It was an interesting mix of feelings when I got off the flight at the Coolangatta Airport. It has been 9 years since I’ve left Australia! It was familiar and yet unfamiliar at the same time!
Immigration was a breeze. I was expecting that I will have to open my bags to show the 30 packets of Chicken Rice Paste + 5 packets of Curry Chicken Paste and 5 packets of Bak Ku Teh! Also I was half expecting that the wooden artwork that I bought in Bali, for Jennifer will be thrown away! I declared all items on the declaration form. The officer asked what I have and after telling him verbally, he let me passed!
The Coolangatta Airport was almost still the same as when I last used it 10 years ago. There’s a tad bit more shops. Can’t expect anything more. The free wifi was really crappy! I was apparently not connecting to the wifi but I could send messages on Facebook messenger. I couldn’t use Whatsapp, Facebook and browsing. Luckily Facebook messenger worked as Jennifer and I have been talking thru it.
Jennifer is a friend I’ve made when we met at the baggage carousel at Changi Airport while we were waiting for our bags (from Taipei). She was in Singapore for work and we met the next day for lunch. Subsequently we meet another time when she was in Singapore for work (a few years later). There was an accident on the way to the airport and Jennifer was delayed. She brought me to her favorite cafe, the Beach Shack for breakfast. Pity it was raining. It would have been an awesome view of the beach!
Jennifer very kindly and generously bought me breakfast and drove me to the train station at Helensvale where I took the train to Brisbane.
There was free wifi on board the train! But I didn’t know there was an usage limit on each device! I was texting Dee on Whatsapp (as she’s not on Facebook) updating her on my arrival time when suddenly I realized that I have used up all the free usage! Luckily I had my tablet with me. I used Facebook messenger to message Lang and asked her to relay my message to Dee!
The intention was to alight at the Roma Station and as I was early and the train will stop at South Bank, I decided last minute to alight at South Bank. It started to rain pretty heavily and I had to seek refuge at the library at the Queensland College of Art (QCA) (where I went to for my Bachelor). The library has became a nice place to hang out, and to chill (I took a nap)!
Took this photo just before the downpour! I really enjoyed my uni days 🙂 Totally random, I know!
After taking a nap and when the rain subsided, I started walking towards the city.
The same old man-made beach at South Bank!
The Brisbane Eye, also known as the Wheel of Brisbane, wasn’t constructed when I left (in 2008)!
The iconic Brisbane sign, also wasn’t constructed when I left in 2008!
I walked across the Victoria Bridge, from South Bank to the city, a walk that I have done countless times when I was studying at the QCA!
View of South Bank from the Victoria Bridge. Such a gloomy day!
Oh, the public wifi was pretty strong though! And there’s no limit on the usage! I was able to send messages to Dee on Whatsapp and post photos on Facebook!
Dee was done ahead of schedule and I started walking towards the Roma Station where she’ll pick me. I couldn’t really remember the directions and had to ask for directions a few times! Brisbane is a lot friendlier now! I was looking at my phone responding to Dee’s message when someone asked if I’m lost and needed help! I ended up at the Adina Hotel. Dee actually gave a password/code word for me to reveal when we met, cos she was afraid of picking up the wrong person! After all, we have not met in 19 years!
Initially we wanted to go to the DFO. It started pouring heavily again and as the carpark at the DFO is open air, we will be drenched! Dee brought me to the mall near her residence. We didn’t do much except walked around for a bit and then headed to her place!
I was pleasantly surprised that I’m taking her daughter’s Elise’s room. Elise has kindly and generously ‘gave’ her room to me while she sleeps on a mattress in her parents’ room.
I wanted to have Red Rooster for this trip and I was surprised (again) that Dee’s family was happy to have Red Rooster for dinner. Red Rooster was actually pretty crappy. They have revamped the menu and the food is a lot better than before!
Elise is also a fan of Lego and we had a look at her collection after dinner. She has a lot more Lego sets than me! I’m so envious!
With the time difference, exhaustion from an overnight flight and a day of walking around, it wasn’t long before we called it a night and I fell soundly asleep in Elise’s bed!