Originally created 09/19/00

Postcard from Sydney

How's tricks?

That's another typical Aussie greeting, one they alternate with the ever-present G'day. One of the volunteers at the Media Village usually says that to me as I go for my morning brekkie of a cuppa, some fruit and wonderful mini jelly doughnuts.

I tried to stay away from junk food meals, which the Aussies call hot 'n' greasies or chew-an'-spew, but running around to various events it's pretty hard to do. There's the standard Macka's (McDonald's) in the Main Press Center, and a cafeteria with delights from all over the world. But it's still regular old badly cooked cafeteria fare.

It's a real treat when the newshounds can get out in the city and have a real meal. I've done it twice and both times went to the Waterfront, in the shadow of the Harbour Bridge. They have such delicacies as Moreton Bay Bugs, grilled baby octopus and squid, prawns, ship and shore, barramundi and roasted pumpkin as a side dish.

The bugs were heavenly. They're like Louisiana mud bugs or crawfish on steroids. They roast the plump little tails and put them on a bed of rice or just cut the things lengthwise and roast them. Either way they are every bit as tasty as lobster. They're served as an entrée, which is an appetizer in Australia. The big part of the meal is called the main course.

The prawns (no one in Australia calls them shrimp) are cut lengthwise and grilled, or peeled and served with a brandy sauce. The lobster is $11 per 100 grams, which sounds reasonable since I have no idea what a gram is unless she's married to my gramps.

The prices all seem reasonable, even at the height of Olympic madness. For bugs, prawns, espresso, garlic bread and a couple of glasses of great Aussie wine, my share came to $60, or a little more than $30 U.S. Let's have a few more of those bugs.

Until tomorrow,



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