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27 March 2014 @ 12:01 am
Stay weird, Newtown …  
So, my home is a short walk down a medium-sized hill from Newtown, a slightly bohemian, really rather queer university town/suburb with far too many frozen yoghurt bars these days. I lived there for most of my Sydney time before I moved down the hill. It's cheerfully odd: I ran out of clean clothes one day, so carried my washing to the laundromat wearing a 14th century cotehardie that I had made for a party. Not only did no-one think it odd, three people asked me where I got it. That dress had tippets!

Yesterday morning I was on the bus headed up King St, the main street of Newtown (it's pissing down rain this week, so I am not riding). As we slowly passed a major cross street, I saw a large number of police cars and fire engines, the road was clearly closed, and there was a woman standing beside her car with the door open, obviously asking the police what the hell was going on.

The body language was writ large, and it was unexpected. She was very clearly saying, 'I hear what you are saying, and I respect your role in protecting our community, but I strongly, strongly suspect you of dipping into the Acid stash in the evidence room.'

Their body language was also clear. It said, 'Madam, we honestly cannot blame you, because what we are saying sounds like utter insanity even to our ears, but we swear to you it is all true.'

This was the problem:

Yes. Those are water buffalo. Two of them. Who jogged more than 2km up the road before being trapped on the side street. And yet traffic was an order of magnitude better yesterday morning than this morning.

This morning, Newtown Fire Brigade had changed the sign out the front of their station: it now reads GIVE ME A HOME WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAM. Bless.

No injuries, property damage seems to be limited to the garden they ended up cornered in, where several plants became brunch, and the buffalo were relieved of filming duty (they had been shipped into the city to shoot a commercial) and returned to their country estates.

Full report here. Less sensible report here.
(Deleted comment)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 26th, 2014 01:38 pm (UTC)
It felt like being in India, or rural parts of the Northern Territory ;-)

And it is a French C14 dress! Though it is currently in NZ. I have a strange idea you used to be near St Severin and have now moved out of Paris, but this year has just been a muddle for me, so that could be horribly wrong. I do need a month in Europe! I will try to get one and stop by your local café where we can drink chocolate and laugh about the world!
welcome to villa cariño!capitu on March 26th, 2014 01:21 pm (UTC)
You know, that picture you posted, it happens all the time where I live. There's even a goat about I see often. ^^
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 26th, 2014 01:32 pm (UTC)
Newtown DOES have goats, and nearby Redfern has a giant pig on a leash, but yeah, you very rarely see water buffalo around these parts ;-) Ferrets on leads and rats in people's hair and there is a cocaktoo who rides on his owner's shoulder while his owner is riding a bicycle, and a bull terrier who balances on his owner's bike's crossbar and handlebars, all normal, but water buffaloes? New!
Loyaulte Me Lie: tell shocolateshocolate on March 26th, 2014 01:43 pm (UTC)
How awesome - I'd happily be late for water buffalo.
Catscatsintheattic on March 26th, 2014 02:00 pm (UTC)
Water buffalo!

That was a fun story, delightfully told (your style for daily anecdotes is the best), and I enjoyed it a lot. Thank you for making me smile. :-)
gurrier: g v-daygurrier on March 26th, 2014 02:26 pm (UTC)
Now I'll have something new to tell people who ask me about kangaroos in Australian cities!
Pureblood Princessraitala on March 26th, 2014 02:26 pm (UTC)
I bet there are hundreds of students late for class and people late for meetings whose careers will be blighted by a reputation as outrageous liars :D

I'm glad you aren't riding in the rain. Your track record being what it is. We must match up soon and set up a video chat for when Ping is here!
FEELS TERRORIST!: Alex Carpenter Wonderlandmomebie on March 26th, 2014 04:48 pm (UTC)
I apologize, because this is all I can think right now.

miriravanmiriravan on March 26th, 2014 04:48 pm (UTC)
That is awesome. Simply awesome. :)
l.m.incandescent on March 26th, 2014 04:58 pm (UTC)
Hahaha, that sounds just like two towns near me. Oh, how I wish we had water buffalo in the streets of Princeton U. (Of course, somehow it would make the parking situation even worse - I'm not sure how.)

Dicta Contriondicta_contrion on March 26th, 2014 06:31 pm (UTC)
This is amazing. If you've got to be late to something, what better reason that surprise roaming water buffalo?

Similar: was in upstate NY when a moose was spotted. In addition to weeks of front page headlines, the town, apparently eager to capitalize on moose-related tourism, put up a "Moose Crossing" sign on the main road. A moose-free month later it was vandalized (conjugated?) to read, simply: "A Moose Crossed." Hopefully your signage-related fun is just beginning.
la, zeitgeist!zeitgeistic on March 26th, 2014 08:35 pm (UTC)
I wish my town had water buffalo…
NathalieWeasleynathalieweasley on March 26th, 2014 11:30 pm (UTC)
“It was kind of bizarre but it was Newtown so I didn't think it was that unusual,” she said.
Jaeenchanted_jae on March 27th, 2014 01:01 am (UTC)
I have an occasional whitetail deer wander through my yard...

Azure Jane Lunaticazurelunatic on March 27th, 2014 06:14 am (UTC)
Those are certainly water buffalo, all right.
astardanced77astardanced77 on March 27th, 2014 01:18 pm (UTC)
Lol! I read about this and laughed. My favourite comment came from Annabel Crabb, who said "Craig Thomson jailed or Water buffalo loose in Newtown? What a dilemma for the Daily Telegraph front page".

What with the buffalo and the knighthoods it's a bit crazy cakes around here!
OzRatbag2: The Phantomozratbag2 on March 27th, 2014 02:28 pm (UTC)
I find the luckiest thing about this, is that they didn't end up going down Missenden Road. Then it could have been quite ugly. Mind you, Missenden Road is always revolting, so it may not have made too much difference.
quatrefoilquatrefoil on March 27th, 2014 10:38 pm (UTC)
I grew up where water buffalo walking across the street and eating the front garden were commonplace occurrences, but it wasn't inner Sydney. That beats the guy walking down King Street with two goats on a string, the chap in full fairy costume having a coffee in Glebe and the somewhat masculine looking woman doing her shopping at the Newtown IGA while holding a small very feminine woman, also in a fairy costume, on a lead via a dog collar round her neck. No-one paid any of them much attention either.
valkyrie17valkyrie17 on March 29th, 2014 02:48 am (UTC)
Wow. That beats the cougar in the underground parkade at The Empress Hotel here in Victoria….
(quite a few years ago)
Nennenenne on April 15th, 2014 08:03 pm (UTC)
That sounds like a fabulous place! That sign. *G*