Thursday, April 24, 2008

Venturing into Brisbane.

I don't like Brisbane. I keep saying this & I keep landing in this dullest of cities. Brisbane lovers say how livable it is (if you like being slowly simmered in a humidifier), how cosmoploitan it's become (where have they travelled?), How pretty (Hmmm...). The river is as brown & sluggish as the Yarra (Melbourne's river) & the place is a maze of one way streets. OK, you have the picture. I just don't like the place, being a Sydney girl myself & having absolutely no sense of direction.

So Thursday we were on our way into Newstead. I did consider driving in ~ briefly! A passing moment of madness. Instead we opted for the train. Now Sydney gripes about its public transport fully as much as Brisbane does but I have never been thrown of a train that said it was going my way as often or as regularly as when I travel Brisbane rail! One stop short of our destination we were racing up stairs & down stairs to make our connection. Moving at speed is not Ditz's thing but panic is. Not a good combination! I was getting rattled having opted for a mud map instead of dragging the refedex with us. Why do I do these things?

Now I know so little about my own capital city (I know. I know. Please, no lectures.) That I didn't even know that Brunswick street is the wineing & dining centre of Brisbane. It was simply the street that was going to get me to where I was going. On the map it looked about a 10 minute walk. Half an hour later Ditz was convinced I'd lost her in the middle of Brisbane beyond all hope of redemption. 'How can I be lost,' I snapped, 'when we're walking a grid?' Blank look from my beloved child. I explained grids & why I was walking one; so that we wouldn't get lost!

All this for a 2 hour master class with David Kidd. When I recover my equilibrium & get over the migraine I may consider it worth it. At present what looms large in my mind is the class running overtime & me with one eye on the clock knowing it's an hour on the train, 20 minutes in the car & if I am lucky enough to get a 9pm train heading south that will barely get us on the last boat home. There are days when living on an island is sooo much fun!

I hurtled out the door at a brisk trot my reluctant child trailing in my wake but sharing how tight out time restrictions were was definitely not advisable. I had a full head of steam up & was hooting along, Ditz huffing & puffing in my wake. Every set of lights she caught up as we wove our way through the city's night life revellers. Ditz had her big boots on so I could hear her clumping along behind me.

There were, with Anzac day & dawn services the following morning, police everywhere, which was reassuring despite mobs of inebriated young men milling about aimlessly & Ditz, who doesn't like Brisbane either, was keeping me close. Just the same, we were waiting at the last set of lights when glancing at Ditz I noticed a little white haired old man trying to hit on my daughter. Now I know Ditz is tall & well developed & carries herself like a queen but for crying out loud she is 12 years old! She dresses like she's 12. She dresses modestly. She's not allowed make~up. She was a kid wearing a back~pack & carrying a flute! Ditz moved a little closer & I put a hand protectively on her shoulder & the creep took one horrifed look at my *mummy tiger* face & hurridly backed off. I was looking round for one of the prolific coppers.

There were hordes of them at the train station nabbing fare evaders & under age binge drinkers & the rail guard hearded everyone into the first 3 carriages & patroled those 3 carriages constantly, which made me feel a whole lot better as the rails don't have a particularly good reputation.

We arrived at the jetty to find the boats were 1/2 an hour behind schedule & we finally arrived home about midnight 14 hours after we left. Given how awful I felt last night I feel pretty good this morning. Another day & I might actually feel like it was worth it.


Mrs. Darling said...

You are much braver than I am! I just cant navigate bog cities. My hats off to you.

molytail said...

Have I mentioned my hatred for cities before? Okay, so hatred is a rough word, but I really really really dislike them! I googled "Brisbane" and the population is over a million - that is just way too many people living in the same darn place.

The way many young girls are growing up these days, he might have assumed the age didn't mean anything...unfortunately. Good on you mama tiger!

(You're raising a young lady, be proud!)