Day 54: “Doctors say I’m the illest, because I’m suffering from realness”

I’ve been sloppy the past few days, courtesy of having the flu. I’ve been largely lying in the fetal position and overdosing on chocolate milk since Saturday. Doesn’t leave one with much energy to write, or much to write about. My apologies.

It’s always the way that you get struck down by illness just at the exact moment you want to do something that you can’t really do while you’re ill. I mean, it’s not every day that I sit here and say “I really want to go for a run.” In fact, it’s not any day ever that I say that. But now here I am itching to go out and test my fitness, and I can’t because I have the flu. Always the way.

To catch myself up, on Saturday we spent the afternoon at The Greens in North Sydney. It was exactly what I figured it would be going in, which is: a bowling club for people from the Lower North Shore. Recognisable as a bowling club, but a lot fancier. Fancier digs, fancier people, fancier drinks and food; check out the “lamb neck in pastry” I ordered for lunch that turned out to look and taste basically like fancy as fuck sausage rolls. I will say though, that it’s a gorgeous place with a great view of the harbour, live music, and cheap drinks served in fish bowls, so I recommend it to anyone looking for a nice place to spend an afternoon.

Yesterday from my deathbed I learned some facts. Suriname and Guyana are culturally more Caribbean than South American, which is probably why they’re in CONCACAF and not CONMEBOL and thus why I don’t associate them with the other countries of South America.

The demographic makeup of these countries is fascinating. The biggest ethnic group in Suriname is Indians and South Asians, originally brought over by the Dutch in colonial times as replacement cheap labour after slavery was abolished. The second biggest is Maroons, originally African slaves who escaped the plantations and created their own settlements, eventually becoming so established and powerful that the Europeans couldn’t resist them and ended up making peace treaties with them to get along. When Suriname gained independence in the 70s a lot of the population emigrated to the Netherlands, and today there are almost as many Surinamese living in the Netherlands as there are in Suriname. There are also a lot of Chinese in Suriname and the other Guianas, again from immigrating as labourers in the colonial era.

Venezuela and Guyana apparently still have a border dispute. One can’t really read about Guyana without coming across Jonestown and the massacre. So I got into that. It’s kind of incredible how insane people can be. Jonestown was the biggest loss of American civilian life in a single event until 9/11. That’s kind of mind blowing. I think the most amazing part about it was Jim Jones’ “White Nights”, all of the practice runs he did before it actually happened. I just kind of marvel at the level of insane (or more kindly, the level of devotion) required to voluntarily agree to commit suicide…again and again. On the other hand, it was kind of genius in a horribly evil way, because I can only imagine the amount of members who took the poison assuming it was just another drill, until people started dropping around them and they began to die from the inside. Fuck man. Humans just suck sometimes.

In much less depressing news, Soundwave! Five days! Five days! The final timetable came out just before the weekend, naturally curtailing all of my carefully laid plans, but I’m OK with that. I have reached my limit of meticulous micromanaging. My main bands are locked in, and in between I am going to take each afternoon as it comes. I am a free spirit! In the meantime I’m looking forward to blasting my favourite bands in anticipation. Not exactly “new”, but it’s necessary. And will be awesome.

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