Darwin being a city of transient young people lured up by the weather, its remoteness and the near mystical kakadu national park, seems to always have a bar for the hippie types. The locality changes as the people leave and new developments swallow up old venues. Some years ago it was the Congo bar down by the wharf, then it was Brown’s Mart and now it appears to be the Happy Yess bar. But even though the faces change along with the venue, pretty much everything else stays the same.
There’s the young hippie girls whirling around trying to look pretty and still be in the glorious everpresent universal moment at the same time. There’s their young hippie boys, looking awkward and gentle, looking stoned and out-of-it, trying to have a conversation completely free of any words that could possibly have negative connotations. The two types tend to congregate in protective cliques, welcoming to those with the right look, not quite so to others but ultimately, the group politics are harmless and have much the same underlying drivers as all other groups of young people – the desire to be liked, to be accepted, to be admired and to connect – to belong.
Of course there are others too, people like me with a few more years under the belt and have moved on somewhat and others too my age and older who still mistake the ideals for reality. I gravitated to the former, a couple of women in their late thirties who were there for the band, bore the traces of former whirlyflowergirl-hood and had since had very interesting adventurous lifes, rivalling SG’s.
I left well before midnight, turning down an invitation to a young hippie party out in East Point. I wanted to wake early to go to yoga and the Parap market. And besides, I had a suspicion that like Happy Yess, it would resemble every other hippie Darwin house party I’d attended 6 years ago and unlike the markets, I was in no hurry to revisit that.