Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

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My legs are pretty tired…I could have taken the bus or the train but instead I walked the 2K into the city center to explore Queen Street Mall. I mean, it’s 70 and sunny so I packed my backpack and started my journey north. But before I get caught up telling about that, let me start where I left off.

I was still seeking out the perfect apartment. It was strictly about location, location, location, that, and of course, a new friend or two. Paddington was out, despite the fact it has a cool vibe and is beaming with young professionals, a block or too off the main strip and I felt I was stepping off my front porch in Medford into the black abyss.

West End was exactly I was hoping for and more with a funky, bohemian vibe, small storefronts and boutiques and chilled out bars that seemed like great gems. The place was cute and the girl super nice – it was the Melrose place I’d been dreaming of – pool in the complex, gym, city views, weekend markets but it was still a stumble in the dark to get home and I felt as if my potential roomie would be perfect for just that, a great roomie, but not necessarily the circle of friends I needed off the bat.

So that left me back to the 6 person share house in Milton. The house was recently renovated and the bedrooms split between two floors so it didn’t really have the overcrowded feel. The bonus was that it was literally a spit from work – prob less than a 5 minute walk, score, but despite the awesome proximity I was nervous that working and living in the suburb of Milton – with its few restaurants, all at premium prices, along with just a spattering of shops and take away joints where I’d regularly frequent during lunch may get old, fast and limit me from exploring other areas of the city. There was the appealing aspect of living with a bunch of late 20 year-old something’s which would guarantee a social network off the bat – so I decided to meet them again and see if this could potentially turn into another Kilburn Rd reinvention.

When they suggested a meet up at the Bavarian Beer Café on Eagle Street Pier on a Thursday evening I immediately thought – two checks in the right direction. I not only get to experience a new area of the city, but delicious imported awesomeness, well done. So just to start putting things into perspective, let’s dive into how much all of this is starting to cost me. I had great conversations with each of the flat mates over an $11 500 mL stein of Haufbrau Dunkel. Yup, and if I wanted the big guy, it would have cost me a pretty $23 Aus. So I decided after a handful of brews, yup, these people are great, mature, and guaranteed me that yes, they do venture out of Milton a plenty and I won’t feel trapped in this single suburb. Great, so the decision was made, I had one more flat to venture out to before I made my final decision.

Did I mention there is an unlimited supply of free cookies in the Wiley office? One week on the job and I’ve already given in. Oh, and also Friday night drinks in the tea room. So despite me making an appointment on a Friday evening to scope out one more place assuming I had no plans, I got sucked into meeting a few more co’s I had yet to meet and guzzle down some free booze. Tough life.

So, I hoped on the train to the Valley, walked the ten minutes through the Valley mall which is the epicenter of nightlife and down the main drag of Brunswick Street which is lined with restaurants and pubs. People were out, and I definitely liked what I saw. I thought this is what I’ve been waiting for; this is where the action is. So, after arriving an hour late to my appointment I considered picking up a bottle of wine as a peace offering, but then thought I’d better just get on my way. And it was great! I arrived just as the two flat mates were beginning to entertain. The apt is right off Brunswick Street in New Farm and perfect distance to all it has to offer – the shops, restaurants and pubs in one direction, the ferry and a leafy park with free entertainment nightly in the other. Although it was at the top of my budget and I’ll be commuting to work which will interfere with my previous 8 am wake up call, these guys, along with the location is just what I needed. Plus, the bed came along with it! So that’s that – next Sunday I’ll be moving in. It’s no Melrose Place, but it at least does have a balcony and I can get to the city, West End, the lagoon in South Bank for tanning, the park and more relatively effortlessly.

Lucky for me my new work friend Louise was heading into the Valley for a night out shortly after so I decided to tag along. While waiting for her and her friend to arrive, I stopped in Ric’s to check out some live music and have a few $7 not even full pint-size drafts. The band was great, and entry was free! I may hang out here a bit more often. Plus, it didn’t hurt that I ended up chatting a cute bloke in the meantime.

We had a pit stop for some “pies” before venturing to some other spots. And let me tell you, I CANNOT STOP eating these damn meat pies and triangles. Curry meat and potato, curry chicken, spinach and feta and a whole lot more options. Actually, I just had one before sitting down to fill you in. When you come over to play I’ll be sure to take you to a pie shop. Actually, I visited the famous Yatala Pie shop on my way back from the Gold Coast just this past Wed. The sign says as you pass on the highway, “look for the pie in the sky.”

Back to the Valley, we headed over to pretentious Cloud Lounge where the interior is lined with ivy and on a nice night the entire roof opens to reveal the sky. Pretty cool. Then, my new shoes got ruined while dancing to cheesy 80’s jams at Kalibur before heading to not-so American Mustang bar. Got a little sentimental when they played the “New York’ Jay-Z jam.  Before I knew it, it was late, and I was in a cab – which FYI starts at $6.90 before even going anywhere – back to my lovely Cosmo Apartment on Park Rd.

Each year there is a Greek Festival down over in South Bank so Louise swung by to scoop me and we paid the $8 admission under cloudy skies to devour mousaka and Mythos! We took some photos and wandered around the park grounds as I took in interesting differences to things such as Fairly Floss being Cotton Candy, Show Bags for kiddies that are basically back packs of cartoons filled with crap, and Dodge Em’s as Bumper Cars. I got nauseous watching some of the crazier carnival rides after eating heaps of fried honey puffs so we escaped with a quick walk through West End before escaping the rain. And that was that, I was tired, still nursing the previous evening’s hang over and had pleasant early night at the Cosmo finishing the latest Sookie Stackhouse book and eating a $25 Chinese takeaway.

Today the weather was gorgy and I woke pretty darn early in order to give myself some exercise before getting extra-large on all the wine I’ve been drinking, walked up and into the city – which I’ve yet to explore to see what all the shopping on Queens Street was like. I spent nearly $600 on a bed cover, one set of sheets, two pillow cases, one decorative pillow, and two towels. Yikes. The colorful kimono had to be put back and the new blow dryer and such will have to wait until later this week as my hands were stuffed and so was my backpack.

My view from hotel faces the Brisbane River and Auchenflower and Toowong to the south. Sitting on my veranda listening to fave jams, sipping wine and typing away. A new work week is ahead and I can’t wait to start diving into some projects. I’m sure I’ll regret saying that later on, but in the meantime let’s get this show started.

4 thoughts on “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

  1. Geraldine says:

    So what is the Aussie – US $ conversion rate? Or are you saying Chinese take out actually set you back $25?

    • thesetwoeyes says:

      Hey GO,

      It’s actually even…Im sure there are cheaper joints but this one was way too convenient, regardless all I had was one meal and nothing special…yikes. Im still paying USD until I get paid but in general, everything is very inflated. Hope all is well with you and thanks for reading along!


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