Crimes against love

22 Nov

I’d like to open with a confession. I’m guilty of defamation.

For years I’ve been calling Saturday night in the CBD ‘tourist night’. I say it with a tone of distaste, spitting it out the way Draco Malfoy says ‘Mudblood’ in Harry Potter. But I’m not actually referring to visitors from interstate or overseas. I’m saying it in reference to Sydney-siders who come into the CBD for a big night out.

This Saturday, I realised I wasn’t defaming the city as much as I was defaming myself. I don’t have a problem with people trekking into the city from far and wide. The people who set my teeth on edge are the swarms of kids who clog up George Street and make it unbearable. But by clumping everyone else with these kids under the umbrella of ‘tourist night’, I’ve implied that I think there should be a fence around the CBD, with only the worthy admitted.

The fabulousness of the city is a huge draw-card for single women. If you head to the CBD on ‘tourist night’, you’ll meet guys of all interests, backgrounds and postcodes, particularly now that it’s warmer. Since the CBD doesn’t have a huge local population, most people in it on weekends have ventured over to enjoy the atmosphere. And who wouldn’t want to spend their night in one of the best locations in the country? No one questioned why Oprah wants to fly over with a plane-load of fans, so why wouldn’t Sydney-siders be keen to enjoy their hometown? I realised it was time for me to reassess my terminology.manMap embraces 'tourist night'

The weather this Saturday was a blessing. It’s much easier to survey when it’s not raining. Clear skyed, full mooned and balmy: all I could think of was Opera Bar.

I arrived a little uncertain. On the bus-ride in I’d sat near three attractive guys, all speaking a language I was too ignorant to identify. Was it a sign (I’m big on signs … mainly just for fun …)? Had I jinxed myself by christening Saturdays ‘tourist night’?

I tripped along the walkway* keeping an ear out for Aussie accents, worried there’d be none among a jangle of foreign words. I shouldn’t have worried. My first group of surveyees was a bunch of guys in their 30s who’d gone to school together in Turramurra. Although now scattered across Sydney, they were still good mates who were celebrating a friend’s birthday that night. They weren’t the only ones there for a birthday (happy birthday to all the guys whose parties I interrupted!). Everyone was happy and friendly and I met my survey quota within 40 minutes (a new record). And although I’m sure there were tourists enjoying the view, all the guys I approached were Sydney men. Best of all, more than 50% of them were single.

So this is my vow. I will no longer throw around the term ‘tourist night’. I’ll stop giving people the wrong idea about what it’s like in the CBD on a Saturday night. I’ve been unfair to the city, a city I heart more than I can say. And while I know I’ll always harbour a dislike for teenagers who cruise along George Street or get drunk in Hyde Park and throw up on grass, instead of referring to them as tourists I’ll do my best to remember who they really are: kids eager to enjoy what the rest of us take for granted.  

*A little footwear tip ladies. Kitten heels and Opera Bar don’t mix. The cobblestones can’t wait to trip you up …

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One Response to “Crimes against love”

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  1. Love by numbers « My manMap - November 25, 2010

    […] Nov When I was surveying at Opera Bar on Sunday afternoon (I went back after Saturday night to check out the arvo crowd), I started […]

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