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Visiting Brisbane, Australia and a surprise from the past!

Updated on February 11, 2016
Pelican metal sculpture on Brisbane River, near the Victoria Bridge
Pelican metal sculpture on Brisbane River, near the Victoria Bridge
Trees and flowers on a Brisbane Southbank pathway
Trees and flowers on a Brisbane Southbank pathway
Trees provide shade for visitors
Trees provide shade for visitors
Statue of an Australian digger with his dog
Statue of an Australian digger with his dog
Old trees, lamps and a water fountain in Southbank
Old trees, lamps and a water fountain in Southbank
Quiet spot besides the water
Quiet spot besides the water

On Sat July 10 2010 we arrived in Brisbane and the first thing we did was to rent a car with navigation system. On Sun we followed directions and were able to go to my sister’s home in Forest Lake, but it did not send us via the Centenary Highway, but the back way, via Graceville, Oxley and Inala. We got there finally and were able to greet my sister and nephew, whom I had not seen since April 2009 and my mother, whom I had not seen in ten long years! It was a most welcome reunion for all of us!

We had moved away from Brisbane in 1993 and only gone back a few times: in 1994, when my husband took a group of colleagues and students to Australasia to visit some engineering projects; in the year 2000, just after the Sydney Olympics and in 2009 for my stepdaughter’s wedding in Melbourne. We could only stay in Brisbane for a few days, so we had to make the most of the little time we had available. We opted for going to Southbank and that place had some special meaning for me.

I was living in the Dominican Rep when I first heard that Expo 88 would be held in Brisbane, so I resolved to go there for a visit! I saved some money and was able to make it and it was during that Expo that I first met who was to become my husband a couple of years later! We got married and then returned to Brisbane to settle and I was able see how they started turning the old Expo site into an entertainment and relaxation area along the Brisbane River, which is now known as Southside. It is a very pleasant place, with a sandy beach, much greenery and flowers and different types of activities. There is also a variety of restaurants and we chose a Greek one, where we could sit outside. We saw some sculptures, fountains and other artistic manifestations, as we walked along the pathways in the park itself and then along the river as we returned to our rented car. I had been telling my mother and sister about Brett, a person my husband used to work with when he was in CSIRO some years befroe, when suddenly I saw a guy in a wheelchair coming in my direction! I could not believe my eyes, it was none other than Brett, exactly the person I had been talking about! I rushed to hug him and suddenly it was as if time did not exist anymore! Seventeen years! Seventeen years since we had last seen him! He told us he was married now and that he even had a little! I was so happy for him! Brisbane is a big city now, so I wonder what are the chances of meeting a person you know there? Very small, I would say! I think Brett was my Godwink for that day!

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