8th December – Brisbane

Not long after I first arrived at parrots, I met a local volunteer by the name of David.  He adored Barbara even more than I did, and had a passion for travel.  While working together he mentioned enjoying Korean BBQ, which is something I’ve always wanted to try, but have never really been able to do since you need at least 2 people.  We spoke about organising a trip to Brisbane to try a restaurant he knew…but after Barbara died, he’s not been such a common sight.  He’s also started a paying job which cuts into his time.

However, we managed to muddle through this, and planned to go into Brisbane today.  I would get to see the Museum exhibit I’d missed out on thanks to Supanova, and then we’d go have lunch before heading back early. 

The day started on a pretty funny note when he picked me up and we both had a giggle when we realised we’d inadvertently worn matching tops (black/navy and white striped tops are all the rage in Australia right now), and I introduced him to Top Gear on the train.  When we finally arrived, he took me to the park I hadn’t seen before as a starting point, the Roma Street Parklands.

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I’d been to the Botanic Gardens on one of my previous trips, but David felt this park was much nicer.  It certainly felt smaller and more accessible to walk around, if unfortunately on a steep hill resulting in a lot of up and down.  There are several areas dedicated to different plants, and several ponds and lookout areas where you can see the levels below (remember, hill).  Its also teeming with water dragons, saw at least 30 just wandering around.

Of course, that’s not the only thing they had in abundance…

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That’s right, came to a path between some trees, looked up, and immediately stepped back.  Spiders.  Spiders everywhere – hundreds of them dangling between a giant jigsaw puzzle of web in the sky.  It had been stormy the last couple of days, so I can only assume the spiders went high to attract insects.  Still it was a little bit terrifying to walk underneath – I kept expecting one to fall on me.

Afterwards, we made our way to the museum, although we get distracted along the way by a collection of buses that appear to have been decorated.  Apparently, ever year each bus depot decorates a bus with a Christmas theme, and the mayor (or whatever Brisbane has – gee aint I knowledgeable?) picks their favourite.  We had a look around – really liked the ‘Nightmare Before Christmas Bus’, and thought the Aussie Christmas (complete with snoring santa in the back seat) was pretty clever.  However, both of us thought the clear winner was the ‘Twelve Days of Aussie Animal Christmas’ bus, which was teeming with cuddly toys and alternative song lyrics:

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Its so easy to forget its Christmas when its this hot, but walking around these buses and seeing the santa outfits and carols actually made me remember what time of year it really is.

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We finally made it to the museum which is free to enter unless you want to see whatever exhibition happens to be on at the time.  This current flavour – ‘Undressed – 350 Years of Underwear in Fashion’ – which I actually thought would be well worth seeing.  David not so much, so we agreed to do the free part of the museum, and then split up before heading for lunch.

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The museum is almost completely focused on the history of Queensland, and includes history of well known areas, achitecture, and the local sealife.  There’s also an exhibit regarding 3 Australians who were awarded the Victorian Cross in World War 1, and in the far back, skeletons of dinosaurs (well, sculpted from original skeletons anyway) that were discovered in Queensland.  On the second level is taxidermy heaven, with many Australian animals (not just the Queensland specific) on display. 

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Admittedly, we did end up stopping by the bird exhibit a little bit too long.  Its kind of creepy how easy it is to tell when its a good or bad taxidermy job by having seen these birds when they were alive…

Finally, on the very top floor, there’s an area dedicated to local aboriginal culture, and an exhibit on cycling in Australia – which is apparently a pretty big thing. 

At this point, I said goodbye to David, and then headed for the pink and black area for Undressed. 

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Unfortunately, photos aren’t allowed in this section (though I did take a few before discovering this).  It’s a very interesting exhibit to see, as its only been in the last 70 years or so that people accepted the perfect body image should be achieved through diet, exercise, and in extreme cases, plastic surgery.  Before then, the perfect body shape was achieved through underwear.  Everything from corsets to bustles to girdles to petticoats.  Devices to make you look fat, or thin, large bust or small bust, wide hips or not hips – pretty much every shape has been in style at one point in time.

Technically, the term ‘lingerie’ refers to a linen garment that you no longer see, and it was (ironically enough) the item one wore under their ‘underwear’.  In days gone by where washing clothes just wasn’t feasible, this was the item used to protect ones clothes from their body – it would be washed regularly, while ‘underwear’ wouldn’t be.  Of course, when it became easier (and more accepted) that you would wash clothes regularly, this item faded into obscurity.

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It was also considered highly improper to have decorative underwear too.  It was difficult to find useable dye’s and undergarments were not expected to be for show.  However, sometime in the 1900’s, a book changed this whole outlook.  Dyes that could be hand washed became accessible, and bows and lace began to appear – and this book encouraged women to buy fancier undergarments…’to save their husbands from the sin of adultery!’

There was also a small, but very interesting area regarding advertising.  And even had old adverts for corsets and girdles.  Though the most amusing one I found was of a very old advert using a photographed model…which came with the released shot…and the original showing all the mark up lines that were fixed up!  Given women unrealistic expectations through ‘photoshop’ has apparently been around as long as there has been photographic adverts…

Had I not left David waiting, I probably would have wandered round this exhibit a little bit more, but he’d already been waiting most of an hour, and I was getting hungry.

As it turned out, the restaurant he’d been planning to take me was closed down, but he’d found another place nearby and we started heading in that direction – although David was so focused on his phone’s directions he did once stop while on a road forcing me to yelp and hurry him forward.  May be from a country where jaywalking is a way of life, but even I have limits.

I sadly didn’t catch the name of the restaurant, but we decided to forgo a combo meal as it was too expensive, and instead just ordered 2 different types of meat (beef and pork) for the BBQ.  Although David had come to several restaurants, it had always been with Korean friends who did the ordering, so both of us had to muddle through and figure out the best way to go about it.

You get a little piece of paper on the barbeque, which is what you use to cook your food, and about several dozen tiny dishes of seasonings and sides that you can add to your meat…but no plates.  This resulted in a lot of slipping chopsticks and heavy abuse of napkins as we made ourselves look quite silly and tried to work around it.  I’m very much an additional sauce/dip girl, so I was probably doing most of the amusing for the staff.

It was really good – expensive, but can’t say I wasn’t completely stuffed by the end of it.  Would definitely like to come to a restaurant with a group and try a large combo style meal next time, but for now we had to head back to the Glass House Mountains before the evening.

I’ll be heading to the theme parks next week.  I’ve been before and bought an annual pass before my money became tight so want to get my money’s worth.  David has said he’s considering coming with me on one of the days, so we’ll see if we meet up again then.

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About Batale

I am an aspiring writer - though since I haven't written anything original in about 2 years, so calling me a writer is like calling a man who makes dinner every night a 5 star chef. I started this blog to force me to write. From the 1st January 2013, I intend to update this blog every day. If nothing interesting happens, I'll write about something that does interest me, whether that is a movie, a book, something I've heard about, or even some of my stories growing up.
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