In the 1800’s Sydney’s Wentworth area West of the city was developed from an estuary of small streams and mangroves into abattoirs, tanneries and boiling down works. Roughly 200 years later the swamp has been transformed. Wentworth Park is comprised of green grassy ovals full of Europeans playing soccer on the weekends, play-parks with children screaming in delight as they run from nanny’s, a monstrosity of a dog racing stadium in the middle and an elevated train track that runs from the inner west into darling harbor and the city…
In the hills above the park lays Glebe, gradually gentrifying, it is mostly comprised of an extended housing commission development for pensioners and those struggling within our contemporary market based society.
The year was 2008 and every Sunday at precisely 4:45pm, Daryl an 86 year old pensioner, who had been living in the same small two-bedroom house on the hill just above Wentworth park for 58 years would sit in his cracked and faded leather arm chair, listening intently for the sound of a rusty red bike flying down the hill. Daryl’s left leg was no good but he was determined to stand up and raise a wave just in time to salute the rider who would be flying down the hill. They had never met but Daryl was determined to prove to himself every week that he was still quick enough to get up and wave to anyone he wanted to. A classic aussie battler.
The captain of the rusty-red speed machine was a tall, thin yet athletic, young university student from regional NSW, named Jordan. Jordan became thoroughly pleased with himself every Sunday as he maximised the life in that old rusty red bike, pushing it far beyond its limits down the hill in Glebe towards the Asian fresh food markets in Haymarket. At 5pm the markets closed and everyone was in a desperate panic to sell their produce as they were closed Mondays and Tuesdays and the food would go off in the humidity inherent in areas surrounding mangroves. It was a weekly migration of the cunning, eager for a bargain, hungover, they would wait drowsy and tired, often starving having not eaten in days ready to maliciously negotiate prices and stock their fridges for the week ahead.
Jordans meager earnings from a casual Turkish restaurant waiters income allowed for $30 a week for food, the majority of his income would go on rent, the remainder on socializing and beer. New to Sydney, he was trying to meet as many people as he could. Jordan only knew a couple guys from school who were deeply entrenched in second year college activities and only available from midnight until 4am on a Thursday morning at The Gross Hotel in Newtown.