In Beaudelaire « Stumbling on melons Marcel reports from the Opera House:
There were some signs of World Youth Day pilgrims about the place: one almost knocked my coffee from my hands with his little red backpack (a group had wandered into the foyer at interval wanting to look around – where’s security when you need it?). The forecourt was full of catering and other furniture being readied for the pope’s arrival, and we were for no very good reason rather officiously and without any apology or or explanation prevented from leaving by the exits on the level of the front foyer (I say for no good reason because the exit opposite the box office remained open).
Meanwhile conspiracy buffs, fans of The Da Vinci Code, and indeed anyone quite rightly critical of the trend of the present Pontiff in certain areas, not to mention some of the circus-like aspects of WYD, those “annoyance” laws, or the cost to the state, will be struck by the fact that he has holed up for the moment at an Opus Dei mansion on the outskirts of Sydney where, apparently, he can play Mozart to his heart’s content.
I spotted a few pilgrims myself yesterday, none of them actually inside Pitt Street Uniting Church between 2.30 and 4.30pm… But there were nuns catching buses as I came home, and others with those little red back packs here and there. I guess we shall see more of them.
Sirdan and I continued the Lebanese theme by dining at the more downmarket Abdul’s yesterday for our Sunday lunch. We had been upmarket last Sunday, as you may recall — but Sirdan can afford most things these days. The banquet was just as generous, but half the price — actually closer to one third the price. Yes, the upmarket has the edge in some dishes, but Sirdan declared himself satisfied with Abdul’s.
Next Sunday in the midst of WYD mania we propose to eat at Chinese Whisper, which will involve braving the pilgrimage route.