Thursday, April 17, 2008

My new home

This is Brisbane, my new home. The green arrow is the University of Queensland, where I'll be working. As you can see the river sorta winds through everything. And there are few bridges. The really cool area to live is New Farm (aka. the Valley, Fortitude Valley, Teneriffe) in the upper right peninsula. It's all renovated warehouses and men in tight, yet saggy, pants. It's also 45 minutes on two buses from UQ or 60 minutes on the ferry.

So I'm looking for a place in the West End. On the knob between the Brisbane CBD and UQ. West End has about 3 blocks of shops. A few cafes, a few pubs, a few restaurants, a library. Basically a nice little neighborhood. Unfortunately, apparently a lot of other people want to live in the West End as well. So most of the apartments I can find are between the West End and South Bank.
South Bank was redeveloped 20 years ago. It was really well done, a beautiful park with an arbour running the distance, pool, cafes and restaurants, and a pool. It has withstood the test of time, I thought it had just recently been redeveloped. The problem is threefold. 1. There's nothing, save the train station, that wasn't built 20 years ago. All of the the cafes, restaurants and shops are part of these giant multipurpose buildings that all look modern. 2. Most of the shops and restaurants are chains. 3. It's just sorta dead except for weekend mornings. So Saturday and Sunday mornings it's a great place to live, otherwise, bleh. Oh, and most of the apartments around there are really recently built. So they're nice and new, but just, sort of, generic.
I have several weeks to find something, so I've looked at a couple of these style units. Even put in an application today on one cause it was really close to the West End and more affordable than most. But am still looking for something that offers a bit more.
PS. I'm now cycling from Adelaide to Melbourne starting on the 26th along the Great Ocean Road. So excited. How many pairs of cycling shorts do you think one should take on an 8 day cycle tour?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Revised plan

OK. Thanks for the input.

Here's the tentative plan:
Monday 14th fly to Brisbane to look for new apartment.
Tuesday 29th fly to Sydney
Wednesday 30th hop on the train to Perth! (
Saturday 3rd (of May) arrive in Perth
Wednesday 7th begin biking trip to Uluru (
Monday 12th arrive at Uluru
Tuesday 13th fly to Sydney
Sunday 18th fly to Cairns (I just can't get enough of that town)
Thursday 22nd fly to Brissie
Monday 2nd (of June) start work

May still be able to fit some surfing in while I'm apartment hunting in Brissie. Great surf beaches are only an hour away (and accessible by train!)


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Adventure needed

Just between you and me, I'm going to take this job in Brisbane at the University of Queensland. It's with an organization called UniQuest that manages the intellectual property developed at the university. My position will be working with the electrical engineering department (which includes CS).

I likely won't start the position until June. Which means I have four weeks to putz around between now and then, and I'm trying to decide how to best use that time. If I'm not careful I worry I may just sleep it off. So I need some goals. Here are a few ideas:

Drive from Melbourne to Brisbane. Stopping off in Canberra, Sydney and coastal towns. Trying to get in as many roadside attractions as possible. However, this could be a little lonely doing it by yourself.

Take up a hobby. I could go ahead to brissie, then head down to the gold coast for a week of surf lessons, or north to hamilton island to get my dive certification.

Do a big trip. Take the railroad all the way out to Perth (west coast).

Go international. My visa came through today (still can't believe it only took a few weeks when they were promising months), so I can leave Australia and return again.

What do you think? What would you do if you had a month in Australia?

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