4 January 2007

A Canberran's guide to Brisvegas

| Jey
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I’ve received a PhD scholarship offer from two Queensland universities, the partner is lined up for a job transfer and we’ve purchased a shiny house in the the Logan Shire (30 minutes between Bris and the Gold Coast).

Having lived in Canberra all our lives, I fear we may get eaten alive. Any tips for surviving Brisbane (and the Gold Coast) for two born and bred Canberrans?

Advice would be appreciated on:
– Restaurants
– Pubs/Clubs (Heavy metal clubs and queer/ queer friendly clubs particularly)
– Shopping for allergy safe food
– Handling the public transport system
– Any odd Queensland laws and road rules
-Anything to do with University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology
– General tips on moving house/interstate

And, of course, anything at all you can think of that may be of use.

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Kept my fish and chips warm for 30 minutes – must be good.

Anyone know if the Courier and Sunday Mail is any good?

*insert banjo music from Deliverance*

Hear about that shooting at the real estate agent in Logan? We went to that real estate agent. Creepy.

Having lived for 27 years in Brisneyland (with the exception of a brief foray into the far north) heres some some advice…
They have introdused a blanket system for public transport, so one ticket can do trains, buses, and ferries.

Cane toads can be killed with a liberal spray of detol or with the traditional golf club. Brisbane sees very few of the true leviathans that can grow up to 30cms long and weigh well over a kg. The only way to dispatch them is with a cricket bat or a land rover.

Places to go in Brisbane:
The 3 Monkeys in Stones Corners, a great little cafe, used to have chess tables out in the courtyard.
If you go to UQ, then drinking at the RE or the Regatta is compulsory.
The Story Bridge Hotel (right under the Story Bridge) is quite good and does cheap meals.
The Jazz Club, a dilapidated little hut near the Story Bridge Hotel does get some great local talent there.
For heavy metal and queer bars, there are a few placed in the Valley, get off the train at Brunswick street and either follow a Goth or Tranny and they will probably lead you there.

Thanks to the Jo Guvvmint many years ago, QLD enjoys petrol around 10c cheaper than the rest of the country.
If you move to Logan, mainly the Kingston, Woodridge area, then you need a VB Commodore or XD Falcon on blocks in the driveway. Bogan central and has one of the highest rates of unemployment for a QLD urban area.

I made the move from Bris down with Grace, they were quite good and nothing major was damaged.

I got this email some time ago, it sums up the weather in Bris pretty well:
Diary of a Brisbane Summer (by a Pom). Note the dates…

August 31st

Just got transferred with work into our new home in Brisbane!! Now this is
a city that knows how to live!! Beautiful sunny days and warm balmy
evenings. What a place! I watched the sunset from a deck chair on the
verandah. It was beautiful. I’ve finally found my home. I love it here.

September 13th:

Really heating up. Got to 35 today. Not a problem. Live in an
air-conditioned home, drive an air-conditioned car. What a pleasure to see
the sun everyday like this. I’m turning into a sun worshiper.

September 30th:

Had the backyard landscaped with tropical plants today. Lots of palms and
rocks. What a breeze to maintain. No more mowing lawn for me. Another
scorcher today, but I love it here.

October 10th

The temperature hasn’t been below 30 all week. How do people get used to
this kind of heat? At least today it’s kind of windy though. But getting
used to the heat and humidity is taking longer that I expected.

October 15th:

Fell asleep by the pool. Got 3rd degree burns over 60% of my body. Missed
3days of work. What a dumb thing to do. I learned my lesson though. Got to
respect the ol’ sun in a climate like this.

October 20th:

I missed Kitty (our cat) sneaking into the car when I left this morning. By
the time I got to the hot car for lunch, Kitty had died and swollen up to
the size of a shopping bag and stank up the $3,000 leather upholstery. I
told the kids that she ran away. The car now smells like Wiskettes and cat
shit. I learned my lesson though. No more pets in this heat.

