Stumbling over the finishing line..oh.. and a spot of Mardi Gras.
05.03.2007 32 °C
Mardi Gras. Fat Tuesday as the French call it. Shame it happens on a Saturday and there wasn't much eating of food being done..
We were told to expect something big.. and wow. Sydney sure knows how to throw a street party. People started arriving at 3pm and by 4 there was a small army of young and old lining Oxford Street waiting for the festivities to begin.
Alas, we were unable to see much of the parade that night as the sheer numbers prevented us from having a clear view (oh and waiting for the girls to get ready meant we arrived late!) So after half an hour of photographing backs of heads we called it a night and headed to the first of the nights venues.. After being ID'd and almost kneecapped by a swarthy Maori doorman with a metal detector (Apparently it was a bit of an unsavoury part of the City!) i nervously wandered into the pub, half expecting a scene from Trainspotting (the one where Begbie throws a pint glass off the balcony and hits someone on the head!) It actually turned out to be a bog standard boozer! Set out over three floors, it had a smattering of pool tables and the obligatory gambling den filled with chainsmoking, lizard skinned men and women.
After a quick drink, we were herded off by one of the loud mouthed Southern Ladies in the Group to find a proper party (she literally herded us. im not kidding!) So off we went, dodging the endless crowds of drag queens, fairies and hot panted men along Oxford Street before we joined the back of a rather large queue outside a place called the Gaff. Here's where it turned nasty.. really nasty.
After paying the $10 entrance fee, we were ushered into a largish bar which had "the Venga Bus" blasting out of the speakers.. Need i say more?
After an hour or so and several plastic schooners of Fosters things weren't looking any better. We sat next to glass panel which looked out onto the sweaty dancefloor and were promptly entertained some of the states that were trying to dance.
After an hour of DUMFF DUMMFF DUMFF we headed outside to grab some air and to clear our heads and to survey the Post Mardi Gras carnage that littered Oxford Street. by this time it was about midnight and the cleanup operation had begun. A Fleet of open lorries had arrived and their crews (rather scary looking men with big tatoos) started to pick up all the beer crates. Now, i wasnt aware of this at the time but sean (our old landlord from Melbourne) told us that people steal the beer crates and then make a fortune selling them to the vertically challenged!
After ten minutes or so of random abuse from a group of German guys, we tried to head back into the club but were rudely informed that we had to join the back of the queue! So we did the honourable thing and walked off!
And that pretty much summed up our Mardi Gras experience!