15 July 2008

Wicked Pope-tastic!

Oh, right, and Sydney has officially been taken over by "pilgrims." It's weird and kind of funny and very annoying. My IKEA delivery was two hours late because of all the traffic and bus route changes and general crusading. Yesterday at Circular Quay, there were tons of pilgrims dressed up and waving flags and singing. Here's what Sydney tourists look like these days.

1 comment:

  1. Not sure everyone understands what's going on in SYD right now, so I'll elaborate. (Nija also made a reference to this in her earlier post about Aussie morning shows.)

    Every other year, the Vatican holds the so-called "World Youth Day" (WYD) in some lucky city, inviting the Youth of the World to gather, faith it up, and hear, see, and smell the Pope himself. Despite what you might have heard, the Pope is still very popular, boasting something like the popularity of the Foo Fighters or Metallica even though his last couple of albums were pretty much re-hashings of his old stuff, padded with pointless covers and the odd spoken-word/rap-rock track.

    WYD2008 is being held here in Sydney, specifically at Randwick Racecourse, which is a big early-20th-century horse-racing track near UNSW. This means my uni is effectively shutting down for the duration of the event, which has reportedly attracted some hundreds of thousands of the faithful to the city. Apparently 40,000 Catholics came from the US, "the world's largest Catholic country" (!)

    So as Nija noted, this place is starting to look quite bizarre, with priests and nuns running around in little orange backpacks, and groups of young people marching down the streets with the flags of their nations singing hymns. It's like some Luis Bunuel nightmare scenario! Yesterday our flatmate's friend Mike told us he was down at Circular Quay taking some pictures and a group of young American Catholics came up to him and shouted "CALIFORNIA!" I think this is a good illustration of what kind of surreal fog has overtaken our fair antipodean encampment.

    For more information on WYD08, please visit the official social networking site of WYD08, xt3.com.