start at 381 Australian dollars a night with breakfast.


    Red Ochre Grill (War Memorial Drive, North Adelaide, (61-8-8211-8555, www.redochre.com.au) overlooks downtown and offers an “upscale bush tucker” menu with an Outback twist.

    The Grange (Hilton Hotel, 233 Victoria Square, 61-8-8237-0737; www.thegrangerestaurant.com.au) has Asian-Aussie fusion tasting menus from 105 Australian dollars.

    Petaluma’s Bridgewater Mill Restaurant (Mount Barker Road, 61-8-8339-9200; www.petaluma.com.au) is set in the Adelaide Hills. Eclectic tasting menus feature Asian, Australian and French cuisine starting at 67 Australian dollars.

    For nightspots, visit Moskva Vodka Bar (192 Hindley Street, 61-8-8211-9007), a throbbing glamour scene on three levels; Escobar (91 Gouger Street 61-8 8231-6023), an elegant club often featuring live jazz; and Enigma Bar (173 Hindley Street, 61-8 8212-2313), which features live alternative music.

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