October 25th:

The wind sucks. It feels like a giant bloody blow dryer!! And it’s hot as
hell. The home air-conditioner is on the blink and the AC repairman charged
$200 just to drive over and tell me he needed to order parts.

October 30th:

Been sleeping outside by the pool for 3 nights now. Bloody $450,000 house
and we can’t even go inside. Why did I ever come here?

November 4th:

It’s 35 degrees. Finally got the ol’ air-conditioner fixed today. It cost
$500 and gets the temperature down to 25, but this bloody humidity makes
the house feel like it’s about 30. Stupid repairman. I hate this stupid

November 8th:

If another wise arse cracks, “Hot enough for you today?” I’m going to
strangle him. Bloody heat. By the time I get to work the car’s radiator was
boiling over, my clothes are soaking wet, and I smell like baked cat!!

November 9th:

Tried to run some messages after work. Wore shorts, and sat on the black
leather seats in the ol’ car. I thought my arse was on fire. I lost 2
layers of flesh and all the hair on the back of my legs and my arse. Now my
car smells like burnt hair, fried arse, and baked cat.

November 10th:

The weather report might as well be a bloody recording. Hot and sunny. Hot
and sunny. Hot and sunny. It’s been too hot to do anything for 2 damn
months and the weatherman says it might really warm up next week. Doesn’t
it ever rain in this damn place? Water rationing will be next, so my $2,000
worth of palms just might dry up and blow into the bloody pool. Even the
palms can’t live in this heat.

November 14th:

Welcome to HELL!!! Temperature got to 38 today. Now the air-conditioner’s
gone in my car. The repairman came to fix it and said, “Hot enough for you
today?” My wife had to spend the $2,500 house payment to bail my arse out
of jail for assulting the repairman. Bloody Brisbane. What kind of a sick
demented idiot would want to live here?

December 1st:
WHAT????? This is the first day of Summer???? You are fu*king kidding

I’ve always said ‘haitch’, maybe I’ll fit right in!

Well, that’s the tradition. Add “H’ to words that don’t need it, and take “H” away from words that do.

Perfectly simple.

Strange, that, because only in Bris do they call me ‘asdrubahl…

I spent a year in Brisbane studying and everyone in Q says ‘haitch’ instead of ‘aitch’, not just the Catholics. I still say ‘haitch’ to this day…

I’d already accepted both scholarships just was waiting for the official word from UQ.

Slinky, sounds good, might be in touch mid-Feb.

Slinky the Shocker3:40 pm 05 Jan 07

Congrats Jey, if you wanna have a beer around UQ, drop me a line, I’m here every day…

Congrats Jey, and well done on taking our advice 🙂

Just been formally accepted into UQ! 😀

We generally plan on using public transport for trips into the CBD.
Truck is being hired and family member is driving it for us.
Yeah, I we were at Logan Central a few times and noticed the high density of bogans, anyway, I think I already said that.
Fortunately we have a bunch of other shopping centres near us.
Brown’s Plains Centre was nice.

I was at the Ikea near Logan last week. It is indeed massive. Stay away from the big shopping centre, Logan Central, which is more commonly known as Bogan Central.

OMG I went to school in Waterford West. It isn’t actually too bad – you’re right near the edge of the Gold Coast/Logan border, so you miss out on the worst of the boganism. You might want to think about getting the train in (to Dutton Park, then walk across the new bridge) to get to UQ though, because it’s a fair run in from there.

Make sure you do a run up Tambourine once you’re settled. The Cedar Creek falls aren’t far from you and they’re the only place to be on a hot day!

I’d also add to Seepi’s list of essentials any items you couldnt bear to have destroyed by your removalist. Speaking from experience here (I lost literally everything I owned when I moved here), it’s worth taking stuff like your computer or special photos etc with you, rather than entrusting it to a stranger just cos he owns a big truck.

