Saturday, December 19, 2009


I have this morning to myself, so I've hit the smart shopping precincts of Darlinghurst, Surrey Hills and Paddington. As might be expected, I get the impression that the whole area was designed to subtly discourage riff-raff like me. The expensive stores are intimidating, with lots of signs bearing simple white text on a black background, stating the nature of the store in the most fashionably minimalist way possible, and thus suggesting that if you need a store to have a "name", you probably can't afford to shop here. The Grocer. The Butcher. The Baker. Presumably in the shadier parts of Paddington there's The Prostitute and The Pornographer. Which is coincidentally also a fantastic name for a pub, especially in this area.

Paddington is one of the wealthiest and most stylish enclaves in the city, which means that everyone here is cooler than me. Even the homeless people wear their urine-soaked rags with a certain panache. And the dogs lounging outside the cafes and boutiques while their masters shop give me a superciliously curious look as I pass by, then no doubt growl to each other...

Dog 1: I say, Baxter.

Dog 2: What is it, Hampton?

Dog 1: I may only be a dog, and thus not well-versed in these things, but I'd swear that the human who just walked past WASN'T wearing Wayne Cooper!

Dog 2: Good gracious!

Dog 1: If only I had a mobile and opposable thumbs, I'd call the police.

I'm currently hiding in a bohemian book cafe, where the black-clad staff have politely sold me books and cake. No doubt they mistakenly assume that my Harbour Town jeans and $25 haircut are part of some ironic cutting edge meta-statement, and thus haven't felt the need to organise a mob and run me out of town.


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