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Year View| Summary| Highlights| Month View| Saturday 30 August 2003 (Day View)

30.08.2003Saturday 30 August – Riverfest

As usual, I slept in. Not long after I’d woken, Michelle came over for a bit, and then it was late and I showered and got ready to go catch a train into the city.
Joe drove me down to the station where I caught a train into the city. It was the busiest train I’ve seen since being in Brisbane – totally jam packed, rather reminiscent of some of the better Indian trains, except cleaner and slower. I arrived at Southbank around four o’clock, and wandered around for hours and hours. There’s millions of people, billions maybe, also wandering around and some have set up blankets and chairs and even a few beach tents, waiting for the fireworks. There was some jet skiing, some others parachuted, and I even found a little collection of people around a group doing a break dancing display or competition or something odd. There an RAAF Roulette display, which is a plane that flies upside down and exciting things like that, although it didn’t excite me too much. Then, finally after the skywriting, parachuting, waterskiing and everything else, at half past seven, it was fireworks time. An F111 flew overhead with its afterburners on, which was rather exciting, and then the fireworks began. They were perhaps the best fireworks I’ve seen, from a technical viewpoint, but I didn’t find myself all that impressed, or enjoying them so much. I think part of the problem was the atmosphere – fifteen million people standing within a two-foot radius just isn’t nice. The other thing is that one firework is much the same as the next, and after one hundred fireworks, the rest are totally the same and it becomes a bit boring. I have enjoyed the smaller fireworks at Cooktown more, but these were, nonetheless, impressive – just that I wasn’t very impressed. At the end of the fireworks display, two F111’s did a “dump and burn” – an overpass while injecting massive amounts of fuel into their jet exhausts. That was impressive – the planes are apparently about 22 metres long, and the flames were roughly three times that length. I think I found the afterburner overfly more impressive as it was flown quite low directly above me. Perhaps embarrassingly, Australia is the only country that still uses F111 jets, and isn’t planning to retire them until 2020.
After the fireworks, everyone up and walked to the South Brisbane train station. You would have to be dumb to catch the train from South Brisbane. There were approximately two billion people trying to get through a single archway into the station. The queue was fifteen to twenty people wide by fifty or more people long. Hmm, that’s a thousand people – perhaps my estimations are wrong, but that is what I thought at the time. Anyway, you’d still have to be stupid to try to get into that station, so I walked the kilometre or so up to Roma Street Station. Apparently, there was also some boring football match on this evening, which would probably explain why the trains are so extremely busy. The train was already mostly full when I got on at Roma Street, and filled up entirely when we got to South Brisbane Station. You can imagine what happened when we got to Southbank Station, which is even closer to the Riverfest – shades of Indian trains again. It was a friendly, or perhaps just drunk, crowd on the train. They sung songs and told jokes, and it was a pleasant party atmosphere, at least until the woman in the seat across from mine spewed all over the place, enhancing the Indian effect, and realistically, I guess the party effect too. The only joke I can remember at the moment was when the train went across a join in the tracks, going very slowly, we nearly stopped, and the lights went out, as they do when changing lines, and someone yelled out “Sonya, put another $2 in will you love?” Oh, I remembered another one – that same woman yelled halfway down the carriage to Sonya, asking if her rash had gone yet and if she was still scratching, then a short while later, asked if that had helped clear any room for her. Each nighttime train ride is different – something always happens, which is in direct contrast with the daytime train rides, which are usually identical with the same people travelling in to their same jobs, or whatever it is they do each day.
Oh dear, how can it possibly be this late? Why do I always stay up so late? Why can’t I be normal and go to bed at a normal time and do my assignments at a normal time and study normal amounts like all normal people do? Woe is I.

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