Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Koko Black

Koko Black is where I am writing at this very minute.  It is a lounge/restaurant near the hotel. I am having a very nice latte wondering if I will order something to eat or go right for some of the chocolate they have for sale. Koko Black is only in Australia, and this is the first one that I have  the pleasure of hanging here.   Koko Black offers confections in long black elegant glass cases sold as a piece or the gram by lovely ladies wearing black.  The clerks can describe each chocolate creation like a sommelier pitching an expensive wine. It is not hard to eat $32 worth of chocolate in a couple of bites. The decor is black and dark wood and the smell is that of coffee and chocolate. While See’s candies in America has the same product, their decor depicts the clinical sterility of Mrs. See’s white kitchen and a retail store functionality,  Koko Black displays the decadence of a softly lit perfume store and a romantic lounge to pass the time.  I have to say, when I think of my chocolate obsession, my fantasy goes to this setting.

To fit the mood I am in,  I am wishing my current window view was the twinkling lights of the San Fernando Valley from Mulholland Drive on a clear night.  Unfortunately that can only exist in my imagination right now.  It is summer time in Australia and very hot outside in the rush of the Perth CBD.  It is in stark contrast to the world of Koko Black. I will be performing at Crown Theater when the Australian evening starts to turn on the lights.  Koko Black is not open late into the night.  
Except for the weekends most of Perth goes to sleep by 10:00.  We went to a wonderful Sushi bar last night on our day off.  At 8:30 they told us it was last call.  After a week day show we tried to get some food but even though the bar section of a restaurant stays open, the kitchen is usually closed by 9:00.  That may be one of my best memories of New York, especially when my show was at the Atlantic Theater in Chelsea.  After the show we had our choice of really good places to eat, sit, dine and unwind. The New York places would be still be bustling at 11:00.  It is a show business vampires paradise.  
There is a homeless problem in Australia and since it is summer the street squatters are very noticable.  This coupled with the fact that the drinking age is 18 in Australia, navigating the pedestrian areas after dark is an obstacle course, particularly on weekends when the restaurants do stay open later. The panhandlers are a little more aggressive here in Perth than in Melbourne or Sydney.  The street people in the other cities seemed to take a subservient posture.  Most on their knees in a quasi-prayer pose bowing their  heads toward their change collection.  In Perth there is more of a “Hey mate have you got some change” approach.  There are no single dollar notes in Australia only coins for a dollar and two dollars.  They also round up to the nearest penny since that denomination does not exist.  The result is a very heavy pocket full of coins by the end of the day.  I usually separate the silver 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent coins which are bigger than the dollar  and two dollar size bronze tokens and distribute them to street people accordingly.  
My other observation about Australia and Perth in particular involves the women.  The young women are attractive even it they don’t use the letter “r” to communicate, i.e. “su, ah ye goin’ by ca?” (Sir are you going by car?)   But, attached to their bodies are collectively the worst arm and leg tattoos I have ever seen. To be totally candid, I am not much for tattoos, and only rarely do I think it makes an attractive woman more so, and these are big carnival mistakes, in my opinion.  I would think that a major decision like that would involve more than just an etch-a-sketch pattern.  I have come to the conclusion that at my age I will never understand this millineal custom but probably should invest in high quality tattoo removal studios here in Perth. 

I will hate to see this tour come to an end. I have made some friends who will forever share a special time and a fantastic memory of an adventure to OZ. I like Australia. The people are friendly, the audiences are lively and it is just enough different from the US that is is a great vacation where they speak the  same language (minus the letter “r”) Most refreshing is their conversation, news and discourse is not dominated by politics, especially not American politics.  I am not ready to return to the frantic madness of 24/7 coverage of  our corrupt system and idiot representatives in Washington.  Here they simply laugh at our situation but do not hold that against the individual American.  We need to get our shit together pretty soon so they don’t start. 
As you were,

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