I think we've all had days on which we've been disappointed. For Dave, it was the day The A-Team got cancelled. I was particularly gutted when I found out Father Christmas wasn't real. Fi was super down when Ross Kemp left EastEnders, Hannah has never gotten over the end of My So-Called Life and Woodie is devo'd everytime Fi turns on the TV to watch Kendra. So we've all had our fair share.
What does this have to do with anything? Well, my next stop after Byron Bay was Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast, in which I'd only planned to spend one night just to check it out, look around and relax. On the bus there the driver announces, as we enter Queensland from New South Wales, that Castlemaine XXXX beer is absolutelythebee'skneesandeveryonedrinksithere. Great. When the most noticeable thing about somewhere is the type of (shit) beer drunk in the region, you know you're not on to a winner. (Side note: I was trying to think about what drink the UK could be described as/famous for and I've settled for a Blue WKD or, if you're feeling flush, a Cheeky Vimto).
I'd also been told by numerous people that Surfer's Paradise is "totally like Miami or Vegas".
Well, I've been to both, and it's NOTHING like either. NOTHING. It's more like Blackpool. In fact, it's less fun than Blackpool, because when you go there you can at least have a possible brush with death.
I yawned at the skyline
Rolled my eyes at the beach
But I loved this
The thing that was starting to occur to me about Australia is how - and I don't mean this unkindly - prehistoric it all seems. It's just not advanced in the way we take for granted at home, whether that means the internet, the buildings, the general culture... there's just very little of anything. For instance, if you go into a book or music store, there is a) hardly any local material and b) the stuff from elsewhere is thin on the ground and hugely overpriced. I don't really understand why, but I did a little research and it looks like Surfers has only been an actual town for the past 80-odd years. 80 years. That's NOTHING. That means when my Nana was born, it didn't even exist. It's made me look at England's history and culture in a completely different way. Not that I'm using my Nana as the benchmark for whether a culture is old or new, but you catch my drift. (Side note: She is awesome though. I think she's like 85 but doesn't look it at all. She's super classy, had a cat called Piglet - best cat name ever - and loves horror movies. I love her.)
So... as you can tell by now, I was a bit disappointed with Surfers Paradise. It was grey, concrete and tacky. It was also raining heavily, so I put on my awesome little flowery rain mac (thanks mum!) and went for a quick walk. This is when disappointment #2 came in... I'd swapped some music with someone in my room and was really looking forward to listening to Adele's first album, given her second was so good. Guess what? It was rubbish.