Tag Archives: brisbane


IMG_3532After moving to Brisbane in April last year, I spent a few days in Hobart this February. It’s the first time since I moved away that I’ve been back, and while you could definitely see the differences in little old Hobart compared to when I left. But while I enjoyed my time in Hobart, I’m now more confused than ever about where I consider home to be.

Last August, I was in the Seattle watching The International 2015. The games scheduled for the day hadn’t started yet, so I was doing the widely accepted thing of tracking down Dota 2 personalities in order to obtain their signature.

As you might imagine, players were insanely popular to the point where they had scheduled photo and signature times — I ended up starting in the line for Evil Geniuses player Universe, but by the time I got near to the front it was Aui_2000 doing signatures, which was fine. I collected Aui’s signature on my Dota 2 Steelseries mousepad, and that was it.

Anyway, the games for the day hadn’t started yet — or maybe we were between games — but the English casters were seated and warming up. TobiWan was a caster I was interesting in getting the signature, seeing as he’s one of the most famous Dota 2 casters (and Australian, too). When it was my time to get his signature, I asked how he was and inquired if I could get his signature on my Dota 2 event badge. He said yeah, of course, and then asked if my accent was Australian.

I was a little confused, as even though I’ve lived in Australia for my entire life, I don’t think I have much of an accent. Perhaps it’s one of those cant-smell-your-own-body-odour things, but I replied yeah. While Tobi was signing my badge, he asked me where I was from, and seeing as I had only moved to Brisbane a few months prior, I answered Brisbane. He told me he hailed from a similar part of South East Queensland, the Gold Coast, and in that moment, we shared a special bond. Or I’d like to think so, anyway.

Fast forward about nine months, and it’s once again Tobi in his AMA on Reddit, answering a question about living/working in Germany: “I really just work here, I don’t really live here.”

It’s kind of how I feel about living in Brisbane. I moved here to take up full time-employment, and while that’s great and all, it hasn’t really given me the chance to explore a different state in a different part of the country. I used to do this thing where I’d go and find the biggest shopping centre I could and walk around for a bit, but eventually you run out of Westfields. Plus, not driving kind of makes it hard to venture any further than the train lines can take you, although I’m do going down to Robina every now and then.

To make matters even worse, when I returned to work on the Monday after a weekend wedding in Tassie, one of my colleagues welcomed me home. “Home”. I’m not sure I know where that is anymore, not out of some misplaced sense of belonging, but because I mostly just work in Brisbane, and don’t really live here.

That could change.

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 dynomightydesign.com 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!

Brisbane 2010 wrap-up

the view from a secret location in Brisbane

Hey, look, it’s been almost a year since this happened, but I am fantastic at procrastinating such tasks like these that involve a recount of a particular event. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), I have a couple of ideas for things that need to be written, but those things depend on the very existence of this post (maybe not quite that much, but this post does play an important part). If this doesn’t make sense, read on anyway. I promise things will become clear by the time you reach the end.

Like I said, it’s about a year now since Brisbane 2010 happened — around this time last year I was in sunny Queensland, doing secret things with not-so-secret people. The fact that this is only being written now is testament to the fact that I am, if nothing else, a brilliant procrastinator.

In any case, Brisbane 2010 was mostly about doing a training course with work. That’s probably about all I’ll say about the purpose of the trip, suffice to say it was exciting and pretty awesome to go to Brisbane for a work-related thing (and ALL BY MYSELF) rather than with friends or family. Considering the last time I was in Brisbane was when my family  decided to drive to Brisbane all the way from Tasmania, I felt really grown up, and it was great.

During one of the sessions, as part of the introductory-type, get-to-know-you things, the leader guy asked why we had chosen to participate in the program that we had been selected to participate in. If that reads like we were chosen, it sort of does — it was opt-in for sure in that we had to do a basic application for the position, but we were chosen on the basis of our applications. I think, anyway. I kinda got in by default, but that is neither here nor there.

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