Brisbane Day 4 – Fight!

I just got in from Brisbane and boy are my feet sore!

After purchasing what I thought would a BigPond prepaid internet set up pack, and discovering that it was instead a prepaid internet recharge code at a local IGA store. Since that didn’t work, and I wanted to get on the internet that night with my mactop, Mum and Neil signed up temporarily for a 7 hour dialup account. Cheers guys!

I tried taking the code back this morning. I get there around 10am and the IGA manager tried to get it refunded from BigPond, but couldn’t, and said I should try a Telstra store and get it sorted there.

So off on my little feet I went, trekking into the middle of Brisbane to find a Telstra store. They said if I’d have bought the code at their store, they’d be able to refund me easily. They said I should try going to the nearest IGA store and tell them the story.

So I stepped out to the Information Centre in the middle of Queen St, and asked where the nearest IGA was. Brunswick St, about the same distance as home to where I was, but in the opposite direction. Oh well, why not.

Around 12:30, I find this store, and ask them for a refund. No good — they tried talking to BigPond too — but in the end, they couldn’t refund it either, and told me to go back to where I bought it… DAMMIT.

So about a 2 hour trek back to the first IGA store, and about 20 minutes of waiting for the manager to sort it out, and BigPond said they would credit the AUD$9.95 to the post-paid account. Not the most ideal refund, but it would do — I was going to pay Mum and Neil back anyway.

I got home about 2pm.

. . .

It’s 36 degrees out here. I’m using my mactop on the picnic table on mum’s balcony. I’ll be dialing up soon to post this to my blog. My blisters have blisters. I don’t think I want to do any more walking. Going home to New Zealand tomorrow!

Brisbane Day 3 – Australia Zoo

I had the honour of meeting up with my good friend Andrew who lives here in Brisbane. Andrew and I attended the same church in Karori, and we became good friends.

Andrew suggested we meet up at the South Bank Piazza, and then go to dinner. So we did. Andrew introduced me to his girlfriend Greta, who is very nice. We had planned to go to Decks, but it was closed, so we went to Mum and Neil’s regular, The Plough.

We ordered food. Andrew and Greta got pretty standard food, but seeing as I could have steak anywhere in the world, I tried something local and ordered the Barramundi, which is a fish dish. It was good.

Andrew invited me out with Greta and himself to Australia Zoo the next day. It sounded like fun, and spending time with a good friend is always neat ๐Ÿ™‚

We got to Australia Zoo after a 1.5 hour drive in Andrew’s car at about 10:30am. Through the admission gates and we learned there was the main show starting at the 5000-seat Crocoseum at 11am.

Pre-show entertainment was going, with a guy in a gorilla suit walking around having fun with the crowd. After being seated for only about 15 minutes, a guy in a banana suit started sneaking around, trying not to be noticed by the gorilla. Hilarity ensued as the gorilla started chasing the banana man off stage.

An announcer came out and told us that yes, Steve Irwin the Crocodile Hunter would be doing the croc show today, along with his wife Terri. That was a pleasent surprise!

Then the gorilla emerged from the stage doors being chased by the banana ๐Ÿ™‚

First up was the snake show, where we saw (from a distance) the various snakes that Australia has, along with some exotic snakes. We even saw an albino constrictor! A keeper came past all the seats in the arena and gave those who were daring enough the chance to pet a snake — wow! They feel really smooth and scaly.

Next was the tiger show, and two of the cutest tiger cubs, only 2 years old came out and played with the keepers, which was cool.

Next was the free-flight bird show, where lots of amazing birds flew back and forth across the arena to keepers who were roaming the crowds. I got heaps of photos of the brightly coloured macaws.

Then was the moment everyone was waiting for, the Croc show, with Steve Irwin. But first we were treated to a skit with a lookalike Steve and Terri pair, along with a generic cameraman. I was wondering why they weren’t putting a feed of the cameraman’s camera on the big screen, when suddenly the cameraman fell back into the croc pool (which was empty) and I realised that it was a prop camera, which gave me a chuckle ๐Ÿ™‚

The real Steve and Terri came out, and started wisecracking about the elephants, and Terri compared the elephant’s trunk size to that of Steve’s. LOL. I think Terri really wants a third child, Steve… ๐Ÿ˜‰ The croc show was pretty neat, with Steve demoing how easy it is to attract a croc, and getting the croc to do some deathrolls. That was cool.

After the show, Andrew, Greta and I had lunch, then walked around the rest of the zoo, meeting kangaroos and koalas up close — so close we could, and did, pet them. We also saw many other animals: emus, native australian birds, wombats, snakes, cassawaries, foxes, and camels.

We couldn’t see any dingoes in the dingo enclosure. I was disappointed that they didn’t have any platypus at the zoo. ๐Ÿ™

All in all, an exciting day, and a very hot one at that. Highly recommended.

