First port of call was to get on a bus. Positives to note here – the driver was friendly and smiley. The bus didn’t set off until all new passengers were seated (wouldn’t want anyone stumbling). And when people got off the bus (a single height coach length vehicle, with doors at the front next to the driver, and about half way down the bus), they yelled thanks with a wave to the driver on the way, no matter which door they exited from!
There are also dedicated bus-ways – roads built specifically for the use of buses only. Makes for a speedy trip.
Now being in a new city, the first thing I’m looking for…where’s my next meal coming from? And Brisbane doesn’t disappoint on this front. There is food available everywhere I look it seems. We got off the bus at a station underneath a shopping centre, which has a food court, as does the next centre, and the next!
So my first Brisbane lunch: a delightful little selection from an outlet called FantAsia.
I am genuinely quite excited by the variety of food available here, and it’s day 2!
Next it was on to the things on the bureaucracy list:
Registering for Medicare – nice and easily done (despite us forgetting to NOT go through the smart gate at the airport, and therefore having no human placed stamp in our passport showing we’d entered the country two days ago, as advised to us many months ago) at the central government service centre (a centralised service, that as you guessed it is a one-stop shop for many government based services – now also producing an online mygov service to match).
Going to the bank to ID ourselves and get access to our already opened Australian bank account, get given our account card to be able to use ATM’s (must remember to only use certain ones to avoid charges though) and most importantly choose the colour of the debit card we want!
Buy a Go Card, a smartcard that can be used on all public transport services here, saving you money on the cash rate fares, and meaning you don’t have to worry about carrying change for the bus.
Something I’ve noticed so far too…..I haven’t been called “Sir” yet….by anyone! Now that’s a change from the last few months!
Back at the apartment, chilling out after dinner (mmmmm fresh salad that I didn’t have to wonder nervously how it might have been prepared!), I got my first scare from a big spider (yep, I’m scared of spiders), which having gone running to our kind hosts to just check what type it is and whether I should be worried, was thankfully informed….it’s just a huntsman, used to play with those as a kid. (Insert shudder here!)