Seepi, I heard The Forest had gone?

I disagree. I taught in the worst suburbs of Logan, and I have to say that Chisholm, Theodore, Kambah, Richardson etc have just as bad, if not worse redneck and abusive behaviour from parents and their kids. Tuggeranong ferals are right up there with Logan bogans. They are all from the same gene pool.

Hell no, don’t go. Spent 5 years working in Logan City and believe me Canberra’s greatest bogans are D grade in comparison. As for UQ, prepare to be amazed by how arrogant insular private schoolies that have never left the great state of Qld can be…

Partner wants a house because of desire for HUGE garage for car tinkering.
If I was on my own I wouldn’t be adverse to inner-city living.

Only suggested St Lucia ‘cos I was also advocating UQ: less travel. You don’t have to buy a house there, some nice units/townhouses around.

You can stay on the motorway as far as Beenleigh without any serious worries – and no problems with their public transport either, it’s definetly no Canberra.

I’d seriously recommend you ditch all of your stuff you can’t do without, or can’t fit in your car, and use the money from the garage sale/jammo markets stall to buy the stuff you’ll need new at IKEA.

Seriously, it’s that uber cheap.

Can’t comment too significantly on the suburbs around Logan, although I have heard it’s just as bad as Ipswich, which equals misguided relationships and “m’e defacto” – heard a lot.

Learn to add an O, A or an E at the end of every sentence, and be prepared to have quick conversations slowly.

IMHO if you never go to the Gold Coast proper while your there, it’s no great loss, unless you have a penchant for summernats, that’s where they come from. And their families are there too.

Bundaberg rum is the weapon of choice for the bogans, and you both will probably end up being accosted by somebody as pissed and capable of fighting as a damp rollie paper.

Fortitude valley is where most of the alternative stuff is located, although it’s quite cool hitting the backpacker scene if you’re in the mood – from memory there is a bus trip every Wednesday that’s worthwhile, you get taken to a whole heap of pubs and get to participate in the Story Bridge Cockroach Races at the Story Hotel.

Yes, we saw that on our many journeys to view houses. As IKEA virgins we are quite excited about it.

….and an IKEA!

There’s a Mrs Flannery’s in Loganholme, newly opened. So that’s right near us. Hooray!

I lived and worked in Logan for 5 years. It’s uncannily like Tuggeranong (but a bit warmer), even has a Hyperdome!
At the end of the day, your home is your castle. You could live in a ritzy Brisvegas suburb and cop bogan/nasty neighbours, or live in Inala and have a great time.

The only Logan hassle is that the road into Brisbane can get busy, (20 mins on a clear run, 60 mins+ on a shocker) and with 1 million people moving to the Sth East corner in the next ten years, I wouldn’t want to be doing the peak hour run twice a day.

Use the bus system as the busses have their own lanes.

I enjoyed Logan, close to the Gold Coat beaches, you can keep the Brisbane mud flats!

QLD drivers have no concept that the right hand lane is for faster traffic. Yes, they are even worse than Canberra drivers in this regard.

Check out Alexander Clark Park in Logan, it’s a lovely spot.

Don’t eat anything you catch from the Logan River. Ever.

Make sure your drains work and your gutters are clean.

When you see a green sky coming from the South, it’s big storm time.

Enjoy the experience!

Thanks for the advice ya’ll. 🙂
We’ve been told Logan is ok as long you are ‘south of the border (Logan Motorway?)’.
I did notice extreme amounts of boganism.
We’ve got a place in Waterford West.
PhD will be in the communication/English/media studies field.

There is a cute vegie place in the westend – The Forest – great mushroom stroganoff. And a gorgeous cafe/cigar place around there too – it is painted bright red and has a deck with mismatched armchairs etc. and great coffee. Called Fumiore I think.
Have fun!
oh – moving – Don’t pack too many jumpers or cheaqp mugs you can buy when you get there for 2$. And pack a box with the kettle, a mug or two, your pillow, toaster, 2 min noodles, a book a facewasher, soap etc and any other essentials and label it well. Take that one in the car yourself if you are driving.

