Meeting the Librarian and the Doctor of Freo

The elder Grace told me I had a chance to meet up with her niece and Sydney Librarian, both in Perth on short trips. Sydney Librarian was one of the earlier commentors of the blog and had graciously shared her migration story and insights about living in this new country so I couldn't say no to a chance of meeting her and Grace's niece, most Singaporeans wouldn't mind having a chat with her except perhaps the bleached whites. At the end, "lanky Nic" fell victim to the prowess of the Great Perth Summer and had to rest at home. The rest of us would have a meal by the ocean watching sunset, as Sydney Librarian requested.

I was assuming there was no sunset by the beach in Sydney, since the ocean faces the East. Or the Librarian simply wanted to reminisce old times, since she used to live in Perth for a few good years, setting up camp since 1989. I didn't ask for an answer since the idea of having a meal watching sunset didn't sound like a bad idea. 

Not even in dire Summer? Not even in dire Summer.

The famous sea breeze, termed the "The Freo Doctor" which cools the coastal suburbs on daily basis, didn't let us down. It felt cooling sitting by a sunset, considered strong by any standards. The temperature was significantly lower than the majority of other inland suburbs towards the east. I took a mental note that that could be one of the very few outdoor activities I would do during Summer. In fact, judging from that experience, it might be too cold to do it even in Autumn and Spring. If we tried that in Winter, our food would turn cold even before we touched it. So we might be back again for at least once more as we moved out of the last couple of weeks of Summer heat. 

Child and bird
Even little Albany seemed to notice the cool air and had showed a rare disinterested in her food. After a few rounds of arguments between father and daughter, I decided that Albany wanted to call it a day on her fish n' chips. She walked quickly towards the ocean, held my right hand a bit tighter as she made herself down the steps of the timber stairway. When she reached the last step, she sat down in a huff, daintily removed her shoes and rubbed her feet on sand. Then she looked up at me and smiled. I said to Albany, "Go for a walk."

And she did.

Innocence had no boundaries. So after being bored of her futile chasing of birds, little Albany decided to venture all the way to the water. I stopped her in time. Not today, I told her and she protested with the language of her people.

Fremantle, Summer 2014
Though I had never been a social person and never enjoyed meeting people, that evening meeting the Librarian could never been better organised. It was such a great idea because I felt completely at ease - and happy being there. The last thing I wanted was to sit around at a big round table with strangers I had never met before because I would be forced to communicate and perform activities at timings I couldn't choose to.

I would like to thank both Grace Seah and Sydney Librarian for creating that opportunity for me to look at the Summer of Perth from a new angle.


  1. I enjoy reading this post. Seems like you had a happy evening. Your description of the setting is beautiful. Being in a more spacious country and having nicer weather make a huge difference.

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  2. Thanks. I will let you know the next time I drop by Perth. I was actually there last year. But now at the other side of the world. :)


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