Brisbane trip

5 09 2007

Day 1

Uneventful three-and-a-bit hour drive to Perth; only 11 long term parking bays available when I got there and I got one, so I didn’t have to implement plan B!

Equally uneventful direct Qantas flight to Brisbane. Slight rain delay and a slight traffic delay coming in to Brisbane, but I was in my apartment accommodation by 7:30 and at the apartment the other Perth staff were staying in by 8:00pm for an EXCELLENT BBQ steak dinner!

We were thwarted by the rain – despite being under cover, the wind blew the rain in and we headed up (with 3 other guys from the Brisbane office) to the 38th floor where their apartment was.

The guys walked me back to my accommodation (2 blocks away), which was nice.

Day 2

In the office today. Two longish meetings, and then a few bits and pieces. Back to the apartment just after 5:00pm. Will be heading out for dinner with the guys tonight – not sure where or when. Will update later…

Day 2 continued…

Went out to a pizza and lasagne dinner to Citizen Restaurant (Albert St) with two of the team – one of the guys from the Perth office and a new recruit from Johannesburg. I’ve had better pizza – and worse. The three meals, two beers and one glass of wine came to $51, so that wasn’t too bad.

Day 3

Packed up this morning (not that there was a lot to pack!), then off to the office for the 8:00am start of the half day usability workshop with users from the client’s offices. The workshop went really well – we got a lot of issues identified and enunciated – and, most importantly, prioritised. The afternoon was spent combining all the butcher’s paper ideas from the two groups into one document, and presenting that to a small group of developers. More fleshing out of that document will occur, but the hard work of going from “I don’t like it” to something concrete is done. Now, for the decisions on what can/will get done, and when… None of that is my problem, thank goodness.

I left the office before 5:00pm hoping to beat the end-of-day cab rush. Nope. There were about 7 people in front of me at the taxi rank just outside the office. And it was raining. I asked if anyone was going to the Airport – the guy next to me was and was OK to share a cab. As it happened, a guy three up from us was going to collect his car from the service depot – which happened to be on the way to the Airport – so the cab driver asked if anyone was going to the Airport and the three of us shared the cab.

I’m currently sitting in the VERY busy Qantas Club lounge waiting for my flight to Perth. I’m due in around 11:00pm, then have to collect the car and go to the hotel the company has booked for me. I’ll have a leisurely drive home tomorrow.

Later… The flight was 90 minutes late leaving, getting in to Perth around midnight. I had a VERY uncomfortable flight – the chap next to me was a pretty big guy and his knees were spread so they encroached on my space, and his backside and thighs overflowed into my space. There was no way I could avoid him – and with those economy seats, there was no way he could sit any other way. It made me very uncomfortable. The only saving grace was that I was on the aisle so after the food service, I was able to stretch out a little. The movie was Ocean’s Thirteen. Now in-flight movies aren’t the best for sound and vision, but even accounting for these limitations, this was a VERY ordinary movie, in my opinion. None of the humour and repartee from the other two. Oh, and I had a slightly upset stomach. No wonder I didn’t enjoy this flight!

Day 4

I checked in to the Melbourne Hotel in Hay St, Perth after midnight. The room was adequate but not impressive for the price. The bed and pillows were great; the shower was set up for wheelchair access and so had one of those handheld showers – which was situated so that it sprayed water all over the bathroom floor when I turned it on. You really don’t need this at 12:30pm. Sigh. I finally fell asleep around 1:30am. And then was woken around 7:00am as the room was directly opposite someone’s office, and outside on the veranda a party was going on! Well, it sounded like it. Near my room was two of the function rooms, and one of them linked to the first floor veranda. A breakfast function was going on, and some people decided to spill over on to the veranda… right outside my window.

When I checked out, I suggested to the rooms manager that they don’t put late-arriving guests that room and told her about the early morning noise. She was most apologetic and knocked off the $24 valet parking charge. Which was something. Even though the company was paying for the room, the credit charge hadn’t gone through, so I paid it (I’ll claim it on expenses). The room-only charge was $155 for the (short) night. Very expensive for what it was.

After doing some shopping (I finally tried out an Aeron chair and have ordered two!!!), and collecting our fix of Indian food (4x beef vindaloo and 4x chilli chicken dry), I hit the road around 1:00pm. It rained almost the entire way home – in some patches the rain was *that* heavy the wipers were on double speed and the traffic was reduced to a crawl.

It was nice to be home. We had a beef vindaloo, and watched the first of the footy finals (Port Adelaide beat the West Coast Eagles by 3 points; Collingwood play Sydney tomorrow night).


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