Friday, May 7, 2010

Brisbane and beyond

'tis difficult to remember all the things we have done and seen over the past four days. Brisbane is a very cosmopolitan city with, compared to Perth, many seriously high rise buildings. The areas we have walked, were, it seems, rather closeted. All the people friendly malls we initially saw were peopled by business and lawyer-type folk. It was only yesterday when we got a little lost that we stumbled across the odd-people malls. They aren't bad 'dudes' but the are the Goths and Strangees of Brisbane. They didn't intimidate us as we shuffled past them and they would probably be nicer than the lawyers if we fell over....Oh yeah!?

We drove out to the burbs to visit a couple we knew in Papua New Guinea in the 70s. Romy worked on my staff at Popondetta Vocational Centre and after Independence when we returned to Australia, he and his family stayed on until 1986. Romy and Bella are Fillipino and they were wonderful people and friends when we were in PNG. This visit was a bit of a shock as they have both had major medical problems. Their kids have made good in Australia and are successful in their professions. Sad that Romy feels that he is finished...and it seems that he has every reason to think so. His memory is failing him and I think he feels that his kids are not too supportive. It will happen to lots of us. It was good to see them again and we all know that we won't see each other again. Sad!

When we returned to we went on a river cruise on the CityFerrry and the CityCat. It wasn't really a cruise, but a fare paying trip at $7.80 for the both of us for a day's travel on boats, buses and trains. Not too bad at all! The Brisbane River is a good trip. There are lots of ferry stations and lots to see, although most of the passengers would have nothing on their mind except the trials and tribulations of work in the big city. We saw a whole lot more.
On the trip back to North Quay ( 'key' to you non- nauticals) we stopped of at the wheel, a junior version of the London Eye. Not too bad!

I cannot remember when we visited the Cultural Centre on Southbank. And that it surely is! We viewed "Taim Bepoa" Thursday Island photo exhibit, the Year 12 student artworks and then the Hat Salon by Stephen Jones. Joan loved that exhibit, and I was one of only three men attending, the other two, like me were in tow with their wives. We had a coffee at the art gallery cafe and we spied a very unafraid, unworried and unspooked lizard. He/she is obviously a local as we saw another at the Roma Street Parklands later.

This morning we checked out and headed for Ipswich. First stop was the Railway Museum which was well presented and we were the only people for the first tour of the Steam exhibition. Ipswich was a major player in the Queensland Railway story. Well worth a visit!

After that we visited the Art Gallery where Joan wanted to see an historic quilt exhibition. After that we headed off towards the Gold Coast where we had booked into a nice hotel. About 50 kilometres from Ipswich Joan suggested we stop for some lunch and it was at this time that we realised that she had lost her purse containing wads of cash and all her cards. Panic! What to do? We had no money. We rang the Art Gallery in Ipswich and they were going to look for Joan's purse. We left our mobile No. and headed back to Ipswich. When we got back to the Gallery they told me that nothing had been found, so off to the cop shop. As it happened a little old lady...probably around our age, had handed it and cards. Whew!!!

We will make every effort to find out her details and at least thank her.

We made it to our hotel on the Gold Coast and all is well. More later.

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