What's up Broome

You Know You're in Broome When You Feel Yourself Slipping into Broome-Time

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  • Saturday, February 02, 2019

There is a strange phenomenon that occurs to people who visit Broome. Its been the subject of much research since Einstein published his theory of general relativity in 1915 (just one year before Sun Pictures officially opened), in which he determined that massive objects cause a distortion in the space-time continuum.  That space-time distortion has its greatest impact in Broome, where visitors report a feeling of moving faster than locals and a suspicion that the time on their watches and devices is relatively irrelevant to their experience in Broome. Visitors who fail to slip into Broome-time, literally bump into locals who live life at a much slower pace. No-one's in a hurry in Broome, so if you don't slow down you'll keep bumping into people. 

Many visitors have tried to reset their watches to Broome-time but are unable to locate the time zone. Most locals have given up their dependence on time keeping and just go with the flow. The whole town is on Broome-time. The town of Broome has no traffic lights due to the danger they impose. The town engineer has confirmed that all traffic lights must be connected to a legitimate timing device connected to a world time zone. As Broome-time is not registered with Greenwich Mean Time the lights would serve only to slow things down even further in Broome. 

The stretching of the space-time continuum started some 130 million years ago when dinosaurs walked freely (and slowly) along the Broome coastline. Their tracks are still visible today and can be seen by those who have the time to explore. Then there is the Bugarrigarra, which according to Broome's traditional owners the Yawuru people, is the time before time.

Broome is a place where time is measured by natural occurrences and social activities rather than the clock. People meet at Cable Beach at sunset, or at Town Beach for the Staircase to the Moon. You know the dry season is coming, not by checking a calendar but by the sudden appearance of Dragonflies. The Pigram Brothers dreamt of going back home "right now while the mangos are ripe,  frangapani's starting to bloom and the blue bone are starting to bite" They came back because they couldn't "hack the pace of the city life". 

Sunset photo by Andrew Close

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