Thursday, 10 July 2008

World Youth Day Update #1

It's taken a surprisingly long time to gather momentum, but Pope Fever is finally hitting Sydney. As a blogger living pretty much in the middle of Ground Zero (the poor young fellow who died of polio in 1925 has been staying about 10 minutes walk from La Casa del Caliban until his room at St. Mary's Cathedral is ready) I consider it my sacred duty to bring everyone the stories that L'Osservatore Romano miss.

Starting out is a sign that perhaps there haven't been as many pilgrims as someone has expected: my office is in a very down-market part of town, and while nicking out to the bank I noticed the shop below - a fly-by-night affair selling crappy fake-label clothing (yeah right, I'm sure those $20 bags are genuine Prada) - has a special on "Official" World Youth Day clothing.

I've zoomed in on two of the signs to make it clearer:

In the interests of investigative journalism I went inside and examined the clothing. It had surprisingly official-looking labels, which just goes to show these are quality counterfeits; right after I'd looked at the them the storekeeper ran over and began checking them to see I hadn't stolen or defaced one - it's that sort of neighbourhood. And since he was so obviously rude about it I took his picture, which had the alarming effect of making him instantly run out the back of his store and hide: why do I suspect the gentleman wasn't too keen to be identified with his wares?

One thing that's certain though: if World Youth Day souvenirs have already slid this far down the totem-pole you can be sure demand in the more pious ends of town is not as high as was anticipated. Or else the Opus Dei heavies are breaking the legs of anyone caught cashing in on their turf.

If anyone wants one of these to impress their friends/local priest/that really cute Catholic guy/girl you've had your eyes on for months let me know I'll happily get you one. At OZ$10 a jumper it'll set you back about US$9.60 + postage.

Although I'm not too sure the guy'll let me back into his shop ;-)


PseudoPiskie said...

What is a "jumper"? Here it is a dress.

Alcibiades said...

I think 'jumper' might be an English term, as my father (a Yorkshireman) used the expression, and I don’t believe he ever adopted any Australianisms. It’s a pullover or sweater, although in this case the garments were zippered track-suit tops, and would probably be more often called “sloppy-joes”.

Alcibiades said...

PS. what sort of dress would you use the term to describe?

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Off-topic---I've nominated you for an award on my blog. Come visit when you have the time.


FranIAm said...

A jumper is a shift style dress that one wears over a shirt. Like this.

I learned the other jumper when I spent lots of time in the UK in the late 80's/early 90's.

As for me, I think I am going to pass on you buying me any clothing.

First of all, I don't want you risking life and limb over this! And second of all, I think I am all poped out.

Mad Priest has even made a member of the TEC. Which is really not possible in the diocese that I live in!!!

Keep us posted - I will be waiting with bated breath!

susan s. said...

Well, I love the "OUT LET" sign.

Lapinbizarre said...

Where in Yorkshire (inquiring as a Lancashireman)?

Alcibiades said...

Yes, I also thought the "OUT LET" sign was a nice touch.

My father was from Hull, although as was then normal for boys of his caste he was sent off to boarding school in York at some absurdly young age, and as a result always spoke of York as a second home.

Lapinbizarre said...

"From Hell, Hull and Halifax ....."