Adelaide, oh Adelaide! The city I don’t know so well. For those of you not in the know, the city of steeples and spires has a dark history which belies it’s sleepy appearance. Some of you may be familiar with the grim film ‘Snowtown’. Some of you may be aware that it wasn’t settled by convicts but by well meaning God botherers, hence the proliferation of houses of worship. They are quite literally on every other effing corner. Which in my book says that there has to be a fairly sizeable representation of those studying the dark arts.
Now, good reader, I have nothing against Satanists, in fact I reckon they’re an alright straight up bunch of heads who incidentally do believe in God but decide to worship his alter ego, the fallen angel that is Lucifer. This fact always brings a wry smile to my moustachioed cake hole and some times I’ll even venture a wee chortle or snigger at just the thought.
As a wee aside I’ll let you in on one of the many public pranks I used to pull when I was living in the land of the rising sun while teaching the Japanese how to cook. Stop laughing. Please stop laughing. This is as true as the day is long. I used to take great pleasure in reading contentious books on the subway in Tokyo during my sojourn there. One of my favourite titles to leaf through while commuting to the Irish Embassy and other notable destinations was Anton LeVey’s The Satanic Bible. I took great joy in noticing the many sideways glances I’d get from the devoutly religious expat American community as I read the tome over the heads of the diminutive Japanese commuters. It was a hobby of mine to find obscure and perhaps obscene paperbacks in the many coffee shops of Koenji and then purloin them for my nefarious needs and personal enjoyment.
I shall digress no more in my description of Adelaide and get straight to the point, the steeple point as it were. Apparently the Dalai Lama won’t fly over the city such is its wickedness and when they screened Pier Paolo Pasolini’s seminal(phnar, phnar) ‘Salo,or the 120 days of Sodom’ on a grey day in 1975 it was said that the queue contained a veritable who’s who of sexual perverts and deviants all known to the local constabulary and vicarage. But, let’s not besmirch the good name of Adelaide any further now that I have given you some background into why its denizens are so eager to depart its city limits for less religiously oppressive locales.
I’d booked myself into a nice old stone domicile in Beulah Park, a stones throw away from The Parade in the foody centre of Norwood. My host was, and I guess still is, a single mother of Italian extraction with a Chilean geological engineer on a scholarship at the local university. His name escapes me but his love of avocados does not. I chose this residence because I was able to lock up my ute behind a solid gate in the back yard. I was a bit paranoid that somebody might try and pilfer some of my many belongings from the back of my ute. My paranoia wasn’t justified as I didn’t see anybody walking that street over the next two days which got me to thinking that perhaps something else was going on and why hadn’t I seen anybody strolling of an evening. One of the few people I saw walking around was an old gent with a fine walrus moustache, khaki pants, safari jacket and believe it or not a colonial era pith helmet. I couldn’t rightly tell but I think he might have been sporting an ivory walking stick. I shit you not.
After my first night out of Victoria, the Garden State of Australia, and after a sonorous slumber in a squeaky bed I ventured out to Glenelg. I should admit that I had been in Adelaide 14 years previously for a weekend filming an up and coming band on their first ‘tour’ for want of a better euphemism and we had ventured to the beachy environs of Glenelg. I had an average breakfast of scrambled eggs with bacon and a passable coffee before taking in the sights and doing some chores. I wouldn’t rally describe buying bathers and visiting the post office as chore-some but I’m feeling a bit lazy in describing the early part of the day because it was less than memorable.
Things were to change as I ventured into town and found the Central Market, funnily enough located right smack dab in the middle of Adelaide. Kind of like where you expect The Docklands to be in any coastal city with a port. Apparently Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market used to be similarly constructed.
Well, I was very impressed. So impressed in fact that I bought enough fruit and veggies and more fruit to feed a small militia for a month on the road. I just couldn’t help myself. Mangoes, limes, nectarines, asparagus, cured meats, jerky and fresh garlic were a tumbling out of my basket. I ended up doing three trips backwards and forwards to my ute with provisions for my onward adventure. There are few things I enjoy more than shopping for food ahead of an expected dearth of options on the desert road ahead. Some of you, my dear vicarious readers, may not be aware that I am a culinary type of person and have worked as a chef in a previous unhappy and grossly underpaid lifetime. I now consider myself a retired chef as it has a better ring to it than a disgruntled, druggy, cranky foody wanker.
Back to the house it was with my new bathers and bags and bags of provisions to see me through the long trip over the world famous Nullarbor. I rearranged my mobile kitchen, bought bags of ice, filled my eskies, chilled my ice blocks and charged all of my power hungry devices before retiring to bed for the night and heading north in the morning.
It was while I was in bed supping on a mug of cocoa and rum that I stumbled upon an idea whilst surfing the webs.
‘Yes, why not?’ I said to myself. That sounds like a jolly good idea and it was then and only then, at about four minutes past the hour of ten that I decided I was heading south to Kangaroo Island. It was then that I got the second buzz in my system since leaving Melbourne. My adventure was finally starting and by starting I mean going off tangent to somewhere that had not previously seemed like nor had presented itself as an option. So I booked the ferry crossing for me, my Utee Bootee and Fozzy Bear who was still in a semi-comatose state due to his dose of cold turkey. Incidentally he didn’t raise any objections and nor was he in a position to do so as I had zipped him up in a bag for the night. I didn’t want him heading downtown to score a hit while I slept like a cherubic bub in Beulah Park.
Now here’s a funny thing. I had made the decision to abstain from my good old friend Mr Nicotine and leave him behind in Melbourne so I’d taken the precaution of purchasing patches and had fuelled up my trusty vape too. Well, let me tell you something about them patches, you do need them stinking patches. They are the doors to reveries revealing delights. My first and second nights in Adelaide were marked by marathon like technicolour dreams in full stereoscope sound with added sensorama interludes. I was waking up goggle eyed with traces of Freudian visions as they became nothing but sleep in my eyes. ‘How on Earth do these patches know so much about me?’ I would say to myself in the morning. Perhaps I should have zipped myself up instead of Fozzy.
‘Who needs drugs when you got nicotine patches?’, was my next thought. And then it dawned on me that I’d been doing it all so wrong all these years. I will add that after my evening in Bladwell’s Brain Lab the night before my departure my cerebral facilities were a tad challenged to say the least. I will also add that I was now doing my own cold turkey having ditched the ol’ 420, but enough about that and onwards with the adventure at hand.
I awoke at the crack of dawn after another exhausting excursion into my subconscious and set about getting my ute in order and planning my route down south. It was going to take me a good 90 minutes to get to the ferry terminal at Cape Jervis and I still had a few more provisions to get so I made haste, drank my non fair trade, multiple origin cheap as chips Lavazza coffee and said good bye to Adelaide, albeit temporarily.