Sunday, October 4, 2015

Australia: The Markets

On Saturday morning, Meagan and I headed into Melbourne (pronounced Mel-bin) to meet up with my friend Katie at the Queen Victoria Market. After waiting in line at the ATM for nearly 30 minutes we grabbed some lunch, I forgot to take a photo, but it was delicious--I had an eggplant and artichoke focaccia sandwich. Sometimes I wish I could cook like that at home.

The market was huge. Aisle after aisle of Australian souvenirs: wood carvings, wool slippers, T-shirts, soaps, opal jewelry, etc. It seemed to never end. I was on a mission to get some gifts for a few people back home and had such a difficult time deciding what to bring them. I was anticipating the sticker shock as I had heard Australia is really expensive, but really it wasn't too bad coming from San Francisco. And the Australian dollar is down right now, so that helped too. Both at the market and the grocery store, I thought prices were pretty comparable to where I live.

See the Christmas booth behind us -- this place had everything!

The other part of the market was food. There was a separate area for the produce and another for the meat (indoors meat counters with coolers and ice, no worries).

Later on in my week I also went to Paddy's Market in Sydney, which had very similar souvenirs, and many booths looked identical to the one down the aisle making it really tricky to back track and find that one gift that looked a little nicer. Paddy's Market was all indoors, with booths set up a little like a trade-show. Aisle after aisle we wandered looking at all the different merchandise. (It was a great activity for the rainy-morning we had.)

I realized after visiting these two very touristy markets, that I am a little more like my mother than I thought -- I really liked the shopping! And I felt like I needed to bring home something for everyone . . . but I didn't and I'm sorry.

William ended up with a stuffed kangaroo and a kangaroo book, and a kangaroo T-shirt and a koala puzzle. I missed him and it was his birthday, what can I say!

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