27 September 2013

Darwin- Outcasts and Markets

First of all Darwin is a city where 70% of the population are single men between 30 and 60. They work in the mines, the army or offshore. They're sexist, vulgar, wealthy and the most laid-back people you'll ever meet. They spend their fortunes on strippers, alcohol and drugs, and is part of creating the odd, slightly creepy ambience of Darwin.

The second thing that was expected, but still overwhelming are the Aboriginals, the outcasts of a tribe or a family, who wander the streets intoxicated or drink cheap box wine in the park in large groups. They're always drunk (or some kind of high anyways...or both) and very smelly making public transport a little bit more challenging. One time two intoxicated men came onto the bus covered in their own shit(literally), and the bus driver refused to leave unless they got off the bus, which got me half an hour late for work.
Don't get me wrong though. There are most definitely positives about Darwin. First of all the weather during dry season is great. I was there from late May till early September, and saw only two days with afternoon showers. Wet season is supposed to be dreadfully hot and humid though so most definitely got out in time. Darwin is under constant improvement and is a lot more developed now than it was only a few years ago.
'The Waterfront' is a great area for recreation with big green lawns, a saltwater pool(you can't swim in the ocean because of crocodiles and jelly fish) and a man made beach. In addition to backpackers playing Frisbee and soccer, it is used for Sunday guitar sessions and outdoor movie screenings. The lawns and lagoon is surrounded by apartment buildings, boutiques, restaurants, cafes and the Darwin Convention Centre.
The Mindil Beach Sunset Market
The many markets in the Darwin area are fantastic. The Parap Market on Saturdays, the Mindil Beach Sunset Market on Thursday and Sunday nights and The Nightcliff Sunday Market, are all splendid for a variety of food, drink, knickknacks, henna tattoos and aboriginal art. The Mindil Beach Market also has entertainment, from guitarists and singers to theatre groups swallowing fire. 
The State Library and Parliament house

Most of the reason why I was so eager to leave Darwin in the end was partly because my boss was evil, but also because it's a schizophrenic and nervous city trying to get rid of an odd ambivalence. It's desperately trying to find itself and develop an identity. Like the Aboriginals struggling to find a place in a society, Darwin is the outcast city of Australia.    

Nightcliff Beach Bridge

1 comment:

  1. It seems to me Darwin is a kind of work in progress, but it is a bit sad that humanity everywhere has to go through a stage of primitivity involving sex, drugs and alcohol. With extremely unbalanced population and climate it will probably stay like this too. With the additional aborigine complex unsolved the work forward will be hard, and we have to wish them the best of luck. Nice reporting, Ingeborg, it seems to me you got the spirit of the place just right.