MOTH and I journeyed to middle earth last Saturday. Well actually it was deep into the inner west region of Sydney. Our destination was a church – no I haven’t converted – it was to pick up some imported Tansanian and Indian coffee from the local preacher who provides a pick-up point for coffee addicts. MOTH is the coffee addict, not so much myself.
Anyway, this pick up point was at Erskinville which is about 3 klm from Sydney CBD and a suburb I’ve never visited as it hasn’t been on my way to anywhere I’ve needed to go in Sydney. After we picked up the coffee we decided to go for a stroll, grab a coffee at one of the street cafes, sit and take in the delights of the passer-bys. We’d already started to see an array of colourful inhabitants as we strolled along the small main street.
Firstly there was a young man wondering around barefoot, it wasn’t that he was barefoot alone but he looked like he just got out of bed at 2pm and was heading to the fridge to get a drink of milk only to get lost on his way.
Then there were several older people whose ages was very hard to tell but I’d hazard a guess at around 65 but their lifetime choices, so it seemed, hasn’t been good to both their appearance and posture. Both looked like they were well and truly under the weather and both holding a half smoked cigarette in between their yellowed fingers. One old-timer who wanted past chatting happily to himself, which wasn’t too disturbing, but then he opened his mouth displaying a half-head full of charcoal teeth. Enough to turn one off their lunch and dinner.
In the mix were the sterio typical gay couples: The petite feminine woman with the big butch bitch who looked like she’d punch you out without touching and of course their male counter-parts consisting of an older man dressed in what straight people would consider regular Saturday afternoon casual street gear and his partner – tall, skinny and obviously the effeminate of the two with flowing bright shirt unbuttoned to his waist with short cream shorts and a tip-toe-through-the-tulips walk.
Then the array of people all ages, shapes and heights with an eclectic sense of styles of different, usually not matching, colours and a mix of eras from the 60s through to the 90s. Now many people can pull off an eclectic style – fashion designers, professional dressers or someone with really good taste but no-one of these talents had anything to do with the street fashion on that day.
And just when we thought the parade was over a middle age couple wandered by both dressed in white linen from head to toe. Luckily it was overcast that day otherwise I’m sure the sun would illuminate them, and like the sun, we’d have to divert our eyes for fear of going blind.
MOTH and I settled in to see if the half-man half-goat would turn up to make the day complete. But alas was not to be on this day.
I couldn’t help but think, besides the cliche gay couples and the co-ordinated couple in their white linen, how on earth do the others afford to live in what has become an affluent area? The medium house price in Erskineville alone is just under $800K.
Maybe by night they work as the freaks and weirdos in a well paid job at alternate night clubs around Sydney. I’ve really got to re-think my career choice.