The river bank

I never liked Sundays. Always lazy and boring. To stir things a little, I decided to spend my first Sunday in Brisbane differently, by going to ‘the City’ of the city. Whenever I asked anyone about what Brisbane’s city center was, weird confusion always appeared on their faces. Nobody actually calls Central Business District of Brisbane ‘the center’. They call it ‘the City’, which totally makes sense. City’s ‘City’ looks quite different than BRSBN’s suburbs. Those usually seem rather silent and peaceful. The City however has a totally different taste. On one hand, Tall skyscrapers, traffic, expensive restaurants and high fashion boutiques. On the other hand, beautiful parks with plenty of lizards on pavements, lots of birds, picturesque boardwalks by the river, colorful churches and renovated historical buildings. And although I never liked Sundays, this one I will remember and keep memory of it like a treasure, that only I was able to discover. It will always be an important part of my stories about Australia, which I will be telling after I come back home. But the full memory of it will stay inside me, images that I still have in front of my eyes, and my eyes only, as my ‘inner me’ was the only person that I shared those moments with. Everything began as usual. Getting on the bus without being sure when to get off. After a bit more than 10 minutes first skyscrapers could be seen from the windows of the bus. I watched them with delight, listening to newly discovered songs from Yelle’s ‘Safari disco club’. Most of them accurately represented my mood during the first days in Australia: amazement, happiness, joy. After 10 more minutes I was already on Queen Street. Well, below Queen Street actually. Queen Street bus stop was built under Queen Street Plaza. I’ve never seen a bus stop like that before. One moment you’re sitting on the bus, enjoying Cultural Centre and Brisbane River, the other you find yourself in an ‘ant-hill’ like underground labyrinth of narrow streets. After coming back to the surface my eyes met Queen Street Plaza, the site where I usually start my visits in the City. I already got used to it but when I saw it for the first time, I felt very enthusiastic about it. I wouldn’t call it it spectacular but that was the first thing I saw in the City when I first came there, so of course it made a great impression on me. Even though it’s nothing more than a wide pavement with shops on both sides and cafes in the middle with lots of people rushing in different directions. People of different nationalities and skin colors. Especially Asians. There are a lot of Asians in Brisbane, some of them wear really nice stuff so looking at them is quite pleasurable I have to say. To be honest, I’ve never met any Asian people in my age before, but that changed quickly after coming to Brisbane. The ones I got to know turned out to be very nice and friendly. And of course, some of them are quite fashionable as well. (Jaehee, I can’t wait to see you married and wearing normal, modest clothes just like your mother wants you to ! ;] ). But coming back to my trip. As it was my first time in the City, I made a sensible decision not to digress from Queen Street, which turned to be long enough not to feel bored even for a moment. It was a completely new place to me, there were a lot of things going on and people everywhere. I was amazed. Nevertheless, getting lost was not my plan. Not doing anything special, just strolling carelessly felt soothing and relaxing. Sometime later, I noticed Brisbane River on my right. Going to river bank would mean changing the plan I made, but I didn’t care about that. What I saw was just a view on the river, a bridge and couple of CityCats (ferries). I decided to sit down and enjoy the moment. I felt good, happy and content. Carefree, but not exactly like a child. More like a young adult. I always called myself a big child. I do have a childish sense of humor and I love to fool around and have fun, but during that trip, somewhere along the road between the past and the future, between there and somewhere else, I grew up a little without noticing it. It’s scary but I guess that’s how it’s supposed to be. I still don’t consider myself an adult and I do want to keep my inner child inside me but when I was sitting on the river bank I felt a little like a grown up. In my mind, I looked on my life and in a way regained connection with it. Dealing with some things is still a work in progress but spending just a moment looking on everything from the outside was liberating to me. Like sitting next to ‘real me’, looking into my own eyes, seeing everything that’s inside me and thinking: ‘You’re gonna be fine’. In Poland I often had problems with concentration, my thoughts were constantly messing around in my head not letting me relax, loosen. But in that moment it actually felt like my mind was slowing down, taking a deep breath. After an hour I decided to go back to Queen Street. I walked up the hill, leaving the stairs behind me. I will come back before going home. I won’t forget to say ‘Goodbye’. I returned to Queen Street Plaza, crossed the bridge and found myself on South Bank, one of the most relaxing places in Brisbane. Southern bank of Brisbane river has everything that can make one happy: gorgeous, lazy atmosphere, good food, lawns to sit on, amazing view on the City, sandy beach and a beautiful, picturesque Nepalese temple surrounded by trees. I found a very nice lawn with a gentle stream in the middle where once again, I sat down on the stairs. This time next to a sculpture of a Japanese wise man. Being able to relax and enjoy the moment was my ‘discovery of the day’ so I decided to try that again. Didn’t need anything more than that. After some time I left South Bank and walked back to the bus station. I felt complete. When I was sitting on the bus, the Sun was slowly disappearing behind the horizon. My most memorable day in Brisbane was coming to an end. VARIA: I’ve already been to some Australian parties and I have to say I totally enjoyed them. I haven’t been to a ‘proper’ party for ages (at least 1 year). I’ve been to SOME parties, but wouldn’t call them successful. I was bored of having to listen to the same music and see the same faces everywhere. Faces of people I never actually met. In Polish standards, Krakow is quite a big city, but in reality you see the same people on the streets/club/restaurants/cinemas all the time. Although me and my friends were desperately trying to have fun clubbing, those parties never felt as good as the old ones. The ones we had when we were first year students. Luckily, after I came to Australia, things have changed. And I don’t even have to drink to feel excited and in a mood for dancing ^^ (which is VERY good because alcohol in Australia is rather expensive). Whenever I feel like, I can go on a dance floor and just enjoy myself and the music. And the music is really great. A lot of very good electronic tracks, latest hits and their remixes with awesome dubstep breakdowns. L-O-V-E. In Poland after getting quite drunk and not having been able to enjoy a party, I would usually come back to my flat quite sad and resigned. No such things happen here. After parties in Brisbane I come home exhausted and satisfied after a night full of dancing and fooling around. And when I wake up the next day, I may feel a little sleepy but never hungover. I rarely drink any alcohol in Australia. I feel relaxed enough not to need it ;p So in Brisbane it’s actually possible to kill two birds with one stone when it comes to clubbing 😉 I also went to Brisbane’s Botanical Garden the other day. The day before, I visited a website with TOP 10 parks in the City and decided to see some of them. I always love to wander around botanical gardens, so my first choice was rather obvious and very pleasurable at the same time. Brisbane’s Botanical Garden is located in the City, which I found rather odd at first but then, mixing natural scenery with modern architecture is what Brisbane does really good. It’s a city where nature and hi tech meet halfway. The garden is really big and full of exotic plants, palms and colorful flowers with lots of lizards sunbathing in the sun and water birds swimming in ponds. Visitors can enjoy themselves and the nature, walking around or just resting on neatly cut, green lawns. Sitting on the bench while being surrounded by a peaceful environment and at the same time looking at skyscrapers just outside the garden’s fence was an extraordinary experience. I really enjoyed my trip to Botanical Garden and I’ve already visited it again. This time with some books that I had to read for my classes 😉 Supposedly, Brisbane’s most beautiful park is Roma Street Park, where I went the day after the trip to Botanical Garden. I enjoyed the first one much more 😉 That’s it for now. Finally I closed the first chapter of my ‘Brisbane experience’ on the blog. Now I will be able to write about more recent events. Next time I’m gonna mention my first weeks at the university and yesterday’s trip to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

You can have a look at the photos I’ve taken in Australia on my blog:

http://szymondownunder.blog.com/

 

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