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Friday, 29 March 2013

Finally finding refuge in Brisbane City

photo of internal column of residential building

After spending way too many dollars living in hotel rooms at Frisco and The Ridge on Leichhardt, feeling like I was bobbing around in the ocean, I concentrated my energies and time on finding a more permanent solution. I came across a cosy and funky little place where I felt an instant connection. It's also an architectural talking point as there are three internal windows but none to the outside. I applied to the Real Estate Agency that afternoon and was relieved and happy to be accepted to settle into this beautiful apartment.
Here's some information I would've appreciated knowing before I started:

  1. There aren't many furnished apartments that are available for rent in Brisbane City. Most are in Spring Hill or surrounding areas like Milton and Fortitude Valley.
  2. Always make phone calls to the agency advertising the rental property - they do not check/respond to their emails triggered by property websites.
  3. Real Estate Agents only advertise/organise the inspection dates and times once they have gained enough interest via contact on the phone.
  4. Furnished apartments are all shown during weekdays. Expect to take time off work. If you're asked to nominate an inspection time, set a time around your work hours and be firm as the agents may try to push you around to suit their own needs. I had an experience where they made it so difficult for me to change the time even though I just called five minutes earlier.
  5. Tenants only need to give 14 days of notice before they vacate the premises in QLD! So don't bother inspecting/applying for apartments that aren't available until a later date than that. It will cost you much more having to stay in a hotel room for a prolonged period than searching for another place.
  6. Forget looking at the Domain website - Brisbane tends to prefer the Real Estate website. It is updated with properties more often.
  7. A passport will come in handy when submitting tenancy applications - it will save you on trying to find enough points from other forms of ID.
  8. When you have agreed on lease agreement dates/pickup of keys, read the documentation carefully and prepare for agents who forget and fudge up the documents. I didn't think fast enough in response to the agent making up a lie on the spot so she wouldn't have to fix the paperwork. I had all the supporting emails - I just couldn't be bothered arguing and allowed her to charge me the extra day despite earlier agreements.
  9. Be extra diligent when filling in the Condition Report - test stoves, turn on taps, flush the toilet. Something will usually show up - maybe one of the stoves don't work, or water may leak from the ceilings or all over the floors after a shower. Maybe the toilet buttons get stuck. If anything comes up, at least you can start the process of repairs straight away - keep all emails and send photos!

I wanted to share my happiness with you and you finally initiated contact! You texted, you called, you tried to tell me so much at once. Slow down sweetheart - I'm here. But when we met, you brought along your safety blanket and I saw you controlling your body's natural instincts to fall into place with mine...

Looking for more Local Know-how? See:

Travelling with Translink, Brisbane City; and
Thursday Night is Soul'sa Night at Cloudland.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Food and Memories at George's Paragon, Brisbane

photo of Atlantic Salmon and Seasonal Vegetables

Taking in views of the Brisbane River with its water glistening in the sun, I enjoyed my lunch at George's Paragon with a dear friend of mine who had driven up from the Gold Coast for a visit. We didn't make it on time for the half-price lunch but had fun catching up on each other's lives, both past and present. I found it amazing how we just slotted back into our friendship, reminding me of the old days, when we'd keep talking in the dark during our sleepovers until one of us fell asleep. It was so refreshing to hear someone talk without any barriers and I found such comfort in finally being heard and understood, especially in a strange new city. We even ordered the same dish on the menu! I've eaten here before and we both agree that it's a great place to go to for some good quality food. Sometimes the service may take a little longer but, for me, the waitstaff are so pleasant it makes up for it.  

lovers embracing

:) You used to tell me so many things from the moment we met - that's how my affection developed for you. I found you endearing. Your openness and honesty earnt my trust. And in between your words, I found you insightful and intelligent enough to make a real connection.

