Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Hmmm… not too sure what to say here and the reason we have not blogged for quite some time.
Let me set the scene:
We arrived in Adelaide on a Saturday early afternoon having booked the camp site ahead of time. No idea why we did that as this was a first but luckily we did as this was the last space left in this particular camping ground for the next few days. Everyone and his cousin were out camping/caravanning. The school holidays were on and with it came the hysterical crowds and mass invasion. This was the first big city we had seen in quite some time or at least since we said goodbye to Perth. Since then it’s been small towns and absolute solitude, peace and quiet. The Nullabor was a sanctuary and by this stage our frame of mind was somewhat far away from anything city. Moondust was slightly overdue for its 10000km service and it had to go in now or we would be losing the warranty. Lynda had phoned Toyota and booked the service in advance as well and they could only help us on Tuesday therefore we were in for at least a four day stay in Adelaide. We were anyway planning on staying a week or so in order to get a good idea of the city. The camp ground was not bad, in fact it was very clean and pretty much top notch. Our site was well located and we had the advantage of being under cover of one of the few trees. The reason we picked this camping ground was simply because it was close to the Toyota dealer that we had booked Moondust into. Everything was set for our exploration of Adelaide.
I always like to get a feeling for a city by going out and getting a taste of its night life. There was no better night than Saturday night and so the plan was to kick our arrival off in Adelaide with a big banging party! After all, it’s been weeks since we let loose on a dance floor and we needed to reengage the brain into big city mode. We set-up our computers right away and blessed be the Internet and Google. We scan for the hottest clubs to be at in Adelaide and after some extensive searching we have discovered THE PLACE TO BE in Adelaide! Wicked! For the old touppies following our blog, these parties only start after 23h00, enough time for a good power nap, getting ready then a walk to the closest train station for a train to town where we would go out for a quick bite to eat before getting down to business. We overslept and things ran a little later than planned but “No Worries” as the saying ALWAYS goes in OZ.
After powdering our noses we run off to the train station only to discover that one has to purchase a ticket on board the train via a machine and this machine only works with coins. What da…. We are in the 21st century here, ho yes and in Adelaide. I stress, Lynda has lived in London for a while so she was not too stressed. I wonder how the hell we are going to get this right but she is not the least worried. Cool, “No Worries” then. We sit at the poorly lit platform, the only ones there. I start getting visions of being mugged but then I remind myself that we are in a happy place and this won’t happen. Looking around you see graffiti everywhere and the place has a dodge look to it. In fact walking to the station thru the neighbourhood gave me the creeps a little but like I said, we are in a happy place. So I calm down and chill out waiting for the train. The train comes around the corner and I realise that it’s simply only one little carriage. This has to be the weirdest sight and the thought comes to me that no-one rides this train at this time of night beside the drunk, stupid or desperate. How the hell were we going to dodge the conductor not being able to buy tickets without change? The smallest we had was a fifty dollar note which is pretty close to having a R400.00 note. Not quite something easy to break. Ho well, let’s get on and see what happens. The worst is they kick us off at the next station.
The train rolls up and the doors fire open. What we see next cannot be described or shall I say, I’m going to do my best but I don’t think I’ll do it justice. This was like opening the doors to a child mental hospital whose patients had been given a serious amount of glucose and happy gas. The noise hit us like the bass thump of a good hard track and with it come the explosion of hysterical screaming and wild confusion. It felt like being back at school when you caught the bus to go home after school with all your mates. The idea was to make the biggest noise and see if you can do anything that would attract most of the attention that way being the biggest shit stirrer on the bus. This little one cabin was jam packed with absolute hysteria that’s the only way I can describe it. The conductor had long lost the control of the situation as the ticketing machine on board was busted probably from the gentle use of the raving loons on the train and here he was trying desperately to fix it. Obviously an impossible task as all these “students” breathed down his neck with everyone trying to source a ticket. The comments kept flying but I’m not sure the conductor heard anything above the subsonic level of noise. This was the PARTY TRAIN!!!! Hells bells, it surly wasn’t the Saturday morning market granny train.
