brisvegas: day one

brisbane montageWell, will you look at that... I'm in Brisbane (and my typing accuracy is currently shit courtesy of my netbook keyboard)...

I'm not sure that I'm a huge fan of this "afternoon flight" thing. I'm used to getting up first thing in the morning, getting to the airport when it's still dark kind of deal. What ended up happening was that I was essentially at a loose end for the whole damn day.

I got up at the usual time, was kind of planning to pack my suitcase early, but that didn't quite eventuate due to internet based procrastination... it was still the morning though...

I always seem to get a scary amount of stuff in my suitcase too...

Anyway, once the one actual chore for the day was done and I'd had a shower, I wandered down to the supermarket to get something to eat and a paper... and once I'd done that I was officially bored.

There's nothing worse than knowing you have big plans later in the day and having nothing to occupy your time until then.

I have watched a movie, half fiddled around with my phone...

Eventually Ma arrived, but it wasn't even like we were headed straight out the door when she got there... so there was more sitting around (actually I did some pacing as well) until eventually we just gave in and went to the airport a little earlier than planned (and had a prick of a taxi driver who not only spent most of the journey fiddling with the radio stations, but also didn't get out to help us with the bags... urg).

Qantas has new check-in/bag drop counters... and I'm not sure I'm a huge fan. It's not that they're bad per say... but they're not particularly helpful for people who aren't overly tech savy... even I had trouble with them. It's also annoying that even though I'd already checked in online, I essentially had to go through the same thing again at the kiosk in order to get the bag sticker thing. Surely, if I've already done that the machine that checks my bag should give me a sticker. And the whole point of me using my phone is so that I don't have paper ticket things... but I ended up with them anyway.

It's annoying...

Anyway... The flight took off on time, and it was possibly one of the best flights of any we've taken recently. I didn't even feel slightly weird or nauseous, which is definitely a step forward. Whether that was connected to the afternoon flight thing or not I don't know.

But it was a pretty cruisy flight. I looked out the window for a bit... I watched part of Porco Rosso on my netbook... and the two hours went by pretty quickly. Actually we had a decent tailwind or whatever so we ended up getting into Brisbane about 15 minutes early.

By the time we got in though, the sun had already gone down, so that was something else we can check off the "To Do" list... travelling at dusk/landing at night. It was really pretty actually, but I really don't have any idea yet what Brisbane looks like.

Instead of what we've been doing on recent trips and getting picked up at the airport by a chauffeured car, we opted to just take a taxi this time. And given that we ended up with a driver who really didn't say anything (and who didn't even have the radio on), I think it was a good plan.

What was amusing as we drove in is that we went right past not only a sign for New Farm, but also The Beat nightclub... both of which automatically made me think of fellow blogger Eddy.

My first impression of Brisbane, obviously coloured by the fact that we've only seen it in the dark, is that if something stands still long enough, it will have lights, specifically neon but not necessarily, slapped on it.

Interestingly, the hotel entrance is right between two cafés (or a café spread across both sides, I'm not sure yet), and is trying perhaps a little too hard to look all classy and interesting.

What it mostly feels like is dated. Even with the doors that swing open as you approach and the gay desk attendant (and I'm convinced he's on Grindr... I really would like to message him, but it seems incredibly inappropriate... maybe on the last night hehe) and the obvious refurbishment happening in the lobby (at least I hope so, otherwise the lobby is just a hole).

It's kind of one of those up side/down side deals.

royal albert hotel roomThe up side is that the room is probably one of the biggest I've ever stayed in. And even though it's supposedly just a hotel room, it has a dining table and a desk (which is where I am now) and a sofa and coffee table and a teevee on a stand and a kitchen area with a microwave and a hot plate and a washer and dryer.

The down side is kind of two fold... partly it's because I think the walls are fairly thin... somebody just sneezed next door and I heard it (and I think they're doing something in the wardrobe now)... and partly it's because the décor of the room (not to mention the eye bleeding colours out in the hall) is somewhere between faux French brothel and Dallas/Dynasty chic.

Don't get me wrong... I love that I could host a rugby league team in here... it's just that it's all kinda ugly.

After we'd unpacked (and I'd stalked Desk Guy on Grindr briefly) we headed downstairs to find something for dinner. This is the first trip Ma and I have ever taken together where we didn't go to an Indian restaurant on our first night... but I'm okay with that because we kind of ended up doing almost the same thing on our first night here that we did on our last night in Sydney last year.

While it wasn't Wagamama (actually it was a place called Peony Asian Fusion), we did end up just having a bit of this and a bit of that instead of getting a big meal... but what we did get was edaname! Woohoo... I love those little green salty beans! And for the most part we picked things off the kind of yum cha menu... some pork buns (which were really, really good), some dumplings, some spring rolls (which came sliced up, oddly enough) and some spicy tofu thing.

All in all, very tasty.

On the way back we dropped into 7 Eleven to get some bottles of water (and some munchies to try and stop either of us from going anywhere near the mini bar)...

And that's about it really... I'm looking forward to tomorrow though, and seeing Brisbane in the daylight!

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