Love you, Brisbane

The Business End of Brisbane City, from Kangaroo Point Cliffs

The Business End of Brisbane City, from Kangaroo Point Cliffs. November 2007.

This time last year, my head space was thinking about my return, on holiday, home to my and my partner’s families in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The trip was scheduled around my best friend’s wedding, so the timing was not what I would have chosen. It also felt that it had not been so long ago that I had just been home.

Two years ago, around about this time, I was probably organising myself for the trip home in December, when we had to return home because our return tickets expired. Again, it was not timing I would have chosen and it felt as if we had only just left.

This year, we are not returning home for a visit. For this reason, it seems that I have been longer away, though I have not. I am hoping that my next visit home will be on my own terms and not dictated by someone else’s plans or the vagaries of an expiry date on an “open” ticket.

So, I am feeling all nostalgic.  I miss Brisbane. I miss my family. I miss my friends.

Sunset over the Captain Cook Bridge and Brisbane River. November 2007.

Sunset over the Captain Cook Bridge and Brisbane River. November 2007.

There’s a dust storm happening in Australia at the moment.  Its greatest effect is on Sydney but it’s also bothering my home town.  I loved the way the dust would blow in from the desert and Brisbane’s pretty darn cool sunsets would get that much more dramatic.

The Brisbane Wheel!

The Brisbane Wheel! December 2008.

I was a bit taken aback to see The Eye in Brisbane.  Brisbane calls it the Wheel and it’s much cheaper than the London Eye and there’s no silly British Airways announcement pretending one is going on a flight when one is just riding a glorified ferris wheel.  I decided to tourist it up when I was in Brisbane last year and with a friend, who came down all the way from Bundy just to hang with lil’ me, rode the wheel as the sun set, exclaiming at things we had been familiar with during our university days together.  There was not that much to see, however, and the view from Mt Cootha is better.

City Cat and William Jolly Bridge, from a City Cat.  December 2008.

City Cat and William Jolly Bridge, from a City Cat. December 2008.

Oh dear.  I just noticed that the river horizon is a bit crooked.  It’s just a talent, you know?

I was so happy to ride a CityCat to visit friends who were at the university.  As I alighted from the CityCat and walked up to meet my friends in the Great Court, I passed a whole bunch of new graduands, many struggling with their gowns.  I used to work for the Uni during graduation ceremonies.  One particular individual was struggling so much with her Masters’ gear, to the bemusement of her proud parents, that I intervened, righting her hood, fixing her hat and generally helping her to wear the anachronistic gown proudly.  Someone saw me helping and asked if I would help them, too.  Then, someone else asked me for directions.  So I gave them, surprising myself that I still remembered the path so clearly.  I guess I did spend 8 years of my life there.

Brisbane is a real place but My Brisbane is a place that resides only in my memory.  Even when I was there last year, it had changed enough that it was not mine anymore.  I did not belong to it (although I suspect if we moved back there I would belong again pretty quickly).  I don’t really belong here either; at least, I don’t feel any affinity for here.



  1. nikkipolani
    You are one fast reader and one fast commenter! Thank you 🙂

    Ugh, the vexed future plans thing. We definitely intend to head home to Brissie, or at least, back to Australia, at some stage. We just haven’t figured it out yet.


  2. Each time I return to Portland, it’s not really the “home” I grew up with. My parents moved to a new house, new construction has changed the landscape of downtown, and I have few friends left. And yet, it’ll always be home.

    Until last year’s visit, for various reasons, I hadn’t gone “home” for several years. Oh how I missed it so.

    Sometimes it’s nice to play tourist, even in a place you know so well.


  3. wandering chopsticks

    I think sometimes ‘home’ has little to do with place and more to do with people, and then sometimes, it seems to be entirely about place. It’s very odd. Brisbane is like that for me – it’s very much about the people, but then I realise, I just miss the river or the trees, or the cafes I used to visit. And then sometimes I think I just miss the familiarity, or how well I knew it.

    I like being a tourist wherever I am… although I guess I feel kinda permanent tourist now!


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