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Sunday, January 15, 2012

19. Brisbane Here I Come!

Monday 9 January

Well, it's Monday the 9th of January, the day I fly to Brisbane and my mum's birthday. Did the right thing, rang mum and wished her happy birthday. Washed the dishes (Junior had the nerve to say to me, "Do the dishes before you leave. You have a nasty habit of leaving them when you go away") what? ME? Never. Well, okay so I did once or maybe twice, but hey - considering the times I've gone away that's only a miniscule number. Talk about cheek!

Anyway, washed the offending articles - there really weren't that many anyway. Packed my suitcase, had a last cup of tea and then was on my way.

Tullamarine Airport

Arrived at the airport needed to check my bag in. Had tried to do this online but it didn't happen. Son had booked me a Qantas flight but it was a Jetstar flight. Haven't flown Domestic for a few years now boy how things have changed! And not for the better if you ask me.

Beforehand, you'd wait in line then hand your Itinerary to the person at the counter, she'd scan it, give you your boarding pass ant put a paper sticker on the handle of your suitcase. Not now though - it's quite different. First off, you don't get the service you did before (which wasn't all that great anyway) and now you have to DIY - wait in line, put your Itinerary under this machine thingy, then wait for your pass thing which comes out and then wait for - wait for it - the paper sticker!

Yes folks, that's right, the paper sticker. You now have to put it around the handle yourself. I found this rather surprising. Talk about DIY!

Finding food

As I hadn't eaten anything (my own fault I know), I was decidedly hungry and after going through security I quickly grabbed the last sandwich - $8.00 for a ham and salad. Walking a little further on I see hot food - a toasted ham and cheese sandwich for $7.50 so I ordered one of them. Hopping from one foot to the other, hoping I wouldn't miss the boarding gate - every second seeming like an hour - it was ready and off I set for Gate 23. Looking at the flight board, there were two Gold Coast flights but the Brisbane one wasn't showing.

Please go to the other gate

Ate my toasted sanger, the GC flights were called and suddenly the waiting room was all but deserted. Something made me get up and ask "When is the Brisbane flight boarding?" "Oh that is now leaving from Gate 27 - there was an announcement" Yikes thought I, I hope I haven't missed it.

Rushed downstairs and found myself in the bowels of the underworld - no air con, no proper ceiling, big pipe things overhead, many people waiting. One lady told me her flight to Tasmania was due out at 12 noon but had been delayed by 5 hours. Seems like quite a number of Jetstar flights had been delayed. Finally our flight was called - it had been delayed - and we had to walk out on the tarmac.

Eventually we took off. Brought two coffees plus a doughnut which was yummy plus a muffin which was forgettable.

Brisbane Landing

Landed in Brisbane only 15 minutes late - left the plane to face an unbearable heat. Caught the Airtrain which thankfully had aircon. Son rang me and said to get out of Central station at the Turbot Street entrance. I ended up on the corner of Adelaide and Edward Street. Son rang again, found me and walked me through the Sofitel entrance, past the Central Station exit and out to Turbot Street.

No Air-Conditioning

We arrived at his apartment, he turned the air-con on, only to realise a little later that it wasn't working. He was not a happy chappy and who can blame him? It was hot and sticky and uncomfortable both inside and outside the apartment. He said he'd speak with the manager the next day and if he couldn't confirm it would be fixed that day, he would ask to be moved to another apartment.


We had dinner at a place called St. Paul's - they do a Monday night $10 steak night. It was a fair walk uphill to get there. The steak was delicious, the wine good and the staff friendly. Back at the apartment later we faced a (very) warm night.

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