What other places deserve a try in Brisbane? Choose from:
Vietnamese Pork Belly and Prawn Pancake at Sing Sing West End, Brisbane;
Birthday Dinner at Beccofino Newstead, Brisbane; and
On an Oasis at the Stokehouse on South Bank.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Docking at The Ridge on Leichhardt Apartment Hotel, Brisbane

photo of Brisbane Ridge on Leichhardt Serviced Apartment Hotel

Frisco Serviced Apartments proved to be very popular so I moved around the corner to The Ridge on Leichhardt for seven nights. Being the cheapest of all serviced apartments around, it lacked the comforts of free Internet access, a sizeable wardrobe, a workable kitchen or an internal laundry. The daily costs of the hotels were high and I was even tempted to give in and sign up for one of the many leases available in the building, being so close to my daily travels at Central Station. However, with the humidity in Brisbane and the huge hill I had to climb daily, it encouraged me to find a more ideal and permanent place of residence quickly. Whilst here, I learnt that I preferred the views and sounds of the city as my company and was relieved that the hotel was accommodating enough to extend my stay until I was ready to leave.

lovers embracing

Wake up every morning pining for your sweet morning kisses, this bed feels so empty without you next to me. Miss your fingers in between mine.
I attended a Pain Management Support Group through work and learnt how trauma can lead to anxiety and depression. Is this what you’re going through? Is this what you can't reveal?

Want to know where to stay on the Gold Coast instead? Check out:
On an Easter Getaway at the Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Travelling with Translink, Brisbane City

photo of Brisbane Translink Train

Surprisingly, Brisbane has got their transport ticketing systems in place, similar to dynamic cities such as Hong Kong who launched theirs back in 1997! It’s further ahead than Sydney, who are still in the process of rolling out the Opal Card, having launched a trial for use on Sydney Ferries in December 2012. The Go Card, introduced in 2008, works in a similar way to the Octopus Card, where you can top up the credit available for use on public transport. As someone dear to my heart showed me, you have to touch your card at the entrance and then remember to touch your card again when you leave otherwise you will get charged a lot more money for your trip, like 10 or $20. I found out on my own though, that there is a number you can call to have the funds redeposited back into your card if you forget, which I did on my first day on the train to work… *chuckle* I stood there waiting for the train doors to open. It was peak hour. Central Station. It took me a few moments to realise that I had to push on the button or turn the handle to open them!

One time, I stayed back in the office and found out the hard way that there was a half hour wait between train services! And guys, this was in peak hour! Sydney siders, never complain about a seven minute wait from CityRail again! I looked around Newmarket Station and understood that increasing the frequency of services would probably only benefit the three or four random people on the station waiting with me. There simply isn't enough of a population to sustain better services. Whilst I was lost in my thoughts, I noticed that a pleasant looking guy had suddenly bent over near my legs. Before I gathered myself enough to react, he had smoothed the fabric of my shoe and let out an interested "Mmm!" ...Okayyy… :/

lovers embracing

"Love is Patient, Love is Kind...It is not Proud. It always Protects. It always Trusts, always Hopes, always Perseveres. Love never fails." 

With this in mind, I grow stronger and happier to feel the love that I do for you Xo.

New to Brisbane as well? More Localised information can be found at:
Finally finding refuge in Brisbane City; and
Thursday Night is Soul'sa Night at Cloudland.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Setting up base camp at Frisco Serviced Apartment Hotel, Brisbane City

photo of Brisbane Frisco Serviced Apartment Hotel

Enthused by what I thought might have been destiny, I bounded into the city with curiosity, wondering what would be. Frisco Serviced Apartments was to be my new home base for the first nine nights, offering the luxury of free WiFi, along with the necessities of my very own bathroom, kitchen and laundry. A Woolworths supermarket situated across the road offered convenient access to groceries. I was slightly disappointed to find its hours of opening were so short but that, I soon discovered, was a city-wide thing.

Being new to Brisbane, and experiencing the quietness of the location, it felt like I was on the outskirts of the city, yet I was close enough to walk to Central station, where I experienced travelling with Translink. For those who have a million things running through their mind, the pool and gym would probably act as a welcome distraction.

lovers embracing

Wanted to climb back into your arms to feel safe again. I opened mine and waited...I know you're struggling with all the thoughts in your head but I promise you - I can make it better. I've always been able to make you laugh and love...

Want to find another Hotel? Read:
Docking at The Ridge on Leichhardt Apartment Hotel, Brisbane; and
On an Easter Getaway at the Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast.