It’s Monday night and I’ve just finished having a meal with Kate and Tara, ending an incredibly busy thirty-six hour period. Thanks to its outdoor setting, Hingara is fast replacing BBQ King as our favourite place to have dinner in Chinatown. Although the service is inconsistent, the food is good and the relaxed outdoor setting really makes it a terrific place to eat. At BBQ King the food is also good, and the service is also inconsistent (bordering on dodgy), but you often come out of the restaurant with a feeling that your own skin has been dipped in fat, and is fast on its way to becoming crispy skin chicken or pork belly. After the busy-ness of the last thirty-six hours it was a terrific way to spend Monday night, sitting outside, eating good food, having a great conversation, enjoying a beer. With a nice sense of symmetry about it, I ended this incredibly busy period in the place where I started it, Chinatown.
Within seconds of arriving in Chinatown yesterday morning I was asked to take part in a survey about Chinese New Year and the reasons why I attend certain events. For my troubles I was presented with a scratch lottery ticket which, unfortunately, failed to delivery the million dollars I was expecting. I was a little disappointed with the markets this year, as the “junk stalls” seemed to outnumber the “food stalls”. Nonetheless I had a good time wandering around and snacking before meeting up with friends at the Lansdowne Hotel, opposite Victoria Park where Mardi Gras Fair Day was held.
Fair Day was, as it usually is, an interesting insight into the apparent diversity of the gay and lesbian communities of Sydney, even if everyone did look the same. As we wandered around we noticed stalls for everything from lawyers to nudists. Yes, the nudists stood out, so to speak this year, with small shells gathered from the beach protecting their modesty.
There were, however, no Raelians this year, and I failed to see the stall identifying the commencement of the clitocracy. With stalls by the Greens, Labor and the Democrats – one of my friends who votes Liberal was appalled the Libs were a no-show – I’d say Labor won the “Spunky Political Apparatchik Category”. I also noticed that when it comes to gay and lesbian dog ownership in Sydney, it’s either those small yappy things that I hate, or pit bulls that just scare me.
From there it was off to Tropfest, the annual short film festival held in Sydney’s domain. Unlike previous years where I’ve sat on damp grass half a mile away from the main action, I was lucky enough this year to be invited to the VIP/Media area, with dinner and drinks provided and good seating. Walking down the red-carpet with the likes of Hugo Weaving and David Wenham was weird, to say the least, especially when I received an SMS shortly afterwards from a mate declaring “I’m watching Tropfest in Albany, WA and I just saw you on the red carpet. Woo hoo.” In that “modern way”, I sent him back an MMS with a photograph of the people I was there with.
In the accompanying photograph I’m doing the “LA Smile”, a reference to the way people from LA smile in “Hollywood Pics”. You apparently achieve the smile by sticking two fingers between your teeth and then remove them just before the photograph is taken, leaving with you a “surprised open mouthed look”. A few of us tried it, and it works, but I decided for this photograph to leave my fingers in my mouth.
I really loved the winning film this year, a film from Queensland about a child’s imaginary friend. For similar reasons – well made and with a good sense of integrity – I also loved the films about road rage and the Cronulla race riots. Unlike the people I attended with, I also really loved the film about the crazy taxi driver, as it was just plane scarey. Another favourite was the film about the teenage boy who “pooped his pants”, but overcame his shame as a school-boy superhero. I also loved a film called “Bad Yoghurt” about an attractive woman’s physical response to eating yoghurt, for the value of its comic timing. It had me in stitches in that “teenage boy humour” kind of way that I guess most men never grow out of.
After a few hours sleep I got an early morning wake up call and needed to go into work early today, and so by mid-afternoon I was dead on my feet. So I headed home for a couple of hours shut-eye ahead of meeting up with Kate and Tara for our late afternoon/early evening meal at Hingara.