I have moved house!

I was heartily tired of BLOGGER's slow loading, time to update and its general temperamental outbursts.

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Still very basic, but am settling in.


King Street in February
It was February. A typical February day in Sydney with the temperature in the early 30s and the humidity about 85 or 90%. The afternoon sea breeze had not yet arrived and possibly never would that day. The air was heavy and hung oppressively on everything. Those who could not escape to air conditioned bliss, or at least the comfort of a fan, were listless, overpowered by the heat and looking forward to March and the hope of some clear autumn days.

Jesus and his friends had spent the morning in the heat down near Tempe. Here the heat was aggravated by the noise of the planes landing and taking off at the nearby airport. The noise was deafening as the planes were often so low that some of them imagined they could see actual faces at the windows. Tired and cranky with the heat, they begged Jesus to let them go some place pleasant where they could relax indoors with a cool drink and some fresh seafood dish. Jesus had finally said yes, and they set off for North Sydney where there would be a variety of places to choose from. After walking along the noisy highway for a while breathing the diesel exhaust fumes from the many trucks, they decided to catch the next bus which came to take them right into the city. The bus was crowded but they piled on, heading to the Quay.

“Move down the back of the bus, pleeez!” yelled the driver. The group looked at Jesus and he nodded. They tried to obey the instructions but found themselves squashed between two students who would not move past the back door steps and the passengers who had just got on the bus. Judas turned, hoping for some more space, but the backpack swinging from his shoulder hit a seated passenger who scowled and then started muttering angrily under his breath. Jesus sighed and tried to look out the window over Peter’s shoulder. He could see some shops, so he pressed the button for the next stop. As the bus stopped, they almost fell out of it onto the footpath. At first, relieved to be out of its stifling atmosphere, they stretched. Then the complaints started. “I’m hungry,” “I’m tired.” “It’s been a long time since breakfast.” James and John started muttering angrily to each other and Jesus thought to himself that whoever had nicknamed them sons of thunder knew what he was talking about. A real thunderstorm would be welcome right now. It might cool things down in more ways than one.

They crossed the road, moving between the stationary bus and several cars. The highway had suddenly turned into King St., Newtown, where quicker progress could be made on foot than in a vehicle. Several eating places could be seen and again the bickering started. “There’s Gloria Jeans,” said one. “I really want Thai,” said another. “North Indian Diner’s up the road a bit,” was another suggestion. “How about African? Look over there!” Judas meanwhile was inspecting the menu pasted in the window of the closest shop. It was obvious they couldn’t afford to eat there. Iced coffee was $3.75 and the cheapest cake was $5.50, let alone a real meal. Multiply that by twelve and it was a tidy sum, more than was in the backpack. He’d forgotten Jesus again, make that thirteen. He muttered in Jesus’ ear.

Jesus called the group together and sent them, disgruntled, to find McDonalds. No one seemed to know that McDonalds had actually left Newtown several years before, unable to make a go of things in this area of greenies and health food freaks. He was tired and he sighed again. It was no easy job shepherding this bunch of guys who had such different backgrounds. Let alone trying to show them who he was.

He moved into the shade of the awning, not seeming to notice that he was outside a pub. Feeling the hint of cooled air coming through the door, he pushed it open, stepped inside, sat down at a table and looked around. It was then he discovered that this was probably not the usual run of the mill pub. At least, not for most of Sydney’s suburbs. Here in Newtown, pretty much anything goes as normal. Two women were kissing at one table and several of the guys at the bar were holding hands. He looked totally out of place in his top, once good quality but in need of a wash, and his dusty shorts which he had worn all week. On his feet were rubber thongs, not designer sandals. They were wearing thin, but Judas, as usual, was being careful with the money and wouldn’t let him buy another pair. Jesus sighed again. Perhaps he could find another pair in the Vinnies he had seen just up the street. It might be worthwhile looking in the bargain shop too. As he was, he was in need of a makeover from something like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

The young guy who had been wiping tables paused as he came past the table where Jesus was sitting. “Pretty hot out there, isn’t it? You look as if you could do with a beer. Want me to get you a nice cold one?”

Jesus contemplated his answer. “You know,” he said, “If you really knew who I am, you’d ask me for a drink for yourself, instead of offering to get me one.”

The young man stared at him. “Can’t see your esky or a bottle in a BYO bag. Having me on, are you, or do you think you’re better than me? I know your type. They cross the road to avoid people like me. Won’t have anything to do with us in case we contaminate them or give them AIDS or something else nasty..”

Jesus said, “Your beers won’t stop either of us from getting thirsty again. What I can give you to drink will be different. It will spring up from inside you, bringing life of eternal dimensions.” The young man was eager to receive this drink. “I’d rather be out of this place,” he said to Jesus, although he did not realise what Jesus actually meant.

“Go and get your partner,” he was told. “I don’t really have a partner,” said the young man. “You’re right,” said Jesus. “You’ve had five before this one, and this one is also only using you.”

“Who are you? A clairvoyant? A prophet? People like me have been around a long time, but you people always say that we have to do things your way, that you are the ones with true spiritual enlightenment.”

“We certainly have the way of enlightenment and fulfilment and I’m telling you that those who are enlightened will know both spirit and truth”

“I do know that all things will be revealed to us,” said the man.

Jesus said, “I am the one who will reveal all to you.”

Just then the rest of the group burst through the doors after their vain search for Maccas. They were surprised to find him in such a place, speaking to such a person, but no one said anything to him.