Drought and humidity but a nice city

, posted: 6-Mar-2007 21:20

Recycled water
Brisbane seems to be a pleasant enough place, despite the worst drought of a century. The lack of water coincides with 95% humidity and record temperatures. It certainly felt clammy walking around but not as hot as in the tropics thank goodness.

Compared to Auckland, a city of similar size, Brisbane seems much wealthier, cleaner and better set up over all. There's several types of integrated public transport and even a train to the airport. Traffic doesn't seem too bad either, and there are bike lanes on most roads - yes, people cycle around even in the humid climate.

I'm sure there are people in Brisbane who will tell me what it's really like, but the place seems pretty good overall. Unlike Auckland, Brisbane has kept much of its old buildings. That was a surprise, as I had heard that the place was full of tacky new architecture. Not so: even the new stuff looks good. People are relaxed and friendly too.

There's a massive skills and labour shortage here, courtesy of a booming economy. That has resulted in house prices jumping three-fold in some areas over just five years, apparently, so buyers don't have much choice but to stump up the dough. Pretty much like Auckland then. A cabbie (universal bearers of local truths, those) was complaining about all the low-rent Brits moving here, simply because "they can trade in their bedsit in London for a huge house in Brissy". Growth pangs can be like that. Same cabbie reckons that the reason for the drought is all the new development removing vegetation that traps humidity necessary for precipitation, which is an interesting theory really.

Broadband in Brissy has been disappointing though, judging from my small and unrepresentative sample. The Sofitel hotel manages 1M/500Kbit/s early in the mornings when everyone apart from me is asleep (curse of the three hour time difference) but this drops to 200kbit/s downloads and 300kbit/s uploads during busy times.

There seems to be EV-DO coverage here, but I wasn't able to test it as my card isn't set up for roaming. The Apache picked up CDMA 1xRTT, which worked fine for picking up and sending emails. Vodafone has 3G in Brisbane too, and it managed just under 300kbit/s downloads and 200kbit/s roughly uploads. But no HSDPA though.

Other related posts:
The TechEd 2013 bag review
Timelapse clip of Brisbane superstorm
IITP Newsline: Software patents special issue

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