Even I have to admit, it’s nice to not melt into the footpath when you walk home.

I’m starting to wonder why I’m living in Canberra now.

Oh, I hate humidity, so I’d die up in Brissie.

Jey, Terubo is right about avoiding Logan where possible – believe me, I grew up there. However, if you sell a place in Logan there’s no way in hell you can afford to buy into St Lucia, so don’t worry about it too much. Where in Logan are you headed?

Have you hit up http://www.ourbrisbane.com? It has heaps of information for visitors and people moving into town.

As far as pubs and clubs go, pretty much anywhere you go in Zone 1 will be queer friendly (you’ll know when you’ve walked into one of the few that isn’t!). For queer venues head to the Valley (the Wickham and the Beat are popular but by no means the limit). The Valley is also the go for your live events, although places like the Alley Bar at Milton Bowl and the QUT Guild Bar will often have great acts on.

West End and the Valley will also give you the best feeds (in particular, Westie has fantastic Greek, and Chinatown is in the Val). Slinky is dead-on with the West End markets too, they’re fantastic for fresh and organic produce at prices I only dream about down here. West End is probably one of the better places for allergy friendly foods – and the Mrs Flannery’s is not far.

As for public transport, you have the choice of one-way, off-peak or daily and as a student your fares are all half-price. The integrated ticketing is fantastic too – a 2 Zone daily ($2.60 for you) will let you go anywhere in town all day on the bus, train or ferry. For all transport info go to http://www.transinfo.qld.gov.au

There’s no freaky driving rules like hook turns, but Brissie drivers do tend to drive just under the speed limit enough to drive southerners nuts.

I spent the last 6 years bumming around UQ, so if there’s anything in particular you want to know about it…

Sheesh, sorry for the novel!

no daylight savings, so your curtains wont fade there… so they say! hahaa

We Qlders have lots of little ways to identify you imposters…
And we’re too cool to be bothered with ‘cool’ things like drinking foreign (read: not XXXX) beer.

Slinky the Shocker2:49 pm 04 Jan 07

Al: Actually, the ‘cool’ locals drink the piss-weak excuse for a beer called Corona, so they are the mexicans. With my accent they can smell me from a mile anyway.

installation – d’oh!

Slinky: what’s a schooner??? Way to identify yourself as a mexican to the locals mate…
On public transport – you can get yourself a much-discounted 6 or 12 month pass that covers train, bus and river ferries 24/7. And PT to big events at Lang Park, like watching the Maroons clobber the cockroaches, is free on display of your ticket – that’s how the govmint got away with upgrading a stadium where they couldn’t fit any parking at all.
PS: you gonna hate the humidity through spring and summer – really sucks.
Make sure your house is well insulated and stay right away from bloody brick veneer sauna boxes with no eaves. When it’s 30+ and 100% humidity right through the night for 5 days running, last thing you need is the damn bricks storing up heat to make it even worse right through the night.

And I hear that the subsidies in place now mean you can put in a big rain tank, pump, insulation and all virtually all paid for by subsidies. Great because October-November your garden turns a very Canberra like shade of brown.
But winter is gorgeous – like late spring here.

Slinky the Shocker2:06 pm 04 Jan 07

Al: agree, found Brissie drivers pretty laid back and friendly. Also, agree 100% that public transport rocks. We sold the 2nd car and drive max twice a week (mainly to get out).

Northern suburbs are a good option if you are at QUT. For UQ it would be a bit of a pain, though.

Slinky the Shocker2:01 pm 04 Jan 07

The reason why you have been spared by my leftie rantings lately is that I actually moved up to Brisbane and degraded myself to lurker.

