Changing Brisbane

“I don’t remember seeing those sky-scrapers before”, I thought to myself as I walked through the city. On my way to a meeting in another part of Brisbane today, I went for a brief “sight-seeing” excursion which took my briefly this afternoon into the city.

I began the trip by walking along Coronation Drive, where the impact of the recent flooding is still evident. There’s still lots of brown water marks on lots of trees and buildings. And the river still has a brown tinge to it. Although the Brisbane River has always had a brownish tinge for as long as I can remember, I’m guessing a lot of the sediment has been disturbed by the floods.

After a while, I got sick of walking and hailed a passing bus. I could scarcely believe it when the driver told me it would cost $4.50 to go into the city. For a similar length trip in Sydney, I’d be paying $1.60 (thanks to the My One Card). I’m sure there’s a similar card you can obtain in Brisbane. But on the surface, the cost of public transport in Brisbane seemed very high. For just a few dollars more I probably could have gotten a taxi.

On the way back from my meeting I hitched a ride with a colleague. “Is the Arnotts biscuit factory still around here?”, I asked him, remembering the strong smell that used to waft from it. The other strong smell of that street remained though, with the “The XXXX Brewery” still commanding the view back towards Toowong.

“And there was a petrol station along here”, I told me colleague, adding in the story of how I’d run out of petrol once and had coasted down the hill with enough momentum to pull up right up next to a petrol bowser. My colleague laughed with recognition. Some things have changed in Brisbane, others haven’t, it seems.

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