First impressions of Australia

Longer lines than Disney

After probably the best international flight I’ve been on since coming to Asia, we finally arrived in the Gold Coast. The air was hot and dry and for the first time in months I felt like I could breath fresh air. ( I mean I would hope so being so far away from China and all). I was so excited to finally be seeing a friend that I hadn’t seen in 3 years, and to just be in Australia, that I took my time taking in my surroundings. My first mistake because my slow ass ended up at the end of the immigration line. The Gold Coast airport is pretty tiny and not impressive, I just wanted to get the hell out of it. But Australia is very strict on the items you can bring with you into the country so after the customs line, you have to go into another line to get sniffed by dogs/open your luggage/declare basically anything that has food or dirt or… You get the picture.

My friend was eagerly waiting for me on the other side and proceeded to tell me that she had been racially profiling the people leaving the hangar to see if they were Asian. My flight was from Hong Kong so she knew that if they looked like they came from Hong Kong, then I would be among them. Though I don’t even know how she could do that considering that many tourists coming to the northern part of Australia come from Asia, including myself (living in Korea at the moment)!

Pancakes in Paradise and strange things Aussies do

After some small talk, my friend told me that we would be going to her favorite restaurant in all of Gold Coast.  A place called “Pancakes in Paradise”. I had arrived just in time for breakfast and considering it would be the first time in a long time that I would be eating Western food, my body was ready. I expected to see normal kinds of breakfast foods on the menu, but that’s not what I saw. They add ice cream to their pancakes!? Nearly all of their special pancakes had tons of icings, syrups, and ice cream on them. Same goes for their crepes. I settled on just normal pancakes and a latte. Eager to try Australian coffee, since the boast about it, I was confused as to what they put in front of me. Guys, they put coffee into GLASS CUPS!? WHY???? It’s like Australians are now used to burning their fingertips when enjoying a cup of coffee. I just don’t understand the reasoning behind this. Then again, the mug is more expensive. So if you want to save yourself the 3rd degree burns (kidding), then opt for the mug every time.


When it came time to pay the bill, my friend and I fought over who would pay. As soon as the guy heard my accent, he turned to my friend for her card while saying “you sound foreign”. So because I sound foreign apparently that means that I am the guest and therefore should not pay for anything. Ever. I guess this is the Aussie way, though I can’t complain about getting free food. 😉

Oh, and the Aussie accent is so hard to understand! I swear someone will speak to me and I’ll just stare at them as though they had 3 heads.

I’m sure I’ll get used to it soon enough though. And if not, then at least I can say I had a month to learn.

Another very strange thing Aussies do is wear sneakers (trainers) while wearing business clothes. A friend of mine told me that this is because they keep their dress shoes at work under their desks. That way they can walk home wearing their comfortable shoes. Bizarre, yet also very smart. Why haven’t I thought of that?

Q1 Tower & the SkyPoint Observation Deck

Definitely one of the highlights of Surfers Paradise is being able to go up the tallest residential building in the world. For 20AUD you can take the hyper-fast elevator up to the observatory for a coffee with an amazing view. It was definitely worth the money. In fact, I wish I would have paid an extra 10$ to be able to come back at night.




Probably one of the best things about Gold Coast is the weather! I didn’t expect it to be so perfect! What we Americans tend to think about Australia is that it’s basically a fiery hot red dessert with kangaroos and dangerous animals that try to kill you. So imagine my surprise when I walked into this beautiful beach paradise with palm trees everywhere and a sea breeze to cool you off. Even Florida is hotter than this!



This day was so long I’m splitting it into 2 separate blog posts. You can see the other one HERE, along with more tales of Australia.

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