The Corner Of Shame
Now what have I learnt in my time in Australia? I have learnt that the Australians know how to party! Big time. Darling Harbour in Sydney has, over the last two months, played host to Santa Fest, New Year, the Sydney Festival, Australia Day and Chinese New Year. The flags on the bridge have been up and down more times than a couple of kangaroos in the mating season.
I have been hugely impressed with the efficiency with which the authorities clean the streets and change the flags. I have seen domestic disputes, physical fights, people on camels, people on stilts, ubiquitous skateboarders, ubiquitous bikini-clad lovelies (men and women – Aussie men seem to like to put on a bikini), and many a beach bum and super-model.
And I have watched it all from the balcony of my apartment at the Aquarium/Wildlife Centre/Madame Tussaud’s (I resisted the temptation of going to visit the wax dummy special exhibition of One Direction).
The photograph depicts my daytime view of “The Corner Of Shame” showing the back entrance into the Wildlife Centre. The night-time view has been much more “interesting”.
At times of major events such as NYE, Australia Day and the like Darling Harbour is fenced off and becomes an “alcohol free” zone, meaning that no one is allowed to take their own booze/grog/liquor in. The entry points are manned by event security who search every bag. The area is patrolled by volunteer rangers who look for those who are lost or worse for wear. And the area is heavily policed.
The Corner Of Shame is just 50 yards away from one such entrance.
I have seen groups of girls entering the corner of shame to neck a litre bottle of vodka before passing through security. I have seen groups of blokes snorting lines of coke. I have seen revellers hide booze in the bushes so that they can come in and out of the security check at ease. I have seen hobos searching the bushes in search of (and finding) the same concealed booze. I have seen men and women use the steps as a toilet. And I have seen gay men getting far too up close and personal.
I think the Sydney police need to move their security check 50 yards or come and sit with me on my balcony.
I think the wildlife centre staff should use the front entrance or invest in a big tub of Dettol.