From the moment I was picked up from Coolangatta airport I was on the go, from unpacking and freshening up, by having a shower, and then eating lunch at Sushi Train in Broadbeach -an old haunt of mine.
My next stop was Surfers Paradise which after 4 years, as was to be expected, had changed quite a bit with the Q1 Building’s 80 floors now occupied and hogging the skyline and beckoning me to take the elevator to its observation deck on the 77th level.
I again had a Japanese meal that night at “You” in Surfers Paradise. I was a regular at this restaurant when I was last living in Australia and so it was fitting that I should go there for my first dinner during this visit.
The next day I did some shopping at Pacific Fair and Robina Town Shopping Centre which has been extended and without a doubt must be one of the most glorious shopping centres in Asia/Pacific. It has an electrifying atmosphere and many interesting people strolling through it, and in and out of its various shops.
In the evening I attended a BBQ (Aussie beef steaks, sausages, rissoles and lamb chops) on the bank of the Nerang River in Broadbeach Waters (houses in this location cost well over $1.5 million) to welcome me back “home” and had what was a sensational night of frivolity and laughter.
The following day was Mother’s Day and I was thrilled to see my mother and have a wonderful conversation with her, no mean feat given that she is almost 97 years of age. She was surprised, amazed and excited to see me and very happy that I was visiting her on Mother’s Day, as it was 4 years since I last saw her. Sunday night I caught up with another couple of friends and had some great Chinese food.
Monday saw me out shopping in Australia Fair and eating Chinese food yet again, at “Top One” That night I relaxed at home with a few friends and ate roast leg of lamb with baked vegetables.
Tueday I had a quick Japanese lunch with one of my students who was also visiting Gold Coast City, it was quick because she was being picked up later in the afternoon for her last surf board riding lesson before she headed home the following morning. This was one of the highlights of my visit because her English had shown definite improvement after just having spent one week on a homestay holiday where she had no choice but to speak English each and every day.
That night I had dinner at a Japanese friend’s apartment. We had lamb shanks with vegetables, salad, soup and dessert, plus a few glasses of Australian wine.
On the last day of my trip I had lunch in the Southport Worker’s Club, good Aussie tucker including fish and chips, a meat pie with vegetables as well as an apple pie and cream. Then would you believe at night I had the audacity to go to a very popular Italian Restaurant (Mario’s – Broadbeach) We had garlic prawns (unreal), garlic bread (incredible) and shared a large Sicilian pizza.(delicious) The wine was top drawer as were the cowboy liqueurs.
The next morning I was dropped off at the airport for my direct flight back to Tokyo. During this trip it was my first time to fly with JetStar, a QANTAS discount airline, and the service was grand and the flight was most pleasant.
Note throughout my trip I handed out many business cards and spoke with a number of Japanese who were on working and/or short term holidays. Let’s hope that some of them will soon be part of the Smith’s School of English student body in the next few months. In fact I sat next to a 24 year old lass who had just spent a year on a working holiday in Melbourne, which she absolutely loved, and she certainly will be on the lookout for a Smith’s School of English in the near future.
Smith’s School of English Koenji