Banging, Brisbane, Base, Bargains and Back to Bed

BANG, *lockers tremble*, BANG *beds shake* BANG! Now you’d be forgiven for thinking we’d been involved in some sort of elephant based attack as that’s what it certainly felt like but we were actually having to endure the sound of people getting ready to leave the room. They seemed to be hurling themselves down from the top bunks to the floor, completely avoiding the ladders, and shaking every bed in the room; kind of like the epicentre of an earthquake. It really wasn’t the nicest way to wake up in the morning, especially when some “hilarious” people had thought it funny  to knock on alternate doors for a while, but I stayed snuggled on my pillow hoping that they’d hurry up and leave soon. But they didn’t. Nope, this torture lasted about 20 minutes and by the time they were done, I was too awake to get back to sleep. In a way it was a good thing as we had set an alarm for 8:30am to give us time to go and get breakfast but being so sleepy had decided against it. Being forcibly woken up could have given us more time to find the free food but not being in the mood and now quite irritable, I stayed in my warm bed pit instead.

Eventually, Codie decided that we needed to get up to change beds and toddled off to get his bag. Our beds had been on opposite sites of a dividing wall but now the girl above my bed had moved, he could claim the one above it instead and we could keep our things together. Of course that meant we had all the fun of changing the bed sheets too but we’re quite the experts now and it took barely any time at all. After that fun, we decided to investigate what we had in the cool bag for breakfast and made our way down to the kitchen. It’s a bit annoying having to leave all our food so far away from the room as it’s quite a distance and there’s been so many stories about people’s food going missing and we definitely don’t want that to happen! Grrrrrr. As expected there wasn’t too much to eat so Codie had cheese on toast and I had my usual 2 slices of cheese. I think I’m going to miss it when we run out; it’s become a morning tradition over the last few days! Breakfast gobbled and belongings gathered, we decided to walk into the city centre to sort a few things out and generally just have a look about.

IMG_5828Brisbane is more or less the same as the last time we were here although now we’ve been to other cities like Melbourne and Sydney, I have to admit it has a much nicer shopping centre area. Whilst Melbourne’s seems quite similar, Sydney didn’t really seem to have much of a centre at all and although it seemed really good at the time, I suppose having to wander quite a way up and down could get quite tedious in the end. We weren’t here to shop though, other than in Woolworths, so our first stop was Base Brisbane Central to see what could be done about the air train/shuttle bus issue when we first arrived. Wandering in and it was identical to the last time, the same weird smell and confused looking people only this time, we were actually helped. The woman we’d spoken to last time told us that if she couldn’t find the receipt we needed to try and get our money back she’d just refund us instead. That was really good news as I wasn’t really expecting STA to actually sort it out whereas there was now more of a chance we could get it back, always good when you’re trying to be careful with money.

Leaving Base quite happy, we headed towards the museum square to find somewhere to sit in the shade. It was definitely a lot hotter than I remembered it being last time and the humidity was crazy. We sat for a while, Codie helping his friend and me just watching people wandering about which was really, really funny. There were so many people taking photographs of the museum building, fair enough as it’s a beautiful looking place, but not a single person would leave the pavement to have a closer look. Some of them stood there for ages, changing angles and looking back at their pictures only to shrug and walk away. I’m pretty sure that there’s no rule about getting closer, we were sat closer on the bench! In the end, we left our spot and went off to explore the shopping area to try and find a new waterproof Go Pro case which is when we decided that the layout is a lot better than some cities we’ve been too. I think the only thing that lets it down is the angry looks on peoples’ faces and their rush to get past, shoving, rolling their eyes and muttering as they hurriedly walk by. I think that’s really what makes me dislike the city along with the fact that everything is so modern and imposing, almost as if they want to squash any history they once had. With Brisbane being colonised aborigines and then by convicts sent from Sydney, there’s so much potential to show off and yet, unlike Sydney, it’s really hard to find any evidence when walking about. I refuse to just let it slide though; if I discover more about it, perhaps I’ll like it more which can’t be a bad thing!IMG_5829

We spent a couple of hours in the centre and although didn’t manage to find a cheap enough GoPro case, we were successful in getting some tasty tea food in from Woolworths. I planned to make enough of tonight’s tea that I could store two more portions in tubs for tomorrows tea so we’ll just have to heat it up instead so went and found some cheap, plastic food tubs. I’m not really sure why we haven’t done it earlier, I think it’ll save so much time and we won’t try and eat too much at once just to get rid of it. And yes, we’ve sometimes eaten so much food that I’ve had to just sit for a while…Whilst I was wandering about collecting all the proper food, as I like to call it, I lost Codie who had wandered off only to reappear holding a box of cookies for $1 and the led me to a reduced strawberries and cream cake for $1.80. Of course we just had to have them for those prices! We then found ourselves in another reduced bit with iPhone cases for 20cents each and proceeded to spend ages trying to find ones we liked, digging around in the box. It took a while to find one Codie liked but we got there in the end and we eventually managed to leave for the tiring walk back.

