Friday, 15 August 2008

Adelaide designed by a Malaysian?

Why not? Afterall, William Light, the surveyor who laid out the city, was born in Malaysia (then Malaya). The story is that the mother was a Malayan. Of course, the father was the famous Francis Light, was also infamous for his indiscretions in the bedroom. So William Light was not pure Anglo breed and this became a contentious issue for Governor Hindmarsh of South Australia who, of course was pure Anglo and hence considered himself more qualified to decide the fate of the City of Adelaide so gave William hell when it came to allocating resources for the surveys.

Can you imagine what George Town or KL would be like today if the Imperial powers had kept William back in Malaya? Well, look for yourself. Adelaide is 45% parks surrounding the original city. I walked through the entire eastern section of the city, walking through the parks, starting from the hotel to the racecourse and then working my way up to Rundle Street, the National Wine Center, Botanic Gardens, crossing the Torren’s River, moving through the Archery Club, then west to the Adelaide University Oval and back down King William Street, going off towards Hingley Steet (the “seedy” part of the city), down to the Central Market, had Vietnamese Beef Noodles for lunch in Chinatown, some shopping for nuts and then back to the hotel. Took me about 5 hours.

The verdict? Beautiful green green grass, nicely manicured, great chilly weather, easy to walk, crossing the major roads not a big problem with the pedestrain refuge in the middle of the road, non-threatening (you can see far into the distance without any hidden corners).

But this is apparently the good side of the city. In the parks on the west side, homeless people (including disenfranchised indigenous people) have made the parks their home.

Weather still wet and cold. Will be going to the hills later this afternoon. And back to home sweat home tomorrow night. I am sure tons of work waiting on my desk. Sorry you guys in Penang. I have been ignoring some of your sms and emails.

Met this little guy on my walk. He (she?) got a mate in the hollow in that tree trunk. He wasn't very bothered as I walked closer and closer. What U looking at Mate? I don't think they are parrots but they are all over the parks. Little noise-makers too.

This is the National Wine Center of Australia, located on the edge of the Botanic Garden. I was quite shocked to discover that it belongs to the Adelaide University. Yes, wine is big industry in South Australia and of course there's much research and teaching about vineyards and wine-making in the university. The other day at Mawson Lake I was equally amaze that the school office had bottles and bottles of beer and crates of wine, all waiting for the next function. And I learnt about the "bottle shop", not a place o buy bottles but a specialty shop to buy wine.

These old buildings are classified as "Local Heritage Place" which has very minimum protection but they cost a bundle. Something like that in the city cost around AUD400,000 (that's more than a million ringgit). Tiny place with two bedrooms, a living area and a kitchen.

Ah, here's the green at last. Can you imagine this right at the edge of the city. Walk straight down and you hit the city. (click on the picture for larger view). On the right is Rundle Street.

This is the olive grove near the race course. See the green? And yes, there were olive fruits on the branches. I thought of taking some but didn't know whether I would end up in jail.

Can you imagine green grass as far as the eye can see? And all neatly trimmed and no rubbish in sight (of course, go to the city streets and you can find rubbish on the streets, but not that much).

This was taken at the Carrington Street (see the houses on the left) near the race course.
So, what you think? We can do it in Penang?


Allguff said...

I enjoyed reading your article. It looks like a lovely city. I think I'll go and visit there soon. 45% parks!!!

William said...

I never know that William Light was born in Malaya and his mother is a Malayan.

Adelaide city is small, slightly bigger than the size of Kuching City where I wa from. The suburban area is big. It is 60km north south and at least 40km east west. Most areas within this region are populated.

After 30km away from the city centre, it was the country and there are lots of farms.

It is a pleasant city and glas that you like it.

William said...

The bird is called Rosella.