The good thing about Brisbane is that morning starts pretty early. By 6:30 the coffee shops are already functional and people are on their way to work. As a result, the bad thing is that day ends early too. So by 17:00 people are already leaving for the day, shops down shutters and the roads become deserted.
Today being the first day at work in the local office, I had set the alarm pretty early. But as is the norm, I overslept and then rushed through the morning chores to meet the other guys for breakfast. We had found a few cafe’s nearby, but they were all closed on Sunday. This morning they were back in business with people lined up for their favourite caffeinated poison. During recent times, I have been avoiding coffee and stick only to green tea. As a result, earlier at the airport I was quite put off by the cappuchino. This morning I settled for something called ‘Flat White’ which was more milky and very mild on the coffee content. Probably the yummiest honey-oat cookie on earth was what I bit into, along with the flat-white. If there was one thing I could carry back home, it would be these coffee shops which are so much more nicer than the pretentious brands that have mushroomed all around in India.
Breakfast over we found ourselves a black and white taxi cab to take us to office. The cabbie was an Indian and was playing a local hindi radio station, where we heard someone review the recent Madhur Bhandarkar movie ‘Jail’. Apparently its not too nice.
The office is very beautiful and the first people I met there was Spot and the Fearless Fedora Leader – Stickster. It’s quite an honour and the day could’nt have started better. Slowly people trickled in and names were matched to faces. I found a desk to plant myself and the day’s business started. At lunch-time, Gladys led us on to a small steak joint in Queen Street mall. I was not quite sure about stuffing myself with steak in the middle of the workday and settled for some sausages and mashed potatoes. It was a fun lunch and we spoke a lot about the local food habits of our places. On last count, we had people from 6 nationalities on that table. Mixed nationalities included.
The post-lunch session was a busy rush of meetings and presentations. The day ended pretty early by general work-day standards. At 6, Ankit and I left office in search of something to take us home. We decided to find our way back on foot and started walking in the general direction we ‘guestimated’ from the map. We walked past the Roma Street Parkland and landed somewhere near Wickham Terrace. Next we followed the markings for Turbot street that would take us back to Boundary Street in Spring Hill. The roads were deserted of people and only cars and city buses whooshed past. The roads go up and downhill most of the time and with heels and a heavy bag things got a little tiresome. To add insult to injury, it started raining. We stopped under the awnings of a building and read our map again. It seemed that we had to take a connecting road to reach Boundary Street. Another climb followed and we landed at a 4 point junction. We looked at the markings for the street and were studying the map again when this nice couple asked us if we needed any help. We told them where we were headed. The lady told us that we were about 2 blocks away on the straight road. After about 5 minutes we were at our destination.
Both of us met up again in another 10 minutes, this time with comfortable shoes (which is what i am going to stick to for the rest of the tour) and found nice diner called ‘Imagine’. After a nice seafood dinner we walked back to the hotel. Ankit decided to make a phone call from the phone booth, so I ended up taking pictures of the street which was empty except for the 2 of us. Time of the day: 8PM. Like I was telling pjp earlier during the day… the only thing that seems alive here are the traffic lights.
Back in the apartment we checked out some of the possible touristy things that we could make time for during the weekend. I suspect there is a ‘snake holding’ event being sneaked into the schedule and I am not too happy about it. Perhaps I’ll stick to the more conventional koala patting part of things. Off to read a few pages of ‘The Memory Keeper’s Daughter’ and then to bed.