Dr. Atkin’s Letters Home: Australian Life is a Beach

Faculty Member Bob Atkin

Faculty Member Bob Atkin

Out of homesickness, I just checked the November weather for the ‘Burgh.  Amazing coincidence: the temp on this day in Pittsburgh should hit 22 degrees and here in Sydney, at this very moment it’s 22 degrees!

Celsius that is.

Y’all learned how to do °C à °F in school, right?  But in case you forgot, here in Sydney it’s 72 bright, sunny, warm, U.S. degrees. No cloud to be seen either. The sun enrobes you like gossamer cashmere.  Perhaps a bit chilly for some, but if you were here, you just might be tempted to go to the beach.

And Sydney has beaches. Take your choice: Bondi, Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly, Coogee, Marouba — and that’s just on the south of town accessible by bus from the city center.  Continue reading


Dr. Atkin’s Letters Home: Animals!

Faculty Member Bob Atkin

Faculty Member Bob Atkin

OK, boys and girls, it’s quiz time.

I say “Australian animal” and you say…uh…

  • platypus” (That works but c’mon, you didn’t say that)
  • “ostrich” (wrong, but a similar thing called an emu)
  • “…that cute little furry teddy-bear-like thing?” (maybe you mean koala, which is right, or maybe panda, which is wrong)

Nah…you probably said kangaroo!!!

kangarooMy wife keeps asking me, “Have you seen any…kangaroos?”  No, can’t say I have. Sydney is a city and these guys generally aren’t urban critters, although try telling that to one spotted recently in the Adelaide suburbs patiently awaiting his/her train.

However, on my third time to the Night Noodle Market (on a CAPA field visit), I did see something at a distance that I thought was a weird squirrel with a scrawny tail (it was in the same park as the Market, but far from the noodle action).

“No,” said Dana the CAPA lady leading our little band. “It’s just a ‘possum, a baby.”  A brush-tailed type, no doubt, as I learned later with some Internet time. Continue reading


Dr. Atkin’s Letters Home: The Sydney Night Noodle Market

Faculty Member Bob Atkin

Faculty Member Bob Atkin is currently in Sydney teaching at the Pitt Business Global Business Institute.

So this is my first blog ever, so please excuse me if I sound like a newbie!

Do you like noodles? I do. All sorts of noodles. Especially pasta. And pasta in all forms, because somehow the same basic ingredients, flour and water, taste different because some are, say, linguine and others shells. Who knows why?

But noodles are also central to many Asian cuisines, and Sydney has just the venue to show off Asian noodles and their kindred form, Asian dumplings and buns.

Enter, the Night Noodle Market.

noodle marketIngredients? Start with half a mid-city park, mix warm spring evenings (we’re south of the equator here folks, kinda’ like April-going-into-May for you) with 50+ noodle and dumpling and bun vendors, add a gelato stand or two, toss in a food-crazed city, and you’ve got this bizarre celebration of the Night Noodle Market.

The Market happens once a year, for two weeks, in the middle of Sydney’s food month (and in the middle of the fall term). That’s right: Sydney has a food MONTH! Continue reading