By James O'Loghlin
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Additional info for A month of Sundays : How to go travelling without Leaving Town
We passed Michael’s Smoke Zone, and a pharmacy that looked like any other in Sydney apart from its name, the Ramadan Pharmacy. Western culture doesn’t mix religion and business like that. There are no Lent Newsagents or Jesus Died On The Cross Milk Bars. Western culture generally keeps religion in its own box, separate from the rest of life and away from commerce, an approach which runs the risk of making 54 A Month of Sundays 25/10/04 3:44 PM Page 55 a bit of east in the west religion irrelevant.
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.
The owners were a thirty-something couple who’d bought the place after Dorothy died a few months before. Dorothy had lived in number twenty-two from age seven until her death at 84. Seventy-seven years. Since 1925. We had got to know her well, and she had told us stories about what Bondi used to be like: open spaces, big blocks, a quarry up the road and not a developer to be seen. She had lived with her parents and four siblings in the two-bedroom semi. In summer, two of the boys would sleep on the porch and in winter they would move into the lounge room.