Let’s face it – to engage in such revolutionary technical pursuits as pioneering community wireless networking is a task (or pleasure) which befalls a certain unique group within our society. Now, not to be too specific here, but we can safely make a couple of important generalisations without offending anyone too geekishly-inclined or other; we’re male, relatively young, externally socially inept yet internally socially adept, intelligent and have a passion for adventure, albeit polar opposite to in manifestation, but certainly as strong as your average extreme sports junkie.
One might say I have described your classic nerd, and for the most part, one would be right. What I have deliberately neglected to relate is any semblance of race, religion, education, class, wealth or gender – and with good reason. We are drawn together not by any of those things, but by the technology and the social acceptance, camaraderie and sense of achievement that goes with it.
And so it comes to pass that we have a group of young men who seek variety and flexibility in what they put into their bodies. It stands to reason that convenience is rated over nutrition, value over extravagance and clear heads over alcoholism. Well, most of the time anyway. Sure, booze has it’s place, but it’s generally not very prominent when you’re trying to develop a city-wide high speed network using cutting edge technology. I can’t see WarDrinkDriving being a very effective pastime either ...
The holy trinity of convenience plus flavour plus economy comes in no greater incarnation than the humble yiros. If all of those ancient cultures didn’t spend a couple of thousand years working out how to maximise the flavour of meat, disguise a token amount of salad amongst the awesomeness and wrap it in an edible ‘to-go’ package, where would we be, honestly? Who knows what would have happened if something like Christianity ruined their lives a couple of millennia earlier. One thing’s for sure – no yiros. Be warned, however, as not all yiroses are created equal. That said, finding an awesome one in Adelaide is not such a hard task as our fair city is so full of the wonderful people who brought these little parcels of meaty love to our shores in the first place.
Unfortunately such food of the (G[r]eek?) gods is not available when we geeks are at our most productive (read: after 1am). In such cases we find ourselves relegated to 24 hour options which are to put things nicely, slightly less wholesome. Late night testing means we’re either up a hill where we can see absolutely everything, or miles from the city where it’s flat, with no trees or interference. These locations are invariably always only a few minutes from Café de Vili’s. Such illusions are along the same lines as ‘too many pies are never enough’, but at Vili’s, one can see how this adage is often endeavored to be proven correct. Alas, however ironic it may be, a testament to the comparison of value and extravagance, the (often ordered) budget item on the menu at this bakery, is hot chips.
Convenience of the above foods in the company of one or two associates or while on the road [s]leeching some poor soul’s net[/s] wireless testing is all well and good, but has it’s limitations. With many attendees, serious business is undertaken, and serious business means Banko.
There are many requirements to partaking in a good Banko. Make sure you can find a decent, cheap, suburban Chinese restaurant that has a large banquet (hence the term Banko) listed on their take away menu. Keep Bankoing around until you find some good chow, and If at all possible, try to find a restaurant that home delivers – If not, try to convince them, they know it will be worth their while. The minimum for a decent Banko is generally four, but the bigger the crowd, the more interesting things get. If certain parties aren’t at all happy with a certain dish or have a special request, make them change it. Again, a submissive Chinese restaurant is a good Chinese restaurant. A fake name must always be used, preferably a mixture of all of your names or nicknames, the more unconventional the better. A well planned Banko can not only put all participants smartly into MSG-induced comas, but can also leave significant remains for round two later in the evening. Much much later.
Whether it’s a crepe and a pint of ale after a long day up a mast, or a stack and an iced coffee to fit the mood as the sun creeps over the horizon, late night wind-downs have never felt so good. You’re tired, you’re hungry, you’ve accomplished more wifi last night than the rest of the city has all year and you’re pretty happy about it too. That’s why you’re at the Pancake Kitchen. It couldn’t get much better even if it was physically possible to crawl up inside a blanket-sized flapjack and sleep for a week.
Last, and yes, definitely least, out comes fast food. Only two reasonable occasions to visit such establishments come to mind, both while deliriously tired. If you’re lucky, one of your company will have challenged another to an eating competition. Fourty nuggets, eleven cheeseburgers, five pizzas ... you get the drift. Just make sure you be a good sport and buy the challenger a dessert if they succeed.
The other option is far less exciting ... you’re just ravenously hungry and the time it takes to get food is proportional to the number of people you stab. Sometimes when you just can’t be fucked, West Terrace is indeed the Promised Land.
Without question these choices of cuisine are of no surprise, but rest assured, these decisions are based purely in logic and rational thought, without prejudice or pre-conditioning. This allows us to cross all forms of social and cultural boundaries and do what geeks do best – envisage something never before achieved and then go out and make it happen. As French gastronomer Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin once said "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.", he most certainly would’ve taken one look at us and said “Air-Stream” ...
Jimmy Day / LoC
10th November 2009