"Everyone claims to want a city, but no one here wants city living." ~ Robert N. Davis, Jr
Every day I have travelled into the city with Star & wandered round on my own while she has done her Starry thing or sequestered myself in the Green Room with a book . It's not that I mind my own company; quite the contrary. However one is never exactly alone in a city however lonely one may feel & the sheer crowds are a little intimidating when you live on an island that for several decades has counted its population in the hundreds, rather than the thousands.
So after I dumped Star yesterday Liddy & her friends caught up with me so I had company at Southbank. Unfortunately the weather was far from co~operative & we spent a good deal of time sheltering from monsoonal downpours ~ though 2 of our company decided swimming in the rain was a really good idea. No comment ~ except to say I wasn't one of them.
We distinctly put Star's nose out of joint by grabbing a hot chocolate at Max Brenners. [Siano, if you are reading: not a patch on the one we got! ☺]
We shared the day with the wildlife ~ one of the smaller water dragons that seemed to be everywhere~
& the rather strange sculptures that appeared in peculiar places,
Though one can only wonder about the Christmas decorations.
Given that Saturday is a Southbank Market day & Southbank is usually inundated with massive tourist crowds I had given us a little extra time to get in. Good thing too. As Star & I sleepily boarded the boat the Lord bore down on my mind the need to do some necessary car maintenance. Now I am firmly of the opinion anything mechanical should never need much done to it [& if a woman had invented these things that would most certainly be the case but men seem to like fiddling with these little things] so when I stopped to put fuel in I decided to check the oil, water & tires while I was at it.
First problemo: neither Star nor I had the least idea. I am not good with these things. Out came the manual just so we could find the latch for the bonnet. Even with the manual we were having no luck. The first male stopped & pulled the lever for us. I gazed uncertainly into the depths of my engine. At least the oil cap was marked OIL in nice big letters but everything else seemed to be in German. I stood there with the manual in one hand comparing the size & shape of the various things that lived under my hood with the illustrations in the booklet. A second man stopped & translated for me; he didn't seem to need a manual in order to do that! I am cultivating a decidedly helpless look. Good thing I checked though. Thank you, Lord for looking out for us when I am too ditzy to do it for myself.
I believe I said I had resolved all our parking problems. I just should never say these things. I whizzed into QPAC Friday, zipped down Little Stanely Street all prepared to whip into our nice, handy & cheap parking ~ only to find the car park was already full & Southbank had so many things on I would be lucky to find parking at all. Round & round I went thinking unmentionable things about cities in general & Brisbane in particular while Star kept track of our whereabouts & eventually guided me into a half empty but very expensive garage. By then all I was interested in was no longer having to drive, not how much I would have to pay by 10pm.
Come 10pm we scraped every last cent we had together & joined the rather long que to escape the place. I shoved our ticket in & the machine spat it back at me but the barrier did not rise.
"Put your money in, " said the unflappable Star. Without my glasses I could see very little & was shoving notes randomly at this stupid thing & wishing I was safely home in my bed sleeping the sleep of the deserving while the que behind us grew longer...& longer!
Eventually the extremely patient man behind us called out [nicely, helpfully] that we actually had to pay somewhere else entirely! What! I handed Star money & ticket as there was absolutely no chance I could reverse & let others edge past us.
"Where do I go?" she blurted.
"Ask him." I pointed to the man behind us. " He seems to know what he's doing." Star ran ~ & returned without the necessary ticket. The line grew longer. Horns started honking. Now I might get myself into these pickles but once in them I am not fashed by what people might think so as there was nothing to do but work our way through the process of resolving our little issue that's exactly what I did & ignored the rude car honkers who probably live in the city & do this all the time. We don't & are clueless & that's life. I am remarkably patient & unfazed in these situations ~ but then what can really go wrong if I am stationary? If only they'd known it the car honkers should have been far more worried when we were under way again!
Liddy, naturally, was horrified & thanking her stars she was not in the car for this little escapade ~ but then if she'd been with us I would not have been driving & the chances are this would not have happened at all. Mind you, she has her own issues with Brisbane. She was ranting as we were worked our way down Vulture Street in the masses of traffic that had just emerged from every theatre, show & pub in town that it was insane that 5 lanes of traffic suddenly became one on the other side of an intersection. This is true ~ but you know, I'd never noticed. And it has finally twigged why I have so much trouble driving in town. I watch the traffic like a hawk. City drivers are raving lunatics ~ especially the ones like me who don't know what they are doing or where they are going. I have no time to note landmarks. I have noted Liddy pays far more attention to landmarks but is more than a little scary in traffic. I don't think she sees half of what goes on around her & she will be the first to tell you she's not the most observant of people. Scary, isn't it?