Faits divers of Queensland
Trip Start Mar 17, 2007
450Trip End Ongoing
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Australia IS at the other side of the world of what I call home. The thing is that you can get fooled: the Aussies I know look like me. But, they don't really: they are green and have pointy ears and a different ... cannot tell you that!
Like: highway 1 has: 2 lanes! In total! No streetlights. Very little signs.
We noticed lots of motels full. In Ayr we learned why: people come from all over Australia and abroad to work in the mines and harvest the sugar and the bananas. And they stay in the motels. We heard that it stretches over SIX MONTHS. So, if you come to Queensland, it is not only the tourists, which can occupy the cheap accommodation, also the workers.
The pies: I adore the pies. Potato pie. Meat pie. Curry pie. Kidney pie. Any pie.
Within a couple of kilometer in the reach of a city, you cannot buy a cask of wine before 16h. It is the law. Huh???????????????
Every drink has a 'standard measure' on it. 'One drink is not always one drink.' A can of mid strength beer is 0,8 units, full strength 1,6 units. That way, you can calculate how many drinks you can have and still drive within the limits.
We were told off by smokers to eat in their area!!!!! No kidding. The law again. There are smoking areas in a bar/restaurant (outside) and it is against the law to eat there. Now, I like to think that I am not a pain in the b... ex-smokers but this is a step too far for me. Those smokers already took over MY spot in a pub: the terrace. Not one table free: all smokers are outside. I would much prefer them blowing smoke inside. And on top of that: I cannot eat in their area??? Does my pie screw their cigarette taste? Is this supposed to be a good thing for the none smokers?
The lack of (in my eye) business sense is striking. Mind you; it was the same in Bali and Micronesia and Bali. And I have no idea whether it is any better in Europe. Take a motel/hotel: 1 maybe 2 or 3 million business. Left in the hands of a receptionist. It is my impression, they hire the cheapest person possible.
A couple of conversations:
'Hi, I am in room nr blabla and an alarm clock went off in one of the rooms around me, from 05h till 07h.'
'Is it still going off?'
'No, it went off from 05h till 07h?'
'So, it is finished now?'
'I think it might do the same tomorrow'
'What is your room nr?'
'Left to you just checked out and right of you is empty, so it cannot be that one'
'I think it is the empty one'
' I do not think anybody sleeps through a 2 hour alarm clock, so it is probably an alarm clock put on by the previous costumer'
'Oooooooooooooooh, so it might be still on?'
'Can you ask housekeeping to check on the alarm clock of the empty room?'
One more. I would still have plenty.
Receptionist (who is also responsible to dress the outside tables for dinner) takes my table out of the sun.
' I think my wife would like to use this table some more, with her laptop'
'Can she not use the little side tables?'
(The side tables are lower than the chairs)
'Difficult with the laptop'
'We have dinner bookings'
It is f... before 15h in the afternoon and dinner starts at 18h30.
If a position of receptionist is open in a hotel, does it say: less than half a brain a bonus? Is it profitable to leave your business in the hands of someone who has no clue? The reception is the face of your business, is it wise to save on that? Is it better in Belgium?
Apart from these random thoughts and worrying about Erin, we also make so progress on the near future. Tony booked a ticket to Brisbane for tomorrow. We thought, we booked for today, so we also booked our hotel. And the car, almost. But, Hubby fixed it: tomorrow Brisbane, car booked for a week and hotel for 3 days. The nice diving buddies from Brisbane gave us some tips, so I think we are in the place to be in the city.
Then, we go direction Surfer's Paradise because there is a ... Hard Rock Café there, of course! Now, he is looking at an around the world ticket. Brisbane-Bangkok (Pattaya, Samui, Chang?)-Brussels-Montego Bay. Then: Galapagos-Fiji-??? We are looking to end at Perth at Christmas.
So: we sit at the swimming pool, planning, booking, drinking, writing stories, answering emails, playing computer games, ...
This is where we are:
It is 100$/night, internet rate, free wireless which works but not in the room. Ten minutes walk to the center.