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Posts Tagged ‘taxi’

I went for a walk on a winter’s day…

Stopped into a church I passed along the way.

– The Mamas and The Papas, 1965

Called to Sin City earlier in the week for work guff; this time around we were summoned in on the Sunday so as to get straight into it first thing Monday. Figured that if I had to sacrifice some of my Sunday, why not go the whole hog? So I made plans to fly in a few hours earlier to engage in some gallery viewing.

Let’s not get into the horrors of plane travel on the first weekend of the school holidays; suffice to say the Berra Gymnastics team, all 90 or so of them, take up a lot of the real estate in an airport terminal. Also, while I support the Qantarse engineers in their bid for something approaching a liveable wage, do I care for the flight delays? Not so much.

Anyway, there I was on a sunny winter’s day in Sin City, out of St James Station and hiking across Hyde Park. The usually bucolic lawns were crowded with marquees. An unusual number of young tourists loitered about, taking pictures of each other. What could it be?

World Youth Day, of course! Sadly, the countdown clock above St Marys indicated I was 9 days too early for the festivities. But not for the merchandise tent. I was ecstatic when I saw it was open for business, hoping against hope that there would be a WYD stubbie holder to add to my collection. I collect stubbie holders of unusual festivals and events. Examples from the exclusive but growing lineup include about 6 Tamworth Country Music Festival ones – each with different years – the Tom Roberts Festival, the Great Nundle Dog Race, and the Hotrod Nationals in Hobart. A WYD stubbie holder would have been a peerless inclusion.

Alas, it was proved that hope is not enough (certainly not without faith or charity, anyway, and I’m a bit short on both of those). However, I couldn’t leave the tent empty-handed. So I came away with this marvellous commemorative magnet for my fridge.

If you’re wondering, I thought the Taisho Chic and Harold Cazneaux exhibitions are worth the time and money. Didn’t go much for the Sydney Biennale stuff this time though. When I was at the NGNSW some ‘extreme painters’ had hung white sheets on the entrance hall walls and one or two were languidly painting one sheet black with a couple of rollers. Not very extreme, in my humble opinion. But maybe, like Jeff Kennett once said, “I don’t know much about art.” Full stop.

All trips are as much about the journey as the destination, and this notion was certainly explored in my taxi trip home from the Berra Airport last night.

The taxi driver, a 60-ish fellow with a waxed moustache and a Russian accent, was charming for about five minutes. After that he got a bit odd, then a bit creepy. Spent a lot of time looking at me and not the road, telling me with great enthusiasm and frequency that “All women are beauuuuudiful!” and, more surprisingly, that I was also “beeauuuuudiful!!”. I could see him drifting into a variety of lanes while narrowly missing other traffic. Thankfully the Berra has a lot of lanes to offer erratic taxi drivers.

I made strategic mention of ‘a boyfriend’ to rein in his enthusiasm, but he offered me the helpful advice that my “boyfriend should kiss [my] leg!” Hmmmm. And now he knows where I live. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I had been warned by a friend to watch our for Berra taxi drivers; her father is one, she should know. But I don’t think this is quite what she meant.

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