Brisbane, Australia

Bleary-eyed after a 13-hour flight, I go for a walk in West End and end up on Granville St, eventually turning onto Boundary. After braving the brunch lineup at a hip caf√© for a delicious meal and coffee, I top up my TransLink card at a train station, before opting to walk some more to the nearby waterfront for a ferry ride instead. The weather’s spectacular as I watch the glistening glass towers of downtown disappear in the distance. I disembark by a park, and walk along a pedestrian path bisected by a bike lane, surrounded by picnickers on this lovely Sunday afternoon. After some more aimless wandering, the sun’s going down and I’m hungry. I head to the night market — packed as usual, full of people speaking everything including Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, French, and the like.

If it weren’t for the cars running down the wrong side of the road, if it weren’t for the accent… I may as well have been describing a lovely summer weekend at home. Oh yeah, it’s winter here.

Brisbane may be on the other side of the world, but the similarities to Vancouver don’t end there. Both are the third-largest cities of their respective countries. Both have a metro population of roughly 2.5 million. Both have a vacation-friendly Sunshine Coast about an hour away. And for whatever reason, both cities like to thank their bus drivers when disembarking. I think that’s great.
Continue reading