Yesterday I was up at 4:30am for…work?! Yes, I had a 6:30am flight to Brisbane. I met my boss at the airport and we boarded our Qantas flight out. Thankfully, Qantas is awesome, and we got a great breakfast of cereal, bread, OJ, and apple slices. The flight was a bit rough (especially the landing!) but it was made up for by the views.
I couldn’t help but admire the gorgeous water beneath us as we neared Brisbane. Shades of deep blue and turquoise and green, with some visible areas of coral and gorgeous winding bays — how could I not stare? But it got even better after we ducked in and out of some rain clouds and were met with a beautiful rainbow. Over the next few minutes the rainbow brightened, then another one formed as well. It stretched all the way from the sky above us to the sea below and was absolutely spectacular.
Then we landed at the domestic airport and were picked up by one of the Brisbane managers to hop over to the international airport. Here the work began. We spent the first couple hours in meetings with various people, then we were off to visit the stores. I spent hours wandering through each of the three duty free shops we have there, marking up and rearranging floor plans, taking pictures of promotions, correcting numbers and information and consulting with the managers. It was difficult work at times, but everyone in Brisbane is so friendly and laidback, I pretty much just enjoy myself!
At lunchtime a couple people from our signage company came up and took us to lunch. It’s so strange to be on a business trip — I’ve never actually been able to write things off to work before! The signage company bought our lunches, and it was so strange to not have to worry about any expenses for the entire day.
Of course my flights were taken care of by the company, but also I had a cabcharge card for my cab to the airport, all meals would have been paid for if they weren’t already taken care of in other ways, my morning hot chocolate, even at the end of the day when we were waiting for our flight out and I bought a soda, my boss told me to save the receipt (though in the end it’s only a few dollars so I probably won’t bother, but it’s still a cool thought). So that was a bit exciting for me!
The rest of the day was more work, but by 4:30 everyone was ready to go home. Except our flight wasn’t until 6:45. So we went back to the domestic airport and sat and did some work for a couple hours. The flight home was even better than the flight over (well, except still quite a bit of turbulence), with a really delicious dinner and complimentary wine and beer! So we had some wine and my boss explained to me Australian sports, particularly cricket which I realized I really hadn’t known anything about (and still don’t completely understand!).
Of course, by the time I got home at nearly 9:00, I was exhausted and didn’t last more than a couple hours longer. Oscar had to be up early for work today anyways. I was able to sleep in a bit, though, and also check out a wine clearance sale Oscar had found out about. They had tons and tons of wines for $3, $5, $10, $15 or highly discounted prices. It’s a weekend sale and the tiny place was packed, with people spending tons — the guy in front of me spent over $500 — and carrying out dollies full of boxes of wine, beer, and liquor! Madness!
They even had a few wines they were tasting, which reminded me of being back in South Carolina when we would all go to Simply Savory for wine tastings every week. I decided to try to buy a wine (I believe I managed to get all shiraz so they’re easier to compare) from each region of Australia so we can try to decide which we like the best (and then be sure to visit it!). However, I knew there was no way I could carry more than four bottles home (even carrying that, while walking a couple kilometers in the rain, was not fun!) so we will have to go back tomorrow to get one from Tasmania and maybe New Zealand. (I don’t think Queensland and Northern Territory produce much in the way of wine, but I’m basing it off the regions that our “World of Wine” section in the duty free store features.) For four good bottles of wine (including one “preumim wine”) it was only $18. Not bad!
So it’s been a productive couple of days. I’m also trying to keep tab of everything (from how nice the people in Brisbane are to where has the best wine!) because we are thinking after 3-6 more months in Sydney (depending when we are both done with our jobs) we might trying moving somewhere else for a bit. So I made sure to ask everyone in Brisbane how they liked it, as well as about transportation, apartments, etc.
Now I’m hoping we can manage to secure a business trip to Perth (apparently it’s also company policy that you get to fly business for flights more than four hours — and it’s 4 1/2 to Perth!) so I can check that out as well. Anything is possible, though I think my top choices right now are Perth and Brisbane, followed by Cairns, Melbourne, or even trying out an outback town for a month! (Oscar says: no way! haha) Despite having been to Australia twice before, I have really not seen any of the cities besides Sydney, so I am excited at the idea of getting to know another place. And all the cities sound so great! Only time will tell…