I cat sat until we woke Helen just before 9am. I think I had one beer too many at Hooleys last night. Everyone had a great night, and, while we were a bit rough with a few songs, the “Rocking Teachers” (definitely not my suggestion) had the joint jumping. A few colleagues, and other patrons, had been at the Australia Day function, then then Westin, finishing at Hooleys. Needless to say, there were a few people who were three sheets to the wind by midnight.

We decided to look for a path up the nearby “mountain”. The gateway that I had spotted from the expressway was well and truly out of bounds, so we changed plan, and headed south to the shops near a university, a 7km round trip, on foot. In stark contrast to the last few preceding weekends, we were quite hot.

We stopped at a street market, where Helen bought some bulbs. We’ll have to wait until they grow a bit before finding out what they are. There was a woman selling dried snakes, scorpions and other wee beasties in bottles of alcohol. I assume (and hope) it is for external application.

At the end of the street, where it joins the main artery into town, we’d previously seen people dining outside the restaurants. Today, the spaces were filled with street vendors and cars – maybe al fresco is only in the warm months? We tried one likely-looking establishment for lunch, but everything had meat in it. We ended up at a little place run by two Muslim blokes, who could be twins. They had pictures of the meals on the wall, and one of the clientele helped us out with some English. I had a tasty fried rice, and Helen had noodles with tomatoes and eggs.

We ambled back, stopping at the Yong Tai wet markets for fruit and veggies. I bought three different styles of tofu, enough for three meals, for less than AU$1! Our whole week’s fruit and vegetables rarely exceeds AU$10, although the grocery bill at the supermarkets in town is closer to Australian prices.


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