Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Bye bye Brisbane


Ummmm, where to begin?  ...at the beginning is a very good place to start...no, no, no, no do NOT break out into The Sound of Music in the internet cafe. Although I am currently staying in the very trendy Newtown in Sydney, think of Shoreditch and you've got the
Sydney equivalent, I think I might get some odd looks if I did start to sing that.  Anyways, moving on from Sydney as that will be my next email (and I feel some Finding Nemo quotes coming on), this one is all about Brisbane.

I arrived at 6.30 am - nice.  After only about 3 hours sleep on the flight and it was FUCKING FREEZING!!!!!  Was not amused.  And got a shuttle bus to the hostel I was booked into.  It was called the Wood Duck if you are at all interested on the Upper Roma road, which while I was there was classed by the local news as a 'Ghetto full of litter, drugs and human excrement'.  So that's a good advertisement to one of the backpacking areas in Brisbane.  Nothing like good press to encourage tourists and backpackers to stay.  I can assure you, that unsurprisingly the press has oh so slightly exaggerated, and I know, I know, I can hear you saying 'noooooooo, the press would NEVER do that!!!!!' but dear friends, I hate to break it to you.  It's true.  The reason for the good press was that some backpackers decided to sleep in the cars they had bought rather than pay for a hostel and obviously did not move to find a bin or anything, but just threw their rubbish out of their cars into a car park that the council never cleaned.  So, now that I have put the story straight, I can move on an tell you what I did.  And no, I was not one of the backpackers adding to the rubbish, I did in fact pay for a room.  I actually payed for my own room which was very nice.  The room was fairly basic, but the bed was comfy and it meant that I wasn't woken up by people coming in late or getting up early, and you all know about me and sleep.

So I arrived last Monday and and did not much that day.  Had a sleep, went for a wonder, found the galleries and sat by the river reading for a bit before heading back to the hostel.  I was fairly chilled out in the evenings whilst there, and only went out once.  A few of us ended up in a Karaoke bar and had a fucking funny night singing along to all the classics.  Journey, Bon Jovi etc etc etc  Cheesy music bliss.

During the day I went running and was fucking proud of myself as went 3 times and the park near the hostel, Roma Park was fucking hilly and I didn't let myself walk once any time I went.  So feel massively proud of myself for that!  (Sydney park is also hilly, am not amused.  Why didn't they put the parks on flat ground?!?!?!?)  Bollocks, I've forgotten to bring the link with me because I went to the Koala park and hugged a Koala, and have a photo I can show you...well I could if I had the link.  Will put it in the next email.  Had a really nice time wondering around, and there were also various birds, wombats, kangeroos etc.  I was taking a photo of a cockatoo and as I took the photo it said hello.  Properly burst out laughing when that happened, and only got a few weird looks from the families who were near me.  Now I have a little story to tell you so you won't moan about how expensive the bus is again.  Well for a single journey in London anyways.  I got the bus out to the park and when I got on the bus I asked if I could get a return and was told no because the journey was too far to get one, I had to get two singles.  It took about half an hour to get there. so I said, ok, can I get a single.  It cost.....wait for it.....$7.40!!!!!!!!!!!  So 4.94 EACH WAY!!!!!!!  Bastards.  So let me tell you folks, we get a bloody good deal in london.

So what else did I do, a boat trip down part of the river which was great.  The architecture on the South Bank is really interesting.  Some of the houses are the traditional colonial style with beautiful iron work on the balconies etc and then other houses were really sleek with lots of glass and quite Frank Lloyd Wright-esque.  And don't you worry, have about a million photos that I will out on facebook when I get back.

I also went to the galleries, the modern art one was incredible and unfortunately didn't allow myself enough time in there.  Thought 2 hours would be enough as I tend to get bored quite easily, I know, I know, an awful thing for someone to say with a History of Art degree....but if I don't like it, I don't spend hours pondering over it.  They had lots of aboriginal art and an exhibition of school children's art.  I think they were GCSE to A Level and it was fucking amazing!  I couldn't believe how young they were to have made such amazing art.

I did lots of walking around and spent a few hours in the botanical gardens.  Brisbane is great because the city is fairly small so it's easy to walk around and not get lost.  And if I did lose my way a bit, I just found the river and knew that if I walked along it towards a certain bridge, I would end up back near the hostel.

Had some amazing sushi rolls.  They were huge and only $2 with lobster in!  I went there with a couple of guys from the hostel and in my standard way, ate more than them.  They only ate 3 and I managed 4.  Go me!!!

So I think that's about it really with Brisbane.  Another thing that was great about the hostel was that a lot of the people staying there were there working, so it was nice and chilled and not filled with 18 year olds so it meant I could be a granny and that was fine!

I can't think of much else to say really.  The coach journey down was long - 18 hours and freezing because the coach driver thought that air con was a necessity the ENTIRE way even though I told him I was freezing.  Wanker.

So my lovely ones, I think that's about it.  I'm going to read this back now and think, fuck me, I'm dull.  All I do is take pictures of animals, plants and buildings.  Go running and go to bed!!!  But to be honest, I'm having such a nice time doing this, and having some 'me time' I don't feel like going out every night. 

So as the internet here cost about $5 a second, I'm going to bugger off.  Oh and happy news, it's about 22 degrees here, so my worrying about it being cold was not needed, woop!!  Still rather concerned about New Zealand though....

Lots of love, laughter and smiles,

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