The makeover of Virgin Australia is very evident including flight attendants over weight and over fifty! (In truth, it’s very good – impressive.)
Impressions of Brisbane Airport – light and breezy with green foliage adding a tropical touch as I come up Air Bridge into the terminal. I’ve got time to kill before arriving at Christmas lunch as a ‘surprise’ guest so I opt for a train ride into the city in lieu of a taxi. The $15 fare is a bit of a shock but I’m assured at the kiosk that “it’s a private train”, whatever that means.
Stepping outside into bright sunshine a travelator makes easy work across a wide covered walkway to the train platform. Climbing on board looking for a seat going in the forward direction and a window without graffiti is impossible. Every window is etched with mindless drawings!!
I reckon on a bit of sightseeing along the tracks seeing what I remember since leaving home 45 years ago. Wonderful flaming red canopies of Poinciana in full bloom in December are still a joy, and a distraction from the graffiti now showing on every hoarding and old building we pass.
The skyline across the river is amazing, sprouting skywards, but approaching on this expensive train, it’s Graffiti City to me! As we pass though stations that I recognize of old, Eagle Junction, Wooloowin, Bowen Hills, do I feel like I’m coming back home? No. Forty-five years is too long.
We pass the old Fortitude Valley Swimming Baths that stir memories of School Swimming Carnivals, and then into dingy stations of the Valley and Central stirring other memories. Roma Street Station is a maze that requires two people to direct me to a taxi stand – eventually up and escalator to a third floor coach terminus.
Hopping a cab and driving west to my nephew Justin’s for lunch, I see the ‘Queenslander’ painted weatherboard houses, and more blooming Poinciana that really strike deep into childhood memory banks.
And then to arrive at Justin’s and sneak in the backdoor across the yard with chickens scuttling before me. A wonderful Christmas Day – in a very “Queensland” house with verandahs to capture the breezes on a perfect summer’s day.
I think I made the number 20 for lunch!
Satya drove me back to the airport in no time through Brisbane’s new Airport Tunnel, thankfully graffiti free (at the moment).
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