I felt like a double-agent as I sat and quietly had a beer at one of the local pubs in Lismore this afternoon. It’s a pub which has been traditionally a very “working man’s pub”, but which seems to have embraced the LBTIQ+ Tropical Fruits celebration this year, with lots of rainbow flags. They also seem to be running regular LBTIQ+ drinks on Fridays, at other times of the year.
As I walked in, I could seen in the eyes of the barman he wasn’t sure if I was here for Tropical Fruits, or if I was there, because it’s a pub I regularly visit when I’m home for Christmas. (It’s on the way home from town). In the end, I think he worked it out that I was home for Christmas (I knew too much about Lismore to be a blow-in from Sydney), but was probably here for Tropical Fruits as well.
And that’s my dilemma. I’m here for Christmas, but I’ll also be here for Tropical Fruits NYE, though I haven’t bought a ticket yet. Though I quite enjoy parades and exhibitions (which are part of Tropical Fruits NYE), I’m not one for big big dance parties. Part of me says, “hey, get over it”, though part of me also says it’s quite an expensive night that may not be worth it.
All around Lismore, shop windows are celebrating the Tropical Fruit festival.
As I sat and listened to the blokes in the pubs, they spoke about the changes they’ve seen in their lives. “My dad always used to say…”. This was generally followed up with, “I don’t mind, so long as they don’t…” And then finally with “It’s good for the town’s economy, and God knows we need some help…”
Will I go to Tropical Fruits NYE? Maybe I should, if only to support the economy of the city in which I was born and raised?