Surfer's Paradise-Day 4

Jack left early the next morning before I was awake. I actually slept in pretty late finally. Matthew was up at the crack of dawn; out the door getting coffee and wandering around downtown. I did absolutely nothing but lay around. At one sleep intermission Matthew came back to the room and announced he was heading to the beach. I took that as an opportunity to catch up on my writing. As much as I had enjoyed meeting all of our roommates and making friends, it was amazingly nice to have no roommates and the room to myself.


Around noon Matthew came back from the beach and we each had a sandwich in the room before heading to the company headquarters. The day before we had arranged a time to come use a private room with wifi so we could take our RSA course. RSA stands for Responsible Service of Alcohol which is a course and certificate we needed to have before we could work at the cafe on Kangaroo Island. Nicole, from the company had told us about the certificate and recommended that we do it at headquarters where wifi was plentiful and distractions we scarce. The course was online and mostly consisted of a bunch of reading and then a 30 question quiz that we had to get 100% right before we were awarded a certificate. The entire thing took up most of the afternoon.


Afterwards we were starving and Matthew had a hankering for Mexican Food. We had already found that Mexican Food was rare here and I had heard it wasn't very tasty either. We wanted to find out for ourselves. We settled on the only one we had seen all week, a place called Guzman & Gomez. The lady taking our order wasn't Mexican and English wasn't her first language either. I had a bit of trouble ordering beef tacos and the girl couldn't understand Matthew's request for chips and salsa. Oddly enough she easily understood that we wanted to of the frozen house margaritas. Eventually we got our order placed and sat a bench located just outside the main area of the cafe.


The margaritas were decent, although I personally prefer a real margarita on the rocks. These were pre-blended margarita slushier. While we waited for our order to come out I found the salsa bar and got one container of each of the three options: jalapeno, chipolte and habenero. As soon as I placed the containers on the table Matthew began dipping his finger in each one and tasting them. Jalapeno was good and the chipolte was yummy but when he got to the habenero he made an awful face and yelled out a bit, followed by a huge gulp of margarita and a good laugh on my part.


The tacos turned out to be pretty good, although I think the meet was way different from what I'm used to. Instead of ground hamburger meat it was more like some kind of pulled pork that had been soaked in barbecue, except it was beef.


The day before at orientation we had heard that a neat thing to do in Surfer's was to go to the top of the Q1 building. It was $25 to go to the top but we both really wanted to see the sights so we did it. The Q1 building was the tallest building in the Surfer's Paradise skyline. I had been mesmerized with it all week because at night the top lit up with a rainbow of lights. It was so beautiful, even from the ground.


The elevator ride took 43 seconds to go up 77 floors. During the 43 seconds we enjoyed watching live footage of the inside of the elevator working. When we got to the top the view was breathtaking to say the least. The top floor was one big circular room with a bar in the middle. The room was mostly windows looking over the view and around the bar lied all sorts of exhibits and information regarding the building and the Gold Coast in general. On the floor in front of each window there were tiles with interesting information on them. One of them had an arrow pointing to Los Angeles and gave the number of kilometers away it was. Another one stated that the Q1 building was taller than the Eiffel tower. Matthew compared the building to the Willis (Sears) tower in Chicago that he had visited.


We looked out the window and found our hostel. I was in awe of the view of the beach from that angle and we were impressed to see four different rugby fields in the outer city area. We walked around the entire circumference so as to get the view from every angle. After making the full loop, we then went around again but this time reading the fun facts on the floor. We learned all kinds of stuff. The Gold Coast was made up of 52 kilometers of straight beaches. If had been daylight we could have seen all 52 kilometers from where we were standing. One of the facts said that from the ground the human eye could only see 3 kilometers of distance at a time because of the natural curve of the earth, but from the height of the Q1 tower we could see 60 or so kilometers. Matthew and I decided that fact was wrong because back in Oklahoma we could see up to 20 miles away from one spot. From my grandparent's house in the country I could see three different cities and they were all pretty far away.


Next we found a viewing room that had a 15 minute video about the history of the Gold Coast. I learned that Captain Cooke originally founded the area and it had pretty much always been a big surfing destination. The area began to be a tourist destination after WWII but got its biggest tourism boom during the 1970's. During this era the movie Gidget came out and it apparently was quite the controversial movie for “real” surfers, yet the rest of the world went crazy over it and began to vasty embrace the surfing culture. This brought in tons of tourists to the area and with that, a lot of people who wanted to be surfers but had no idea what it entailed. Some time around then a local man and his wife sat down at their kitchen table and came up with some cool clothes that eventually became the very popular surfing brand that we still use today—Billabong.


One of the first things that pops on Google when you type in “Surfer's Paradise” is “Meter Maids.” Several months ago I had discovered that Meter Maids were hott young women who walked around in bikinis and outback hats. Their job was to top off the parking meters when people got low on time. During the video we learned that this was started in the 1950's as a way to encourage paid parking. The Meter Maids still exist today and shortly after we left the Q1 tower we saw two of them and Matthew stopped and asked them what they did. They explained that they got donations from businesses for the meters but it didn't sound like they actually got paid for what they did. They were beautiful though, and they were wearing gold bikinis with killer high heels that did not look very comfortable for a job that entails a lot of walking and standing.


When we got back to our hostel room we had two new roommates again. This batch brought in two girls from London, both 19 and traveling together. They were tiny little things and I couldn't help thinking they were too young to be backpacking alone. Despite my doubts they had been to New Zealand, Sydney, Byron Bay of course and were headed to Thailand where they would be for the next five months.


I honestly didn't talk to the girls that much. Maybe because “it was a girl thing” like Matthew suggested, or maybe just because I was tired and didn't care too much about getting to know them because they were leaving early the next morning. However, all four of us had a great time watching Pitch Perfect together. The girls hadn't seen the second one yet so Matthew and I gave them a few teasers and told them to go watch it. I don't remember when but sometime after the riff-off scene I must have fallen asleep because when I woke up it was morning and the two girls were gone.