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     Volume 4 Issue 2 | July 2, 2004 |


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Raining in Perth

Saidul Islam

I was pierced by the sharp edges of rain, my coat was struggling to keep its place, hair unarranged due to heavy wind--but still I was enjoying the July rain of Perth. My glasses became blurred with the drizzle, and I had no rush to wipe them clean. I felt that everything had stopped around me and I did not need to see at all.

I was walking down the pavement of the Adelaide Terrace, just in front of my hotel The Sheraton Perth. It was around 5 o'clock in the afternoon and the streets were busy with people running away from their workplaces. The sudden shower pushed them in a tangle. Some younger boys and girls were still walking in the streets laughing and chatting loudly. The abrupt chilly waves of wind made them come closer; unmindfully they were touching their shoulders and then spread away again.

The wind did not make any difference to those sitting inside the car. With their side glasses pulled up they were glancing around, anxious of getting back home. There were queues of passengers waiting for their bus. Some of them went under the nearby shed forgetting to maintain the line. But still some others chose to stay under the open sky neglecting the nippy weather; clearly they just could not afford to miss the bus.

I was waiting to take a taxi before the rain started, but quickly changed my decision as soon as it started to pour. It was my first visit to Perth and I could not refrain my self from getting the first touch of rain.

I started to walk towards the main shopping area of Perth city. It was Thursday and the shopping centres remained open till 9:00 pm, not usual for other days. My plan for the day was to buy some souvenirs for my family and friends, enjoy dinner with my Australian friend and have a good look around.

Perth, the capital of Western Australia, is a city enriched with culture and culinary delights and is situated in the southwest of the island. It is the centre for business and culture as well as a cosmopolitan city half the people who live here were born elsewhere, and they come from 160 ethnic groups.

The ambience of Perth is great; its Mediterranean climate with a daily average sunshine of eight hours drags its inhabitants out of the house.

Wherever the people live or visit, they are never too far from sandy white beaches, or at least the 4000-hectare botanical showcase of Kings Park.

I was enjoying each and every moment in the rain, and was slowly heading towards Hay Street, one of the prominent shopping places. Soon I found myself in front of some Kangaroo sculptures beside the road. They were placed in such a way that you could shake your hands with them while passing them by.

The whole street was like a long red carpet. It was covered by red bricks that also acted like a red signal as vehicles were restricted to enter the road. Shops were on both side of the road and it has everything that one requires. You can get inside any shop, look around and come out without buying anything!

I bought a pair of jeans from "Just Jeans", regarded as Australia's premier jeans. The shop was owned by some Chinese people who had come to Australia 20 years ago. Most of the shops according to my observations were owned by Chinese people. Some Australian indigenous shops allowed me to buy some anthentic Australian stuff, like the Boomerang. This wooden weapon is no longer used to kill the Kangaroos, but has found its place in many drawing rooms.

When I came out from my shopping spree, it was almost time to meet my Aussie friend. The rain stopped for a while and suddenly the roads became full of people rushing to finish their tasks before the next spell of shower could catch them. I went straight to the McDonalds where my friend Klaus Gohra had already reached with his 3000 cc Holden car. I threw my bags in the back sit and jumped into the car.

"Let's have our dinner first"- Klaus muttered keeping a cautious eye on the road.
"Hurry, I can't wait any longer" I replied.

Cuisine in Perth embraces the finest dishes of the world--from Aussie tender beefsteak and lamb chops to Italian pasta, Thai noodles, Chinese Peking duck, Indian curry, varieties of fish and drinks. When Klaus was telling me these names my month watered.

A five-minute-stroll away from the shopping mall is Northbridge, a sparkling eating out area with sidewalk cafes, different type of restaurants, pubs, and several clubs to please anybody. Peoples were eating alongside the roads and everything was as clean as glass. We went into one of the cafes, and took some vinegar flavored potato chips. Quick and smart girls were taking orders from clients.

"Do you have bhuna khichuri in Australia”? I asked Klaus indicating the cold, wet weather. "It tastes extraor dinary when it rains".

"In Perth, no", Klaus replied. "Not many Bangladeshis live around, but you can get some in Sydney".

Finally I settled for Aussie beef BarBQ while Klaus ordered some fish fries and curry.

Devouring our appetite, Klaus took me for a quick ride around the city. The Perth skyline by night was lustrous and quiet. A ten minute ride away was the Burswood Resort that included 24 hour non-stop casino action, a five-star hotel, Theatre showroom and the Burswood Dome, which hosted a galaxy of concerts and sporting event. Before coming back to my hotel, we went to Fremantle, the older part of Perth and the only harbour, and spent some time on the bank of the Swan River.

The magical city as a whole can offer varieties to tourists that is simply amazing. The white sandy beaches with magnificent blue sea, Rocky Mountains of Kimberly, exploring the aboriginal culture, a majestic coastline, windsurfing, diving, and so on. One can engross oneself in fishing, or can visit the Margaret River region to see its renowned wine production, or can simply walk along a deserted beach.

At midnight, the incessant rain made my window glass hazy. I pulled up the glass and a rush of chilly wind frosted my face. I could see the Swan River, flowing calmly towards the sparkling Indian Ocean. That was my last night in Perth, still bright in my mind with the sweet memories, soaked in the rain.

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