Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Gold Coast

I talked to grandson Caleb on Facebook Messages.  His newest interest is playing Doomsday Defense.  He has a strategy worked out.  He is a neat kid.

I was struggling a bit with tiredness, but nevertheless, the Gold Coast was calling.  I caught the bus at the Capalaba shopping center into the city, then caught the Gold Coast Express train to Nerang.  I had my lunch on a bench on the train platform while waiting on the train to arrive:  avocado, grapes, orange, banana, and seed/nuts.  The train ride from Brisbane to Nerang is 70 minutes.  At Nerang, I took the Surfers bus to Pacific Fair.  It's about 100 km from Capalaba to Pacific Fair.

At one of the train stops three young men, teen-agers, got on the train.  One was a very dark Aborigine, the other two were white.  For some reason, I got an uneasy feeling about them.  I have my passport, credit card, drivers license, and some of my cash in a separate small bag that I can keep around my neck when I travel.  I took that little bag out of my purse, put it around my neck, and zipped my windbreaker over it.  About that time, the police entered the train and told the black youth to step off the train.  The white youth followed them.  The police still had him when they let the train go.  Got to listen to that intuition!  Hoodlum youth are a real problem along the Gold Coast.  I heard people talking about it and saw much evidence of it.

Turns out Pacific Fair is a gigantic shopping center with no beach in sight.  The bus driver pointed straight ahead and said, "The beach is a long way that way".  In the mall I bought a fresh apple/pineapple/mint juice.  It was a disappointment.  The apples must not have been the best.  The girl at the juice counter said, "You'll have to go that way (pointing a different direction), but it's about 5k".  What the heck.  I've come this far...beach here I come.  Outside the mall, I asked another lady the best way to get to the beach.  "Which beach?", she asked.  "Any beach", I replied.  She suggested Broad Beach and pointed in the same direction as the bus driver.  It was only about six or seven blocks.  It was a beautiful sight.  The sand was golden and fine.  The Pacific Ocean was big and chilly.  People were playing in the surf and sun bathing (sun baking in Australia).  I sat in the sand to people watch and read my book.  Too bad I didn't take my swimsuit, because I got a pretty good tan with tan lines.  When I had enough sun, I walked back to Pacific Fair to start the journey home.

At Nerang station there was bad news.  The trains were not running because of a power outage in Brisbane.  The train was 1-1/2 hours late, and when it did arrive all the waiting passengers crammed in like sardines.  Fortunately, I got a seat, many did not.

It was already dark when we pulled into Central Station in Brisbane.  At the bus stop across from Central, the driver on the first bus that pulled up told me he did go to Capalaba...about an hour trip in the traffic.  At Capalaba shopping center, I picked up a schedule from the cinema and then walked to David's along the highway rather than down the dark walking trail through the woods.  This is the first time I have failed to be in before dark.  But all is well.

I showered, checked Facebook and Drudge, and ate my supper...raw corn on the cob and raw peanuts.  I visited with David a little while when he came in from work and Haidong training.  Haidong is the name of the martial art he practices.

Bed at 9:00...very tired.

To health and happiness.

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