It doesn’t seem right not to post something about the leaving pilgrims. Apart from a few annoyances (like being stuck at central yesterday afternoon with half a million people leaving the Pope’s mass…bad timing), it seemed like the whole thing went pretty well.
Their singing annoyed us, their enthusiasm worried us, and their constant happiness confused us. But with slightly drunken reflection on Friday afternoon heading home on a train full of them, I was pretty proud we coped with it all quite well. And for the whole WYD period the city looked amazing. I mean – REALLY amazing.
I was even quite taken by Pope B. I was actually quite struck by his question that could you could knowingly stand in front of someone who was a victim of violence or sexual degradation and say you consume that stuff for entertainment. Made me think of various discussions of late around cognitive surplus and how we do spend our time…(she says after watching two crappy episodes of lipstick jungle last night…what was I thinking??? Over an hour of my life…GONE)
But still my burning question is around his shoes and if they are prada. And I did a bit of snooping and it seems like Pope B is on a bit of a branding bonanza! Natuzzi, i-pod, serengetti sunnies…everyone wants a piece of him. But the Vatican has come out and stated “The pope, in summary, does not wear Prada, but Christ.” And when you bring him into it I guess that’s pretty final.
No crowds to speak of last night or this morning, and again, rode down Hickson Road as if it was my private street! But crossing darling harbour last night I was cheered on my some green-lovin’, wild eyed pilgrims from the states – they cheered “Yay for cycling!” and waved their large US flags. It was…well, strange. Normally the only thing yelled out to me when I ride is some obscentity from a white van driver as he (yes, always a he) tries to clip me off and run me into the gutter.
mm asked me to ride over their tents this morning – but alas – none camping out around here. Sorry.
But Thursday the Pope actually cruises by my office window. City workers are encouraged to work from home but I have a few meetings so think I’ll have to come in. I guess it’s not every day a pope floats by.
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.