Words by Lynley Eavis
Did you know that Lonely Planet named Brisbane Australia’s coolest city? Brisbane! You heard me. So to make sure the people at Lonely Planet weren’t bribed with the Queensland State Government’s art fund money, I went to investigate.
My team and I arrived in Brisbane around 8 o’clock at night. The first thing we questioned was why it was already dark. It’s too early! After constructing my portable compass and noting the constellations in relation to due North, I did a quick Google search and found out they don’t have day light savings. What idiots. I wrote this down while eating my team. My team was a bag of lollies. From that moment on I was alone.
After their death I figured the best way to experience a new city was to find some locals. Luckily I found Baz, who took me under his wing. I decided not to tell Baz that I had eaten my previous travel companions. I needed his trust to gain vital information. He told me that Brisbane was better than Mildura, which surprised and confused me. You see, the thing about Brisbane is that my expectations were so low that anything positive was a shock to the system. It has a shitty reputation, and with testimonials from BrisLame residents like “I’ve lived here since 2009 and I’ve not had any fun, not for one minute”, what was I to expect? Lonely Planet had put a lot of pressure on Brisbane to put out, and I was ready to accept its advances.
The locals Baz called his ‘friends’ spent the next four days bribing me with digestible goods. I became suspicious of their motives. Did they know I ate my team? I was taken to a place called New Shanghai, a restaurant located underneath the Gucci and Chanel stores. What a fancy location for a date with Brisbane! I could almost smell the overpriced leather from the floor above. The classy environment evaporated with my hopes and dreams when I learnt they were out of the dish I wanted. Not cool, Lonely Planet! The locals tried to remedy their mistake by taking me to Wrapture, a café that sells wraps, where AT LEAST 50% OF THEM ROCKED HALOUMI AS THE MAIN INGREDIENT! Each came in its own individual, insulated packaging with homemade pita bread, which I assume was to protect the haloumi from harm. It was so delicious I reluctantly became impressed, and smiled. My cheeks got a workout that day, and each day from then on.
I left Brisbane feeling satisfied, impressed with the quality of their modern art museum, and still confused as to why the locals call it BrisVegas. Seriously, why do they call it BrisVegas? I saw ONE casino and it wasn’t rotating lights strong enough to warn ships of coastlines, it was in a heritage building with no signs. If it was dark I would have crashed straight into the walls and been lapped up by incoming traffic. Legends would be told of my tragic death for years to come, about a girl just trying to waste her money in a highly controlled and organised gambling environment. The headlines would jokingly rename the city BrisPain while my family grieved.
Okay so despite how stupid the pet names are, and how much it pains me to say this, Lonely Planet may have been onto something. I didn’t have the worst time. I kinda had a good time, with the help of Baz and nice locals. I mean, I got a mango frappuccino in a mini soup-bowl sized bubble cup once. And they have self serve popcorn at the movies!! My standards may not be that high. Stop judging me. I’M SORRY I ATE MY TRAVEL BUDDIES OKAY. Just go to Brisbane.