Last month I went to Adelaide, as some sort of vague birthday-related travel. And also because I wanted to make a “‘Laide night special” pun, which I did, even (accidentally) managing to take two photos with vanishing points that kind of mirror each other.
Adelaide is a nice city. It’s like a more populous Christchurch if the city hadn’t started to abandon the CBD about 20 years ago (and if there hadn’t been a massive earthquake, obvs). It was quite hot when I was there, but it was a pleasant dry desert heat, not the filthy sticky humidity of a New Zealand summer. For the first time in my life I understood why people are normally so in love with warm weather.
I just wanted to have a nice chilled out holiday and not have to worry about wine tours of the Barossa Valley, or whatever it is that tourists normally do in South Australia. These were my highlights.
My main priority in Adelaide was to enjoy the South Australian cultural heritage icon that is the pie floater. This is a meat pie in a bowl of thick pea soup. I found a bakery that specialised in them and ordered one.
There’s no magic – it is literally just a meat pie in a bowl of thick pea soup. The whole is not greater than the sum of its parts. But I ate it and it was fine.
It would probably have been a million times better if I had it at the end of a long day/night of drinking. Or the morning after. In fact, thinking about this I kind of want to go back to Adelaide, get pissed, then have a pie floater the next morning. Oh yeah.
10c bottle refund
For years I’d seen the little notice on the back of Australian fizzy drink bottles that promised a 10c refund in South Australia. It seemed like the promise of a distant utopia, a land where rubbish had a cash value. So while in Adelaide I carefully collected my five used water and iced tea bottles, determined to get back 50 cents.
But it turned out that the nearest recycle depot was out in the suburbs and the bus fare to get there would have cost far more than 50 cents. So instead the bottles went into my hotel room’s rubbish bin.
But with such a lucrative booty at stake, I’m sure someone, somehow made sure that bottle got refunded. By the way, the scheme is a huge success – apparently 79.5% of bottles sold in South Australia are refunded, and bottles make up only 2.2% of litter.
South Australia Music Hall of Fame
The possible highlight of my time in Adelaide was when I accidentally discovered the South Australia Music Hall of Fame. It seemed to have been constructed by volunteers in a few spare rooms in a municipal building. It was mostly posters and clipped articles about giant-haired stars of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. There was a hint of the ’80s (Barnesy was raised in Elizabeth, SA), but nothing newer than that.
The web tells me that contemporary artists have been inducted into the hall – people like Guy Sebastian and Sia Furler – but I couldn’t find the ’00s or ’10s corner in the hall.
The Hall of Fame was more likely to have a photocopy of the hit parade from the 1960s with “THIS BRINGS BACK MEMORIES!!!!” scribbled on it. But I appreciate that the Hall of Fame is probably a volunteer effort, created by people who probably mainly care about the rock ‘n’ roll of their youth and wouldn’t know what to make of “Chandelier” or “Tonight Again“.