The drive from Cooly to Brisbane takes us an hour and a half. The speed limit is 110 kph but the “Smelter” maxes out around 80 kph. We are passed by a minimum of 1000 cars on the passage. For the record, on the highway we have never passed a single vehicle.
The stroll from New Market Gardens Caravan Park to Riverstage is 7km but we have nothing but time and the weather is immaculate. The concert is in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens in the middle of the city. The park is picturesque with heaps of local flora and fauna. We eat kebabs under a banyan tree as we wait for the concert to start.
Once inside we stake out a spot on the grass and I proceed to grab a few adult beverages. Like a rookie I have no money so I scan for an ATM machine to no avail. A poster above one beer tent line reads “EFTPOS” (Electronic Funds Transfer Point of Sale or as we know it in America credit card). I see 7-8 disgruntled faces leaving the front of the line as I wait my turn. I soon realize why… “This line is cash only,” the girl chirps. “Why is there an EFTPOS sign above this line?” I inquire. “I couldn’t reach it,” she retorts. “You have to wait in that line.” I argue but it falls on deaf ears. I move the EFTPOS sign over the correct line and am forced to walk all the way to the back of that line along with 10-12 people who were behind me in the same predicament. After 10 minutes in the EFTPOS line I get to the front of the line. “How much do you want?” the attendant asks. “Uh, can I have 2 Carltons please?” She informs me, “Sorry, but you can only get cash here, and then you have to go to that line to get beer.” I let out a maniacal snicker and stare at what is no doubt another 20 minute wait. I think of a hundred things to scream at the poor girl but what’s the use? She is a minion and it will not improve my lot. I am flabbergasted by the difficulty of trying to throw away my money on an overpriced product. I throw in the towel and walk back to Nug empty handed after being gone for 20 minutes. With an inquisitive expression she asks, “What happened?” “I’m not in the mood for drinks for some reason,” I reply. We catch up with some old friends from Laos and the show ends up being much better without the $8 beers anyways.