Brisbane is beautiful!

Okay. Time to confess. I’m a hopeless romantic where Melbourne is concerned and for three years I have been bewailing my frustration with being stuck in hicksville Brisbane, but no more. I am falling in love with Brisbane. I still can’t stand that there is no good amateur opera company and that there is no great Arts vibe and that the hegemonic position seems to be one of the beer swilling, thong wearing, singlet sporting white male bogan, but I have to confess, Brisbane is growing up a bit. And I’m liking it.

I’ve taken to trips on the River as part of a desire to improve my relationship with this town, and I must say it’s working. I’m liking that I can chat with just about anyone and they will chat back, whereas in Melbourne if one talks out loud in public to a stranger they think you’re a beggar or crazy person. I’m liking the friendly bus drivers, and the polite young people who stand up in the buses for old people. I like the sense of place that is finally developing in areas like Wolloongabba and the community vibe that is growing there. I like that I can sit on the side of the river and have a picnic and travel home via the ferry. I like that the inner city is becoming fun and fast and friendly and happening. I like that Farmers Markets are springing up everywhere and that community hubs are forming around them. I like coming to uni and seeing everyone on their laptops, working together and singly. I even like the crazy ibises and the enormous bats and the huge spiders – the spiders are great because unlike Melbourne where they come inside when the rain comes, these ones just hang about the garden. They seem to die off in Winter, too.

I like the houses and the greenness of the place. I like that the 16 year old checkout chicks are still nearly always appalling, but the boys are much better. I think I’m starting to make friends here and I am getting used to the weather. Actually, strike that: I will NEVER get used to a Brisbane summer. But the spring here this year has been cool and lovely. I like the can-do approach taken by so many Queenslanders, and the spirit of action that is evident here. So while I’m not fully won over, I’m beginning to love the place and the people. Now, if we could just have a mild summer…

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