It was a Friday night. Not wanting to get too rowdy on account of my early shift the next morning, Kirk and I decided to check off one of the tamer things on our Sydney To Do List: taking pictures at Luna Park.

Luna Park is a tiny little amusement park with an iconic clown-face entrance. It’s across the harbor, opposite downtown Sydney. To get there, Kirk and I walked from Circular Quay all the way across the Harbour Bridge (which wasn’t actually that far, just 1149m). Even so, we had worked up an appetite. At the end of the bridge, a fish & chip joint wafting a smorgasbord of seafood delights nearly sucked us in.

No, no. Photos first, food later.

Amusement parks are a photographer’s play-ground. Colorful lights, people, and moving objects abound. I love capturing motion-blur from the rides. The ribbons of light that show up on camera can’t be seen in real life. Normal pictures usually portray a moment in time, whereas a motion-blur image is a time capsule.

We set up shop in the median of the thoroughfare, where we could squeeze both the ferris wheel and the merry-go-round into the frame for a time-lapse capture. The remote shutter snapped only about a minute’s worth of pictures when a security guard walked right in front of the lens, his weight obscuring the entirety of the frame. Hey now! What’s the big idea, mate?!

“Sorry sir,” he says to Kirk, “No professional photography in the park.”
“Oh, no worries, I’m not professional photographer,” replied Kirk.
“That tripod makes you a professional photographer.”
“Oh really? Wouldja tell my mother that?”

Grumbling but not yet defeated, we took the camera off the tripod. Fine then. We don’t need a tripod. We’ll set it on the ground. That worked for a little while. The camera couldn’t really take any other decent photos without something to rest it on. And the angle from the ground got old fast. Our photo shoot quickly petered out. You can see the security guard for a brief second in the time-lapse movie.

We walked back to the fish & chip joint only to discover dim lights and upside-down chairs on tables. Dang it. Oh how battered and deep-fried food had sounded so good! Up and down the street we roamed, and after much ado, we settled on the reasonably priced Stir Crazy Thai. We ordered one appetizer (Australians call this the entrée) and one entrée (called a main). (Confusing, no? When I first started waiting tables here I kept asking people if they wanted to order an appetizer with their entrée, and they looked at me, utterly confused.)

We split both dishes. The entrée, called “Money Bags”, turned out to be my favorite. As a newbie to Thai food, I wasn’t sure if Money Bags – deep-fried money-bag shaped dough filled with vegetables and chicken – was a typical Thai specialty or just a cool dish that Stir Crazy Thai had created. Although yesterday, I spotted a Thai joint on the opposite side of town that called itself Money Bag Thai. It must be a popular dish.