12 March 2006 (Australia)
We have arrived on Friday in Brisbane. My in-laws were knocked out after a full day of traveling. Auckland/Brisbane is only 3.5 hours, but like everywhere in the world for an international flight you need to check in at the airport 3 hours in advance, after an equally long journey by car before.
Frank and I have more energy and appetite and want to stay & play outside for as long as possible. It is 25 degrees and the lady at the hotel desk explained the eateries could be found across the river in a sort of park.
As far as we can judge in the dark, Brisbane is beautiful!!!!! And clean. The park is richly decorated with palm trees and there is a large ‘artificial’ beach with air heated chlorinated water, mini-lagoons and boardwalks. You can swim for free at any hour of the day or night. It is dark (the pictures are from the next day), but it is pleasantly lit and there is a peaceful and fairy atmosphere. Fantastic!
I always forget to bring some item in our suitcase. To keep the tension alive, I refuse to make a proper list. Last time it was a classic one; toothbrushes. Nothing to bother because you can buy them in every night shop. This time I had forgotten a more difficult piece; the battery charger of the camera!
Since the arrival at the airport I was complaining that we urgently had to buy one, but Frank likes to live dangerous … he thinks there is nothing more fun than making a picture on the last drop of gasoline.
In contrast to New Zeeland, there is an extensive network of public transport. The first day was for family visits, but Sunday we went by train to Underwater World in Mooloolaba. But just THAT day there was a strike going on! Instead of 1 hour we did the trip in 4 hours …
The same applies for the return trip. So we have had plenty of time to think about whether we could live here …
* Yes, because Brisbane is the nicest city we have visited so far in our lives.
* No, because a large part of the year it is too hot.
At first glance Australia seems to be a lot more Americanish than New Zealand. Both socially and in their appearance reminiscent of the pastel colored Florida. The social parable appeals less to us, but in detail the groomed appearance of Brisbane and Mooloolaba is delightful. Even the high buildings are not too ugly. Everything meant for public use, is made of good materials; hardwood, stainless steel which is cut in fancy shapes and decorations. Tiles, planters, fences, staircases and fountains; everything looks equally chic. No plastic or molest-proof and graffiti resistant stuff.
We noticed that the men -although closer to the equator than in New Zealand- are all neatly dressed in long pants and that all women are -without any exception- try to at least ‘make something’ of their appearance.
Well, not for nothing New Zealanders are bullied by the Australians because of their … well, their countrifiedness.