Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Beautiful Game may be a bit of an overstatement.

Several titles for this post came to mind at one point or another, including things like, “It must be the economy…” or “This really takes me back to U11.” In case you’re wondering what I’m talking about, I went to the Brisbane vs. Sydney soccer game this afternoon. Brisbane won 1-0, but it took a dull 87 minutes for Brisbane to break the tie. Perhaps most depressing, in a stadium that holds 55,000, I was one of only 7,100 in attendance (my seats were good though). Something else occurred to me during the game too- soccer is much lamer in countries that call it soccer instead of football (football is Australian Rules here). I’ll have to scientifically test that sometime. Maybe I’ve been a little bit harsh- I had a decent time- it was the first pro soccer game I’ve been to, and it was a sporting event in a foreign country.
Yesterday I made it out of the city to the Glass House Mountains northeast of Brisbane. A group of nine of us climbed Mt. Tibrogargan, an old eroded volcano with a very exposed, steep scramble to the top. The Glass House Mountains are ancient volcanoes that have been more resistant to erosion over the past several million years than everything else around, so the mountains tower 800-1300 feet above very flat surroundings. The views were great from the top, and it was great to see Australia outside of a city. The forests here don’t have much in common with Southeastern United States deciduous forests. We also managed to get back into Brisbane before another dust storm moved in early yesterday evening.
Tomorrow I meet with my research adviser and we finish up classes in Brisbane and Tuesday we fly north to Cairns in the morning. I’ll update with kangaroo and koala pictures soon!

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