After dragging our sleepy selves back to the hostel and feeling spots of rain on our foreheads, I was more than happy to find myself climbing up the stairs and back into reception. It’s no distance at all to walk into the centre and back and yet when we’ve been walking today, it’s felt like a complete challenge to move my feet. I think it’s probably because we ran out of water last night in the stuffy temperate so I sweated out all my fluids though we haven’t eaten much today so it could be that too. Either way, it was quite a difficult walk back! Having said that, it’s so, so much easier than when we first arrived in Australia. After having been to the gym everyday for a while and then making sure I always walked the dogs, I had thought that my fitness levels were quite good but they most certainly were not. Even carrying my bag no longer feels like carrying boulders anymore; the first time I put it on, I could barely stand up and walk. It’s really great to think that I’ve improved as it’s happening even without me knowing and just enjoying things instead. I think that’s what I’ll have to continue doing when we get home; I’m going to find something I really like doing so it doesn’t feel like I’m doing anything at all!

Having a little rest.
Having a little rest.

Making sure that everything was crammed into the cool bag and grabbing my laptop, we found a spot on the sofas in reception and settled down for a while. Annoyingly we paid for internet as opposed to using the free one because we were led to believe it’d work in the room but it doesn’t. Grrrrrr. I wanted to have a look at a few New Zealand things and the news so I spent a while on that before working on my blog and going through my photos. I really feel like we should be out more as we’ve been spending so long outside in the other places but there isn’t so much to do in Brisbane. While we have things to do and sort I’d much rather ‘save’ the museum trips and things for the days when we’re struggling a bit. I’m not sure whether it’s a good plan or a bad one but it works for me! After a couple of hours, I found myself flagging and forgetting what I was doing so we decided it was time for food and wandered off to the kitchen. It was a great time to go as it nobody else was there so we could make our yummy tea without getting in the way of anybody else and were able to find pots and pans and things pretty easily. Always good. I’ve made food in a few places where there’s only one or two pots between everybody in the hostel so I always appreciate situations like this.

IMG_5833Tonight’s tea was tuna pasta complete with sweetcorn and a three bean mix with cheese on top and tinned potatoes on the side. A little strange perhaps including potatoes with the pasta but I’ve been curious about what they taste like and it seemed a good as opportunity as any. They were alright really, as nice as you’d expect tinned food to be but they didn’t satisfy my jacket potato cravings at all. I even thing they made it worse. Grrrrr. Damn you tasty baked potatoes! I’d make one myself but they always just seem to be crunchy and just not the same as home. Ah well. At least there’ll be something to look forward to when I’m sad about the end of the trip! Once we’d demolished the food and stored the rest for tomorrow’s tea, we indulged in a slice of tasty reduced cake and went back upstairs. Full of food and sleepy from the day, we sat down in the little chill out area writing up our blogs and emailing people. The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is currently looking for video editing volunteers and I’d love to help if I can so have sent them my CV, references and an idea for a film I’ve been thinking about. I hope we’re able to; it’d be lovely to help them and would meant that buying our working visas hasn’t been a complete waste of time. Now I just have to wait and see if they reply- fingers crossed! It was quite chilly where we were sitting due to the air con blowing so after a little while and after a conversation with a couple of girls who are also travelling about, we went back to the room and got ready for a shower.I’d struggled a bit at one point as the music from Requiem Of A  Dream was played and they automatically said it was from the X Factor and Britains Got Talent. I know it sounds a bit snobby but I find it a bit sad that everything seems to be associated with reality tv programmes nowadays. Still, I suppose a bit of intertextuality can be thought of as keeping “old” texts alive in the modern era (I miss postmodernism!).

I’m now snuggled up in a fleecy blankets after a lovely…cold…hot…cold shower and waiting for Codie to get back so we can watch a film or something on his laptop. This room is ridiculously quiet tonight* and there are even some empty beds so why I heard people being turned away, I have no idea. I suppose that they possibly didn’t want to stay in a 20 bed room but to be honest, we’ve stayed in 4 bed dorms that have been a lot worse. Who knows what we’ll do tomorrow, I know we have to go back to Base to get our refund but it’s supposed to rain all day so perhaps we’ll end up watching films and things rather than wandering about getting wet. We’ll just have to see but I do know that I’ll enjoy a little bit of relaxation before we (hopefully) get to film and jet off to New Zealand in a week or so.

*Things took a turn for the worse at about 12am when a group of guys came in, stomped past our bed and threw their things on a bed next to us. They then proceeded to bang on the dividing wall and talked ridiculously loud despite seeing the light was off and that everyone was trying to sleep. Grrrrrrr. I definitely spoke to soon about it being quiet!

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