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In which Brisbane pretends to have a winter

Somewhat spontaneously, this year Brisbane decided to have a winter festival for the first time.  This is despite the fact that by no stretch of the imagination does Brisbane have a real winter.  I went and checked it out the other night. 

It was surprisingly awesome!  To begin with, Nature obliged us by giving us the coldest June in 20 years. (Which, to be fair, is a fairly acceptable 5-20C range).  Clearly our festival has pleased the winter gods.  It's set up in King George Square in front of City Hall, with a heap of awesome food stalls - everything from woodfried pizzas, to a german sausage hut, to churros, langoush, bratwurst, and mini-pancakes!  Lipton also set up a tent, giving away free Chai lattes!  Lipton must be Brisbane's biggest sponsor or something, first the bikes, now free tea?  We should rename the city to Liptown.

And for some reason, Grill'D was there making burgers in a traincar bus.  Their burgers are quite delicious, though, so this is not a bad thing.

The really crazy thing, though, is they've set up an open-air ice-skating rink in the middle of the square.  In Brisbane.  Where even in the middle of winter it is not that unusual to hit 25C at lunchtime.

It's awesome.

Of course, the really hilarious thing is, they've set up an open-air ice-skating rink in a city where 98% of the population's entire experience with ice-skating is spilling ice-cubes on a bar floor and slipping on them.  Thus we now have an ice-skating rink full of absolute beginners.  Very quickly I discovered that this made for excellent spectator sport.    Around that back corner of the picture is a long conga line of people gripping the edges as they shuffled their way cautiously around the rink.  Money well spent.

There were a couple of people in the middle who could actually-sort-of-skate (you can tell, because they brought their own skates instead of the bright orange rental skates), and one guy was writing messages on his phone as he did so, which seemed hazardous.
This has coincided rather nicely with a Jazz music festival in the Valley, too, so the city is quite alive right now!  Naturally, all the cool things in Brisbane happen when I'm busy working overtime most nights!  XD  Hopefully will get the chance to come back again before it ends, if only to sample some more of the food stalls.
Probably doesn't hold a candle to some of the festivals they hold in cities where it actually snows more often than never, but it was heaps of fun!


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 22nd, 2011 12:32 pm (UTC)
I've always wanted to go iceskating, but I would be one of the people holding on to the back rail for dear life. lol Glad you had fun~ <3
Jun. 22nd, 2011 08:40 pm (UTC)
I've only gone iceskating once, and I was awful. I jumped back and forth between clinging to the wall and clinging onto my two friends. I almost got bowled over by a small child several times, and I hit a girl in the face when I started flailing my arms.
It was fun. =)
Jun. 23rd, 2011 12:06 pm (UTC)
XD The only sport in which a small child can bowl over an adult and it's entirely ok to hit people in the face!
Jun. 22nd, 2011 10:36 pm (UTC)
That does sound pretty awesome.
If you said there was also snow I'd be REALLY impressed.

Yay ice skating-- it's occasionally a pretty funny spectator sport even in chilly little RI in the US. Especially if you're watching me, because as I'm only a moderately good or experienced skater, it usually takes me half an hour to stop clinging to the side rails. (And then I'm fine for the rest of the time.)
I think part of the reason I'm so reluctant to let go is because of a rather painful ice-skating accident because I made the mistake of trusting the usual friend-of-a-friend to help me... and almost shattered my elbow when he continued to try to "help."

Hope you can swing another trip, sounds like fun :)
Jun. 23rd, 2011 12:03 pm (UTC)
XD They can keep the ice frozen with pipes, but snow might prove too big a challenge.

Owww, sounds like a traumatising experience. Heh, that aside, ice-skating is one of those weird spectator sports which is fun at all levels of skill apparently!
Jun. 23rd, 2011 09:50 pm (UTC)
This is likely true XD

Yeah, it wasn't very much fun. But like I said, I'm okay after the first round of "crap, balance... balance... okay."
Also, seriously, have you never watched ice skating at the Olympics? That was one of my favorite things when I was little.
Jun. 23rd, 2011 01:31 am (UTC)
♥ I tend to love and hate those people who can skate and not watch where the hell they're going because at the same time, it makes it incredible hard to judge where the hell they're turning to, but it's so good to watch their bodies move. *_* DID YOU TRY IT OUT? *misses iceskating*

And food festival! *____*
Jun. 23rd, 2011 11:59 am (UTC)
Sadly, no, my last attempts at regular skating were the stuff of physical comedy, I thought it better not to risk involving blades in the equation. It was more fun to sit back in the nice warm Lipton tent sipping free tea and watching anyway. ;) You used to ice-skate? I think I remember you mentioning it once, but I didn't realise you did it enough to miss it! *is impressed*

(And I just saw your message a few minutes ago, you're welcome! I'm glad it made it before you headed off to London. Ahaha, sorry about the cheap post-its though, I forgot to sort out a card and didn't want to risk putting off sending it an extra day.)

