Saturday, December 11, 2010

Friday night in Sydney

It's just 4am as I write and its been a little like Pitt Street on a Saturday morning.

That phrase gives my age away. With the changes that have taken place in Sydney over the years, Pitt Street on a Saturday morning no longer makes sense as a descriptor of special busyness. 

I woke up about half past three. Unable to sleep, I decided to get up to work on my much delayed series of Greek posts. Eldest came in to give me a kiss on the top of the head. Fully dressed, she was only just back from work. Then youngest arrived home very late to tell the story of her evening. More on that in a moment.

As she spoke, eldest's boyfriend arrived to listen. He works with eldest at the same pub and they had been on the same late shift. While we listened, fascinated, to youngest's story of her night, all the noise work my wife up. Now the whole family was up.

On certain nights, this is a two shift household. I get up early to write, so its not unusual for people to be going to bed at that time. However, tonight was a little exceptional.

Adian Neylan's Cablog describes the adventures of a Sydney traffic driver. He often works a night shift, and some of his descriptions of events have to be read to be believed. This was an Adrian Neylan style night for youngest.

She and her friend had been to a concert. Concert finished, they decided to share a cab. No cabs. More precisely, there were lots of cabs but none free. They started walking down George Street from Central Railway Station, still trying to flag a cab. Some ten blocks later, they realised that they were near the Rocks so decided to visit Pancakes at the Rocks.

Pancakes consumed, they walked back into the city towards Hyde Park still looking for a cab. Same story.

Walking through Hyde Park, they saw a man punch another to the road and then stand over him yelling. An on-coming bus swerved to miss him, stopping at an angle. The other man left and a small crowd quickly gathered. Youngest had been ready to intervene, but was amazed that no less than four people in the crowd knew the correct brace position. Instead, she rang emergency.

One of the reasons (among many!) that I am so proud of my girls is that both are prepared to take responsibility and act. There have been several occasions with eldest when a member of her group has become ill and she has been the one to get them to emergency, contact family, and then wait.

In the end, no less than three ambulances arrived, meaning that two others had also called emergency after her. Three ambulances is an obvious waste, but at a time when people are becoming less willing to help bystanders, the crowd reaction in this case shows that the old community spirit is still alive.

Youngest waited until the ambos had looked at the bloke. He was pretty drunk and was going to be very sore, but was otherwise okay. They walked on down Liverpool Street into Oxford Street, still looking for a cab. In Oxford Street they found another affray, with a group of men bashing another. This time, Clare did not have to call emergency because the bloke under attack broke free and escaped quite quickly.

They walked on, finally finding a cab. In the end, Clare arrived home five hours after the end of the concert. It had, she said, been a crazy evening.


As happens in the modern world, Clare went to Facebook when she got home. I quote:

 Hyde park see a guy get knocked unconscious by two attackers... call the ambos... wait for police and give statements... walk up to oxford/anzac pd for a taxi... FINALLY 4 hours, 2 short stacks and coke spiders, 2 attackers, 3 ambos, 27 Santa hats and 1 taxi latter... I'm home

I said five hours, not four. Still, Clare's account does capture it all!

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