Well, it’s official… I’m a Queenslander.
Although it still feels like I’m on a holiday so every weekend is spent down the beach perfecting my tan because I think that it will go back to being cold the next week (thanks Adelaide), it has become more like home over the past few weeks.
It was a bit of a bittersweet moment to be honest. The last trip I took was over to America- blog coming soon I promise, and we moved that much so it definitely felt like a holiday but up here. I have a house, a job, my dog is with me and a good gym routine so what else does a girl really need in her life?
My new home is only about ten minutes from work but at least twenty from the coast. There’s no buses, unless you want to walk ten minutes out onto the highway and then it’s an hour and a half to get to work. I had a hire car for the first week but after that it would be sweating like a pig, walking to the bus stop and getting lifts off people. No thanks. I’m a strong, independent woman thanks.
Finding a car and getting all the correct paperwork was easy. The couple i bought it off were amazing and knew I had no idea when it came to how the QLD system worked so they were great with me. I took it all into motor reg and that’s when life changed.
“So you’ll need to surrender your SA licence today.” The woman behind the counter smiles at me. Insert “I’m sorry what?!!” face here…..
I needed a few moments to process this and silently have a cry.
The next thing I know, I’m without my great SA photo licence and having a new photo (which looks like shit). I could have cried on the spot but being the grown up I am and knowing no one will ever see it because I don’t go out, let alone do anything to make someone question my age… who cares.
Next came my own phone betraying me. Bloody Apple. I was mapping how to get somewhere… when I look and see that my new address up here is now marked as HOME. Um, yeah no this might be my residence but it’s not HOME. Home is 2600 ks away and the place that I grew up with all my family and friends.
It’s like when someone tells you something about yourself that you don’t agree… well excuse me.
Anyway now that I’m ‘officially’ one of them, there’s a few things I’ve noticed about living in what the locals call, “The Capital of North Queensland.”
Everyone is nice. And it’s not just because I’m the new chick. Compared to Adelaide where no one will speak to anyone and everyone has their head in a phone- it’s like one big country town where everyone likes to chat and help each other whenever they can. This could also be because I’m the happiest I’ve ever been and actually have a smile on my face these days- you know what they say happiness attracts happiness, but I’m just going to say it’s a Townsville/ Queensland thing.
No one is in a hurry. No one. Ever. It’s a different time zone up here. There is no time zone. Everyone drives as if they’re constantly on holidays. No one rushes. They have more roundabouts than lights and filling up petrol takes a good twenty minute wait because usually they know the person behind the counter and want to have a chat before moving on… slowly… to the rest of their day.
Airline prices are bloody ridiculous. Yep, apparently Townsville is so far away from the rest of Australia, it would probably be cheaper to fly to New Zealand to be honest. I’m hoping working in the media, Virgin or Qantas decide to sponsor me and start giving me freebies… until then, you’ll see my body parts on the black market just so I can get home once in while.
Don’t bother to check the temperature. Ever. It will be 30, or thereabouts and it will be humid AF. Where a dress or a skirt or a top and if you’re heading to the Strand (similar to Glenelg for those at home) take a cardigan if you’re not walking after sunset.
Cyclones. No one actually wants one to hit us directly but secretly they all can’t wait for the next one. Yep, here I am still scared to sit through a thunderstorm and The Lion King and these psychos are excited for the next brush with death. In saying that, there’s so many things they do these days for them and we get to all be together at work, with round the clock coverage and everyones families…. it kinda does sound like one big party and I may be a little excited about it. Still working on having Tanq allowed in there with me… he already said he’d pay for the cartons so he can probably win them over with beer.
If I ever actually want to be accepted into the secret folds of Townsville popularity- my accent has to go. The Queensland slang has to be adopted and the royal blood funnelled out. So, for example School is no longer School its SKEEEEWL. Get my drift? It’s like being in SKEWL all over again when you not only have to learn about the regions you’re covering but also how to speak like a local. I used to hang shit on one of my best friends Sarah for this- and here I am having to put my tail between my legs and start talking like her.
You got some land? You got a gym. There are gyms every two minutes. No matter where you go. Also actually there’s a McDonalds every two minutes no matter where you go. It’s kind of like having a fancy restaurant on every corner.
Police road traffic aren’t a thing. They’re way to busy out fighting the real crime. Like kids sniffing things they shouldn’t and forty year olds with mullets stabbing six thousand dollars worth of fire hoses at local shopping centres with a beer in hand. You don’t see cops with speed cameras, there’s no RBT’s, especially out where I live. In saying that, I’m boring and don’t go out and get lit anymore, so maybe I’m just missing them?
Don’t swim in the ocean. Well you can but only the designated areas. If you stray from those areas the stingers will find you and they will kill you. There’s bottles of vinegar everywhere for these occasions but I’ll stick to the free rockpool or the $5 pool thanks. The beach is to lay on, read a book and complain how hot it is.
Everyone is happy. And really, who couldn’t be? This place almost gives me the same feeling that Disneyland did. It’s warm. There’s sun all the time. Who couldn’t be happy waking up to that every morning, having a killer tan and just genuinely loving where they live? ME.
Now I’m not going to talk about living here anymore, because every ten minutes someone in Far North Queensland is ripped to shreds by a bloody crocodile. Thanks Bob. Love ya, God Bless.