Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2010

Turboprops and tiring transits

Once upon a time I had to spend an entire night waiting in the carpark on Rockhampton airport as floodwaters rose around us. It was free then, but now the airport has joined its illustrious larger cousins in charging for the privilege of a parking spot. So Mum dropped us off and waved goodbye. Our brief visit had been quite pleasant and I am actually curious to see how the rest of Rocky has changed during the last six years. I still wouldn't consider it an actual holiday destination however. I'm always amused by the regional airports that foresee themselves become international gateways. Strictly speaking, Rockhampton already handles international flights, but these are charters bringing in the Singaporean military for exercises at Shoalwater Bay. I can't see the city ever getting scheduled international flights. Despite that, I was quite impressed by Rockhampton's airport terminal. For starters, the toilets were better than those at Changi's Terminal 1! The

The monkey garden

The first thing Alex asked for when he woke up was "cars". I immediately understood this to mean that he wanted to look through the hotel room window, where he was excited to see a rubbish truck in action. With a lack of daylight saving time difference of one hour (and 50 years) behind Sydney we were feeling more refreshed than the clock would indicate. It looked like a nice day outside, so Alex and I went in search of breakfast and some bathroom essentials. The streets were fairly quiet this time of morning. There was a travel agent and a cafe surrounding the hotel, and naturally a pub, but not much else. Diagonally opposite the hotel the cinemas had been turned into a church. We walked to the City Centre Plaza, which contains Rocky's poshest department store: Target. After buying Alex and I supplies at the Coles supermarket we sat down for a breakfast of eggs benedict at a cafe. Never had them before and looking at all the morbidly obese people around me I almos

The Return to Rocky

First off, this post has nothing to do with Sylvester Stallone or boxing, though brain damaged states do come into it. Now that we are clear about that, let's proceed. Rockhampton. I hadn't been back there in six years, ever since my father's funeral. Though I had lived for seven years on a hectare of land about thirty kilometres outside of the city I had very little desire to return. The truth is that I felt that Queensland and I were at war and that I had only survived it by retreating south, licking my wounds. I had made forays into Queensland since, often to traditional holiday destinations, usually for short periods of time, and never felt a desire to linger. I watched as exposure to Central Queensland rotted the brains of my siblings. It was amazing when we took holidays south and I felt my brain accelerate in the clear cool air then slow as we returned to a place where free thought and intelligent discourse are not valued. If I was to encapsulate my experienc

A messy ride home

Emerging out of the MRT station at Changi Airport is like entering a giant Star Wars set, all ultra-modern architecture with Imperial greys and white fluorescent lighting. The station is at Terminal 2 and it was necessary to catch an automated airport shuttle, which also appeared out of Star Wars, to Terminal 1, where both B and I were departing from. Though I was flying Qantas and B British Airways back to Sydney the same check in desk serviced both. We quickly passed through security and immigration. Terminal 1's refurbishment had progressed since our last visit, with the addition of an attractive area of vegetation, a rest area and views across the tarmac. However, toilet facilities were lacking in numbers, location and quality. The overall impression of this terminal at one of the world's most popular airports was one of disappointment. I was further disappointed to discover that there were no longer any Bengawan Solo outlets anywhere other than in Terminal 2. W