In which our intrepid hero discovers that the weather is not only getting colder, but stranger, too.

Last Friday afternoon, I wandered down to the street for a cigarette. Nothing unusual, mind you, except there was a young Asian girl standing in front of the local Presbyterian Church (which I mentioned in this post), handing out flyers for the Church of Scientology, next door.

A reasonably cute young Asian girl. Who wasn’t really dressed for the weather. With me standing about five metres away, looking mean, clad in black and smoking. Passersby didn’t see what she was handing out, but looked at her, then looked at me, then looked at her, then looked at me—very disapprovingly.

I could tell, by their expressions, that they thought I was her pimp.

I was a little unnerved by this, so decided I’d finish my cigarette and head back into the office. Minor problem: Sydney City Council have removed the ashtray near the post boxes outside the office, so the nearest one is on a bin around the corner. As I rounded the corner, passing in front of the entrance to the ANZ, I was nearly knocked flat — by a guy on a bike. He was riding his bike out of the bank.

I guess I’m as libertine as the next guy, but when exactly was riding a bike in a bank acceptable behaviour?

The next morning (Saturday), I went out with my friends Leo and Connie to check out Parklea Markets, which I’d never been to before, despite having lived in Sydney for over 12 years. We also had to pick up some new furniture for Leo. As we drove to retrieve the latter, we got stuck in a bit of traffic. As we waited for the lights to change, a woman walked past on the other side of Parramatta Road.

She was staring at me, sitting in the back seat of the car. And repeatedly making the sign of the cross. Leo and Connie both confirmed this, so I know it’s not some hallucination brought on by excessive consumption of Turkish Delight.

Later that evening, and back in the mundane world, I caught up with another couple of friends, and went to see The Da Vinci Code. I haven’t read the book, but if the movie was anything to go by, I’ll give it a miss. It was just a simple rehash of Pierre Plantard‘s Priory of Sion conspiracy, and didn’t add anything new to it. Even the "homage" character names gave it a hackneyed feel.

If it’s all the same, I’ll stick to my worn copy of Foucault’s Pendulum—at least it treats the reader as if they have a brain.

Besides, if the kind of crap that happens to me every day can outweird even Dan Brown’s supposed masterpiece of conspiriology, what need have I for lame bestsellers?