My First Few Days Down Under
What were my first impressions of Brisbane?
- Other than hot and humid? (31°c today with 75%+ humidity)
- It’s really quite quiet here, especially seeing as I’m staying about a 15 minute walk from the CBD. For example, its six thirty at night and the chirping of what I assume to be crickets (I hope its crickets) is louder than the sound of distant traffic.
- Its clean. There aren’t gutter fulls of rubbish like you see in some cities. Even when driving in on the main roads from the airport, there was a distinct cleanliness about the streets.
- The people are friendly. Never short of a g’morning or a nod and when you actually get chatting its like they’ve known you for a while.
What’ve I been up to?
- Not allot. The journey knocked me for six a bit. In about 30 hours worth of travel I spent about 5 hours in and out of a sweaty, uncomfortable and restless sleep.
- I have managed to sort out a few of the important bits. My Australian bank account for starters (I’ll do a blog on all those boring preparation bits once I know if what I’ve done actually goes smoothly- otherwise I’ll blog on what not to do!)
- Yesterday I discovered South Bank’s Streets Beach; This really cool manmade beach pool is right on the river with the bizarre but magnificent backdrop of Brisbane’s skyscrapers, just a stones throw away. The whole idea of the Streets Beach area totally encompasses this notion that the Australian’s have a much better work/life balance than the rest of us.
Where am I staying?
- In a hostel in West End is the short answer.
- The area seems great, theres a whole street of shops just 5 minutes up the road. I can walk to Streets Beach in 10 minutes and like I said, its pretty quiet.
- The hostel’s greatness is questionable. I’ve had years of friends telling me I’m ‘so tight’ and now I’m starting to wonder if they have a point. I booked the cheapest hostel I could find in Brisbane, quite possibly the cheapest hostel in Australia so perhaps I should have expected to have to use my imagination a little whilst here, you know for things like a blind over the window, a clean mattress or a pube-less sink. It’ll do for now though! And I have been assured by some well travelled fellow hostellers that it gets (much) better than this place!
How am I feeling in general?
- Other than hot and sweaty?
- I have just about got over the whole jet-lag-what-day-is-it-where-am-I-now flying thing and am still feeling just as excited (if not more so in fact) as I was in the UK about the prospect of spending the next few months here.
- My pasty white legs have made a public appearance for the first time since 1996 and it was quite a liberating experience! I might even return to the UK a pleasant shade of magnolia as opposed to my current brilliant white!