Big Question Marks

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Adventures in Snoopville

If anyone's wondering where Snoop Dogg is right now, don't worry, we've found him. Yes, just in case you're wondering, he's just hanging out in...um... Southport.

I learned this after finding myself in a totally new part of Gold Coast yesterday, attending to an appointment in the nearby suburb of Southport. Until now, Southport — which is a little north of us and just inland of the ocean — was just a place with a big shopping mall (Australia Fair) that the bus careens through on its way to Griffith University.

Southport is Gold Coast's main business area, and if you don't look across the lagoon (the inland waterway that known as "The Broadwater") at Sea World, is totally absent of the touristy vibe of Surfers Paradise. At 3:30 in the afternoon, the streets and the mall are filled with uniformed schoolkids, skateboarders, and office workers in collared shirts and heels. With low buildings and street-level shops lining the sidewalks, and benches positioned under big leafy tropical trees, it's got a bit of a tropical country town feel to it. Then throw in a dash of urban America — think vacant storefronts and lots of bargain warehouse shopping and a few hoodlumish types hanging about... and you've got Southport. Think Cairns, Australia crossed with Buffalo, New York (and maybe throw in a dash of Tully, QLD for that true tropical country-town feel). It's a weird place.

Fast-forward to 6pm: I'm in the moisturizer aisle of Chemist Warehouse, trying to make a choice amidst the endless shelves of skin products, when I catch a snippet of conversation from the pharmacy counter:

"So, really, you just saw Snoop Dogg? Like where?"
"Yeahhhhh, he was just here."
"Here in Southport? But where? What was he like in person?"
"Yeah, they've been talking about him a lot on the radio lately..."

That's when my brain interrupted with a whole lot of "Huh? Snoop Dogg? Really? Here in Southport? Wait, which moisturizer was I just looking at?" and unfortunately accidentally tuned out all the good stuff of the conversation (if there was any). And that's when my internal paparazzi grabbed hold, made my purchases for me, and led me out onto the street. First I saw a group of teenagers in cornrows and big t-shirts gathered in a group — aha! Snoop must be in there somewhere. I walked by very slowly and it turned out they were just gathered around a cell phone that was playing music.

And then I saw Happy High Herbs, a shop which I'd passed by earlier. Eureka! Where else would Snoop Dogg hang out? I reached the shop and peered inside, getting my camera ready.... and saw a lot of rainbow, and a couple of hippies. Strike two!

I started to think perhaps I had imagined the whole Snoop Dogg conversation as I wandered a bit more through the now-creepy streets of Southport in the dark, and decided to call it quits on my futile search. Because, thinking about it more in depth, I started to wonder why someone like Snoop Dogg would come to the bustling metropolis that is Southport.

But as soon as I got home, internet sleuth Adrian was on the case. And fo' shizzle... Snoop is in the neighbourhood! Just check out his tweets and the local news. Apparently he was just doing a little bit — $25,000 worth — of shopping. At least the Aussie government let him in this time. (Thanks Russell Crowe!) Well, maybe we'll run into him today instead.