Australia 2014: Part 2

This morning I woke up at precisely 04:08 and laid in bed for about half an hour, waiting to see if I was actually going to sleep some more. Thankfully, I fell asleep and didn’t wake up again until just before 07:00. Does this mean my body is adjusting to the new time zone? Not sure, but I’ll keep setting my alarm in case.

This morning I woke up at precisely 04:08 and laid in bed for about half an hour, waiting to see if I was actually going to sleep some more. Thankfully, I fell asleep and didn’t wake up again until just before 07:00. Does this mean my body is adjusting to the new time zone? Not sure, but I’ll keep setting my alarm in case.

Yesterday was an incredible day. Arron had to go to work for another half-day, and Brendan felt that he needed to catch up on some rest. After a late start, I ventured out on my own, back into the city, as I had the previous day. The rail system here, like most cities, is straightforward to understand and use.

I went back to Brisbane central and stopped at the Apple store once again. I wanted to price some things to see how much more expensive they’d be to purchase here than they are in the states. I looked at some excellent Bose QC15 headphones and discovered that it would cost me considerably less to buy them in the states. If I lived in or frequently visited Australia, I could start a side business of flying back to the United States, buying tons of electronics, shipping them back, and selling them. This is probably not legal, but I remember that the customs officials in the Brisbane airport didn’t ask about electronics. Just food and drugs. I didn’t end up buying anything but did convince myself to look into getting an Apple T.V. someday.

I explored some of the city by walking in a massive circle around the train station. By doing this, I figured I couldn’t get too lost. The problem with Brisbane is that the streets are at a diagonal. I’ve grown so used to using north, south, east, and west to understand directions, and Arron told me that I needed to totally change that way of thinking. They rarely give or even understand given directions in that manner. Instead, Australians will say something like, “Go toward (insert the name of a nearby town or landmark) or walk toward (some kind of known landmark).” As a tourist, however, I don’t really know where these towns and places are located.

After walking around the city for a few minutes (I may have been lost most of this time), I saw a small restaurant called Pie Face. I remembered that Wes, one of my crashpad roommates from Australia, told me that I needed to make sure I ate a meat pie before I came back to the states.

They are very delicious, and it was one of the things he missed about his home country. I remembered that Arron had told me that Pie Face had the best brownies, and I figured I’d try them out. My eyes were bigger than my stomach, and I shouldn’t have ordered two. They were pretty good, however- only slightly larger than a Marie Calender’s pot pie back in the states.

I wanted to get out of the city and see a bit of nature. Arron mentioned going to some kind of park later in the day, so I thought I’d stick with a nature theme from here on out. There are a lovely botanical garden and a walking area near Brendan’s work on the Brisbane River. I notice that all the active runners were very, very good looking. I wondered if there was some sort of audition that you had to look so good to work out there. I’m sure I fit right in, what with my high levels of sexiness and all.

Arron and I had arranged to meet for a late lunch at 13:30. I ventured back into the city to see if I could find our chosen rendezvous point. I soon found the city hall clock tower and camped out for about an hour, just watching people come ago across the square. I’ve always loved people-watching, and the fact that I was in Australia made it all that much more intriguing. I love to size people up and try to figure out what their personal stories are. Who are they? What is their relationship to the person who is with them? Where are they going? Fascinating stuff!

Arron soon showed up, and we walked to a nearby restaurant called the Melange Cafe. The setting was absolutely beautiful! It was on the edge of a huge garden/ park called Roma Street Parkland. The cafe was more like a vast open space with a permanent roof… an outdoor/indoor thingy (sorry, I don’t really know the words to describe it) with massive chandeliers overhead. Arron ordered a very posh-looking salmon dish, and I opted for a Thai salad. The food was very delicious!

After lunch (I only made it through about half of my salad), we walked around the park and gardens. The land was teeming with dozens of giant, wild lizards called water dragons. They were cold but scary. They tended to scurry away when we got closer, but one of them stood his ground long enough for me to get a cool shot. They ranged in size from my middle finger’s length to ones that were longer and thicker than my arm. I want one. I would name it Jubjub.

The gardens were beautiful, and part of the park was dedicated to some guy from New Zealand who had been a very popular gardener on Australian television. I don’t remember his name, but he died in 2012. It was a garden of Eden.

When I saw this kangaroo statue, the first thing I thought was that Arron needed to spoon it. This is one of my favorite qualities about Arron- he’s very suggestible to random madness! He’s a great travel buddy! It reminds me of our “Dav Nights” we would have back in Baltimore. Any excuse to head out a play in Baltimore, really.

We next met up with Brendan and went for a drive up to Mt Coot-tha, and I ate an Australian desert called lamington. It was chocolate on the outside and had a lighter inside (maybe it was vanilla, but I don’t really know), and it had coconut on the chocolate. I do remember that it was very delicious!

In a way, I feel kinda bad that Arron and Brendan have been so kind to me. I didn’t want them to have to change their days around, and since I’ve arrived, they indeed have. I thought they’d just give me suggestions of things I should see and do during the day, and then I’d possibly meet up with them for dinner or something like that. Arron has been paying for most of my meals, and whenever I object, his response has been that I’ll have plenty of time to spend money when I travel beyond Brisbane.

Later in the evening, Brendan went to a birthday dinner for his sister. I again felt terrible that Arron was obviously changing his plans for my benefit, but instead of the birthday dinner, he took me on the City Cat, which is a Brisbane River cruise. It was a perfect night, not too cold, with a slight wind, but not enough to make you miserable. The boat took us downstream, and it was fantastic to watch the sunset.

We ended up at what I can only describe as the swap meet version of a food court. The place is called Eat Street Markets (www.eatstreetmarkets.com), and it was much like the atmosphere of a carnival or a county fair. There were food tents and booths everywhere! There was also live music, and instead of tables and chairs, they set out a bunch of crates in the middle of the walkways, and we just planted ourselves there and ate. Even with all of the different kinds of food, I opted for a spicy sausage with mustard and sour kraut. For dessert, Arron made me try my first gluten-free donut. It was pretty good- definitely not bad like I was expecting.

Later, Brendan rejoined us for bingo and karaoke. We had a fabulous time, and I would go every night if I only had the strength. I sang Evergreen by Will Young. Great song that reaches my upper range, and the locals told me I did a good job.

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