Viva Bris-Vegas

Trip Start Aug 04, 2011
Trip End Jan 04, 2012

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Where I stayed

Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

After being dropped off by the courtesy bus provided by the hostel, we hulked our bags away from the information booth at the bus stop and to the nearby beach. In part trying to avoid another long drawn out conversation with the nice man at the info booth but also because we had 4 hours to whittle down and some of that could be spent sunning ourselves.

The beach was a quiet affair with a few surfers trying and failing to stay upright in what didn't look like too trying conditions. I was quite keen on trying surfing but it looks a lot like snowboarding with a lot more effort. Being keen on the snowboarding and not so keen on the effort I will leave it to those who want to spend 60% of their time paddling out into the surf, 20% of their time awaiting a wave and atttempting to stand up on it's arrival, 2% surfing and 18% brushing themselves off after being flung into the air seconds later to play with the not so friendly jellyfish. The higher ratio of actual snowboarding to standing around appeals to me and seems better value for my day (when I get a chance) - obviously being in 28 degrees in the middle of summer, now is not the time - surfing just seems a little bit pointless to me.
A couple of hours sunned up and consistently sprayed with sand by my loving fidgety wife who needs to turn over seemingly every 20 seconds and we were heading for our customary McDonalds lunch. It gave me a chance to access some free wifi and gave us both a chance to sit in the shade and cool down a bit; Kate ordered a sundae and was dissapointed to find it wasn't toffee, but chocolate.

The bus to Brisbane only took a couple of hours and it wasn't a bad one, most of the time was spent reading. On entering Brissy, I took an interest in all the work going on, lots of roadbuilding and such like, skyscrapers in the distance close to our eventual destination. Quite a low rise sprawling city otherwise.
The transit centre is the biggest bus centre I have been in so far and it is close to all the nearby hostels; only a short 5-10 minute walk to Chill, Brisbane Backpackers and Brisbane City YHA where we would be staying. All grouped together, these hostels seem to offer similar deals and similar facitilities but we have tended towards the YHA's because we know what to expect and they provide a pretty good service.

Post happy hour jug of beer we walked over to the nearby supermarket with the intention of buying a few breakfasts and sandwiches for our filler meals over the next few days and I was distracted by a cinema. On a whim we went for a film, Contagion, and really enjoyed the experience. The cinema based at 'The Barracks' complex appears slightly arty, serves alcohol, has very comfortable seating (more comfortable than I have ever been in) and is not horribly overpriced (to Australia standards). Dissapointingly we probably could have walked into the cinema without buying a ticket and being $22 richer as nobody was there to collect them anyhow. 

Contagion was ok. It's always nice to see lead actors bite the bullet early in a film. I personally felt the film was a little hard on the Hong Kong tourist trade. Hong Kong is a city that takes disease spread very seriously and has warnings everywhere. The people are known for wearing face masks whenever they are ill (Post Sars) and it's a cleaner city than most. I personally think large areas of London are worse. The cast of Jude Law, Matt Damon (looking a little porky), Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet and Gwyneth Paltrow did what they could to pull a limited storyline through 2 hours and we walked away not unpleased.

What made this experience all the sweeter though was what occured at the end of the film. 5 minutes from the end, 3 scruffy looking lads entered the cinema and quickly shuffled their way to the back. Being judgemental I hurrumfed that these guys were clearly trying to cause trouble or  trying to grab a free film (not very well turning up 5 minutes from the end) or something.

As we walked out the guys were still sat in their seats and laughing in a dejected kind of way.
I looked at the cinema leaflet and noticed we had overrun into the following screening by 5 minutes. These poor 3 fellas has rushed to make it to thier showing (turning up late to cinema standards) and had inadvertantly caught the end of the film. Things are never what they seem on the surface.
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