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Sunny and wet Brisbane – Forever Melbourne!


I spent a weekend in Helge’s city Brisbane 2 weeks ago and it was 2 days full of program: Some were great experiences; some were, however, unsuccessful. 

Firstly, some impressions of Brisbane and Queensland: Generally, if you just see the South bank area along the river with many high towers, the city of Brisbane seems to be another Melbourne. But if you go through the streets, you may think you are just in a small town or a big village, because it’s so quiet on the streets even on weekend, whereas in Melbourne there is always something going on. I have heard that 1.8 million people are living in Brisbane, where the hell are they?! I really can’t see many of them going out at the night.

Whatever, Helge, Steffen (a German Informant and a friend of Helge) and me went to Tangalooma Dolphin Resort on Saturday. It’s an Island that we had to take ferry to get there. The weather forecast was not promising at all and it was actually very cloudy when we arrived there. We saw first a lot of pelicans on the beach, really amazing, as I have never seen these birds so close!




Since the weather was getting warmer, fortunately, we just have looked around a bit, relaxed on the beach for a while, taken some photos to capture the beautiful scenes on the island. Steffen is really a nice guy. I got along very well with him, especially because he is crazy about good photos like I do. Whenever we saw something nice, it’s either me or Steffen who said “I have a good idea for a perfect photo!” Although Helge doesn’t enjoy taking that many photos, he had no choice but to wait for us until we were finished with our photo sessions. Look, does this picture convince you of our great ideas, doesn’t it?

Later on we did a desert safari tour with a bus that took us to a sand dune on the island. There we got instruction from the bus driver how to do a sand tobogganing with a board from the top of the dune.

I, already very excited like a child, had the first go before the guys. The only thing you have to do is to lie on the board with hand holding the board. Then the bus driver just gave me a push that made me to start sliding down the dune. And if you hold your body very strained, you can gain a lot of speed, which was good fun! But what you could not avoid was the sand that was blowing into your face and mouth. It has already become very hot in the meantime (the weather is really unpredictable in Australia) and we were not prepared to this weather at all. Helge and me even didn’t use sun cream. Fortunately, my skin was not that sensitive, just got a little sunburn on the back. But poor Helge and Steffen with their red faces!

Back to beach, we hired some snorkelling gear because we were told that there is a wreck in the water where you can see a lot of fishes swimming around. It took us about 15 minutes to walk along the beach to the spot where the wreck is. I can tell you, the beach is so fabulous and the water was shining in the sun!

Honestly, I have never snorkelled before and it felt so unusual to breach with the gear, so I was already quite exhausted after swimming from beach to the wreck and I had a cramp in my foot that made me feel a little uneasy. Nevertheless, I tried to swim with the guys near the wreck and saw small fishes under the water which was quite cool.  However, we couldn’t only see the fishes but also the wreck just a meter underneath our feet which looks really creepy and reminded me of the movie “Titanic”. Helge kept swearing because he was scared to see the wreck and fishes so close to him. Steffen and me didn't feel very comfortable either, maybe because the water was pretty cool and we didn’t wear any wetsuits that we felt a little bit unsafe to swim near the fishes. Since my cramp got worse too, we swam back to the beach and took some pictures. At least it was a good experience to know how snorkelling feels like!

That was pretty much of our trip to Tangalooma. It was one of the loveliest days I have had in Australia. I really enjoyed it much and it’s a shame that we could not stay longer there!  At the night we met Steffen in the city for dinner and walked to the river to see the south bank area. Beside of that, there is not really much to see in Brisbane.

For Sunday we planed a trip to Surfers Paradise in Gold Coast with Steffen and Daniel (another German guy from Helge’s office). Honestly, I have already been exited about this trip since I knew the plan, because I really wanted to try surfing what I couldn’t make until now. Since Helge has already surfed once and was quite successful, I thought it would be great to let him teach me for my first try. Unfortunately, it turned out that the weather didn’t look good at all when we got ready to leave home in the morning. I was hoping that the weather would get better suddenly like it did the day before on the whole drive. 

But it was hopeless: When we arrived in Surfers Paradise, the sky was still covered with clouds and it was showering. Later on, it even became more gusty and colder. And the water was just too stormy to surf, especially for a new beginner. How bad was that?! I mean, I have always heard from Helge how warm it is in Brisbane. Once I was here just for one weekend, the weather was such bad, how disappointing!

Since our surfing plan failed completely, we only stayed on the beach for a short while to show me the towers along the beach which is the symbol of Gold Coast.  At least I can tell now that I have been to Surfers Paradise in Gold Coast once! It was a busy weekend and I was totally exhausted when I came back to Melbourne in the night of Sunday. Although we had bad luck with the weather, I really had a great time in Brisbane. I think I would agree if someone says that Brisbane is beautiful and a good spot to get to the fantastic beaches for holidays. But for living, watch out Queensland; choose Melbourne, because Melbourne is definitely the most exciting city ever in Australia!


20.11.07 05:09

You are never dressed up enough for Melbourne’s Cup!

Hey Guys!

