Moving to Australia feels like I can do anything. I was positively excited to try out what this city has to offer. I want to mingle. I want to go places. I want to go out and eat. I want to know where or how I can fit in.
My way of doing that is by knowing my way around the city or the neighbourhood. I want to have my own share of favourite hang-out spots. I want to have an instinct of where I can go on a Thursday night or a Friday night. I want to manoeuvre the markets, the lanes, and the find exactly what I am looking for.
Friends, even acquaintances, will gladly advise you some places that you need to take note of like the Asian grocery or a market stall where you can get really good seafood. Those are some of the essentials. However, what I’m sharing with you are some places that I could find within a few steps or blocks from my place.
You want to grab a drink with some of your buddies? Go to the nearest watering hole, also known as your local bar. Here, they call it the hotel. Yes, you read that right. And no, they are different from the ones who offer guests accommodation but they do have that too.
2. Bottle shop
There are bottle shops that close early and some that are open until 1am. Knowing where to get a bottle of cider after a hard day’s work or if you just plan on bringing some wine for dinner with friends, this is the place to go to. This place is really handy, especially when the walk is too long and it is too cold to go to the grocery which may or may not carry your preferred drink or brand.
Your apartment may be equipped with a washing machine or there is a communal laundry facility in the building. However, don’t be too confident that you won’t run into any problems with the laundry machine. You need to be a boy scout and prepare for the worst. Locate where the nearest laundromat is and save yourself the hassle of hand washing everything.
4. A Great Burger Joint
You earned your hunger. Only a really great burger would do. Remember, you are in Australia. Quality beef, lamb, and veal is cheap. That means a great burger isn’t too far behind. So, if you want to reward yourself with real comfort food, you will find yourself a great burger place that serves a grilled patty.
5. Chinese Take Away
Rice? Noodles? Dumplings? You can have all three if you want, especially when you’re too busy or lazy to cook.
I think Filipinos enjoy a great burger as much as a great pizza. Try the local pizzerias first. If you don’t think they’re better than the big wig fast food chains back home, which I doubt, then by all means, go for the one that best suits your palate.
7. A Good Cup of Coffee
This is Australia. The number of cafes and brekkie places here is more than I can imagine. There is good food to be had. And the coffee, a number of good ones are out there I’m telling you. You’re in for a great brew.
8. Pie Shop
You’ll be seeing pie shops everywhere in the city. There’s quite a few of them scattered around the suburbs. Why is a pie shop on this list? Well, if you want to be a local I assume you would want to have or develop an appreciation of pies. So grab a freshly made one from a local store before you grab a frozen pack from the grocery.
9. The Post
Snail mail is alive and it is nice to send your loved ones back home a postcard or two just because you remember them. Also, it comes really handy to know where you can collect that package your mailman can’t leave at your door.
10. The $2 Shop
I thought that the only places I could score some nice bargains from are Dimmeys, The Reject Shop, and Arthur Daley. Well, there is a $2 dollar shop here in my neighbourhood and it really is like a scaled down version of these discount shops, albeit with a narrower selection. Still, I find that I can buy a range of items here without breaking the bank, like a cake carrying case, a rolling pin, and even tabo. Yes, tabo like the ones we have back home.
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