Jun. 25th, 2011 03:12 pm (UTC)
*_* Skating with roller skates or blades? I've done the blades before, and sort of miss it. (I once had a birthday party at a rollerdome. :P) And yes! Iceskating was a huge hit when I was in Year Six due to our Canadian exchange teacher taking us for an excursion. I can skate without having to learn again each time, but haha, I can never be as graceful and as fearless as those people with their own. *_* I've been ten times or so, so yeah, I do miss it! There's nothing quite nice as gliding along with the cold biting your cheeks and moving at your own speed, surpassing others or going at your own pace. ♥ (It's similar to how I feel about riding my bicycle.)

(Pffft, I really liked the post-it touch, I still have them and was laughing at the socks comment, because it completely wasn't true. If anything I love that the most out of it all! ...But it got me wanting another tripod. D:)
Jun. 23rd, 2011 03:23 am (UTC)
It's so wrong that I live only 45minutes out of the city and didn't know about any of this!!! LOL!
Jun. 23rd, 2011 11:55 am (UTC)
Haha, well, now you have no excuses! ;)
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Jun. 23rd, 2011 11:53 am (UTC)
Hee, no, I didn't, I am quite terrible at even regular skating so replacing wheels with blades seemed too hazardous to attempt. It was more fun to watch. Good luck with your outing!

Yeah, sorry, I have been quite busy, and am likely to be for a while yet. ^_^; There never seems to be any point getting on chat when I'd only be on for such a short while. I'll have to make a point of it sometime soon. And hey, if nothing else I'll be down there in person in August.

Natsume Yuujinchou! Isn't it awesome? It's like a warm summer's day. There's a third season set to start airing very soon!
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Jun. 25th, 2011 07:32 am (UTC)
Heh, while you guys are pretending to have a winter, here in Vancouver we're pretending to have a summer. To be fair in our case we normally do have a summer which on the hottest days may get up to 32'C. Unfortunately this time around, we're lucky to break 20. :( On the bright side, the satanist in me is amused by all the people wearing summer clothes as if by freezing and getting soaked will somehow make the weather clear up.

The concept of Australian skating is somewhat mind-boggling. After all, your guys' idea of a sport is throwing a funny-shaped stick and hoping it will come back and stab you.
Jun. 25th, 2011 07:46 am (UTC)
Your summer is our winter. The maximum here very rarely dips below 20. But much the same way, we all dress up in jackets and scarves and pretend it is actually cold.

If you throw the boomerang RIGHT you will have killed something with it and then it won't come back! Death upon return for your failure is only a fitting punishment.

Sure, skating in Australia is.... um.... well, you know, our first Winter Olympics gold medal was Steve Bradbury in the speed skating! And I kid you not, he got through the qualifiers, then the quarter-finals, then the semi-finals, then won the finals... all because all the skaters in front of him crashed mid-race. Each time. That maybe says something.

At least we don't riot when we lose. >:D
Jun. 25th, 2011 08:18 am (UTC)
You are deeply mistaken. If you thrown a boomerang right, it slices effortlessly through your enemy AND THEN comes back and stabs you. Tis true facts. That's what happens on TV.

You heard about that all the way over there? *facepalms* Britain regularly riots over rugby and the like, and nobody bats an eyes, but we have a hockey riot ever seventeen years and everybody knows about it.

The sad fact is that I'm not entirely surprised, I had a bad feeling about the entire thing as soon as I knew we were contenders and made a point of avoiding the downtown. My folks barely got out of the downtown in time to avoid the riot in '94 and this time one of my brothers was down there stranded in his friend's apartment, watching as the smoke streamed upward. He was forced to stay the night. I'm just relieved he's okay.

On the bright side, I've been really impressed by the post-riot reaction. Hundreds of people appeared the next day to help with the clean up. While thousands more, having been helping the police by sending in photos and identifying rioters. The wooden boards covering the broken windows are covered with calls never to let it happen again, praise for the police, and apologies to the city for letting this happen in the first place.
Jun. 25th, 2011 09:31 am (UTC)
Hahaha, yes of course we heard! Indeed, those crazy Europeans and their soccer/football riots. I hear such things are common in Montreal too, actually. I'm glad your brother is ok, though. It would have been a rather frightening experience to live through, however baffling its origins.

Big dramas like that do tend to bring out the best in people afterwards. But I still can't quite fathom what brings people to do it in the first place. Must not care about sport enough. :|
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )