Shifting – July Ride 1 – Independence

6 July 2020

48 kms (30 miles)

It was a cool night in southern Sydney, but the pub was warm. The cover band played at one end of the main bar. A sprinkling of people, who had already had enough to drink to loosen inhibitions, danced to the ‘70s and ‘80s rock. The pub was probably ¾ full, and there was a line at the bar for drinks. The atmosphere was comfortably middle-class bogan hanging out with friends.

Then, the band launched into its next song, and it was as if the Sirens of Homer’s Odyssey had called. Everyone in the pub seemed to pause for a moment and turn toward the band. The dance floor filled quickly, the line at the bar evaporated, and people got up from their seats. And then nearly every person in that pub started to do a line dance with specific moves that EVERYONE seemed to know.

For as strange as this was to see, all those people could have been up there sacrificing a goat or partaking in any cultural ritual from around the world that you never knew existed until you stumbled upon it.

I watched in awe. It was my first Australian cultural experience related to this phenomenon. Read more