I'm finally back from my epic Queensland sojourns. First things first: I escaped the flooding. My hometown is not underwater, and my adopted hometown of Brisbane is alright, or at least it was while I was there. Things are looking worse now. The casualties in other parts of the state are tragic, and my thoughts are with all those affected. But if there's one thing that I do know? It's that we'll pull through. Queenslanders are stoic and hardy, as well as community-minded.
Ever since I moved to Sydney I have spent a lot of time thinking and talking about the differences between New South Wales and Queensland. My recent trip to Brisbane included a wedding, which several of my Sydneysider friends also attended, and it was extremely gratifying to have them confirm from the opposite direction what I've been saying for the last two years. Queenslanders walk slowly. They have a very casual approach to public footwear. "And strangers keep talking to me in the street!" one horrified friend exclaimed. "It's called being friendly," I explained. Oh, Queensland. I love you.
My Christmas was good. I hate New Year's Eve so let's not even discuss that one, except to say it was fine. All my travel and family-time and friend-time has been good, but I've barely had time to reflect on the last year or prepare for the year ahead. So now I'm back in Sydney and it's time to get to work, for I have just a couple of weeks before I must travel again.