Before my direct flight to Brisbane (15 hours nonstop from Vancouver!), I had a lovely meal with my family: Mom, Dad, Seline, Grandpa, and Mimi (aunt) and Charles (uncle). My aunt and uncle had just returned from Kathmandu, Nepal, that very day, so I was very lucky to have a meal with them before I jetted off to the southern hemisphere.
I split a Joeys classic with mom: salmon, quinoa, veggies, radish, as well as a great pesto shrimp flatbread. For dessert, I savoured apple galette with maple ice cream, chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream, and a great caramel parfait with sponge toffee.
Not too long after, I arrived in sunny, beautiful Australia. I was welcomed by Margaret, my mom’s friend from several decades ago, and her friends Bill and Carolyn. Bill and Carolyn greeted me with a delicious vegan lunch, which consisted of noodles, bok choy, vegan “chicken” made of soy and gluten, carrots, and soy sprouts. On the side, we had corn soup, and then large mugs of green tea. What a great way to say hello to Australia!
I had the opportunity to check out my new room (very warm!), unpack both of my suitcases, and then take off for some exploring around the neighbourhood, which is called Toowong.
Brisbane is such a spectacular city. I feel like it has the charm of a quieter town, but the big-city excitement of places like Toronto. On my first night, I went to CIRCA, where I did a few hours of open training at the circus gym. I will share photos soon!
Saturday morning was exquisite. I enjoyed breakfast at The Corner Store Cafe, where I devoured:
- 1 smoothie with banana, acai berry, coconut water
- flatbread filled with lamb, hummus, pickled turnips, 2 fried eggs, 2 pieces halloumi
All I have to say is W-O-W. I’m not a huge fan of lamb, but this was hella delicious with the crispy fried halloumi, creamy garlicky hummus, and luscious runny egg yolks.
On Sunday morning, I feasted on a papaya boat topped with coconut vegan yogurt. The vanilla bean flavour in this coconut yogurt was absolutely divine, and I loved how the tanginess of the raspberries contrasted with the creamy flesh of the papaya and rich yogurt. While the vegan yogurt didn’t have the signature sour tang of regular cow’s milk yogurt, it reminded me of coconut whipped cream in the best way possible. I can’t wait to have more later today.
Aside from the deliciousness that is coconut yogurt, I got a Go Card. Although it’s not as convenient as flashing bus drivers a student card (like I do in Waterloo), the Go Card is much better than dealing with cash. Plus, as a student, concession fares!
I had my first aerial straps private lesson on Sunday. It was my first time touching a set of straps, and I had quite the workout. My wrists didn’t like it very much, though… as you’ll see in a moment. These are aerial straps. While I am nowhere near this skilled, I am very determined to improve the skills that I’ve been introduced to, and look forward to increasing my stamina, strength, and, sadly, my pain tolerance.
I was always confused when people talked about having a high pain tolerance for aerial straps, but I get it now. Both of my wrists are bruised, the skin has rubbed off in many places, and yesterday, some areas bled and leaked watery fluid. My fingertips, which you can’t fully see in the picture, also bled quite a bit (due to the amount of pressure in my grip). Then, there’s the muscle aches and pains, though the abrasion is much worse than muscle tension, in my opinion.
After my straps lesson, Margaret and I drove down to the Gold Coast, where we enjoyed a fabulous lunch. I ate:
- summery smoothie with banana, mango, peach, passionfruit
- small balsamic salad with grape tomatoes
- melt on Turkish bread with mozzarella, ham, wild mushrooms
The beaches in Australia are truly something else. I was rendered speechless by the blueness of the waves, the warm breeze, and the soft, fine, powder-like sand. I could wander here for ages!
Sunday passed too quickly, and before I knew it, it was Monday, and I was at school for my first day of Orientation. The University of Queensland is easily one of the most beautiful campuses I’ve been to. I went to the school’s pharmacy, gift shop, and book store. I look forward to picking up one of the hoodies for Seline, who loves hoodies.
Speaking of Seline, the two of us are, again,
slightly extremely obsessed with the Maze Runner series by James Dashner. I thought my obsession had been cured (hehehe) after seeing the final film of the trilogy and spieling all my thoughts into a Google Doc, but Seline’s newfound interest in the film caused my addiction to resurface. :’)
Back to Brisbane! Truly, truly, an incredible city. I had the opportunity to visit the museum, which was free (yay), and walk around some quiet streets like Bakery Lane. The Queensland State Library was also beautiful.
That night, I had dinner at Tartufo, an Italian restaurant where I devoured:
- pasta with smoked mozzarella, Italian sausage, fried eggplant, tomato, basil, parmesan cheese
- 1 chocolate fondant with mascarpone cheese, Belgian dark chocolate shavings, vanilla gelato
- English breakfast tea with milk and sugar
Then, it was dark and time to go home. 🌃
Have a gorgeous day!