Queensland Quickly

Australia Pt 4
The flight to Brisbane got me there early in the morning, which worked out great since the city only really needs a day to wander around before you see everything. The whole day just turned into a leisurely stroll, with stops at the park, Queen Street Mall, and along the river. Brisbane seems like a very liveable city in that there are restaurants and green space. The parks had people doing all kinds of sports, wifi spots, and plants too. But it does not seem very exciting and if I were there for more than a couple weeks, I might easily get bored.
When I finally checked in, the hostel was nice enough to upgrade me to a four bed room, with only one roommate, this time a Scottish woman who is in the process of emigrating to Australia. We talked for a bit before heading out to try and find some dumplings. The only restaurant we found had a Japanese name, but turned out to be a Korean restaurant! So I got to share a bit of my experience and passion for Korean food with someone completely new to it. We even got through a bottle of terrrrrrrible tasting soju.
The next day I headed over to Gold Coast which is only about an hour by train from Brisbane and the beach, Surfer’s Paradise. The waves were nice and the fish and chips were tasty, even though weather did not turn out great for a day at the beach. I got my fix though and headed back to Brisbane to find that I had no roommates for the night! Only for a night though. Kind of kills the hostel atmosphere, but I probably needed it since Melbourne was go, go, go.
This entry is probably the shortest you will see since Brisbane and Gold Coast only had a couple of things going worth seeing and not really worth mentioning. So I will take a moment to add some observations about Australia as my time here winds down.
The people are a little hard to reconcile for me. There are tattoos and business suits, and Asians and Caucasians. All the groups are very segregated to the point of being isolated at times.
The shops and culture remind me of the U.S.A. about fifteen years ago. Target, Kmart, and other stores seem to be doing well because people still get out and shop. There are slushies at the 7elevens!!!
I cannot believe how many sandwiches Australians eat! Yeah, there are nice restaurants where people can buy a well-cooked meal, but a large proportion of the shops are burger or sandwich shops and most breakfast (brekkie) menus are generally sandwiches. Probably why I ended up eating in Chinatown or at festivals more often than I expected.
Last observation is that despite attempts to recognize and incorporate Aboriginal history into places and events, the large portion of Australia that is shown continues to carry British names and stories of the ‘discoverers’ of the new lands. Not completely surprised, but still disappointed.


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