2-11 The Rest of the Return
Really, there is not a lot more to report. I can’t say that this upsets me. The cool thing, is that we got to go sightseeing in Brisbane. Jason was wandering through all the sights going, “I remember this place, this is where I ate (insert delicious food or drink here).” To me it was more or less all new. We had different kinds of medevacs.
The hotel the airline put us up in was nice. It was just a few blocks from downtown Brisbane and Queen Street, the walking street and heart of downtown. So, we walked down there after showering and changing clothes. Showering was an important part of that. Too much time in airplanes and airports and not enough time in spaces with fresh air or deodorant.
Friends we met on Pentecost live in Brisbane so we called them from a payphone. It took about three tries, but we told them where we were staying. They called the hotel as we finished dinner and offered to pick us up and take us to Mount Coot-tha. (I think that’s the right spelling.)
Mouth Coot-tha has a sweeping view of all of Brisbane which I’m guessing is pretty during the day but at night it was stunning. I love city lights. I think they are beautiful. I love driving down streets late at night with nothing but street lights and stop lights for blocks. So, I thought the view was pretty good. We sat and ate chocolate and drank Bunderburg gingerales. I guess that’s a thing in Australia. It was good gingerale.
Friday morning, we got up and wasted some time enjoying a real bed with read sheets and real air conditioning and a real shower. All of these are luxuries. Then we went sightseeing.
We hit up a couple of museums, including the Modern Art Museum of Brisbane and the Science Museum. I love science museums. They are fascinating places full of interesting objects and untold stories. There was a short exhibit on 3 Australian men who won the Victoria’s Cross (I think its like the Purple Heart) in WWII. It was interesting to read their letters home, though it felt a bit voyeuristic.
The public library in Brisbane is awesome. It is architecturally designed to fit in with the surrounding landscape in a really neat way. It sits on a path along the river which is a common walking path. The library itself arches over the path with an open air center. The galleries are spaced around the sides and access individually. They also have exhibits in them like Grass Kings and Sheep Barons about the settling of the Dowling Green and a fun, interactive exhibit about local game developers. (I played fruit ninja for like half an hour.) I liked how the design of the building was appropriate to the environment. That kind of construction would never fly in Minnesota but was perfect in temperate Brisbane.
We got the airport in a taxi with a driver who discussed philosophy, linguistics and classical music. That was a bit unexpected but a lot of fun along the way. Aside from exorbitant baggage overweight fees, check in went fine. We stopped by duty free to pick up a few things and got to the gate.
There were only 53 people on our flight. The gate attendant made the boarding announcement for first class passengers over the intercom. Then he put down the intercom and told us to board whenever we liked. Jason and I were the first ones on board and we greeted the flight attendants in Bislama. Once they got over the surprise, we had a nice chat. It felt good to be back in this environment.
The wheels left the ground at 7:30, our scheduled departure time. I don’t know that I’ve ever been on such a punctual plane. They gave us lots of wine on the way over so we were well and truly ready for bed when we got back to the house. Getting the boxes and bags down the hill and in the door took a bit of schlepping but we got them all here and things are looking up.
We’re home, safe and sound.