From Base Central to Base Embassy

With it being our last night at Base Brisbane Central last night, rather than hang around there whilst we waited for the bank and medicare things to be sorted we decided to try our luck in another hostel and see if that was any better. Annoyingly due to rugby being on in the city, many places were booked up or charged an absolute fortune and so not wanting to spend all our money in the first place, we chose to try Base Embassy just down the road. Well I say just down the road, this was a road which seemed to go on forever and ever!

Goodbye private room luxury!
Goodbye private room luxury!

Once we arrived at the hostel, it was clear that it was a lot better than the last hostel and immediately felt a lot cleaner and definitely a lot friendlier. Despite not being able to check in for a while, the nice receptionist showed us where we could keep our things whilst we waited before we headed up to the cinema room for a sit down in the quiet. It was huge and it was great to just have a bit of peace after the chaos of the last couple of days. We were able to use our laptops and watch a bit of TV, already quite a luxury! We spent quite a while in there just relaxing until it was time for us to check in and see what the new room was like, our first in a dorm room. I was pleasantly surprised by it as it was a lot more spacious than I thought it would be, even more so than the “spacious” double room we had been given in the last place, and we had our own set of bunk beds. This was particularly useful as we noticed that somebody was using a sheet hung up to give them a bit of privacy and we were now able to do that too. Hooray! Having been in a dorm before, I knew that it could get a bit weird with strangers sleeping in a room with you and so it was nice to have a little bit of separation. Of course that’s not to say that I hate hostels and think it’s ridiculous for so many people to be stuck in a room, that’s not the case at all, I just think it’s nice to be able to get dressed and sleep in private, especially when I often sleep with my eyes open! For the sake of other people I think the sheet is a great idea!

Base Embassy balcony view
Base Embassy balcony view

After settling in and clearing a space for our belongings through the mess that was the floor, we thought it was best that we went out to try and find some food. Woolworths was just across the road from here (still quite weird to see it as a food shop) and so we toddled off across the road to investigate what tasty snacks they had on offer. Hmmm. Not much really in terms of yummy yet affordable snacks but I think that’s probably because we’re still a bit reluctant to spend too much on food and are still getting used to the currency differences. Nevertheless we found some cheap $1 pasta and about $1 sauce for tea and also found a tin of shredded chicken and mayo for lunch on some 85 cents bread. Yum. To be honest, I’m just looking forward to having food that isn’t fast. Hungry Jacks was nice to begin with but the novelty is definitely starting to wear off now and even the thought is a bit sickening. After selecting our food we wandered around the shop being horrified by the extortionate prices of cheese, ok that was mainly me, and then we discovered a whole section dedicated to Halloween. I never really thought that they celebrated it over here after being told it a couple of times so it was a bit strange to see and I wondered how different it’d be compared to at home. There’s still a few weeks to go until it though so I’ll just have to wait and see.

Mmmm what a...tasty looking sandwich
Mmmm what a…tasty looking sandwich

On the way back to the hostel, still quite tired from our busy Lone Pine day, we decided to have a quick look around the Apple store to see what it was like here. Really it wasn’t too different at all other than looking a lot more wooden and being based in a really beautiful and old looking building. I much prefer it like that, old buildings have so much more character than newer ones with all their intricate patterns and stone work and I like to think that I’ll end up living somewhere like that (come on lots of money!). Obviously other than wandering about looking at all the nice, expensive things we didn’t have much else to do and so drifted back over to the hostel to make ourselves a sandwich. It was quite busy in the kitchen so whilst Codie washed up some plates as so many people here don’t seem to understand how to wash up properly, I found a little space and got everything ready. The kitchen itself was surprisingly big, much like the rest of the hostel, with tables and chairs inside as well as a connecting balcony where we chose to take our food and take in the view of the Brisbane streets. I think I started to like Brisbane a little bit more when we were on the balcony, it was a lot more relaxing and being a little bit higher up, you weren’t drowned in the shadows of the dominating buildings. The only thing that was ruining lunch time was a guy wailing on a guitar in the kitchen. If you’ve ever seen The Inbetweeners 2 then you’ll understand how annoying it was! It’d have been fine had he kept to a reasonable level but practically shouting and making it impossible to have a conservation got quite annoying in the end.

Whilst demolishing our odd looking but delicious sandwich, we spoke to a man originally from India who had moved from Melbourne to Brisbane for work. I found it a bit strange that he’d left Melbourne as I’ve heard it’s such a nice place to slightly boring Brisbane but I could just be being harsh and haven’t given Brisbane a proper chance yet. I’m not sure though, cities have never been on my list of favourite places and I think I’ll be much happier in a little town somewhere. Anyway, the man told us that it was illegal to cross the road without the little green man which was really good to know as we didn’t want our first week to be jaded by a hefty police fine! It’s weird to think that though as at home you just seem to be able to cross when you have the chance and when in a  city it’s just common sense to wait until there’s no traffic. The green man is also weird here as he’s walking backwards! There’s a joke that everything is the other way around over here but the green man actually is! Very strange.

A Lone Pine photograph
A Lone Pine photograph

After the food we decided to spend a little bit more time in the TV room as I wanted to go through all the Lone Pine photographs I’d taken. We watched an Australian version of You’ve Been Framed and then an old episode of Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway came on which was really weird to see. I know the show is broadcast in many countries but for some reason I just wasn’t expecting it here and it was nice to see something familiar. Unfortunately I didn’t get to watch it for long as a guy came in and changed the channel, grrrr, and we ended up watching the end of a film. I decided to just focus on the photo editing instead and settled down to look through them. A second disappointment. The UV filter on the long lens had caused the pictures to be slightly blurry and not really very sharp which was really quite annoying. That particular lens doesn’t seem very able to handle any filters without distorting the image but with it being such a bright sunny day, I didn’t want to take any chances in terms of damage. Definitely won’t be making that mistake again! From now on I’m going to remove the filter and just be careful with the angles I take the photos at. Despite this particular problem, I did manage to find a few I was relatively pleased with and decided to turn my kangaroo one into a part of a new photography logo. It seems very apt to have an Australian themed one whilst in Australia so I set about doing that for a while. In the end, after a couple of hours in the comfort of the cinema style seats, we decided it was probably best we made our tasty, cheap pasta for tea. Just as we were leaving a man came in and asked if he could put the rugby on though the other guy said he had to wait until another film had ended first. Bit rich since he’d barged in and changed what we were watching without even asking! I really hope he got to watch it in the end though there’s not really any way I can find out. Fingers crossed for him!

Back in the kitchen and we were faced with a bit of a problem. It was completely and utterly packed. There wasn’t a single bit of space on any surface and with people spread out and chatting to each other, it didn’t seem as though they were in any rush to leave. Hmmm. I think you can guess what happened next…..we went back to Hungry Jacks. I changed my choice this time and it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting so it wasn’t the end of the world. I just hope that we’ll be able to make our own food soon as I actually miss proper meals. A little while later and after a quick shower, we headed back to the room to go to sleep, ready for another day of moving hostels tomorrow. Upon opening the door we were hit with a wall of heat and a group of French travellers sitting on the floor with skateboards and playing music. They did quieten down a little bit once they realised that we wanted to sleep which was nice of them however the heat was relentless and seemed to creep into every single bit of space. It would have been lovely to have working air con but we just had an open window with the sound of traffic and people out drinking. Still, there was nothing much we could do so settled down and went to sleep in preparation for another busy day.

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