Thursday, May 03, 2007

Brisbane I

The chancel of St. John's Anglican Cathedral

The Storey Bridge on the Brisbane River

The Mediterranean?

They're getting ready to celebrate the Buddha's birthday.

Laid-back: that describes the capital of Queensland. And the weather is just perfect! The high today was 79F. Tomorrow? Oh ... 79. And the day after. Blue skies. Wispy white clouds. I feel like I'm in Florida.

Am staying with friend (and frequent blog commentator) Mac (who's Canadian. But most of his work involves Papua New Guinea, and he lives in Brisbane). His townhouse is on a sandstone promontory near downtown, right next to a rather austere looking nunnery ("with about seven geriatric nuns there right now!").

The Anglican Cathedral of St. John is right around the corner too -- it's still "under completion." Definitely Gothic ("they copied the Cathedral of Truro in Cornwall."), but somehow, a bit too light, and lacking some, I don't know, heft. It was empty, except for three sweet old ladies staffing the visitors' table. I picked up a copy of the local Diocesan publication and a magazine of the Anglican Mission Society (with stories about hardy missionaries in PNG).

We spent most of the day on the city ferry, riding up and down the Brisbane River (quite relaxing), and shooting the breeze. Lunch was in the West End area of town (after a walk around the site of the 1988 World's Fair -- now a decent urban park. That's where the images of the Buddha from above came from.) at a decent Lebanese place (on the walk up Melbourne St. I spotted three Indian joints ["all run by Fijian Indians"], several Vietnamese places and two Mediterranean outfits - Greek.) followed by semi-decent gelato and then later, a pint of Tooey's Old Lager at a cavernous Irish pub in Queen St. ("we don't drink Fosters in Australia")

There's really not much to do in Brisbane, so it's actually quite delightfully relaxing. And have I mentioned the weather? Yeah. It's Fall so it gets dark by about 6:00 pm or so.

I guess I should get up to cuddle a koala or two while I'm here. And we're definitely going to check out the Gold Coast.

And, this darn Aussie accent. It's driving me up the wall! Oh, it's quite easy to follow. It's just that ... I can't imitate it all! And y'all know how I love doing accents. Ugh. So that's the challenge for the trip. Try to sound remotely Aussie by the time I leave. I can hear it in my head well enough ... it just sounds British when I try. There's something about the vowels. Oy!

That's it for now, mates! :-)


Matthew said...

yes, we know all about your love of accents and imitation of them -- and by the by i take that first picture as a delightful homage by the Australian people of their distant desire for my personage to visit... so thank you for going before me to prepare the way...

Gashwin said...

Oh lord help us. They couldn't handle a State Visit by your Personage now, could they? :)