There can’t be greater joy than in learning that the IPod has been responsible in a 20% increase in pedestrians being hit by cars crossing roads while caressing their IPods. Can you imagine? Well, actually I can.
During my ceaseless exploration and expeditions of large Shopping Malls, of which I have presently got a bee in my bonnet, I almost hit one IPod addict crossing River Road at Revesby last week. Of course, if I would have had more sense I should not have swerved and instead increased speed and aim straight for him. In a trance and totally out of it, this bloke of around 60 with a pony tail, not only was stroking or poking his mobile but crossed the road diagonally with turtle speed as well.
It was on a Sunday afternoon that we decided to see what happened to Nr 50 Mc Girr Str, Revesby, the abode where I spend so many formative years during the late fifties absorbing petuniated suburbia and its fenced off venetian blinded population of which bon-fire night was about the only time our street would be outside ‘en masse’.
I managed to talk Helvi in doing a double and combine it with the delights of a ‘Bankstown Square’ visit en route. Well, Bankstown Square exceeded all expectations even though we were a bit late of the Sunday. The car park was having gaps here and there; people must have had their fill of shopping and left. Some shops were also lowering their see through shutters. Never mind, it still did contain the vibes that are familiar to those that frequent those malls. In Bankstown it is where multi culture-ism is at its peak. It is also the most horrible monstrously obvious a failure of aesthetics.
Dante’s inferno made visible in techno colour with an overwhelming hissing sound that, even for the deaf, dominated hearing aids and GPS’s. It must be the sound of the swishing credit card swiped and multiplied thousands of times combined with the licking of giant towering smoothies and slurping slushies by kids running amok. Bankstown square is where the hurling of credit cards towards the shops’ cash registers has reached the zenith of consumerism. Not even Mr Harvey could have dreamt of such riches and from the poor as well. What proof of triumph over adversity could one still achieve?
Of course, nothing could have been further from Mrs Ross and my mother’s mind some forty years earlier. In fact it was the exact opposite, not to spend or loose, but to gain something from Bankstown Square. It was the year of 1966 that Bankstown Square shopping opened. It was after Roselands but even so, another 6 page spread in the papers and banners floating in the sky from twin winged planes that would take off from Bankstown aerodrome every couple of hours so.
What drew mum and Mrs Ross was nothing financial or need to consume. No, it was during winter that both used to get the bus on River Rd, Revesby to Bankstown Square in order to enjoy the warmth of the air-conditioning. Waking up during winter was something and this, mum repeated endlessly, “not even during the war in Rotterdam”, had our family suffered cold as we did then in Revesby during winters. The locals were heroic as well as stoic and some in shorts defying the most flabbergasted of the Euro-centric. Mrs Ross simply spent entire winters in a good long duffel coat, wearing it both inside as well as outside, only to be taken off minutes before bedtime, diving below the blankets.
“Cold to the bones”, mum said as she and Mrs Ross used to step up into the bus to Bankstown Square. “It was so nice and warm there”, mum used to tell us.