Feb 23, 2011

Swimming Carnival and Capitol Square :-)

Fox Spirit's Mask Painter
I got to the swimming carnival ok, and it is a free, huge, whole school picnic with swimmers as the side entertainment. Or that's what it felt like. Only about half of the students were on the stands, and all the others are spread around the grass area around the pool, squishing onto little shelters with a table and benches under it, under beach umbrellas and onto sunbathing chairs.

It rained a bit in the morning, but luckily it cleared up in the afternoon. The people sitting on the ends of the benches got their arm cooked by the sun though. Our group played cards for practically the whole time, Old Maid, Spoons, Thirteen, Big Two. Spoons was especially fun. A group of 10 people played using bottles as the thing you had to grab, and at times it was really chaotic with people throwing themselves onto the table and limbs going everywhere to try and get themselves a bottle.

The atmosphere is not as lively or as festive as Hurlstone's swimming carnivals. There's no cheering competition, no themed costume, and generally there's less of a feeling of 'something is happening' or 'this is something we're looking forward to' or 'it's a fun day'.

Cheering and costumes are limited to a group of senior girls that are captains or vice captains, there's two mascot running around, one's the whale and one's in a feathery costume, but that's really about it. It's not as wacky or as funny as I'm used to.

There's just not much happening there except swimming and people lying around bored. I wasn't terribly terribly bored to death, but it deffinitely wasn't as fun. I would like to do chant again with the whole house, listen to them bang on the roof, be excited to be a part of the house and participating the the tradition that is the chant of 'we are ___ kids'. I love how the teachers stand around looking resigned to it. I miss laughing at the hilarious promotional videos and laughing at the sometimes ridiculous costumes at the carnival. In Hurlstone's swimming carnival, there's the feeling that everyone is stirred up, everyone's acting a little wackier, bolder, doing things they might not do normally, even the teachers. It feels like everyone is partying and everyone feels like they're having a great time.

Now that I'm sitting down and thinking about it, part of the difference would be that Sydney Girls is an all girl's school. I guess it's natural that they won't go as wild as a co-ed school. The other might be the venue. Hurlstone has a pool of it's own and we're more or less free to do what we like in and around it, Des Rebford Aquatic Centre is a public venue where the public and another school are present. Even if we used an out-of-school venue for the Atheletics Carnival at Hurlstone, no one not in the school was there. Still, I wish Sydney Girls' carnivals were as fun as Hurlstone's.

I said I'd bring my camera to the swimming carnival, and I did. I just didn't take many pictures with it. I can't seem to be able to get it to do the type of picture where the foreground is in focus but the background is not. I should be able to get it to do that on a digital camera. Any advice?

Two of my friends took me to 'caps' afterwards, and they just had to introduce/welcome me, the newcomer, to caps, otherwise known as Capitol Square. It's not far from Central Station, and upstairs are lots of arcade games and Japanese photo booths and those claw games where you can get soft toys. There are a lot of the first two. There are something like 10 claw machines back to back in a row with small soft toys, then medium soft toys, then big soft toys and then huge soft toys. There's all Japan related so there's cartoon tofus and that rectangular brown Japanese cartoon thing with a really nig square mouth and others. The tofu was so cute I was tempted to give the machine a try.

It the photo booths they wanted to take me to, you know the kind, it was like the one they have in the Bankstown Morning Glory and it's all in Japanese. We took 10 photos and edited them with candies and hearts and stars and cat ears and bunny ears, and now I have them in my wallet. :-) It was fun.

One of them then took me to the Hungry Jacks at Central Station which I didn't know existed because it was upstairs. We had soft serve, and it was bigger than McDonalds and so much creamier. The taste of milk is really strong, it's so nice.

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