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The Cairns Diaries

 
 
Reply Wed 19 Sep, 2007 09:20 pm
This is something MsOlga suggested I do ages ago so here we go.

Observations of living in Far North Queensland after a lifetime in Sydney and Canberra.

We were watching Mrs Hinge's favourite hour long soap last night when a news ticker came across the bottom of the screen, 'hello', I thought, 'a plane has flown into a building' or a cyclone is imminent which is what happened the last times I saw this method of breaking news. The message was:

Jonothan Thurstan cleared of all charges and will play Saturday.

Yes, the entire region was sweating on the possible suspension of the local team's halfback from this weekend's semifinal. And the local broadcaster was delivering his victory over the forces of evil as a community announcement.

Two things struck me - how many rugby-mad fans would be watching McLeod's Daughters while their hero teetered on the brink of disaster, and secondly, how come the station couldn't spell 'Thurston' given that they all named their children after him.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 20 • Views: 44,042 • Replies: 554

 
margo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Sep, 2007 09:42 pm
Hinge Laughing

especially about Thurstan!

I was at pub trivia last night, and it was announced there, too - and he's not even from Sydney.

And how about the excuse that he wasn't able to lift that chap up - did that fellow suspend himself in mid air then hit the ground? (saw it on morning tv)
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dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Sep, 2007 09:48 pm
I once (early 70's) stayed at the caravan park in Freshwater (a suburb of cairns). At that time Freshwater was a semi rural or outer suburban area. We almost got chucked out of the park because we picked up the coconuts that fell. The park manager sold them in the kiosk and at local shops. We left the park coconuts alone after that

Caught lots of fish in Freshwater creek using bread as bait.

I bet its all built in now.
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Sep, 2007 02:27 am
Hooray!

Our Cairns correspondent emerges at last!

I'm really looking forward to hearing your observations of lifeup there, hinge. Leave absolutely no stone unturned!

This is terrific! Very Happy
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Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Sep, 2007 02:47 am
Aaah, Australia and sport. Gotta love it. Spent 6 days in Cairns for my honeymoon last year. Nice place. Lots of tourists.
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Sep, 2007 02:59 am
Cairns was an absolute delight when it was a hick town, many moons ago. I just loved it! It was a groovy scene, man! :wink: I'm rather reluctant to travel there again, in case it's a "paved paradise, put in a parking lot" situation these days.
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Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Sep, 2007 03:51 am
It hasn't reached that point yet. It could do in the future. There was a lot of construction going on.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Sep, 2007 06:00 am
Oooooh!


Bookmark
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Sep, 2007 06:56 am
Could someone provide a paragraph of background for those of us from overseas?

Why is Cairns different from the rest of Australia? Backwoods? Edenic? Edenic backwoods?
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Sep, 2007 07:28 am
Noddy, here's wikipedia's Cairns entry:

Check out the red dot on the map for the location!:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cairns,_Queensland

It's tropical, balmy, surrounded by gorgeous landscape, near the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree rainforest, etc, etc, etc! ... life is just very different "up" there! <sigh>Very Happy
(Most of us here are from "down south" & mostly live in big cities. (dadpad doesn't, of course.) A perfect place to escape from the ratrace!! <sigh>
I'm sure hinge will tell you more!
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Sep, 2007 07:42 am
Msolga--

Thanks.
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Sep, 2007 07:57 am
Noddy, I was there for an extended stay, some moons ago. Stayed at the youth hostel with folk from all over the planet plus a bunch of huge toads, one of which I discovered sleeping on my bunk one night. Eek. For a person from "down south" the first thing that hit me was the incredible humidity! The tropics! Sudden, drenching downpours, followed by really intense sun. And the sheer stunning beauty of the place & its surrounds! Locals could pick "southerners" a mile off, because we walked so fast ... at first! :wink: Then, after a bit, we slowed right down, jaywalked like everyone else & crossed streets when the lights were red. Just like the locals. It was a bit of a hippy destination then & a great place for a holiday away from everything. I don't know what it's like now. It'll be interesting to hear what hinge has to say.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Sep, 2007 12:28 pm
Msolga--

Every nation should have its own Shangri-La.
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margo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Sep, 2007 02:54 am
I was in Cairns for just over a week, last year (but avoided the hinge and Co!)

It's certainly much more developed than it was when I was first there, over 20 years ago. It's a tourist town now, and tourism is big business. There are lots of backpackers, and then there's the well-heeled tourists. That middle level of tourism - not backpackers, but not 5 star hotels - is not all that evident these days.

When I was first there, I was staying out of town, with friends at Kuranda, on the Atherton Tableland. I had a couple of early starts, so wanted to stay in town a few days. There were very few hotels and I ended up staying in some godforsaken flea pit on the outskirts of town, as there were no vacancies. Now there's about a million hotels (roughly) and you can get some reasonable hotel / air package deals.

It's still different, but not as different as it was 20 years ago (is that about your time there, MsO??)
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Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Sep, 2007 04:46 am
We stayed in a nice but basic hotel that still cost me an arm and one and a half legs. Was a real shock after spending so much time holidaying in Thailand. Rather sad that it's cheaper to holiday 9000km away than it is at home.
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vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Sep, 2007 12:50 am
Townsville would be a fun place to be the last two weeks I think.

I liked this excerpt from The Australian

Quote:
IT must be September. How else do you explain the hysteria created by a pair of dodgy shoulders.
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Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Sep, 2007 04:51 am
The dodgy shoulders are holding up OK at the moment. 6 all at half time.
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hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Oct, 2007 11:39 pm
Okay. Another observation of Cairns.

Traffic & Driving.

Once upon a time my rule was 'stay away from men driving while wearing hats and volvos (particularly brown volvos) but the world has moved on in Cairns. Now you have to beware of any car that has frangipani stickers in the rear window:


http://img180.imageshack.us/img180/7008/minidscf1340copyzq1.jpg

The obsession with putting flower stickers on your car must use the same bit of brain that a normal person uses to process several streams of information simultaneously, which in turn allows them to drive a vehicle safely, intelligently, and with an awareness of the 'niceties' of modern driving like lane markers, bike paths, stop signs, traffic lights, school zones etc...
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 12:54 am
The flower stickers are indeed probably indicators of occasional rule following.





This by way of say hi, with quite a bit of interest, to the thread.
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hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 08:47 pm
Howdy Osso, welcome aboard.

Cairns has the worst sequencing of traffic lights I have ever come across. Specifically designed so that if you follow the speed limit you'll get every red. (Confirmed by several taxi drivers).

A fair percentage have now figured out that if you speed you'll make every set of lights. And a similar percentage have just decided to ignore red lights. You will be amazed and occasionally terrified at how bad this has got in Cairns. Every day on my way to work I will, at least once, see a car drive across my path when my light is green - it's incredible. A few judiciously placed traffic cameras would enable the Queensland police to pay police enough to get them to stay in the remote communities.

I won't even start on japanese tourists on push bikes. Yet.
 

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