However, after recovering from moving and getting a new job, it turns out I have moved into a really, really weird place. Maybe there are weirder in the world - a lot of why I think this place is weird has to do with an almost-inexplicable feel to things. And I have found a little of the "Sordid History of Chippendale." But there are some weird things I've been able to document more directly. Such as:
(note: skip to the bottom for my regular "Australian culture" section)
The crazy building with the floating platform at the...30th floor?
|Not to mention it's crazy neighbor...|
|(the one with the crazy ledge in the middle)|
And the weird old hotel which has trance/electronica on Sunday nights with pulsing purple light coming out of its windows:
And is across the street from internationaly renown weirdos:
As well as UTS (University of Technology Sydney) which had its own share of weird inside:
Just down the block from here I had a freakish experience when I went to look at an apartment which was advertised as "wanting to start an artists collective." I didn't have my camera when I was there, so no pictures from the inside, but I went back to take photos of the obvious signs of crazy outside.
The ally-way that led to the apartment:
|sign reads, "Evacuation Route"|
The side of the apartment which I passed on the way there, not knowing it was the apartment:
And the apartment itself:
If it looks crazy outside, you should see the inside. Lots of random plywood piecing together the ceiling, floors, walls, painted with acrylics (not wall house paint) in black, dark brown and dark purple on the walls and floor. Random pieces of old dirty carpet nailed here or there, pieces of wood haphazardly nailed around, a crumbling hole of a shower which may or may not work and drain, seems like there's no heating, the furniture is amazingly old and torn up, and the place is almost maze-like in its rooms that go on forever and contain the most random crap. There are few windows, almost no light inside, and it has the musty smell of a garage.
The guy showing this to me is little and weird, and "can't figure out why no one wants to help him fix the place up."
And then there are all the Alice in Wonderland cues:
|These are the two doors that lead to bedrooms in my apartment.|
|Passed this on my way to the freaky house.|
|Another photo at UTS entitled...|
The Good Stuff
More fun with Australian Culture
Lots of good info from my new work colleagues :)
1.) Australians, unlike virtually any other English speakers, make a distinction between "enquiry" and "inquiry". And "enquiry" is a question, an "inquiry" is an investigation.
2.) I'm told that many, perhaps even most, Australians don't like the "salty and sweet" combination. It's weird, they say. I was putting nutella on some crackers at work and both my coworkers just looked at me like I was sitting over there dipping cookies in horseradish sauce or something (and of course, over here a "cookie" is a "bikie", but you know what I mean).
3.) The letter "Z" is pronounced "Zed" - as in Canada. However, just as in Britain (as I've discovered), the letter "H" is pronounced "Hey." I work for "Heytch Ah" services. :)
4.) The word "ghetto" isn't really used here. In Sydney, if you look down on anyone, it's most likely the "Westies," or people who live in the suburbs far to the west of Sydney. If they live just slightly to the west, they will be quick to correct you - "It's not IN the west. Not, THE WEST."
"Westies" are, from what I can gather, people from the most crime ridden, low-income, high immigrant areas, far out from the city where real estate prices are more realistic. There are biker ("bikie") gangs out there who will occasionally cause trouble with one another, but as far as I can tell, it ain't South Central. No bloods or crips here - at least not yet.
"It's done and dusted" I think you get the idea. Fun phrase.
"Blokey bloke" = Manly man. Beer, football, ooga.
The Best: "When a Wog gets an Aussie girl" by SuperWog and Mychonny.
Dirty but hilarious. A "Wog," so I'm told, comes from "Worker of Government," referring to the original waves of immigrants in the 70's and 80's who usually came to take the lower level government jobs. I'm also told that this is sometimes used as derogatory, though these days "FOB" (Fresh off the Boat) is usually considered more offensive.
The Worst: "The Last Templar "
2 part TV series which you can watch on SMH (Sydney Morning Herald) TV. Right from the very start, lines so horrible you'll want to shoot yourself in the face. And it gets worse from there.