Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Brisbane, Australia: Koal-ity Time With Kangaroos

I'm losing my English skills. More and more frequently, I can't remember certain words or phrases, and I sit there mentally struggling to remember something and leaving weird long pauses mid-sentence as I try to do so.  And they're not hard words. It's just because I've not been surrounded by native English speakers.  Sometimes I have to google phrases because I can't remember if the middle word is "to" or "of" or "in" and they all sound correct to me.  Issues.

You would think this could be remedied now that I'm in Oz.  This would be true, if only they spoke real English. KIDDING. Seriously though, what's with the overuse of weird shortened words like "mozzie" or "footie"  (mosquito and football, FYI).

From rural Goonengerry, my Australian tour continued, as we headed to Brisbane next.

What It's All About:
Brisbane is the capital of Queensland. Which is one of the Australian states. Is my Australian knowledge overwhelming you yet.

Brisbane is also the third-largest city with ~2.3 million people (thanks, Google!) (is that number shockingly small for being the third-largest city to anyone else??), and is in the middle of the Eastern coast. It's also one of the older settlements in the country. Other than that, I'm not sure I have any other remarkable facts, except that I liked Brisbane. Seems like a very happy, livable place.

I'm dead in front of the Brisbane sign. Because it was that delightful

Jesse's sister Vivian, her partner Sharna, and their 2-year old son live in Brisbane, which is who we stayed with while we were in town.

Cliffnotes of the Day:
  • Headed into Brisbane by train - it's only about 2-3 hours from Goonengerry.

The school uniforms here look like Hogwarts uniforms (I'm sure it originated in the UK)! I especially like the jaunty hat.

This is Jesse's adorable nephew Teddy.  And his stuffed beaver. And me looking manic.

  • We spent our first morning in Brisbane walking around downtown. Apparently, Jesse used to be a tour guide for international students (he went to university in Brisbane), so he knows all the main sights and their history and interesting facts. Just kidding. He didn't. (But he was still a great guide!) 

I don't know what's going on with my face. But we stumbled across a food festival in downtown, with all these food carts and stalls and delicious trendy eats from all around the world.

Food stalls food stalls food stalls

And with a pretty church backdrop!

Then we walked along the river (harbor? I don't know what it is) - there's Brisbane's own version of the London Eye

Jess and I in front of the Brisbane sign. The girl taking this opted for "6-inches of dead grass" vs. "the Brisbane skyline" when taking this photo. 

Brisbane has a fake beach. With imported sand and a fake pool. For your summer enjoyment.

This is an ibis.

The CAT (the ferry that chugs down the harbor/river) and Brisbane downtown.

Is this a hibiscus?? Love

IMPORTANT NEWS ALERT: Target in Australia is NOT like Target at home, AT ALL.  
I was beside myself with excitement upon discovering that Australia is full of Targets. Jesse was surprised that I was so excited about Target. And I dragged him there, and I now understand why.  Target here is like a very very sad, very depressing version of Sears. Or Mervyn's. Set in the 80's.  Cry.

  • The next day, we headed off to the Lone Pine Animal Sanctuary with Jess' sister Vivian and Teddy.  There's a ton of koalas and kangaroos and other legit Aussie animals, and you can pet some and feed others - and I'm pretty sure Teddy and I had equal levels of excitement while there. Which is to say, very high.

Jesse loves Lone Pine, because the sign says so

A pink cockatoo thing that isn't a cockatoo but it was so cute and kept staring right up against the cage wall

I forgot what this is. Is it a Tasmanian devil? I DON'T REMEMBER BUT IT'S SOMETHING AUSTRALIAN

Koalas were everywhere! Here is one with a baby on its back

Oh my god you are so cute

Snuggling with baby

Apparently all koalas do is sleep, but we got to see a ton of koala action because the keepers kept coming around to clean the cages and therefore, move the koalas to different branches.


Official photo. The koala looks nonplussed. And like it wants to get down.

TAY AND ED HAVE BEEN HERE TOO!? (circa 2000, by the looks of it)

Lone Pine has all these animal shows and events, and one of Jess' favorites (inexplicably) is the sheepdog show. Which was actually really cool, because you watched this dog herd sheep. He kept them all together and was able to herd them through various obstacles and would snap at any stray ones and make them get back in line.  Amazing.

Then the dog herded all the sheep into this pen. And then was commanded to jump on top of them. He's seriously just chilling on top of the sheep's backs

Then there was a sheep-shearing demonstration. This sheep does not look happy


The sheep fur (fuzz? hide? pelt?) comes off all in one giant piece. And they let us feel how fluffy it was!
Teddy & me: entertained by similar things.

  • And then there's a huge kangaroo field, where you can buy a bag of kangaroo munchies and feed/pet/snap selfies with the (very docile, very non-wild) kangaroos!  There's also a ton of wallabies milling around, which are just smallish-looking kangaroos with different faces. Same difference.

They even have a child-sized door to enter the kangaroo field!
Sadly enough, for some reason, 90% of the kangaroos were hanging out in the one corner where people are not allowed to enter. It's where they "rest" from being petted, aka groped by small children 24/7. We apparently came on a day where they had had it (normally, Jess swears they're all out around the people, not hiding in the corner)

But we managed to find some in another pen!  #KANGAROOSELFIE

Teddy and a kangaroo!
Jess says the kangas in the wild are pretty aggressive and dangerous, but the ones here are all so, so chill. How did they make so many kangaroos so docile, is my question...

Me: Please love me.
Kangaroo: Sure.


The fence and children in the back manhandling the kangaroos really adds to the effect

Is there a full-time job where you feed animals by hand, do we think...?

Fun Facts of the Day:
  • Apparently, 90% of koalas have chlamydia. They can't help it.
  • Koala babies have to eat their mom's poo frequently when they're babies in order to get the nutrient that helps them digest eucalyptus leaves (apparently they're poisonous usually). Ewwww.  Also, eucalyptus is their main diet but it's also super not-nutritious, which is what makes the koalas so low-energy and sleepy all the time. Maybe they should try munching on some other types of leaves....? Just a suggestion.
  • Kangaroo sausages are called "kanga bangas" here, and apparently they're game-y and Jesse loves them.

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