Tuesday 26 March 2013

Welcome to Al-Al land

Do you know the full name of LA?
Well here it is: “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula".
(in English, "town of our lady the Queen of Angels of the little Portion”).
I once read that in the very early days of its settlement that there were more letters in the name of the town than people living there.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers song “Under the Bridge” refers to living in the City of Angels but having worked there myself while with Greenpeace I can assure you it is anything but.
Of course the other nickname for the place is La-La land and in a typically roundabout way that brings me to my home town, Byron Bay.
The picture shows the clock tower in the main street with two faces visible.
I include it because when I first arrived in the Bay, or Al-Al land as most of the drug soaked denizens of this burg would no doubt render the nickname, each face showed a different time.
I know this doesn't sound like much but it used to give me great pleasure to see tourist vehicles lurch as they passed the clock tower with those inside wondering if they were four hours early or three hours late.
I also liked it because it meant, to me at least, that you could choose whatever time you wanted for whatever activity you happened to be doing.
Thus you could say to your boss that it was 8:30 when I passed the clock tower so how can I be late for work?
Here in the Bay no-one knows what day it is because hardly anyone works 9-5, the main industry in this town is hospitality and that is done on the weekend and lets us surf weekday mornings while all the tourists are sleeping off the drinks we spent all night pouring down their throats.
Anyway, I was bereft when I saw a council worker on a ladder with a spanner finally fixing the various broken clock faces and thought we were going back to ordinary time as pictured with the same time on each clockface.
But I was premature.
The man on the ladder went one better and removed all the hands and so now each clock showed no time at all, and that was a better metaphor for this town than anything!

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