Well, I managed to make it back after a week of trying to keep my mother's morale up. It's going to be a long process of recovery there *sigh*.
But some observations on Brisbane
- Hot and muggy. Yeah, I realise this is obvious, but I came from a NZ autumn, from temperate into sub-tropical.
- Bloody noisy birds and wildlife. I now understand the phrase "stone the crows" - if you'd been kept awake by the goddamned things squawking outside your window, you'd also be looking for rocks to chuck at them too. I really found myself missing the little lonely cry of the morepork at night.
- Brisbane has an absolutely ridiculous amount of gorgeous women in it - if I had known this in my teens or twenties, I would have moved over there and no doubt be speaking with a wierd Oz accent now.
- Translink offer daily passes usable on trains and the ferry systems. Use them - they're a cheap and effective way of getting around Southbank and the City area. The automatic ticket machines are also a brilliant idea. The bus system is incomprehensible, though.
- The insects are plentiful. There are these huge spiders hanging from the telephone lines; I'd considered smuggling one back to terrify a certain arachnophobe, but the only obvious means of smuggling could lead to some serious embarassment in the emergency room should it start biting. It's also rather startling to wake up with a bloody lizard hanging off your wall watching you.
- Morning TV is complete crap. It's either trivial news from the US or evangelicals. The best argument for no God existing is the fact that Benny Hinn doesn't get hit by lightening every time his strangely plastic looking head shows itself outdoors. I do have to admit to watching an entire spiel for a "Classic Soft Rock" collection all the way through - the nostalgia! the memories! the bad, bad seventies hair! I shudder to contemplate how many of those power ballads I have in my collection.
- I was too afraid to run a bath there - I got the impression that Queensland has water police that will bust in if they think you're wasting it and haul your naked dripping ass off to jail. There's evidence of many initiatives; businesses displaying signs talking about recycled water and the like, ads about desalination and exhortations to Aussies to keep up the conservation measures, that sort of thing.
- Aussie food places seem to have too much fried food and not enough sushi and filled rolls on offer.
Favourite part of the travel - heading over the South Island into Christchurch with clear weather throughout. I got to see an entire slice of the Island, west to east, with the West Coast, the mountains and the Canterbury Plains.
Least favourite part of the travel - spending today recovering from food poisoning from transit meals.