Last week is really short one for me since I started to work after an extended weekend on Wednesday again. Although I got 4 days free, there are not really much to mention, because the most of time from Saturday until this Tuesday was quite relaxing and unspectacular:

Friday: joined Mervyn (a Malaysia-Chinese I met through my daily journey with train) to a R’n’B night club near my place and met there a lot of other Malaysia –Chinese guys. The funny thing about them that they all don’t speak Chinese! That’s why they are so called Bananas! Explanation: A banana is yellow outside like their skin colour (okay we Asians are more yellow than white), but inside they are 100% Aussies, so white like the inside of a banana, you get it?! Later on Rhea joined in and has been treating me to beers and shots all the night. Don’t worry, I didn’t get drunk just a little bit tipsy….

Saturday: Got home at 5 am after clubbing, sleeping, got up after 6 hours, met Phil for shopping in a DFO (Direct Factory Outlets) near the airport which is not easy to get there, returned with new stuffs because otherwise it wouldn’t be worth travelling so long to go there. In the evening we went to see the British movie “Death at a funeral” which was so hilarious because everything goes wrong in that film and makes you laugh every time!

You know I love to go to cinemas and there is really something special about Australian cinemas that I haven’t see in German cinemas before. I have heard that some cinemas here offer so called “Gold Class”. You have probably to pay more than the double you pay for a normal cinema, but in a Gold Class you will see the movie in a kind of lounge which is elegant and suitable for not more than 30 people. You will seat there in a big comfortable couch where you can lean back and relax like you watched the TV from your bed and you can push a button beside you to call a waiter who can serve you food and drinks whenever and whatever you want during the whole movie! It sounds really cool, doesn’t it? You must be feeling like a very exclusive VIP enjoying other people doing services for you!

Sunday: shopping alone in a raining day. Monday: shopping…. You must be thinking I am crazy about shopping right? In some ways maybe you are right, but this time I was looking desperately for an outfit to wear on the Melbourne’s Cup!Just letting know what was going on in Melbourne recently: The Melbourne’s Cup insists of 4 traditional horse racing days with international participation and is supposed to be one of the greatest sporting events in the world. The Cup is also famous for its fashion. I’m not kidding. It is a tradition that all guys have to wear suit which is just a simple thing in contrast to the preparation the girls need to do. They do have to wear dresses and hats or fascinators (accessories made of feathers) as if they are going to attend a cocktail party. I guess you have certainly seen such a racing event before, perhaps on the TV or in the movie, for example, “Pretty Woman”, so some pictures of cliché may appear now in your head of elegantly dressed racegoers…

To be honest, I didn’t plan to go see the races at first. But then I realized that this Melbourne’s Cup is really a big event here in Australia: Already a month ago, you could find advertising of the races everywhere in the city, outfits and accessories were available in many shops, people were already excited about it, it’s truly an attraction of Melbourne that I thought I should attend it and bought me a general admission for 26 Bucks which is quite ok. Fortunately, by the end of day I got finally new dress and a cheap fascinator which is matching my dress! Well, actually as I have already mentioned you can find many shops offering the outfits and accessories, but it was hard to find some cheap ones, since I would never spend 60 $ on some feathers like the Aussies do!

Tuesday: Emirates Melbourne Cup Day! I went to the Australia’s richest race, the $ 5.1 million Emirates Melbourne Cup, with Phil and Steffi who is a German informant. When we got there, the racing day, which consisted of 10 races, had already begun and the field was full of people. And what people! The girls there were all looking just gorgeous like you were attending a model contest. I believe Phil really enjoyed seeing all the young pretty ladies, especially those who wore very short dresses, heheWith our tickets we didn’t have access to every area, either seats (that’s why they were quite cheap), so we went to the lawn stand which was just in front of the track. Siemens actually has a corporate marquee above the track with catering, but of course we were not invited. Got to the lawn stand, it was already crowded of racegoers. Some of them were really well prepared for the racing day: they brought their chairs, blankets, picnic stuffs and cool box full of beers! It was such a lovely day because the sun was shining all the time.

Honestly, I don’t really like horses, but I enjoyed watching the races, maybe because of the fantastic atmosphere there. However, we witnessed a very sad accident: It was the third race of the Cup program and a horse named Bay Story appeared to snap a hid leg in the last 150m of the race. After the race, Bay Story was shot because his leg was too badly broken to mend, how sad……

Since everybody bets on the races, we felt motivated to try it too. I bet on 2 horses, Purple Moon and Mahler, of the biggest race of the day after I had got an Insider tip from someone. When the race started, Each of Steffi and me shouted for our horses to win and it was so exciting! Now I can understand the Aussies who love to bet a bit, because it made such a fun to see your horse racing on the field. Guess what, I bet my horses gonna be under top 3, and Purple made the second, Mahler the third place! That was awesome! Although I only won 29 dollars (I paid 20 for 4 bets), I was really happy!

It was nearly 1830 pm when the last race finished, people, being either exhausted or really drunk, began to leave the field and left a messy lawn full of rubbish behind them…. (see the last pic!)

14.11.07 05:40

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