The only thing that kept this train from erupting into absolute anarchy was the “Bouncer” standing there looking as mean as they come. Bald, bigger than Arnold and tattooed all over the place with a few piecing just to add the extra “I’m a mean mofo” factor. Crap, this was the dude that was going to land a few knuckles on my head and toss us out the train at the next station for not buying tickets. Gulp! Best defence was to give this dude a nine yard story that we are poor refugees from Africa who are escaping from Bob and his secret service and this ride was a matter of life and death or something like that. Lynda gives him the nine yards and he is a very pleasant and friendly guy who tells us that he really doesn’t give a shit and we need to buy tickets or pay a fine. We tell him we only have a 50 dollar note and we ask him if he can he break it for us. He gives us that what da f… look. He suggests we ask the +-12 year olds on the train to break it for us. I look at him and give him the what the f… look. He grabs the $50 and screams out barely managing above the noise while holding the $50 dollars up asking everyone if any of them can break a $50 and they all give him the what da f… look followed by a bunch of sarcastic remarks. I mean, is this dude for real? Which one of these +-12 year olds have enough money to break a $50? Some chick stumbles up to him, maybe 11 and a half or so, and while holding up the pole slurs out asking him if he found a $50 note as she has lost one? He gives her the what the f… look and gives me the money back. Right, this was going to be a scream! There was no way I was going to go along and ask everyone if they could break this note for me. I think it would have been a complete joke. Luckily while all this was going on the conductor was too busy to notice that we had got on and over the next few stations the train packed up with a few more revellers thereby making us disappear into the background. If we just stood still, and kept quite we would melt into the background and sort this story out when we got off the train in town. The plan worked and we burst out the train with the now wildly jubilant crowd and we disappeared in the crowd. This was a main station and one needs a ticket in order to get out the station and so Lynda went off to the office and gave them the nine yards again and once again the “No Worries” come up and we were given the opportunity to buy a ticket and sort the whole issue out.
Time to party but first we needed to eat something real quick before we fell over. 23h00 is a little late but there are still places open and we had a great meal. Off to the venue that seemed to be the most promising. We arrive, Lynda takes a look and stands back. I ask her what’s wrong and she does not seem convinced this is a good place. I tell her she has Nullabor Syndrome and everything is great, we should go in. We pay and step in. Hmmm… not too bad but I wouldn’t write home about it. It seemed like the 12 year olds from the train had descended on this club and the music was this cheesy main stream bubble gum Britney Spiers shit but we had paid and we were going to wait it out and see if the scene changed. One or two tracks got dropped that were worth a little wiggle but nothing exciting so we thought maybe the place was just warming up. Next moment “my man Jack” gets up next to the DJ and starts kind of rapping over the mic. … “And everybody say hey, ye, wait for it, put your hands up in the air, hyper hyper, give it up give it up” …, and so on. Well, we thought this strange but maybe it was just a short wacky wacky to warm up the weeny boppers and get everyone excited. But this dude went on and on and on and on and on! It was freaking us out. The DJ finished his set and the next DJ came on and “my man Jack” carried on as usual. This was a circus or perhaps someone found out who we were and they had this whole candid camera set-up going and they were filming our reaction and expressions. Boy, this dude was absolutely killing us and we decided to go for a walk around town and maybe when we came back he would have finished with his, “ hyper, hyper, give it up give it up”. I’m not quite sure if walking around was such a good idea either. The whole place just seemed chaotic. We are used to chaos, we come from Joburg but this was something else. It seems like the youth of Adelaide had lost the plot or we are just getting old… Not. We return to the club of the future and “my man Jack” is still on the mic. That was enough. Lynda asked someone if this dude does this all night long and the answer was yes meaning we were on our way back home.
This had left a really bad taste in our mouth for Adelaide but we needed to give this place another chance so we decided to visit its markets which there are several of. So the following day we head off in search of all these markets. The first one we come across leaves us a little confused. Basically every stall is selling their dead grandmothers wares and anything and everything they found when cleaning out the house last spring. This was basically a big second hand market. Ok, so maybe that’s the type of market it is, so off to the second market which was recommended to us by someone back at the camp ground as being The Market to go to. Well, it wasn’t. There were maybe one or two different stalls and the rest were everyone trying to sell the crap they don’t want themselves. So I guess this was all we were going to encounter in all the other markets. What a let down! Ok, we were starting to agree with the many others that told us not to bother too much with Adelaide. What were we going to do for the next couple of days that we still had to spend in Adelaide while we waited for Moondust’s service? We didn’t have a clue.
The rest of Adelaide was a blur and we simply had to move on. It was time to head out onto the Great Ocean Road to Melbourne. The only real point of interest that we just had to get to was the Twelve Apostles which are rock formations that stand on their own just off the beach in the ocean. We had seen them in pictures lots of times and they look absolutely wicked. Maybe even jumpable! We had to see for ourselves. Being only 200 kilometres or so from Melbourne meant that everyone and his cousin would be there to. The place was flooded with tourists. Everyone was running around taking pictures and we joined in the whole tourist frenzy. The place is certainly as beautiful as depicted in the various post cards. Unfortunately they are not high enough to be jumped off so I put that thought out my head. The place was stunning and we took various pictures which can be seen in our gallery under Adelaide. So off it was to Melbourne. Hope it’s a little better than Adelaide :-).