Friday, August 17, 2007

Australia - Brisbane

Views from Aunty JoJo's apartment in Brisbane, Queensland

The State of Origin Rugby League match is played annually between Queensland and New South Wales. And although I've spent more years living in Sydney, I am an ardent supporter of the Maroons (Queensland). And this is because Brisbane was the place where all my adventures in Australia began.

In August 1999, I was offered the chance to work for Queensland Power Trading Corporation as part of the PwC team. I jumped at the chance and re-located to sunny Brisbane. Some of my happiest moments include:-

  • Waking up every morning for a walk along the river to the Botanical Gardens, and back, before going to work. It's especially beautiful when the purple jacaranda trees are in bloom

  • Lobster dinners (almost!) every weekend at Breakfast Creek Wharf for A$10 - and they come with free champagne ....aah...those were the days before I had to worry about cholesterol

  • Watching my friend, Jenette, scream when a Chinese waiter unveiled the "phoenix claws" dim sum (a.k.a chicken feet) in Fortitude Valley

  • Visiting Newstead House - Brisbane's oldest surviving residence - for the first time. It was a museum that allows visitors to touch and try, which was fantastic!

  • Driving around in a cool Toyota Celica that I rented from Georgie, a colleague from QPTC

Best of all were the PEOPLE - Queenslanders are dinky-di Ozzies and proud of it! I quickly discovered that I needed to learn Strine after missing two meetings because I didn't know what an arvo was. It's Aussie slang for "afternoon". By the time I left a year later, my collection had expanded to over 100 phrases and here are some of my favourites...

  • Free grog - Alcoholic beverages free of charge (good to learn in any language :-)

  • Up Shit's Creek in a barbed wire canoe without a paddle - Hopeless situation

  • Off like a bucket of prawns in the hot sun - Spoilt / Rotten

  • Up at sparrow's fart - Wake up very early in the morning

  • Technicolour yawn - What happens when you're drunk :-P

But please don't ask me the difference between a woos and a sook. I innocently asked this question at work one day, and set off a 2-hour debate which left me none the wiser.

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