Tonight, having met Mirinda at the ferry, we decided to walk across the path from the wharf and dine at the Royal China restaurant. Mirinda felt we were being a bit disloyal to the Lotus but I wanted to try their food.
And, as it turned out, their food was very nice – they even have photographs in the menu – but no better than Lotus. I guess, the biggest drawback is the ambience. The Royal China is a big open restaurant with huge round tables, which they wheel in and out as required. It doesn’t come near the experience of sitting on a boat, looking out over the water. Another drawback is the cost.
We don’t mind spending more money when the food is better but it seems a bit silly when it’s pretty much on par. And when the meal costs twice as much, you feel you’ve entered some strange time warp into a future where the economy has improved.
Still, the food was lovely and it was nice to use chopsticks again. We also had the duck and I was able to show off my skills in pancake preparation, taught so forcibly by the waitress in Beijing.
Sadly, there was no skin and caster sugar.
At Starbucks today, Silvi sent me a link to a Hungarian website which included a set of questions and answers, purporting to be from an Australian travel agent site. I have no idea whether they are real or not but I thought they were very Australian and funny enough to include in this post:
- Does it ever get windy in Australia? I have never seen it rain on TV, so how do the plants grow? (UK)
We import all plants fully grown and then sit around watching them die.
- Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA)
Depends how much you’ve been drinking.
- I want to walk from Perth to Sydney – can I follow the rail road tracks? (Sweden)
Sure. It’s only three thousand miles so take lots of water.
- Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Australia? (Sweden)
So it’s true what they say about Swedes.
- Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and Hervey Bay? (UK).
What did your last slave die of?
- Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia? (USA)
A-fri-ca is the big triangle-shaped continent south of Europe. Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific which does not… oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Kings Cross. Come naked.
- Which direction is north in Australia? (USA)
Face south and turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we’ll send the rest of the instructions.
- Can you send me the Vienna Boys’ Choir schedule? (USA)
A-U-S-T-R-I-A is the quaint little country bordering G-E-R-M-A-N-Y, which is…oh, forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys’ Choir plays every Tuesday night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo racing.
- Can you tell me the regions in Tasmania where the female population is smaller than the male population? (Italy)
Yes, gay nightclubs.
- Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia? (France)
Only at Christmas.
- Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round? (Germany)
No, we are a peaceful civilisation of vegan hunter-gatherers. Milk is illegal.
- Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense rattlesnake venom. (USA)
Rattlesnakes live in A-M-E-R-I-C-A, which is where YOU come from. All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.
- I was in Australia in 1969 on R+R, and I want to contact the girl I dated while I was staying in Kings Cross. Can you help? (USA)
Yes, and you will still have to pay her by the hour.
- Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
Yes, but you will have to learn it first.