A day at the races

 Well, not quite but kinda. Today was the Melbourne Cup, Australia’s answer to the Derby in the UK (or maybe Ascot – I’m not a huge horse-racery person). Pretty much the whole country bets on this one race with office sweepstakes and a temporary stand set up on Queen Street by the biggest bookmaker’s in Australia, TAB. It is, in fact, dubbed “The Race That Stops Australia”.

There’s the usual – women wearing posh frocks with insane hats and tottery heels; guys in smart suits and bow ties. Dinners are booked, pubs fill out, people stand in the street cheering on a midget on a quadruped.

 I didn’t bet as I’m simply not a gambler. It doesn’t give me a buzz and I’m crap at it! To prove the point, I went for a horse called Geordieland (can’t think why the name appealed…) and it came in 18th. This is actually one position better than its namesake’s football team *shudder*. Having said that, it did actually finish one place above the favourite.

Al works for TAB and was given a promotion from systems analyst to “guy in shirt and cap showing you how to hand your betting slip in”. That’s him in the first picture!

I headed to Borders afterwards to use their travel section like a library. I like bookshops with sofas in them. I hear they’ve taken them out of the branch in Singapore as too many people were using it like a picnic spot at the weekends. Posted by Picasa

4 thoughts on “A day at the races

  1. Sometimes, I take up all the space on the sofas for hours and I don’t buy anything. I get mean looks from the employees but, hey, at least I’m comfortable.

  2. The staff in Brisbane completely ignored me. It was great. I was sat there with a pen and pad and everything. Patently obvious I had no intention of spending any money.

    Sometimes it really pays to be cheeky.

  3. No, I didn’t. I was too busy watching the Aussies look depressed because they’d all backed the favourite (which finished 19th), and the Japanese who’d all backed the ones that finished 1st and 2nd!

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