‘Hi, How are you?” – This is what everyone seems to say here when you walk into immigration or an eating joint or get inside a cab. 🙂
Today was perhaps the most eventful day I have had ever since my arrival here. Over the last few days, there has been intermittent rain at very inconvenient times. Sometimes even with the sun shining brightly alongside. I believe a couple of rainbows have also been spotted in as many days. As is the routine, we met up for breakfast in the morning and went to this other joint downstairs. I had the most delicious egg and bacon muffin along with a flat-white. yummm! While at breakfast, we sort of figured out that it was strangely raining only on the other side of the road. We slowly walked downhill to the ‘Taxi zone’ and hired a black & white cab to take us to work. We went via new route right next to the Roma Street Parkland and the railway lines.
Morning started with a few more matchings of names-to-faces. The rest of the day whizzed by in meetings. I had an opportunity to hear Stickster give a speech, which got underway after a whoop of joy about the news of Fedora 12 going Gold. Also, I got to see the biggest pizzas, 4 of which probably fed 40 people and then there was some leftover. We finished work early today and Michelle took us out to dinner. Manuel and Gladys also joined in. We started walking and got onto the bridge and crossed onto South Bank (Southern bank of the Brisbane River). Its a beautiful pathway and we started walking along the banks of the river. After a couple of shots, the batteries in my camera died. What followed was an effort to get a good picture of the City-Cats on my mobile phone camera. We came by the Brisbane Eye (a ferris wheel similar to the Eye of London). Ankit and I had been planning to take a ride on it later during the week, but apparently its not too great for city viewing purposes. There is also this small little artificial beach and although it was cold, some people were actually swimming in the pool in there.
We settled into a Lebanese restaurant right next to the river and ordered some platter. What followed was some awesome food (the hummus was to die for) and exchange of interesting stories. We spent nearly 2 hours. At about 8:30 we parted ways to go back home. Michelle had a secret plan that she did not and asked us if we were up for some walking. Since we were, she took use around the other side of the river for a grand tour. We crossed the river near the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and walked right into the campus. The majestic old government building (now converted into a museum) was one of the first things we spotted. We walked along and came by near Stamford Plaza, which is apparently one of very few 5 star hotels in Brisbane. We took a detour behind this building and came right next to the river again. The Story Bridge was illuminated and shone brightly in the night. Besides the river were rows of very upmarket restaurants and bistros, which were choc-a-bloc. Apparently, one may have to shell out nearly AUD500 for a meal in some of these. *shudder*. We also spotted the Kookaburra tourist ferry boat which was chugging along. After walking nearly 3 kilometers we left the riverside and started walking towards Spring Hill. It took us another 15 minutes to climb up the hill and reach the hotel. It was 9:30 PM and an evening well spent.