Amy Tries Again

On The Waterfront – or – Obligatory Flood Post
January 16, 2011, 4:43 PM
Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s been quite an interesting few days. I live in Brisbane, a fairly pleasant corner of the world (self-imposed cultural cringe notwithstanding). You may be aware of the fact that it’s been a tad…well, damp in these parts of late. I speak, of course, about the massive floods that have plagued Queensland for weeks now. It’s been pretty ghastly. 17 people have died, and thousands more have had all their possessions destroyed. I can’t speak for those people. See, nothing’s happened to me. I’m fine. We didn’t even lose power.

I don't trust myself to caption this.

I live fairly close to the river, and to the CBD. I’m close to the stadium that became a swamp, and just a few blocks from the Milton streets that I saw people kayak down. I went to have a look. I took some photos. This was all pre-peak, before people were being instructed to stay away. Even so, it felt a little morbid. I repressed it. The atmosphere, at that stage, was almost akin to a festival. Tanned Germans in shorts spilt out from the backpacker’s place, hipsters donned flood-viewing fedoras and bobbed matrons in sunhats and capri pants guided excited Cocker Spaniels between overflowing drains. Family Dads bicycled through the muck with their bald, unimpressed offspring strapped in tightly. I put on my ridiculous sunglasses and took pictures of the underwater McDonalds. It was fun. I feel weird writing that, but it was. Then I went home and complained because the tap water tasted a little muddy.

The next day, Ash‘s Dad lost his house. It was at Goodna, one of the worst-hit suburbs. Everything went. He’d left when the police had turned up the night before, saying it was likely to go under, but had only had a few minutes to pack a bag. His daughter, visiting from Cairns with her two young children, didn’t even have time to grab her wallet.

This whole experience is like an urban legend come to life – namely, the legend of the ’74 floods. I’d seen images, heard stories, but it seemed so ridiculously fictitious that I never paid too much attention. In time, the ’11 floods will be much the same. For now, though, things are real. They’re turning away cleanup volunteers as there are too many – a wonderful problem to have – so I’m trying to ease my conscience somewhat by baking for volunteer workers (Jam Drops and Cheesymite Scrolls, since you asked). I am not going to pretend that this has been life-changing. I don’t think it’ll inspire any resolutions, or that the sense of community that’s sprung up of late will last. I’m far too prone to glib sarcasm to believe any of that. Still: you never know. Fingers crossed.

Anyway. Here’s my video of Milton Road.


1 Comment so far
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It certainly has been crazy.

I’m very sorry to hear about Ash’s dad. 😦

I hope that even if the communal spirit that’s permeated the volunteer effort fails to last… it may return when people think about that time the city went under. A shared bonding experience, perhaps.

Comment by GirlClumsy

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