With their background of old Victorian–Edwardian architecture, the streets of Thames had become suspended in a pseudo-extension of the Industrial Revolution, with steam-powered machinery randomly dissected and reassembled. Steampunk was in town.
t was a bit like one of those weird dreams when you wake up relieved and think ‘thank goodness it was a dream’ – except I was awake. An old steam train was rattling down the main street of Thames followed by a ute painted in camouflage with a couple of sinister-looking militia types on the back. Creepy. Chugging behind this was a crazy-looking tractor with an odd, tubular radiator up front, driven by a farmer dressed in a samurai warrior’s armour but with shorts and black boots. A young girl in a black pantsuit was riding on the wheel arch of the tractor, a Massey Ferguson. Alongside the weird tractor was a woman in tails riding a penny-farthing. OK, this is all very strange.
It was like something out of a Mad Max movie. A couple more very strange machines were heading my way: a four-wheeled bike with a propeller on the front, followed by a brass tank with a series of brass mufflers running over the back wheel. The man beside him had a crazy helmet with a brass lamp in front. He was riding a stretched-out bike with brass tanks, strange dials and a long extended horn on the front. Life is definitely strange. A rhythmic pulsation was getting louder as a percussion group with Samba beats came bouncing down the street.
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