I find it amusing that people attending World Youth Day in Sydney are being called Pilgrims. We were discussing at work that it sort of gives Sydney a Lourdes style cachet. Are people currently making their way to our city on their knees? Or doing that cross thing every three steps? Given that the Pope himself is making an appearance near our work, and swinging by past our office on a boat, I wonder if we’ll see these people doing their thing as they converge around Millers Point towards the old Patrick’s site .
Many months, ney YEARS, ago they put that LED sign outside St Mary’s cathedral counting down the days to World Youth Day. And while it seemed so far away then (I think we even had a different Pope), it is now finally here. Then I thought our city would just be overwhelmed with wild-eyed, hand waving, panting Catholic kids, but now it seems our city will be full of pilgrims. It sort of has a medieval, crusade feel about it don’t you think? Men in pantaloons and harlequined vests. Women in wimples and veils. Jousting. Pilgrims slaying the locals. Hang-on, this now seems seems like a strange renaissance fair.
But don’t annoy any of these pilgrims cause you could be arrested and fined. I wish they had a law that the pilgrims could be arrested and or fined if they annoyed us. Like the fact that they are taking over Randwick racecourse. That must really annoy the punters and the locals of Randwick. And a few folks at my work are also annoyed that they can’t get to work the normal way because they have set up a vast “pilgrim” camp right around the corner from our office. It seems these new laws weren’t even in place for APEC when they built a massive WALL right through the centre of the city.
Now, if World Youth day was some kind of Renaissance Fair, with pilgrims and their scrumpy and pig on a spit and some jousting, then I imagine Sydney would get right behind it. But given there will instead likely be a lot of tambourine and acoustic guitar, we won’t. We will just be very ‘annoyed and inconvenienced’ – but we will be quiet about it.