By James O'Loghlin
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Additional info for A month of Sundays : How to go travelling without Leaving Town
It seemed wrong, like having giraffeburgers for sale at the zoo. I saw someone eating some and felt like calling the police. After the fish, everything outside seemed grey by comparison. Even bright, colourful, shiny Darling Harbour. And especially work, which was where I was about to go. Before I did, we thought we’d complete the Darling Harbour experience with lunch at one of its eight trillion restaurants. But they all look designed to separate tourists and businessmen with expense accounts from their money, and have that way too expensive way of describing their food.
As I lay in bed staring at the ceiling and listening to the new builders smash away, I sort of knew that on any day when one site had a delay, the other would be going flat out. We didn’t just want to go to the places people usually go on Sundays, like Manly and Darling Harbour. We also wanted to explore suburbs we didn’t know. Haberfield is an inner-west suburb between Leichhardt, Five Dock and the harbour. It is full of lovely old free-standing Federation-style homes that reminded me of Adelaide, where my grandparents used to live.
Auburn and Lakemba. I had driven past Auburn many times over the years but had never thought of going in. This time we turned off the Western Distributor and headed south along St Hilliers Road. We soon came to its major intersection with Boorea Street. Across the road was Auburn. Luckily the lights were red because it gave us a chance to let the view sink in. Across the intersection at ground level was a row of modest weatherboard houses. Towering above them, looking as if it was growing out of their roofs, was the Auburn Mosque.