Sydney Tattoo Convention Part 1

First day in Sydney:

The flights were what I expected long and painful.  Unlike the fun of Vancouver airport, which involved me be asked what gang I belong to in a public questioning at the boarding gate followed by a secondary questioning surrounded by eight security officers and being told my story didn’t make sense and that people smuggle drugs through this airport soooo…. Australia customs treated me me really well. Stamped visa, smiles and ‘Welcome to the country’.  The airport is about 20-30 min. from Olympic Park and most of the drive was through a tunnel underground, not the most scenic route but I’m sure it beats heavy traffic. The Novotel chain bumped me up to their five star hotel the Pullman, which seems really nice and very well situated.

After a 5 hr nap and amazing enough some really crappy American tv, I deiced to take a walk around to get situated.  Back home it’s 8:30 am here it’s 11:00 at night… let me tell you what’s up at 11 at night at Olympic Park.  NOTHING!  So I wandered for a few hours , the expo is about 2 blocks form the hotel right beside the train station which I’ll use tomorrow to get into the city…the park seems to be out in the suburbs somewhere.  The weather at 1am is about 25 and the park grounds are really quite bizarre with absences of people though not bats.  This my friend is Bat country and they are every where!  I kept trying to snap photo’s with my phone without much success but I will have snapped a decent picture before I head out on the 15.  The other lesson of the day is keep an eye on pop machines out here.  Seems they take $10 bills but have no change slots, this means you just spent $10 on a drink… yep, I am a tourist.

Second Day in Sydney:

Jet lag will slap you around like a grade school bully.  My concept for dealing with has always been push through and for what ever reason going West is always easier for me then going East so save the first day, things have been pretty good.  The day started early with a quick hop on the Sydney Train system which, save a few slightly confusing signs is incredibly easy to use and will drop you any where you really need to get too. This important to know because cabs in Sydney will take your arm off at the wallet. The first stop was the typical tourist shots of the Opera House and quick wonder through China Town and Hay Market, Museum Park and ending at Museum of Contemporary Art.  The next stop was to meet up with an old friend and head off to New Town.  The area has that nice comfortable feel of what I grew up with back in TO, it’s kind of Sydney’s version of Kensington Market.  The point of this journey was to track down some vegan eats for the picky eater at a Buddhist restaurant called the Green Gourmet.  The food was outstanding, if your partial to vegan fair this is worth tracking down, they even have vegan fried ice cream.  The night ended with a trip down to the famous Bondi Beach.  Daunted by mild rain and the fact that that it was pitch black out the beach was still pretty incredible, though I do suggest seeing it during the day.

Third Day in Sydney- Tattoo Expo Begins:

The first day of any convention is chaos.  Set up time is short and there is always the journey of discovery of all the things you may have forgot.  The convention space is massive with over 400 tattooists.  At the base of the space is a custom car, motorcycle and bike and the area for the main stage;  outside there is motorcycle stunts, bouncy castle with Hooter’s girls and another hall for the co-event the VA-Voom Fest – a Rockabilly lifestyle thing (clothes, dance class’s and bands).  Due to some safety issues you have to wear a Florissant safety vest when your wandering around…. it really brought out my eyes, it was nice.  So after a bit of a scramble, things were set up, stuff forgotten was borrowed and Health Inspectors had given me the green light to start tattooing which began immediately…seems they opened the doors an hour early to people who had booked tickets on line and the river of humanity didn’t slow till around 9:30pm.  The day starts with a bang with two old school roses and rolled back to back tattoos from there.  Before I knew it the day day was over;  I hadn’t eaten,  had a chance to look around, peed or even drink any water and 14 hours had passed.  Shell shocked and crazy tired I packed up for the evening bid my ado’s to the peeps at Junction Tattoo who had lent me an never ending roll of plastic wrap and made the five minute walk back to the hotel to crash.

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