One of the very few things my husband and I have in common (opposites attract couldn't be more true than at my place) is that we both like a nice Sunday drive and a picnic. I was brought up on this, we went on a family outing of some sort every Sunday. I love it because if I drive two hours in any direction from where I live, there is magic and beauty of such diversity that it never fails to leave me in awe and make me feel rich. Obviously I'm not talking about money here.
Right, so the weekend before last we went to Sydney to watch the Chinese New Year parade and partake in a little cultural diversity. It was a great day.
We watched the parade from the side of Market City, where the cable car goes past and the monorail is above your head. There were dragons and drums and crackers, but my favourite was the chinese adoption group. Lots of prams with little innocent faces, and lots of proud grateful adults pushing those prams with love and showing great respect for the cultural origins of their adopted children. So many different kinds of families; mixed race, caucasion, single-sex partnerships - and so much acceptance. You'd have to be dead not to feel the love. Nearly brought me to tears.
When hunger prevailed, we went to yum cha at the Marigold - the wait in the line was an hour long and even with the bored hungry kids but it was so worth it. They delighted in all the little things in the restaurant; the fortune cats, the banners in chinese, the lanterns - even the super efficient and borderline gestapo waiters.
The guys put on a bit of theatre when they cleared the table, whipping the dirty table cloth off without moving the plates and then another guy swept the dishes away and he set the table again like shuffling a pack of cards. Louis and Blair thought it was the coolest thing.
Then when the trolleys came around Louis was peering into each one, wanting to try it all. We had squid, steamed sweet bean buns, noodles, gow gees, bbq pork, that yummy stuff wrapped in banana leaves and a big plate of steamed chinese greens. I nearly burst with pride when both of the kids deemed the chinese greens to be the best thing they have tasted for ages and piled their plates high with the dark green leaves. I love to see kids eating their greens, it's such a challenge for a mother to get them to do it. Louis even drank the tea and tried the XO sauce. He even wanted to go the chicken feet (and so would I) but Alan wasn't so keen and Blair was just shocked at the whole idea.
While we were sitting there, I noticed a famous person in the line waiting for a table. Sydney is so not L.A! You wait like everyone else here. Claudia Carvan and her pregnant belly, her daughter and two scruffy looking blokes waited in the line and were seated just like everyday people. Chinese restaurants, the great levellers.
On that note, it must have been good-looking person's day out last weekend. So many beautiful people.
We wandered through chinatown, there was heaps going on so it was a lot of fun. Then we had a ride on the monorail, an ice cream and went home.
Top family entertainment.