my brother have been living in Newcastle since (around) 2000.. and i have never visited him even once. so now that i have finally arrived at Newcastle Airport, though exhausted, i really couldn't believe i'm there.
my wife and i took the cab to my brother's house which isn't too far from the airport. the long journey from Adelaide to Newcastle had made me very slow, and caused a little communication issues. the cabbie had an accent, i thought it was a very thick scottish accent, but i just found out people there actually have a different accent called Geordie accent. i don't know what the differences are but i know this.. both accents are not at all like aussie accent that i'm so used to now.
the first thing i noticed about the road in Newcastle, there are a lot of roundabouts. in that 20 mins ride to my brother's, i think there were 15 roundabouts (i lost count after the 5th). the road is narrow, and people drive skilfully fast that it scares us a little bit. and astonishingly.. we never heard anyone use their horn even once.
so we arrived at the house at around 2pm. we didn't do anything else but stay home and catch-up with our sister-in-law and her kids. the last time we saw them was 3 years ago. later that day my brother came home from work and had some afternoon tea. for dinner we had some kebab delivered to the house.. how convenient is that! i couldn't imagine how cool that would be if we can have any halal fast food delivered to our home back in Gawler.
the kebab was different too. well, different from what we have in Australia anyway (which is different from the ones in Malaysia). the meat is a lot thicker and so is the bread. the kebab has a lot of meat on it and a lot less vege, while the kebab here in Adelaide has the same amount of meat and vege, on a thin bread; and in Adelaide, kebabs are called 'yiros'. maybe it is a different thing.. i don't really see the difference. but anyway i kinda fell in love with the UK's kebabs :P
on the third day in Newcastle, we went to a car boot sale. 'malaysian student's favourite pastime' someone told me. i always thought car boot sales are the same everywhere. there are not many car boot sale where we live, just garage sales scattered everywhere every now and then. but the car boot sale here in Newcastle (and the UK i assume) is a lot different somehow. we found almost everything there, literally, and way beyond cheap. i find most the things there are not unwanted things people might call trash, they are in really good condition. we ended up buying 12 books (paperback novels) and the whole lot was £4!
our excitement have caused us to forget, those books do weigh a lot
during our stay in Newcastle, we went to this factory outlet shopping mall called the Royal Quay and had a look around and did some shopping. the things are cheap and even cheaper when we were there because they were having some summertime sale going on. we went to Whitley Bay, a beach, for a short walk and had ice cream. it was after all summer (and not the kind of summer we have in South Australia). on the last day in Newcastle we went for a drive around town and a short stop at the Quayside. a lovely view of the River Tyne and all the six bridges, and The Sage Gateshead (a massive building shaped, to me, like a massive futuristic glass cocoon) across the river.
Newcastle was fun. love the city, not too busy, but big enough a city.
we left Newcastle Upon Tyne on the 4th day of our trip. took a train from Newcastle Central Station to Edinburgh Waverley Station, Edinburgh, Scotland!