My First Day in Australia

Airplane Brisbane 1985

It was probably about noon. The sky was bright blue and light was shining everywhere.  It was the 12th of January 1985, and this Canadian, straight from a Northern hemisphere winter, disembarked out into a concrete wall of hot, humid weather and blinding reflected sunlight.  Welcome to Brisbane.  I can remember the shock of it. That thick, hot air. The light burning my eyes. And once away from the airport and in a more suburban setting, the loud, unceasing cicada buzz.  I thought I was going to be driven mad.  But thankfully, after about a week I hardly noticed the sound anymore.

I remember the smell of frangipanis, the warm breeze at night.  Palm trees were everywhere, and birds were loud and colourful. Oh and that sunshine! Glorious blue sky sunshine! There was enough sunshine to keep sad, lonely feelings at bay.  And as it turned out, enough light to brighten any darker times ahead.