What started out as a pretty chill weekend became pretty crazy by the end. This past Friday I stuck to my normal routine and took the train into the city to meet up with Hannah, Olivia and Leslie. We kept it casual, had some beers and spent the evening catching up. Saturday Olivia, Leslie and I took the city cycles, Brisbane’s public bikes, on the riverwalk to a restaurant under the Story Bridge (the one always lit up and iconic to Brissy). It was a lovely day so although the hills are never fun to bike ride, we had such a fun time riding along the river. I’m still trying to get used to wearing a helmet though because here it’s illegal not to and to be honest, I never do at home – who does?
After our bike ride and breakfast, we went back to Hannah’s and chilled for a while until the O’Brien siblings had to leave for a family reunion. Maddie dear, Hannah and Olivia’s good friend who I didn’t name before and was called out for, was so kind to drop me off in West End so I could scope out the Saturday market over there. Maddie and I are tight and I very much regret not naming her before – she deserves a name. Maddie if you’re reading this, I hope you’ve forgiven me 😉
It was a great day to explore the market so after I got an iced tea from one of the booths, I shopped around and ended up buying sunglasses and a really pretty ring. The sunglasses were probably a mistake but I def scored with the ring. When I was done shopping, I walked along the river to get to West End’s main street, where I was planning to meet up with Theresa. We grabbed some beers at a really cool spot called Archive and then headed to a jazz in the park event a little outside of the city. There were dozens of food trucks but the jazz was acoustic and difficult to hear – still provided that extra ambiance though. I had cajun sweet potato fries from a New Orleans inspired food truck and a damn good cheeseburger from another to go with the yellowtail sangria I snuck in with me. It was a beautiful spot and both Theresa and I got to see a part of Brisbane we hadn’t before. While staring at the sunset and enjoying our delicious burgers, we talked about life and what this experience means for both us. Theresa is coming to the end of her time is Australia where as I am still toward the beginning so it was interesting to hear her insight into how things have changed for her and how she feels now. Of course she is hesitant to leave and is already planning on how she’s going to travel again after she’s home in St. Louis for a bit – similar to how I will feel I’m sure.
Sunday is where shit hit the fan (in a good way). I spent the day by getting breakfast with Olivia and Joey, then volunteering at a hip hip / electronica festival called Listen Out. It was a really cool experience as I got to meet other music-lovers from Brisbane and have an inside look into and Australian music festival. I did my time by wristbanding at the front gate all afternoon and then got rewarded with free admission into the festival after my shift was done at 5pm. Anderson .Paak went on just before I finished my shift so I ran over to his set with my obnoxious staff shirt still on and got to catch the last half of it. I had seen him just a couple months before at in New York but this show had so much more energy. I think it had to do with my observation that Aussies just party harder. There wasn’t a soul in the crowd who wasn’t dancing and smiling – compared to festivals in the states where the groups of people dancing in a circle, jamming out together seems to be more of a rarity. Here it is what everyone is doing and it’s awesome. I got to a couple of other sets after Anderson and then headed to meet Olivia, her brother Michael and a bunch of their friends at Michael’s house right near the festival.
At Michael’s we drank and jammed, and then convinced ourselves to go to a venue in the valley, where an after show was happening. Cover costs us $55 each but for many reasons, it was so worth it. I won’t get into specifics but the whole place was packed with VERY happy people, including ourselves. I had never seen anything like it. Security was running around not knowing what to do and bartenders were so messed up they couldn’t even get drink orders right. I got a vodka soda handed to me after I ordered a gin and tonic. Everyone was just living it up, getting pumped to see Anderson .Paak and A$AP Ferg come through. We had a blast chatting and dancing with people, and then jamming with Anderson and A$AP when they came out. Both of them did their individual sets and were having just as much fun as we were, expressing how great Brisbane is after every song or two. It was the kind of night you wish you could do over and over again. Hands down one of the best I’ve had in years.
I noticed while the madness in the venue was going down that Aussies don’t single the crazy people out in the crowd – they join them. Not to sound ungrateful or unpatriotic but Americans have a problem with letting their own self pride and people’s perception of them control their every behavior – just give it up. Life is so much more enjoyable when you learn to let go a bit and let people be who they want to be and do what they want to do. There’s reason to make yourself feel superior by pointing fingers at someone else’s behavior – chances are they’re having way more fun in life than you anyway. I love my fellow Americans and I’m guilty of it too but when are we all going to all get off of our high horse and learn to live life right – just let people be themselves. Nobody cares about your personal criticism. I had the time of my life that night and a lot of it had to do with the fact that I felt like everyone was in it together. We all just wanted to have a good time and whatever your means to do that was, it didn’t matter. Just dance.
Needless to say, Monday was consumed by sleep and lots of yum food cooked in the comfort of Hanno’s apartment. I got back to the burbs last night and watched Charlie bear today. Tomorrow Camille, Kirin, Charlie and I are driving to Camille’s mom’s house in a town north of here called Maryborough, where we’ll be spending about a week while Mark is on holiday with friends. I googled the town today and apparently it’s where the creator of Mary Poppins is from – so random but cool! I’m excited to check out a new area of Queensland and spend time with the boys in a different environment. I also booked a hostel for two nights over the weekend in Hervey Bay, which is supposedly the whale watching capitol of the country. Excited for some whales and solo adventuring for a change! Check back to see how it goes 🙂