Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Moody Old Town

Adelaide is a moody old town.

Weatherwise, it's a place of vivid contrasts. In the six visits I've made over the years, I've experienced most of them.

I remember a Sunday in March a few years ago being confronted by a 42 degree blast as we left the airport. It felt very much like Mt Isa. The place was slowly cooking.

This trip the city is sulking. The sun lurks rather than shines, and there always seems to be a sneaky cold breeze.

Back in 2002 I came to a Principal's conference here. It must have been about this time of the year, but it was hot then - totally different from now.

Speaking of contrasts - I can't help but compare Adelaide to Brisbane. Up north, there's a wider variety of vegetation and building styles. The first is a consequence of geography,the second of building codes and covenants. There's a lack of discipline and a sense of haphazardness in Brisbane. In Adelaide, it's all steel, masonry and angles, and there is a pleasing (sometimes boring) consistency in the building styles. The lack of timber surprises if you've been brought up in the tropics.

People here drive with a strong sense of self-absorption, reflected in their tendency to pull into a fast-moving stream of traffic without a backward glance. You can also (if you're mad enough) park in the clearways at certain times of the day. This has some interesting effects if you drive in the outside lane.

Still, it has a charm all of its own. People are generally laid back.They smile readily, and seem prepared to engage. They wear lots of black - perhaps climate related, but unlike the Melbourne black it's less about appearing cool, and more about "what the heck - I can't be bothered thinking about clothes".

There are festivals and trams, and some great tucker.The coffee's not bad either, even if it's best used to keep your hands warm.

I hope the sun shines in Perth.

No comments:

Blog Archive