Sydney is in "lockdown" (as the media keep telling us in excited tones), in honour of APEC meetings being held over this weekend. This means that Sydney's citizens, those of us who actually live here in this beautiful city, are being encouraged to go away, lest our activities impinge upon these few world leaders and their entourages of literally hundreds of people. The Art Gallery is closed over the weekend, but that's understandable as most of the roads allowing access to it are closed too. The Opera House and Darling Harbour are closed to all but our special visitors, and nobody better think about going to Bondi for a swim, because apparently someone is having lunch there and it's closed too. Bad luck if you are a tourist visiting Sydney - many ferries and all the Jetcats are cancelled and you have little chance of seeing any sights, as they are closed off and obscured by a lovely concrete and metal fence, designed to safeguard these important visitors. Ain't democracy great?
Just how effective this fence is has been amply demonstrated. Yesterday evening, two blokes wandered off the street into the Intercontinental Hotel, where George Bush is staying. They had a drink in the bar and then ate dinner in the restaurant. As they were leaving, they were approached by security, demanding to see their security clearances (which they obviously didn't have). They were hastily hustled out across the road and told to go away. Well, they were going anyway, weren't they? They'd had their dinner. I bet someone got a tongue lashing for that one! Meanwhile, this afternoon, the comedy team from The Chaser's War on Everything apparently drove up to the hotel in a motorcade, and got within metres of the building before someone twigged that they were not, in fact, a Canadian delegation. They were last seen "being interviewed by police", who were not amused. But gee, a lot of the rest of us were!
The only good part of this is that we get a public holiday tomorrow, which we're using to help Karen move house, in Wollongong, which, being all of an hour away from the action, doesn't get the public holiday.