Brisbane Day 2

Christmas today was pretty good ๐Ÿ™‚ Mum and Neil were happy about their presents. I got Mum the Fly My Pretties album on Loop Records, along with a pedometer and a can of L&P (a soft drink only available in New Zealand), and Neil a digital wall thermometer and hygrometer. Rapt.

I had already recieved my christmas present: a return flight to Brisbane, so not much was under the tree for me. I did get this neat gel neck cooler thing — you put it in water for about 2 minutes, and it soaks up and becomes pretty solid, then you chuck it in the fridge, then you velcro it around your neck — so beautifully cold!

Today’s weather was forecast to be 38°C. Neil’s new thermometer reports 38.8°C o_O;

We went swimming at Streets Beach again today — a huge turnout for Christmas Day. Lots of beautiful women. I got a little depressed about how I didn’t have a girl to share the day with. After talking with Mum a little, I guess I lack confidence to approach the ladies.

Mum also said that she thought I’d changed; “like you’ve lost a part of yourself – I used to be able to talk to anyone”. That touched a nerve and I didn’t know what to think about myself anymore.

I don’t think I used to talk to HEAPS of people, but I guess I don’t say much anymore.

I hate making judgement calls on people.

I’ll usually only pipe up when I have something to add to a conversation, like a fact or something funny.

I really like to talk about things I know about, like computers, the internet, christianity, creative commons and copyright.

I don’t start conversations. Maybe that’s the problem. I guess I feel I don’t have anything relevent to say that will be interesting. And that’s probably a lie; I’m an interesting person. I am, right? I don’t know. If chicks find out I’m a hard-core geek, I tend to get judged and stereotyped. I don’t look like a stereotype geek, but I certainly can behave like one.

Mum said I needed to boost my confidence. She said I could look at losing some weight and I should do the things I enjoy to make me feel better about myself. I don’t care too much if I have a beergut. And I do do the things I enjoy.

I work. I love to get on a computer and punch out a website. I love to help others with their computer problems. I love to do the things I do well, and I love learning to do them better. Reading about my industry online. Attending conferences. Stuff like that.

How do I boost my confidence in something I suck at? Getting rejected hurts. I feel like I have so much to offer to some special lady. But putting myself on the line only to get burnt really hurts. I work my courage to go over and say hi, and I put effort into it over a few weeks, and then I figure out that she’s probably not interested in me. That’s a bum deal.

But I guess it’s life. The only way to build my confidence up is to take the chance and try talking to a girl.

Fried in Brisbane

So here I am in Brisbane for Christmas.

The first thing I noticed about Brisbane at this time of year is how GOD DAMN HOT the place is. I mean DAMN, this place is freaking stinking hot. I’m sitting here with my shirt unbuttoned, shoeless and sporting my three-quarter shorts, at 8pm at night!

The second thing I noticed about this place is the different bird sounds you hear. They have some pretty random bird sounds here in Australia, and some really weird birds to go along with them. The Ibis, for example.

My Mum lives in South Bank, which is a really nice place. They have the right idea too: to combat the heat, they have countless New Zealand Natural ice cream booths along the promenade along the river. And if that doesn’t do enough to cool you off, there’s a pool near the riverside which is done up like a beach, along with real sand. We popped down there around 3-4pm today and the water was really really warm — like a good bath — but it was still the coolest I’d been that whole day.

At dusk, the fruit bats come out to move around or something — Mum’s apartment is on the 3rd floor, and the bats swoop past the balcony about 10m away! It’s crazy seeing real bats flying around in an urban area!

I haven’t seen much of Brisbane yet, but it’s a really nice place. I’m here for 5 more days. Christmas Day tomorrow – so Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Sirens, Wifi and incompetent landlords

It’s 3am and I’m sitting outside cash converters on cuba street, shoeless, with laptop in lap. The fire alarm in the apartment building has been going solidly for the last 2 hours. The fire department couldn’t turn it off, so they ‘rang it in’ and left as quickly as they came. Half the apartment complex is out on the street with me. Some drunk couple walked past me and mentioned to some of the flatties up the street that “that guy back down there has no shoes but a laptop – he must be homeless but earnt a lot of money busking” ROFLMAO…

But seriously, 3am and I want to go to sleep already, dammit. There are security guards here trying their best to get the sirens turned off. Whats New, our landlords, haven’t exactly been helpful in any of this. Oh, and would they fix our elevator for once and for all? -_-; Incompetent.

I’m listening to the Katamari Damacy soundtrack I nabbed off of Macweeny yesterday. It’s quite relaxing, even though the drone of the beeping is still quite loud, even street-side. But it is quieter down here than in my room. And at least I’ve got Cafenet coverage here ๐Ÿ™‚

If a guy holding a white iBook is found lying down on the street this morning, it’s me. Please don’t steal my laptop.

Oh, and happy birthday, SmileyChris ๐Ÿ™‚ Hopefully I’ll see you later today, if I’m not freezing my toes off.