Archive for April, 2013
Walking through Brisbane you are guaranteed to meet all kinds of strange birds. Some of them have a bill so long, they look like a European trying to eat with Asian chopsticks for the first time. Others seem to have recognized the boundless opportunities that arise, when you can watch inside a bedroom through window while sitting on the rooftop.
Some of the plants appeal at least as strange to a European eye, as the birds do. Some of the most exceptional can be found at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens at the foot of Mount Coot-tha only 10 minutes from where we live right now.
In Australia beauty and abomination, meadow and concrete, modernity and past seem to collide even more directly than in other parts of the world. This picture captures these contrasts. On the left one can see the edge of an immense construction site marking one end of an automobile tunnel planning to open 2015. On the right, separated by a solid wall one can see the edge of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens.
These pictures represent another aspect of the clashing contrasts in Brisbane. With the city’s economic rise following the World Expo in 1988, there has been a true construction mania in the last decades up until today. Glass cube after glass cube, skyscraper after skyscraper replaced almost all of the buildings, which still hat a connection to the cities foundation around 170 years ago.
When the sun disappears behind the skyline, the city begins to glow and the youth begins to party. Although alcohol is vastly expensive compared to German levels, somehow they still can afford it. There might be an almost fifty percent chance of a student party in Germany becoming a “kitchen party”. The same applies for Australian student parties, except you have to replace “kitchen” with “porch”, as the fieriness of the day alters to pleasing, fresh warmth during nights.
It is autumn in Australia right now. Saying this doesn’t tell you much about the current weather, as long as you don’t specify the region you’re in. This country stretches over more than 40 degrees of longitude and therefore inherits all kinds of climates.
In the Brisbane region it means that the rainy season is over although there is still heavy but short rain almost every day, the temperatures drops to about 15 degree Celsius at night and 20-25 degree during daytime. The sun which shows itself several times a day is still very hot and strong. This is the reason one is surrounded by impressive, lush, jungle-like vegetation in Brisbane now.
Last evening the sky was burning. I managed to take some pictures. There isn’t really much to say about them. I hope they can transport some of the overwhelming feeling it was, standing right under this sky.
“Yummy!” is what they say about something that tastes good. I have to say I found these especially so. They are called scones and are made of simple pumpkin, flour, eggs and milk. You preferably eat them while they are still hot and put some salty butter on them. As we all know anything that is good gets even better with butter and that even more so applies to salty butter.
Australians love there seafood. As 85 percent of the population lives within 50 kilometers of the coastline, fresh fish is never far away. I have eaten prawns before but none of them tasted like these. I was told, the difference is, that the ones I’ve eaten had been frozen. If you ever get a chance to try fresh prawns. don’t miss it!
Australians are in general pretty proud of their country, which directly translates into being especially proud of anything Australian that manages to receive public attention anywhere outside the country. This is definitely true about the Bee Gees. So it’s no surprise you can find a pavement, solely build to tell you the story if this pop music group in Redcliffe. In case you are wondering how that small seaside town relates to the Bee Gees: It’s where they grew up.
May I introduce you to Artemis Marmaduke Pinklestone. He is the most gecko-interested one of the six loveable, crazy and amazing uni students we are living with right now. Apparently he also goes to uni even less than the other ones.
Here are two more members of this “family”. After spending a lot of sweat and time making this beautiful car work again, they are rightfully proud.
I arrived in Brisbane on a Thursday. There is a lot of water in this city. The Brisbane River goes right through the center of it. There are ferries that circle around several stations at the riverside on a ten minute basis, too. You don’t have to pay for them and you even get a free, mumbled greeting by the staff almost every time you enter or leave.
We spend the first day at a parkland right in the middle of the city, before the guy we stayed at the first couple of nights picked us up. I was exhausted and jetlagged and in the afternoon I entered delirious places, I think I have never been at before. The only thing that kept me awake was the overwhelming experience of a whole different environment. Plants, trees, birds, smells and noises all of which I have never heard, smelled or seen before.
The place we stayed at the first couple of nights was located in a suburb of Brisbane. I suddenly felt like being replaced into American Beauty – except there where palm trees everywhere. I got rid of the jetlag and waited for my body to adopt to the quite different climate while experiencing the astounding hospitality and friendliness of an Australian family.
You should image me walking around almost every place I’d go in the first couple of days in a way like Alice walked around right after falling into that whole in the ground. I was that overwhelmed by everything, trying to soak up everything that I almost stepped onto this little guy. Lucky enough he was way more laid back upon that than I was and I still managed to take a photo.
Actually I tend to believe that these kind of markets are almost the same all around the world. At least the Australian ones are quite similar to the German ones. Except more sunglasses and less sausages.
We had a great time walking along the coastline. There were much more boats and people there and we even got to see a shipwreck a lot of people pay lots of money to see on the ground of the ocean.