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Rather Interesting

I went to Hornsby today to wander around and I got a message from Howie telling me Hornsby Mall was blocked off because of a bomb scare so I immediately headed across. There was lots of Police tape about and the cops had blocked off the Western end of the mall up to the St George Bank. It was pretty cool. I maneuvered my way to a good stop and stood and watched hoping to see something interesting.

The mall was had three cop cars, an ambulance, and a fire engine, plus plenty of people in yellow vest looking rather bored. It looked like the bomb threat had been to Hungry Jacks. I wanted to see a bomb squad (which I doubted I'd see seeing as I doubted there was any bomb) or at least some sniffer dogs. But I saw just a guy wearing white Police cover-alls and carrying a black box. Shame.

I heard some kids talking in the mall. One of them was saying in his most authoritative voice "I wouldn't be surprised if there is a bomb, considering the way John Howard has been acting lately." It took me back to the days when I would put on grave authoritative voices to pronouce my wishful desires for destruction in the guise of good analysis (Think:"The bush fires probably will come our way rapidly considering the contours of our valley and the wind speed"). These days, while always hoping for a bit of good old fashioned excitement, have seen only dullness result that I don't get my hopes up. Plus there's the other part of me that knows that watching a bombing probably is a rather horrific event.

A woman came up to me while I was standing in the mall to ask what was going on. When I told her, she said "Who would want to bomb Hungry Jacks? The should have gone for McDonald's".

In the end the mall was given the all clear and I got to be one of the first people into the re-opened mall. It was quite an honour.

After that I hopped on a train and went to a Make Poverty History Stand Gathering (or whatever one would call it). A bunch of young concerned citizens gathered at Darling Harbour to stand for 8 minutes of silence, one minute for every Millennium Development Goal. The event started at 5:30pm (or was advertised for then) and ended at 7:15, which was rather longer than the 8 minutes I was expecting (how long can 8 minutes take?). There were lots of speeches, and I got told many times that 30,000 kids die every day of preventable causes. Which is not a nice thing to hear, but I've heard that so many times this year I think I tune out a bit.

Actually what did occur to me is that about 10 years ago we did a thing at church where we were talking about 40,000 children who died every day of preventable causes. So if the number is now 30,000 that's a good thing. That's a 25% decrease in 10 years. I hope that's true, because it means the next 66% (I think that's what the MDG is) is achievable. Hooray!

Anyway once we'd got many speeches out of the way, we managed to stand still for 8 minutes in silence. I was worried about how I'd cope, but it turned out fine. I really enjoyed it. Silence does make a loud noise. More people took the time to look at us when there was nothing at all being said, than when we were talking.

After my continued efforts to end world poverty Jo and I went to dosas with David. It was a small gathering, but fun. I ate a lot and now my hands small of Indian.

On the way home David and I had a long wait for our train at Strathfield so we went to the pub. A quick beer in a seedy tavern. The pub reminded me of church camps with crappy, vomit coloured carpet, a dodgy pool table, mismatching furniture, and a book case in the corner with old Jack Higgins books and at least one copy of The Cross and the Switchblade, this is the camp not the pub. But the pub had that feel. How fun. I love seedy.

In Wollongong last week I found some toilets that looked seedy on the outside but was disappointed to find that they were pretty clean. My spirits perked up a bit when I discovered that all the cubicle doors had been removed, I guess to prevent shooting up.

On the train on the way home David and I talked about Microsoft PowerPoint, IQ scores and politics. How fascinating for anyone listening.

Now I am home.

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