Saturday, November 25, 2017

sydney: coogee

It’s taken so long because its taking me forever to comb through the old photos and find “throwback” ones. You know, the trend of putting old and current photos together where everything’s the same except the subject. Like this:


* Jo! Eleven years on!

I give up. Way too much work! I’ve just got a few…

Coogee was where we spent six whole days. Yes, six!

The objective was to really let the kids experience the old routines, so they walk in our shoes and are a bit more familiar with our little family history, of our time in Sydney.

Like I said, they remember nothing. I’m also not sure they particularly enjoyed the walk-through because it was a time of suffering and poverty… and we walked a LOT. 


So, no car, of course. We had no wish to rent a car and battle Sydney’s mad downtown anyway. Just like in the old days, we bussed everywhere, using our Opal cards.


Bus numbers remained the same. 374, 373, 313, 314 etc. I think the buses were a tad refurbished, looking at the old and new photos.

* Then, KK carrying Jo and Day looking behind

* Now, Jo and Lu

* Then

* Now

Reliable? Very. Buses turned up whenever we needed it, for some strange reason. We never had to wait.


We walked to KK’s uni, UNSW.


This was hard and for the kids, probably the most unpleasant part of the trip. Because it’s a long walk which leads to a not-very-fun place!

During the walk, uphill all the way along Coogee Bay Road to UNSW and then downhill all the way back, I wondered: Gosh, did we ever do this with two babies? Because I felt really tired! Fitness has clearly dropped! I thought I have been keeping fit over the years but clearly I haven’t!

* Lu's face says it all. The long road behind her is an incline

The kids tired out, fast. I kept intoning: “You know ah, Papa used to walk to school EVERY DAY like this…” its like they didn’t hear as they kept plugging on, one leg after another…

* Then

* Now, with the addition of Luanne who is happily waving away in the background


And there was Bardon Park, where I used to wait with Day and Jo in tow, for KK to traipse down the hill once he finished school and when the kids would greet him with squeals and kisses.

* Then

* Now, like not so happy hor?


Apart from a coat of gray paint to cover the red, our old home never changed.


A lump rose in my throat when I saw the old washing machines and dryers which I used to use, the patch of grass where I use to hang out the clothes, and even our old room, where I saw the ghost of Day and baby Jo peering curiously out of the window as I went about my laundry chores.

* That window directly to her left (gray blinds) is where they used to gaze at me and where I made sure I could see that they were alive and well

And I brought all of them on our evening walk route, with the same charming houses.

* Jo on a swing outside someone's house. The swing is new


What can I say? The beach is as beautiful as ever, every corner means something to us, so much so that the kids didn't get to experience it all. Never mind.

Jo concerned herself with taking lots and lots of photos for her Instagram account.

* Then

* Now, Jo, taking the same view with her phone

* This one, I took of her 

For the first time, we ventured to the Baths, a place we never really went to in the past because it isn’t quite child-friendly.

* Walking to the Baths, which is a kind of swimming pool carved out of the ocean

* Interesting mini "aquarium" at the Baths

And when we re-lived our hilltop picnic, even though it was rather chilly with a stiff breeze blowing and we had no tent or blankets to keep warm, the children, especially Lu, thoroughly enjoyed it.

“Can we buy fish-and-chips and go back up to eat, please, please?” she said.

* Up on the hilltop

* Eating in the shade of our bush wind-breaker

* Fish and chips, which attracted the birds by the dozen (just like before!)

The one difference at Coogee, however, was that we splurged on nice food. KK said, “Last time we were so broke, we could only eat fast food. Now I want to eat better.”

We did have our Oportos and fish-and-chips, North Indian food, Turkish food, even Macs, which actually meant that we actually spent a lot less than we thought we would because we were eating all the cheap junk (to re-live the past mah)

But for two meals, we splashed out at Coogee Pavilion, a place which we used to pass by and stare hungrily at all the diners eating nice stuff.

* Coogee Pavilion, awash with light in the background. Apparently it was recently taken over by a hot-shot entrepreneur who revived the aging edifice and its now damn hip

* The stand-out dish: Grilled hangar steak with roasted bone marrow, KK couldn't get enough of it

* Something new too: This ladder bench


Despite fatigue – after several days of hard walking – the kids were entranced by the Bondi-Coogee coastal walk. (we did it this way so they’d feel like they were walking “home” and be more motivated, rather than walking to Bondi and then having to figure out a way back)

Photos tell the story!




* Near Gordon's Bay, in a place which Jody said felt like the moon

* Approaching Coogee


We didn’t quite do exactly the same as KK and Day followed GPS this time around, and we alighted at another bus stop. 

But the garden was just the same, along with the fabulous views, and Mrs Macquarie’s Chair where we didn’t picnic this time around but instead the kids jumped all over the rocks. Because now, they can!

* Somewhere around Mrs Macquarie's Chair


So many birds and flowers. The girls couldn't believe their eyes. Lu grabbed my camera half the time. This is a roadside parrot on a roadside bush, which she snapped.


* The dandelions Day so loved, now in the hands of the Lu


Anonymous said...


Oporto is coming to Singapore next year. The franchise owner is a friend of mine =)


Sher said...

hey! thing is, if we are in singapore where there are so many cheap and good eats available, we might not fancy oporto as much as when we were there!

Anonymous said...

The rotary helicopter clothes lines is an icon...ha Jun

Anonymous said...

Reading this... gosh! I miss UNSW! I miss Coogee! I miss my life back in Syd so bad!!!
My time in Syd was also the time i chanced upon your blog, and i have not stopped reading since then!