Australia

A gander out west

Life brought me to Canterbury today. I’ve been looking around for a good tripod to support my camera habit at night. Exploring with the office tripod made it clear that the last one I had was just not up to the task anymore. It was 15 years old and ready to be replaced. Having a light camera made it limp along for a number of years, but now it was time to call it a day.

I met a few of the staff at Digital Camera Warehouse at Fair Day last weekend. They seemed like knowlegeble team members so I wanted to get their take on a tripod I’d been scouting for a couple of weeks. After 40 minutes on the train, I arrived in Canterbury.

Canterbury reminds me a lot of Hayward. It is a suburb that is a fair distance away from Sydney. Looking around, it appears to be a working class neighborhood with a number of shops that seems to be closed for the weekend. I’m guessing Digital Camera Warehouse is located here as the rent is probably better than it is downtown. That being said, it seemed way out of place.

The team at Digital Camera Warehouse were cool, but they didn’t have what I was looking for in stock. They also weren’t sure if the item of purchase had a worldwide warranty. A number of electronic products I purchased before didn’t have worldwide warranties. If you move, you get stuck.

I decided to walk around the neighborhood to learn a bit more about Western Sydney. I stumbled into a store that appeared to be a grocery store. I wanted to see if I can find a closer akin to American bacon. Walking around though I soon realized they had a diverse, but bizarre selection of items. They have a term here called bogan. Americans reading can probably figure out the word using the three items they all had under one roof:

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Australian bogans are similar to American rednecks. I never thought I would find a store that had chainsaws, pizza, and beer all under the same roof. Needless to say, I was impressed. What was the store?

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What I did find that was awesome was cheddar cheese. Here in Australia they have tasty cheese which is similar to white cheddar. It doesn’t have that bright orange glow that American cheddar sports.

On the way back to the train I found a Honda Shadow parked in the parking lot. As a kid growing up, that was one of my favorite motorcycles.

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What was interesting? I never thought it find a Japanese motorcycle with the term “made in the USA” on the seat.

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I came upon this bookstore which had a book on display, American Favorite Ballads. In the states, that book likely wouldn’t be in the store, much less featured. It’s one of the gentle reminders that the States is a far off destination. California is an “exotic” place.

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Stores close early here. It’s something I’m still getting used to. In general I do like the fact that retail is in a 24 hour a day culture like it is back in the States. It forces you to be more focused and how and when you consume.

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I’m curious, readers: Is it a good thing that many stores are open until 10 each night in the States?

Categories: Australia

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2 replies »

  1. I think life is better when stores aren’t open 24/7 but those hours are a bit too strict. When I lived in Japan, stores typically closed at 9, which I thought was reasonable. It was weird at first but then I got used to it. BTW, nice cat book 🙂

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