Strange names on the Gold Coast- it took me forever to learn how to pronounce Mudgereeba. The Mudgereeba Blues was held at the Wallaby Hotel- a free event and free soda water, but I was probably the only one drinking it. Then it took me four goes of driving around the confusing circular roads to get back onto the M1- Google maps was no help at all,- but some of the locals were amused by this blue car that kept driving around and around -until I finally broke free.
My AIRBNB In Broadbeach was very central and convenient, but the owner forgot to mention it was on the Gold Coast Highway and was very very noisy. Full on ‘hoons’, motorbikes, trams and sirens all night long. It was directly opposite Pacific Fair and the Casino, so fabulous for retail therapy and the free movies at the casino- a pensioners delight! The light rail was right out the door as well as some wonderful restaurants, cafes etc. and 1 block from the beach. But probably the worst bed in the world- it was like sleeping on rocks- so it was hot, humid and noisy and uncomfortable. The view was of the Star Casino and Pacific Fair which looked more enticing at night.
The first week it poured with rain, not that gentle sort of rain, but heavy monsoon type rain. That was fun. then it got hot..and very humid. I caught up with Kathy from Batemans Bay at a swanky resort she was staying at, for high tea. Kathy had also been disappointed by the rain-so no lounging by the pool sipping cocktails.
The lady in the apartment next door to me , appeared to be a ‘working girl’ and the door to her apartment, which was next to my bedroom squeaked all night with clients coming and going. Finally the management oiled the door- and that problem was resolved.
Then I got sick- and major panic, as it was not the time to start coughing and sneezing.. The Virus was still in its infancy here, but still it was enough for people to move away from me in horror. I begged the Dr for a Corona Test which they were very reluctant to do..and how I enjoyed the swab up the nose!!- I ended up doing the other nostril myself- Mr Bean Style-(where he drilled his own teeth.) The swab came back negative which was a tad disappointing- I would rather have had it and been treated while they still had the equipment and facilities.
I was still out and about at various dinners and lunches-and a cruise over to Stradbroke Island while furtively coughing – but it was becoming obvious I would not be travelling overseas and yet the travel companies thought it was business as usual, and were refusing to consider cancelling. Then by early March I decided to self isolate.
By this time I had moved to another Airbnb in Main Beach with a stunning view over the ocean and was lulled to sleep by the ocean, on a very comfortable bed. I can not see the point of being on the Glitter Strip and not living by the ocean with a view-living in the suburbs is almost futile, and definitely not for me. It was very tiny with just enough room for 1 person, and yet the couple next door had lived there for 7 years-I am not sure how they did it, without killing each other.
The view of the ocean and the high rise apartments at night, all lit up, was a compensation for not venturing out. Tedder St the main cafe / bar area of Main Beach kept on partying as if they were bullet proof. I was told that on St Pat’s Day -March 17th the pubs were ‘chockers’- while I was in isolation??hmm.
While Main Beach was appealing-free full form Tai Chi on the beach and yoga- and a safe affluent neighbourhood, it was not the place for me as it lacked a supermarket and was quite a walk to the Light Rail. I turned into a jigsaw puzzle nerd while i was here and my big disappointment was having to leave before I finished my puzzle, which I found challenging, with lots of green and grey bits that looked the same.
Then I moved to what was to be my last apartment in the Q1 at Surfers before I took off overseas. It now looks like I will be here for the duration of this dystopian horror movie.. Thankfully the owner is more than happy for me to stay at a reduced rent-as the tenancy is way way down. The Gold Coast is a ghost town-no tourists here. Everything is closed and today the 8th April they closed the beaches. There are few others like me who are stranded, not knowing when they will be able to leave- the only businesses doing well are the supermarkets-as everyone is cooking at home.And of course the bottle shop, which has taken on extra staff!
Then it was into combat with Travel Industry which has become problematic. Refunds seem like a pipe dream- happy to take your money upfront , but not so thrilled to return it. Like so many others my travel plans are cancelled and it appears it will take months to refund-if at all- I am hoping they do not go broke before I get my money returned..there is no reason for it to take so long.
As of April 14th I have been in isolation for 5 weeks- and I not sure how long I can cope without seeing and talking to others. I get excited when someone else gets in the lift!! ZOOM cocktails on Formal Friday certainly lifted my mood. The Batemans Bay Baby Boomers had Covid Cocktails and this week I have several Gold Coast events as well. Such a Tech Adventure for the youthfully challenged.
So far the curve has been kept under control and Australia has done well in controlling this terrible plague. When I go out for my weekly excitement of doing the shopping I notice that all the other mature folks are masked and gloved, while the younger ones act as if there is nothing happening. And as for social distancing..again man spreading is very prevalent..no 1.5 metres for them..
Still months to go…