another history of bondi
Bondi was once a divided beach with the superfluous money sunbaking up at the northern end and the dire need of it at the other.
– and the unspeakably foul drainage outlet that emptied the local stormwater onto the beach about a third of the way between the two divisions exacerbated the separation between north and south.
The Pond. The Blackpool.
– and to the wonder and delight of all of us who wandered the length of the promenade, forever watching over the railings, was the sight of so many gregarious Mediterranean families at picnic and watching their children frolic in this toxic wastewater.
Not to be outdone youths from the local suburbs challenged eachother regularly to see who could trek the deepest into and beyond the drain entrance, miles of pipe rumored to end at the harbour.
How they lied on their return about the depths of the slimed tunnels they slid into, the walls all festooned with rags and the floors alive with voracious rats. Miles of subterrain littered and crushed underfoot with the small grey bones of children who had never drawn breath. The poisoned floodwater alcoves along the way alchemised by their long dead lodgers into a peaceful retreat from the city that both defied and drowned them.
Years would pass before this stagnant pool of road waste and overflowing sewerage systems was diverted into the system that fed the Trevally breeding off the north Bondi outlet.
The particular stink pipe that serviced that disgraceful outlet still stands on the Royal Bondi Golf Course today, and just beneath its reinforced bricks a weary track leads down to the infested water and ammoniac air of the old fishing platforms.
Twenty men of all languages would gather down there on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and in the midst of the piss-stinking mist that shrouded them they would cast their long lines into the strangely grey whitewater that bounded in and out off the cliff base down in that cold and shadowed gully, and a base kind of seawater broke against the cliffs there, one that had hidden beneath its surface so much discarded and fouled toilet paper that we all used razors to cut it away from our lines.
One mile away to the south Bondi would greet the dawn like an overworked whore on a Sunday morning with dozens of French Letters littering her high water mark.
A litter of love, sluiced down the innumerable waste pipes from the Cross to Dover Heights and all laid out like greasy nipple headed balloons on the sand.
A half mile to seaward, and despite all the winds of all the compass, a stinking brown stain of waste blended with the tide visited upon the shore plague after plague of wormlike stools. Soft to the unwary tread, they would drift ashore and be buried under the blown drift of powdery sand.
Nobody ran the soft sand then, and nobody wrote this history.