Sunday, March 26, 2006

A beautiful day in the neighborhood!

Kevin found this apartment and has been living here since October. Our unit is in the front on the second or first floor, depending on how you count. It is the one that has the screened porch with all the geckos INSIDE. These are our special friends and I'll send a photo of them soon. Unfortunately, we are now looking for a new place that will allow us to keep Zelda. We are hoping for air conditioning, 2 maybe 3 closets! and, lets go wild, an oven you don't have to climb into to light.

But for now, lets go down the stairs and take a little walk...

We live conveniently close to the Windsor train station- about 2 blocks. There are cool stairs to climb to enter the train station if you are coming from the OTHER direction. We just have a little footpath, but it does have a gate that closes and a light that flashes when a train is coming. In this way we have avoided being squashed.

You can either buy your ticket inside the booth or in the silver contraption you seen in front of the Coke machine. Except for the busy morning time the cost of a ticket to travel from Windsor to the city (Central station, remember?) is $2.10. If you want to travel before 9 AM, it is going to cost an extra 10 cents.

At the corner of Lutwyche and LeGeyt is this shopping centre. It features a minimart/news agent/post office- The Golden Casket. There are also 3 restarants: an Indian Restaurant that we think is ALWAYS closed due to illness, Samari Sushi featuring Windsor's own sushi train, and a generic Asian restaurant. The Hot Bread store on the other side of LeGeyt is currently advertising to "Get your spicy hot crossed buns (in) here". Also not pictured is the nicer restaurant across Lutwyche, PL8. Their outdoor dining experience includes watching the orb spiders contemplate how they might snare an American.

P.S. The orchid I opened with is blooming in a tree in front of a neighboring apartment building. The tree is full of orchids and other - what are those plants called that grow without soil....???? EPIPHYTES!!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Those much maligned photos

Central Station

Everybody off the train and welcome to downtown Brisbane! Here's what I was seeing this first week downunder.

Brisbane skyline (left)

The smaller brick building on the right is the main post office. There are LOTS of these newer tall reflective buildings like you see on the right. In addition, there is a great deal of construction going on.

Older architecture (right)

I found this building around Chinatown yesterday. It looks like the buildings we saw when traveling through smaller Australian towns. I wonder if Brisbane used to look more like this.

The Koala House

This is a restaurant near where Kevin is working.

City Birds

Pigeons and pigeon wannabees (Australian white ibis) in the park- being fed by the guy with the white shoes.
Street scenes

Like many Australian cities Brisbane has these pedestrian malls closed to vehicular traffic. Shops are on either side and, actually, beyond shops on a second floor, there is a warren of corroidors and lower levels with many, many stores including department stores (like Target) and groceries and

food courts

Here's where Kevin and I ate lunch this week. I'm trying to understand how Australia looks different- because you'd never be confused wondering if you were in the US. I think it is the colors they use. Citrus colors- bright lime greens, oranges, yellows. You can see this a little in this picture. The other difference is the people. Obviously (look at the street scenes) there are virtually no black skinned people - a few less asians than whites. In addtion, the people are on average younger than people you see on the street in the US. (Or maybe I spent too much time hiking laps at Richmond Mall!)


Two pictures from Chinatown. I walked there yesterday morning. It is on the edge (North) of downtown in Fortitude Valley. It took about an hour to walk- too much time waiting for lights to change! There were many, many restaurants (Chinese (who'da thought?), Thai, and Vietnamese- my new favorite! it is sweet, clean, and fresh- bean sprouts and cucumbers)- big stores filled with JUNK- strip clubs. I don't have a picture of the lanterns hanging- but here is one of the pagodas. The second photo was taken under a pagoda looking up.

These flowers were blooming on a bush planted and neglected beside a church downtown. I enjoyed the contrast of the orange-red blooms on this small tree with the dark clouds overhead.

Early impressions with photos to follow...

I sent an e-mail out to all my friends along with photos- but the photos are either not there (listed but with a size of 0!) or when Carolyn "opens" one - she gets one of her own photos. I was able to send and receive one photo- so I guess I'll try again....after lunch. I cannot seem to add these same %%&*?!!! photos here in the way I want and so they shall travel under separate cover.

Saturday was a bit of a lazy day. Sunday we had a little gaming with yours truly winning the "Big Quiz". Hot dog! Beginner's luck! During the week I've been either surfing the internet and trying to resolve all my form issues (Zelda's application for a permit to import- my health insurance) or walking about to familiarize myself with my new home. I can take the train downtown or walk there! It is about a 3 mile walk to get to the center of town- I'm guessing. I walked to the northern edge- Fortitude Valley (great name) - home of Chinatown. In the evenings after dinner we may watch a little TV or I just get grumpy and go to bed. Glad I'm past the worst of my jet lag. It was killing me (and Kevin) to stay up til 8:30 PM. I don't know how people travel for, and then accomplish, buisness.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Welcome to Brisbane

I arrived on Wednesday morning after being in airports and airplanes for 30+ hours. Everything went well with the flight(s) but I was sadly disappointed to find there was NO FOOD served on the flight between Chicago and Los Angeles. Well, no free food. Fortunately, I was prepared- my mother packing me 5 (five, count 'em 1, 2, 3, 4, 5!) apples for the trip. I ate 'em. Of course, I also climbed up on my seat and wrestled my billfold from my carry-on bag so I might partake of the "Right Bite" snack box. The gate from which we departed LAX was much inferior to that from which I've traveled in the past to Sydney. Reminded me of traveling People's Express to Newark!

So far, I've napped, slept, and traveled into the city with Kevin by train to get my visa applied to my passport. My exploration is off to a slow start. I have unpacked my camera- so I'm ready to begin. Can't really unpack my suitcases because Kevin has already filled the closets..... In the photos that follow, I'll undoubtedly be the rumpled one who looks like she's living out of boxes.

The weather has been pretty darn nice (what I've been awake to see.) Warm. Sunny. Humid. Everything is slightly damp. Wildlife report- watched a gecko climbing up the wall on the porch about 5 AM yesterday. Don't know the local birds - but I hear a cockatiel regularly. Missing my Beeker.

Tonight- walking down the street to have dinner at one of the "shops".