Brisbane 2011: The Double-Barrelled Question

Alas, there was an amazing title for this post which seems to gave escaped my line completely. Perhaps I should have written it down at the time, but such is life.

Amazing! A blog post about an event less than a week after the actual event itself! Either this isn’t really Benny Ling typing here or he’s procrastinating some other task in between epic Bad Company 2 rounds (probably the latter).

Originally this post started out as a pretty basic recount of my time in Brisbane. Then I realised that almost no-one would want to read such cruft, so I scrapped almost everything and started again.

Another year, another train-the-trainer meetup in Brisbane. I’m yet to fill out the expense forms, but I spent a little more on transport this time around. I don’t drive, so the variety of transport options from getting from A to B appealed to me. The first night I actually ended up catching the bus to town to wander around the CBD a bit, and then catch up with some people from the internets at a small bar in the Valley.

I was in the CBD at one point and realised I had to get to the Valley at some stage. Having passed it on the bus on the way in, I knew it wasn’t too far — two, perhaps three, train stops away. I decided to give the train system a go as that worked fairly well last time around (catching it from Albion to Central). I get to the station and realise I have to buy a ticket. This is immediately followed by the realisation that I have no idea how to do so — the ticket thing is screaming “pick a zone, pick a zone!” at me and I’m all like “I don’t know which one to pick!”, so I just tell it where I am and where I want to go (King George Square, and Fortitude Valley respectively). That darn ticket machine then proceeds to call me fat as it mockingly points out that the Valley is only some 500m from where I am.

I decide to walk.

Brisbane is a pretty cool place. The mall is impressive, and I saw all the popular places — the flagship Commonwealth Bank branch, Breadtop, Crumpler, EB Games, a fairly large Officeworks, and a few others.

I’ve was pretty glad for my iPhone and its tethering abilities during my stay in Brisbane. Rather than pay the exorbitant hotel internet fees I simply used my iPhone internet connection — speeds were more than adequate for normal HTTP browsing, and I managed to chew through about 200MB while I was there, so my usage wasn’t too over-the-top or anything.

I’ve also never appreciated my iPhone compass + GPS as much as I have as when I was in Brisbane; stuck in pretty much a foreign city with only a basic sense of direction, I relied upon Maps quite a bit. At one stage I was walking the completely wrong way, and iPhone managed to correct me. Much love for iPhone.

Apart from those little observations, I didn’t get up to much. Spent a little time wandering about the CBD on the first day, chatting with a few people on the internets in real life that night. The next day was all about work — which I then managed to catch up with a mate from another Next Byte store over dinner. I managed to discover that much of our working experiences are the same, which is kinda weird — somehow I had this weird notion that other stores had completely different ways of doing things, but apparently not. It’s good to see there’s at least a little consistency in what goes on in other Next Byte stores, and not just in regards to training.

Of course, I also managed to hit up the Pancake Parlour on the second night, just like the last time I was in town. By that stage I had already eaten a pretty massive burger (if you’re ever in Southbank I can recommend Beastie Burgers — generous servings, decently priced [IMHO]), but there was no way in hell I was going to miss out on a delicious waffle.

It was, in two words, pretty amazing.

The next morning was pretty uneventful. Early morning flights are like that. Taxi to airport (some $40, along with our ears — the taxi driver had been to over 130 countries and worked in over 80 of those), really quick breakfast (the guy at Subway liked my wallet so much he asked me where I got it, I said but that’s not strictly correct), grabbing the obligatory Krispy Kreme donuts to take back (strangely, none for me this time around — I already had two pieces of carry-on luggage and didn’t want to take up more than I was allowed), and that, ladies and gentlemen, was pretty much that.

So, double-barrelled questions? Kinda where you ask a question, then immediately follow it up with another question before giving someone else the opportunity to answer your question. String a couple of these together (which can happen if you’re trying to get a lot of information quickly), and whoever you’re asking the questions to can feel a little bombarded. See? I did learn something!

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