some darwin moments

I'm not super thrilled with this roll of film as one united piece, but broken up into random snatches like the one above, they tell some interesting stories about my recent trip to Darwin, and about the place in general. So there's palm trees on the beach at sunset: this is something that Darwin does incredibly well and with astonishing consistency - in the dry season, at least. Countless bars and restaurants take up real estate along the shore to capitalise on the nightly show that nature in the Top End presents. It's glamourous, it's excessive and it's timeless. Yet to presume that this aspect of Darwin somehow epitomises the whole city (or large town, depending on your definition of city) is just plain wrong. Darwin is also wonderfully ordinary in a lot of its architecture and other non-natural sights (I wrote about the architecture here). So the daggy and very ordinary bathroom sinks and mirror bring that element of Darwin into the picture - and I like the juxtaposition.

That faded, endless summer beachy palm goodness is on full display in this one. It also includes the man-made beach at the Darwin waterfront, which is a pretty interesting concept. Growing up by the Victorian beach I was never faced with the idea of not being able to swim due to the threat of crocodiles and jellyfish killing you. But that is precisely the case in Darwin. As a kind of compromise, I guess, they built this small pool, or 'beach', that is connected to the ocean but 'fenced off' so that the nasties won't get through and eat you.

I like both of these, but ideally I would combine them so that you get all of this in one frame. In the first frame here, what looks like a Greek Orthodox church overlaps the girl with a sign advertising a bikini car wash. Seeing this girl - who was in a bikini and trying to attract passing traffic with the homemade sign - was so marvellous for me, mainly because I find smut so hilariously appealing (putting aside any ideological or ethical issues that it usually raises). Novel and bizarre, but not to be unexpected in a place that consistently hires hot girls to 'work' (i.e. stand on the side of the road) as traffic controllers on construction sites. The second frame shows the church overlapping a typical NT News headline about crocodiles and killing.

It was a pretty quick visit this year, so the things I did and saw were all in rapid succession, making it hard to remember all the details with any coherency. In this sense, the rather incoherent visual impressions above are quite apt. In typical fashion, however, this is only a tiny fragment of what I shot over the few days I was there. Needless to say, then, there are a lot more palm trees and Territory anomalies to come.

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