Sunday, August 07, 2011

Travelogue: Australia – Wildlife (?)

The rain was apparently the harbinger of a cold front. All day long the temperature has been dropping, and whilst it is still well above freezing, it is cold enough that I decided that I needed my leather jacket for more than protection from the rain. It was a bit brisk as I set out for the city center this evening.
Andrew had asked me if I cared to see the Canberra night life and get a feel for the local flavor and so, of course, I said yes. We decided to meet at a local Irish pub named for one of the (corrupt?) politicians from Australian history – at least, that is what it says on the walls of the establishment.

Andrew, being Irish, said that he didn't want to influence my opinion, but he did want to see what it was when I had seen the place. Granted, I had never actually been to an Irish pub, but I had been to plenty of English ones.

It was noisy and boisterous as we arrived and found a seat, the rugby was just finishing and the bar was returning to what it would be on a (normal?) Saturday night. My impression? It wasn't bad but it wasn't any more an Irish pub than Bennigan's is. It was just one more bar trying to be a pub.

It was cold and over-decorated and they were just trying too hard to fit the standard fare into the Irish theme. With traditional Irish dishes on the menu like Nachos and Chicken Parmigiana, how could you mistake this for anything but a traditional Irish pub?

The most entertaining part of the evening, though, was our introduction to "the local color." First, there was the red-haired, blue-eyed, freckled, Rastafarian, aboriginal hippy (as he described himself). He introduced himself by reaching for my glasses that were laying on the table in front of me to try and read his cell phone screen. I explained that they were for distance and he said never mind. He then joined us and talked BS for a couple hours interspersed with random references to his aboriginal roots and his three-foot long dreadlocks.

Then there was the woman. She and her friends came over to the table to accost a chair that was not in use. All-the-while protesting that they were not really interested in sitting down, they like to move around at bars. So, why the wanted the chair, I do not know. The blond one; interspersed with declarations that she didn't care if you were black, white, red, or purple, whether you were foreign or as Australian as a kangaroo, it was all the same to here and all people were equal; kept telling us that it was all about her and she was all that mattered.

Eventually she and the rasta-aborigine headed off to the bar and we left. All in all, a very entertaining Saturday evening!

Wherever you are today, I hope that you've had a lovely weekend.

Don Bergquist – 07 August 2011 – Canberra City Center, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

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