Agree with terubo, UQ rocks, top campus, good infrastructure (What’s Ph.D. in?). However, it will be hard to get to/from Logan in rush hour. (Rush hour is short, but fierce, I ride to work…) Allow at least 1 hr to either QUT or UQ. St Lucia is way unaffordable, though. We are looking at buying in Toowong/Fairfield/Annerley. Without value, I would compare Cbr-Brisbane suburbs as follows:

Logan=Gunghalin (cheaper living but a fair way out)
St Lucia=O’Connor (Close to Uni, but f*** expensive)
Toowong/Taringa=Ainslie/Hackett (close,not quite as $$$)
Fairfield/Annerley=Belconnen (reasonably close, still older suburbs, semi-affordable)

All in all I love the place. Easy lifestyle, slightly cheaper than Canberra for rent/realestate, but shitlots going on… Musiccentral! I think most of the metal happens in Club Phoenix. My favourite place is Ric’s Bar, which reminds me of the Canberra Phoenix, only with outdoor seating. Bigger Metal/Punk bands play at the Arena.

Moving interstate: is fucking expensive if you have a lot of gear. We got part of ours paid, so we went with Allied Pickford.

Food: Westend markets on Saturday are extremely cheap for produce. Ms Flannery’s supermarkets are large organic supermarkets, I think they’d be good for allergy safe stuff.

Drinks: XXXX is the devil (but what the hell, everything else is available). Make sure you order schooners, because pots are gone in two gulps (hell, as a born bavarian my basic unit of beer is 0.5 liters).

See you up here.

XXXX – good
Logan – bad

Most of the northern inner ring suburbs are good – lived in Kedron (the Avenues area) and that was great – miles of bike paths from the mountains to the Bay.
The little geckos that come out at night and chatter away are cute and eat the spiders and cockies but don’t encourage them – they are overseas imposters.
The train service from northern suburbs is brilliant. Buses along the freeway dedicated busway are good too – shining example for ACT. Buses from western suburbs not so – roads weaving around the hills are too prone to accidents and traffic congestion, with nowhere to fit dedicated busways.
You can get bike lockers at train stations and some bus interchanges. I used to treddle 5 mins up the road to Northgate station (longer in summer as you don’t want to get sweaty in a collar and tie), stick my bike in my locker, jump on the next train (every 5 mins) and 11 mins later walk in the dorr at work in the city.
Next to no flies – yeah!
Bloody mossies – boo! Most of the Ross River Fever vectoring mossies will be from within 50-100 metres of their breeding spot. So keep your gutters clear, plant saucers drained, and don’t buy bromiliads, unless you are prepared to put a drop on kero into each one every so often.
Very near to Logan up on the mountain top is Springbrook, which is gorgeous, and considering it is so close to the Gold Coast (north Victoria – not actually part of Qld), surprisingly not ruined. http://www.mouseshouse.com.au – recommended.
Caloundra Van Lines are pretty good removalists – used them a few times as we’ve yo-yoed along the eastern states.
Canetoad numbers are on the wane – local wildlife are learning how to deal with them.
When you feel like abusing a crappy driver, remember they are more than likely to be a southern immigrant – real Qlders are pretty good drivers.
Re: 2 PhD offers – show off!

I believe that Arnala is the best place for bogan hunting in brisvegas

barking toad1:31 pm 04 Jan 07

don’t drink xxxx

what makes st lucia so much better terubo?

Putter is good. You can roll them into the nearest drain.

Nine irons are good, Thumper; but you may end up with a poorly disposed neighbour fishing the results of your “golf” session out of their pool.

Go for something with a lower trajectory. I recommend a 3-wood.

Logan Shire? Oops, the one bad place I know in Brisbane is Logan City. I’m guessing thats right in the middle of Logan Shire.

1. Make sure you chose the UQ scholarship.
2. Sell house in Logan Shire, buy in St Lucia.
3. Prepare for unprecedented boganism.

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