Vicki goes back to school*

Woke up late. Mum made eggs for breakfast. We packed up Vicki’s bags and had lunch at Serai, a Thai-Asian restaurant (Vicki’s last char kway teow and chicken rice for a long time to come). Yan, the dutiful niece from Ipoh who’s been running the joint while the owners are under SARS quarantine back in Singapore, told us mischievously that the ang mohs here like eating char kway teow together with rice … which was a phenomenon I experienced during Chinese New Year while dining at Clifton Hill House, my old boarding place in Bristol back in ’98. They served the noodles mixed with rice, and that was all we had to eat. Oh well. I’m sure we’ve done strange things with Western food too.
We had dinner at the other Oyster Bar over at Mossman Bay, near Vicki’s school (St Hilda’s). I think Oyster Bar is officially Vicki’s favourite non-Asian restaurant, and the oysters are so fresh and affordable you really have nothing to complain about. They even have happy hours every day from 5-6pm, where you can get a half dozen oysters and a pint of beer for only A$12. And on Tuesdays, a half dozen oysters go for just A$7.
Outside, we spotted a few glorious pelicans skimming the surface of the water. A man was canoing. It was lovely.
Back at the service apartment, on the telly: an Aussie comedian was poking fun at John Howard for essentially licking Dubya’s boots. The news over here has been more or less, ‘John Howard gets to sit in Air Force One!’ … ‘John Howard tells Kofi Annan what the UN can do’ … ‘John Howard gets invited to the Ranch’ … and so forth. I don’t think we’ll be hearing this sort of thing outside of Australia.