Brisbane, Australia: Ten days is too much, yet not enough
When we get to YHA Brisbane, we have one very important job to do: go shopping at H&M! We take the train to Indooroopilly shopping center and we find out that H&M in Australia is shit. We buy some essentials anyway, and go back for some quick lunch at the food court. For dinner, we go to Caxton Street and end up at a Thai place, where Sharon finds out that she likes Thai food! We decide that all the bars around us are too intimidating, and we go to sleep.
The following day, we walk around for ages, trying to find a bus that will take us to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. When we finally find one, we wait 45 minutes before it arrives and takes us to our destination. Entrance is $31.50 and taking a picture with a koala is $18 – heaps cheaper than going to Australia Zoo! Our koala, Becks, is the sweetest, not wanting to let go of Sharon, and nuzzling her face against my neck.
We go to the central shop to get our pictures, but mine never arrives. The photographer approaches me after a while, telling me my picture jammed the printer. Great, my face breaks everything!
We go look at wombats, dingoes, Tasmanian devils and various birds before heading to a grassy area to feed kangaroos. We approach some kangaroos lying down, but they’re not very hungry. We eventually find a smaller one who’s being very greedy with the food. Every time we think he’s done eating, he nudges our paper bag full of food. We are in love!
Back at the hostel, we decide to starton Project Blue Hair. I’ve wanted it for a while, and almost gave up on it until I found some blue hairdyes in Surfer’s Paradise. We put two colors in three different cups and mix them with conditioner to water them down a bit. So we sit on the floor in our dorm room, with foil and blue dye everywhere, much to the amusement of our Swiss room mate.
Here’s the result:
The following day, Craig and Andy, who we met in Sydney, join us. Craig wants to buy a van and travel around, and Andy is going to stay and look for a job. We have beers on the roof of our hostel and feel fine until we head back down to our rooms, where we temporarily pass out in the hallway by the toilets.
The next day, we end up meeting up with three Germans who are selling their pink van, decorated with flowers, for $2000. We name her Princess Rosie. As Craig tries to drive it up a steep hill to the parking lot however, it fails to do anything but roll downhill.
Lauren, whom I met in Kuta, Bali, meets us in the Valley at Rics Bar for cheap drinks. She brings her friends Lukas and Ruby. Sharon, the guys and I are really enjoying talking to people who aren’t backpackers for once, and they are such hilarious people.
We find an inflatable parrot on the floor, which I grab and immediately name Perry. I try to deflate him by sitting on him, which looks very inappropriate, of course. Most of the night, I try to imitate a parrot, saying “ARGH! PERRY!”. It’s funnier than it sounds, I promise.
We go to a different bar, which is completely empty at first. As we dance and fill up on gin soda limes, the bar gets busier. Lauren, Lukas and Ruby call it a night, since it’s only Thursday, and the rest of us continue to dance with Perry. By the way, when you bring a prop to a place full of drunk people, you’re going to have to fight for it. As I am standing there, talking to a guy named Jack, a girl actually grabs it out of my hand as she walks by me. As if stealing it right from me is no big deal at all. I am speechless and in my drunken state decide that Sharon needs to get it back for me, which she does. The girl actually claims it’s hers, can you believe it?
After a long night with way too much gin in my bloodstream, I decide that I need a kebab and my bed. Of course that means everyone else has to follow me home, which I am not pleased about. We end up getting a taxi back to YHA, and go to bed around 3.30.
The day after, we’re all pretty beat, but still drunk. We go to breakfast and have beers and ciders, then head to a bottle shop for a few drinks while we go to the pool. The pool is unbelievably cold, and after a game of catch with a rugby we call Russell or Jeremy, I go pass out on a sunbed. Andy drops by with a big case of beer, and they decide to try to throw me in the pool, even though I am wearing all my clothes. As Craig puts me down, I decide “What the Hell?” and jump in, fully clothed. We play Piggie in the Middle, with Sharon and I being the piggies, and we get aggressive. Mind you, we’re also very drunk. The rest of the day is pretty quiet though, as we slowly sober up.
Saturday is Anzac Day, where we remember the fallen Australian and Kiwi soldiers. There is a big parade on the main street, which we go check out.
We have Subway sandwiches on the warm grass on the Anzac Square, listening to speeches broadcasted from Turkey, where the battle took place. For dinner, we decide to be super Australian and have kangaroo steaks, baby potatoes with parsley, and of course, goon.
Craig’s Canadian roommate, Nick, joins in, and it’s all good fun until I yet again am too drunk and need food. Craig and I go for a late night snack at McDonald’s, taking ages to get back with cheeseburgers for the rest of the group, because we sit down to eat our nuggets, while talking to Sharon on the phone, saying we’re on our way.
On Sunday, we go to an AFL game: Brisbane Lions vs. Westcoast Eagles. We go all out, buying souvenirs, beers and snacks, while sitting almost front row, cheering loudly. Apparently, Lions haven’t won a single game this season, but we still root for them and enjoy the game very much. Sharon and I mainly drool over all the Lances on the team.
After the game, everyone rushes out on the field and kick their balls around. Sharon buys one, and all of us tackle each other, go long and so on. We’re covered in grass by the time we leave the stadium. Back at the hostel, Sharon dyes my hair again, and we get our goon out on the rooftop, where we all decide to extend long enough to go out again on Thursday.
The day after, Sharon, Craig and I take everything out of the van, Princess Rosie, and clean her and dress the bed in new sheets, wash all the pots, buy new cups and wash the doona. It takes us most of the day and we’re exhausted by the time we’re finished. We decide to make it easy and just get a pizza for dinner.
Tuesday, we end up having drinks on the roof and start playing Heads Up, when a big group of Canadians join us. It gets loud and kind of out of hand, so when we kicked off the roof by midnight, we go back to bed. When I wake up at 2 AM, Sharon is gone and not answering the phone. I freak out until Craig answers his phone and tells me everyone went out to a bar on Caxton street. I go back to sleep, but when I wake up Sharon still isn’t back. She makes up for it by buying me Skittles. I go for a ride to a store with Craig, and spend most of the day chilling out on a couch. After that, we hang out in the game room, where we attempt to play pool (I end up on the pool table several times). We are bored, so we go for a walk and end up at McDonald’s. Then we go back and watch Gladiator and pass out soon after that.
Thursday’s the big day! I’ve been looking forward to going out again for several reasons. Unfortunately, I wake up bloated and my stomach’s cramping up. I spend all day buying Gatorade and drinking water to rehydrate, drinking peppermint tea and taking pills for bloating, cramping, pains and nausea. I even have a nap that makes me feel so much better for like 5 minutes. Everytime I stand up I feel like vomiting, and my cramps are getting worse. It’s raining heavily, so we have dinner in the kitchen and drink a few beers. I hope the half beer I have will loosen up the knots in my stomach, but it makes things worse, so my mood is pretty shit. It’s Andy’s last night with us, as he has gotten himself both a house and a job, so I say goodbye to him and then head to bed… Where a very drunk English girl in the bed above me smuggles her loud boyfriend in. For the next hour, all I hear is “yum yum, ginger cookies” and “sshhh shut up!”. At 6 in the morning, they get up, still drunk, and try to pack.. loudly. I am furious, but at least my stomach cramps are almost gone.
So, a city we hated at first ended up being a city we now love. Thanks to Craig and Andy failing at fixing the car, we’ve kept extending to the point where we are now YHA members!