Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Sydney Town Hall is in the heart of the main street in Sydney (the street's name is George Street - named after King George).
This is a beautiful building which was built using the local sandstone which was quarried in Sydney. Many of the older buildings were built using this beautiful golden sandstone. It is called Hawkesbury Sandstone.
Does your town have old buildings made from locally available materials?
Sydney is a multicultural city. There are people from all around the world who now call Sydney home. There is a large Chinese population so Chinese New Year is a very important festival here. This year will be the Year of the Rabbit and Sydney is getting ready for all the fun of celebrating the lunar new year.
Does your city have different cultural events that you celebrate together?
This is a picture of the sign for Castlereagh Street in the centre of Sydney. Notice the street numbers. In Australia our street numbers are always quite small. Whenever the numbers get too big, we start again! So there are some really long roads that have houses or businesses that have the same number but they will be in different suburbs. So you need to be careful to know exactly where you are!
Do you have a really big number for where you live?
Although it is getting more and more difficult to find a public phone (because so many people use mobile phones), there are still a few around the shopping areas of Sydney. This one is on the Town Hall train station - probably for when people who are running late from work and they need to call home to tell their family to hold dinner!
Do you still have public phones?
In many public places in Sydney it is no longer possible to smoke cigarettes. This includes public transport like trains and train stations, buses, taxis, and even restaurants and other places where people gather to have fun. The NSW parliament has passed legislation to protect its citizens from the health effects of passive smoking. Do you have those laws too?
When you step off the gutter (which is what Australians call the kerb) you have to look RIGHT so you don't get hit by the traffic.
Is that different where you live?
Here's a picture of the traffic:
Can you see which side of the road the cars are travelling on?
We call these letter boxes. If you want to post a letter you have to put it in a letterbox in the street (or at the Post Office). The red ones are for normal postage and the yellow ones are for Express Post. Express Post envelopes are special and are designed to guarantee overnight delivery to most major centres in New South Wales overnight. Of course, there are some country towns that you just can't get to that quickly so you might as well save your money and send things there using normal postage!
How is your postal service different?
This blog is designed to give a window into Australia. It was established to help a class in California, USA explore things that are the same and things that are different. The images are just meant as stimuli for discussion - they may be the same and they may be different, it is up to the viewer to decide!