We were really keen to meet this Latvian born former Waffen SS Trooper slash crocodile hunter slash self professed ladies man who ended up mining in CP but it turns out we were a week late.
PET ROCK 1
The most successful communities in the world are those that take their natural resources and convert them into something that others have a need or want for. It would seem Coober Pedy is screwed.
Opals look different in Coober Pedy for some reason. Firstly, they tend not to be set into miniature gold pineapple necklaces like the ones in souvenir shops on the Gold Coast. Secondly, when you’re surrounded by a town-full of miners, whose livelihoods depend solely on the existence of these dainty gems, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype.
The lucky miner we met
gave us this opal, which we thought was really nice. Then we had it valued (yeah, we felt kind of weird about this) and found out it’s worth around $450 and now we just think he’s crazy. Whatever the case, we hope his generosity brings him a whole lot more good mining kismet.
CP CLOWN STICKER
There’s a lot of incredibly weird shit in Coober Pedy but if you start throwing clowns into the mix you are going to make peoples’ heads explode.
INDIGENOUS KOALA MAGNET
This magnet is so Australian it is clearly freaking the koala out.
PET ROCK 2
If you like your pet rocks less pure bred, you can always pick up a cheap mongrel.
Finding Chanel (regardless of its authenticity) in Coober Pedy was kind of like finding a keg at a Muslim’s birthday party: very unexpected and very exciting. We got this from a place called the Clothes Barn; literally a massive shed full of second hand clothes where a lot of the town buys their gear.
DEEP SHAFTS SPOON
If your grandma falls into the ’50% of old ladies who collect these novelty souvenir spoons’ category and you are one of the 25% of grandchildren who hate their grandmothers, then it seems we have the perfect gift.
There are dogs everywhere in CP but they don’t look anything like the perfectly proportioned, shiny dogs with wet noses that you see in the city. The dogs we saw were far more ‘Pet Cemetery’ and we had to keep doing that thing where you pretend to the owner that you’re not grossed-out by their best friend, while doing everything in your power to avoid contact of any sort.
DRY AREA HYPOCRISY
Notice boards in Coober Pedy exist as a test of strength to local alcoholics. Anyone who turns up to this Beer Tasting Competition automatically fails.
GOLF COURSE SPONSOR SIGN
You’ll tend to have so many WTF? moments in Coober Pedy that after a day or two you stop noticing ridiculous things like Serbs and Croats getting along all over the place. No matter how desensitised you become though, the nine-hole golf course that appears at random points in the middle of the desert is going to surprise you.