So, it’s Sunday right now and my plane for Osaka leaves on Thursday morning. That leaves me with about 4 days left here, before my new journey to Kansai Gaidai starts. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of reasons I’m sad to be leaving Brisbane – even though its just temporary. It’s not like I’m jerking tears back but I’ve lived here my whole life. I need a break though. Everything gets boring eventually. So, keep reading for 5 things I won’t miss about Brisbane.
1. The People
No, by this I don’t mean everybody. But there are some people in Brisbane who waste space. No city goes without narrow-minded people, the difference in Queensland is that hatred is loud rather than passive. You want to walk down the street wearing something different? Expect abuse. God forbid you wear a hijab or a turban in the wrong suburb, you will pay the price. Sometimes people will even give you abuse just based on your ethnicity. For any Non-Australians, here’s a classic example of Australian-style racism.
Don’t anticipate face-to-face criticism unless its by a big group that almost certainly knows that they’ll win any resulting confrontation. Usually someone will just hurl the insults at you safely from their car that’s going 60km/h. And no I don’t mind people being patriotic, but not militantly so. Shut up about the boat people and “our country”, you don’t just care about your country – you’re fucking racist. Stop trying to hide it behind ‘patriotism’.
2. The Transport
Brisbane wasn’t planned very well. The population kind of exploded beyond what was originally predicted.
Brisbane has recorded the highest percentage rate of population growth of all state capital cities every year since 1990.
It’s no surprise that public transport – my exposure to it being mostly buses – is lack lustre. Brisbane does have a fairly large train network, but having travelled to Japan there is just simply no way that Brisbane’s transport can ever compare in my mind. It’s not uncommon here for buses to just not show up, or show up 10 minutes late. You’ve gotta leave home early, it’s not something you can count on.
3. The Nightlife
If you haven’t been to Brisbane you probably don’t know what the Valley is. Almost all the nightclubs in Brisbane are concentrated in one suburb. There used to be a couple in the city like Caesar’s and Madison but they closed down years ago. If you want to go clubbing the Valley is your only option. While they clubs don’t really match the razzle and dazzle of the ones I’ve been to in Osaka and Tokyo the main problem is not the infrastructure. It’s what goes on in the Valley that’s the problem.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been threatened in the Valley. And yes, there have been plenty of times it has actually escalated into confrontation. Again, don’t expect someone to confront you unless they have enough of their friends on their belt to be brave enough to talk to you. It’s not just myself I’m worried for either. There have been nights where I’ve had a good time but I’ve seen some messed up stuff. I remember one night I witnessed a fight in a nightclub, saw the aftermath of a stabbing outside another one and saw multiple arrests being made outside of yet another club. All in the space of about an hour. If you’re new to Brisbane don’t go to the Valley unless you’re with people who have been before. Bottom line.
4. The Price of Alcohol
Anybody who has been to Asia will agree with me here. This isn’t a Brisbane specific problem, it’s really an Australia-wide issue. I’m going to be writing a more in-depth piece on this problem when I actually get to Japan and purchase some liquor so I’ll keep this short. I’m by no means an alcoholic, on average I probably only drink once or twice a week. I won’t lie though, when I do drink I take it a bit far sometimes so Nomihodai is something that’s pretty special to me. The drink that I probably enjoy most at the moment is Johnnie Walker Black Label, on special a 750ml bottle will run you back around $40AUD in Brisbane. In Japan, without any specials you’re looking at around 2200¥(around $27AUD at today’s spot rate).
5. The Sad Attempts at Japanese Food
Reading this I realize how naive and hard to please I really am, but even so I won’t be missing the Japanese food in Brisbane. Maybe it’s the fact that most of the vendor’s selling ‘Japanese food’ aren’t actually run by Japanese people. Maybe it’s the ingredients, and the substitutes that they have to use because of geographical differences. I don’t know why it’s so disappointing. What I do know is that It’s overpriced and tasteless. There are a handful of good Japanese restaurants in Brisbane so if you feel like Japanese save it for when you’re taking a trip to the Gold Coast. You’ll thank me for it.