My very first impression of Brisbane is that the weather here is gorgeous! This warm climate is exactly what my freezing Nordic body has been craving since I can remember. And occational showers – don’t mind them at all. Since I arrived about a month and a half ago, the temperature has been between 25-30 degrees celsius. What is not to love about the climate?
I currently live in South Brisbane, close to South Bank which is the river side opposite the city. South Bank is such an idyllic breath of fresh air made of parks, a ferris wheel, and a street beach. In addition, you have the magical view of the skyline just across the river. It’s great for a stroll, a picnic, going for a run, a trip to a cafe, or a visit to the market on the weekends. By far my favourite place in Brisbane.
Going into the city from South Bank, you cross a bridge and then walk straight down Queen Street where all the shops are located. The street is closed for traffic and always booming with people. This is where I first experienced the concept of food courts. There are 3-5 (maybe even more) city malls and these have a large court where you find a variety of fast food shops. – Malaysian food, sushi, Maccas (McDonald’s). You name it. I was happy to realise that sushi is cheap compared to the prices in Denmark. A whole sushi roll with salmon and avocado is about 2,20$ (=15 kroner). I’m not going to lie. I have had A LOT of sushi since I got here! Except for the sushi, everything is expensive in Australia. Emphasis on everything. I thought living in Denmark was expensive, but simple things as going to the supermarket can ruin your weekly budget.
A great surprise was the amount of public rest rooms located throughout the city. Free of charge and all in a great state. Being a bit of a germ-freak, that experience made my day 🙂
My impression of the people on the street is that there is a great amount of Asian people here and almost all women wear dresses. But really, which large city do you go to, and not see Asian people? Or women in dresses? Travelling by bus, most Asian people say thank you to the bus driver as they get off the bus. A few aussies too. Maybe I’ve missed something, but do bus drivers expect to be praised for stopping at the correct stop? I feel the same about flight passengers clapping as the pilot has landed the plane. However, this is particularly a Scandinavian costum. I guess the real difference is, that at least the bus driver can hear you!
Back to the Aussie culture… gambling.
The amount of pokies (pokie machine/slot machine/enarmet tyveknægt) is astonishing! In fact, gambling is a huge issue in Australia which has surprised me. In Denmark, we have atmospheric small bars and only the sleasy ones have a few pokies. In Australia, they have large pubs guaranteed to have a whole floor or section full of pokies.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to Brisbane’s 3/4 floor casino which primarily consisted of pokies being played by pensioners. At least the government gets its money back as a large percentage goes straight into the government’s pockets. Or so I have been told be some Australians.
With this said, yes, the aussies are bloody great and laid back. Not surprised though, as I have been with the best of them, my aussie partner, for four and a half years. Aussies use terms as “mate” and “beautiful” as if it’s going out of fashion and they will go out of their way to help you if you look lost in the middle of the street with a city map in your hand. This is what they refer to as “mateship” and I bloody love it.
These observations are just some of many I have up my sleeve that I will write about in the future.
Love to all and greetings to my fellow vikings back home.