Saturday, September 20, 2008

Encounter with the Bra Boys

We went to Maroubra today, one of Sydney most pleasant seaside suburbs. Despite the beautiful atmosphere and the amazing foreshore, Maroubra has a poor image for its being the home of Sydney's most infamous surfer gang, the Bra Boys. This has never bothered us, however, and every time we've visited, we've only come away liking the place more. Today was no different, despite a brush with the "boys."

We had a picnic high up on the bluffs overlooking the sea before deciding to make our way down the coast to Maroubra beach. Kyoko took the car around to the carpark while me, Miyako, and Kent walked down alone. Arriving at the beach, we began slowly descending a long flight of winding steps that led to the sand below. I was carrying the stroller with Kent on board and Miyako was trailing behind. Half way down, we arrived at a landing before a turn and immediately, right there in front of us, appeared about 15 very large and darkly tanned young men, loitering and cavorting loudly on the steps and beach below. This alone would have been enough to cause some concern but it was what I saw next that really had me scared. The men were bedecked in the hallmark tattoos of the Bra Boys!



To be honest, fear was not my first emotion. In fact, I was more intrigued that the gang I had heard so much about was actually real and that their members were standing right there in front of us. In that split second, I made the decision to continue going down the steps, despite the fact that several of the "boys" were blocking the way. Several other families were also passing by so I had some reason to think it was okay. Just then, as I was about to leave the landing and continue lifting the stroller down the last flight of steps, one of the gang members came bounding up the steps, flailing his arms, pointing at us, and shouting commands to his mates.

I wasn't immediately scared but at the very moment, I wasn't quite sure what was going to happen. Then, just then, I grasped what it was that this burly surfer was doing: He was exhorting his fellow gang members to help me bring the stroller down the steps, and apparently, he was someone of some influence. Three or four of the guys immediately jumped to our sides, grabbing the stroller, and in a moment, it was delivered, with Kent strapped aboard, safely to the base of the steps. I was speechless, for two reasons. One was shock. The other was that I didn't want them to hear my accent. Who knows, maybe the Bra Boys don't like Americans.

The whole experience was surreal and it added a bit of spice to what was a wonderful day at the beach.

1 comment:

keiko takeo said...

響子さま

ビーチでのピクニックは、景色はきれいだし、楽しそうですね。でも、マシューさんのびっくり経験は、肝を冷やしたことでしょう。アメリカンアクセントを聞かせないでどうのように刺青の背中の写真を取ったのかしら?
ブラボーイは、今回は親切にしてくれたのですね。それにしても、よく刺青を写真に取って来ました。どんなチャンスを狙ったのかしら?天晴れです!
こんなビーチに気軽に出かけられるなどは,
日本では考えられません.うらやましいことです。
子供たちも楽しんだことでしょう。 ババ