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Bondi Origins   Jun 8 2007

Filed under Bondi by Jhyimy Two Hats

The people from whom this wide brown land was stolen two centuries ago were rather fond of a coastal retreat they called Boondi, the "noise of water tumbling over rocks" (or "a place where a fight with nullas took place").

Whitey, with a penchant for mangling vowels, would quickly render it as ‘Bondi,’ for at the time many assumed a Scotsman had supplied the original translation.

To 19th-century Sydney dwellers Bondi was a wasteland of scrub, sand hills and lagoons. Oddly, their descendents were to spend considerable income and effort driving SUVs hundreds of miles to such places – they would later term "pristine wilderness."

That cigar ..

Completed in 1890, Bondi’s ocean sewerage outfall was built to divert human waste from Sydney harbor.

Henceforth this growing city’s effluent floated patiently off Bondi’s coast until in 1902 a man named W.H. Gocher deliberately violated an 1833 law prohibiting bathing between 6am and 8pm and released pent-up social momentum to overturn such irrelevant laws. A plethora of fledgling bathers flocked to Sydney’s now famous surfing venue only to be introduced – intimately – to their own excreta.

For seventy years Bondiites and Sydneyites believed a murky green ocean populated by interestingly-shaped and strangely familiar floating objects, foul odors, and virulent post-immersion infections, were natural features of the Pacific Ocean’s salty-frothed experience.

Upon identification the unspeakable ‘objects’ rapidly succumbed to euphemism, the more mischievous of which were "blind mullet," "brown-eyed mullet" and the delightful and immortal "Bondi Cigar."

Succintly, "a turd in the sea."

Bondi is ..

Partisan locals:

Famous suburb surrounding an iconic golden strip of sand fourteen kilometers east of Sydney, Australia’s largest and most vibrant international city. Home to a melting pot of artists, young professionals, global transients and of course the surfing community.

Australian Tourist Board (not!):

Home of the infamous Bondi cigar. Full of rich wankers, musicians, yobbos on the weekend, backpackers every other day. Not a very nice place to swim, but great on the beach. Look out for syringes, white pointers, and, oh yes, those soggy cigars.
[Slight thanks to the Urban Dictionary]

Throsby does AusPol

Bondi Curious


Michael Leunig

Hey, over there...