Posts Tagged ‘Bankstown Square’

Loitering at Bankstown Square

January 17, 2014

Rhubarb & Apple crumble

Rhubarb & Apple crumble

It is re-assuring, even extraordinary to find our government advising the elderly and those in frail health to try and stay cool. Those that do not have air conditioning and are on the streets the advice is to seek shelter inside large shopping malls. The relentless heat-wave is taking its toll. Hundreds are taken into hospitals. Bush fires and alerts are keeping people on their toes. Ambulances are racing from collapse to collapse of bodies. Things are a bit nervous again, just when we felt it safe to get out again after the anxiety and bustle of Christmas. Images on TV show some nursing homes with the elderly sitting with their feet in cold water. Try and stay cool and well hydrated!

The loitering of pensioners or those who cannot afford running air-conditioning at large shopping complexes is a well known fact. It saves money not having to switch on cooling devices at home, even if it is just a fan. One is dry and comfortable. I often see the elderly in the comfortable surroundings of those huge shopping malls watching the world of the shoppers go by. There are large settees or arm chairs. Sometimes a surreptitious nice nap doesn’t go astray either. A splurging out of a fifty cent soft ice cream from the Big Mac. emporium. It is all taken into one’s stride. It passes the time. Time is what is in abundance here. I often do exactly the same while H. scans the latest in fashion boutiques you will find me keenly watching, observing and taking a terrific well earned shut-eye. Making a rhubarb crumble does take it out of you.

To stay ‘well hydrated’ is yet to be followed up with ‘drink water’ and avoid sugary drinks such as Coke or other sugar laden liquids. Of course alcohol is totally wrong. No, nothing of that kind. Just imagine the revenge of the Soft drink and Alcohol industry. Governments must tread carefully. A balance between health and survival and assuaging the holy Market is of the essence.

It reminds me about how my mum used to go to Bankstown Square back in the fifties and sixties or so. However, her aim for survival was the opposite. It was to get warm. Back in The Hague we were shown waving palms and Mosman suburbs with a very fit post man dressed in Omo white shorts leaping over fences delivering the post to sun-drenched gleaming white toothed wives standing next to a glorious white painted picket fence.

That first 1956 winter in Revesby in the grey asbestos fibro garage with the frost millimetres away from our noses underneath the blankets. The kerosene heater came next winter. Mum coping with a family of six all huddled together listening to ‘Smokey Dawson’ on the Bakelite radio. It was the Thursdays when our pay packets would be handed to her. We needed desperately to get enough money for a proper house. Even the proper house after a couple of years, was still clad in the same asbestos- fibro and still the undeclared frosty winter.

Mum did the only thing available to make the best of it. She made sandwiches and filled the thermos with hot coffee and escaped on the bus to Bankstown Square. It was the first large shopping centre to open in Sydney. It was headline news with marching girls, flags were out, jubilation of an entire nation. Bankstown Square was warm and had a buzz about it. There were crowds of people. My mum was a social creature and would strike up a conversation in her half Dutch half mangled English. Bread would be delivered by the ‘bugger’. She somehow never learned to say ‘baker’, instead just called him the Dutch ‘bakker’ pronounced ‘bugger’. ” Hello bugger, three loaves today, dank you well”.
Even today it still makes me LOL.

Till Death us do ( and the IPod) Part

September 9, 2010

Till Death us do ( and the IPod) PartPosted on September 10, 2010 by gerard oosterman


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.