Brisbane (pop. 2,000,000) is just north of the Gold Coast and only about an hour’s drive away. Each weekend, there are various markets around the city, so my friend Caitlin and I decided to check it out! We hitched a ride with one of my Aussie friends who was headed up there and had him drop us off at a hostel in downtown. After checking it out, we decided it was a bit dodgy for us and opted to stay in at an American friend’s apartment who goes to Griffith University at one of the Brisbane campuses. He was actually in Gold Coast for the night, so we were able to take over his room.
The area of South Bank in Brisbane borders the river and it is a gorgeous place to spend the day. There is a river walk with a canopy of flowers covering it, a massive Ferris wheel, adorable cafes, and best of all, markets! We checked out the markets and found some things we decided we really “needed”. I went to the cash machine to get some cash for the purchases, only to have it take my card! (Cue the Panic Button) I called the bank, they said they couldn’t do anything about it, called my bank, couldn’t get any information, and finally, called my mom. I was out of cash and any way to get cash, so I was definitely in a bind. We decided to cut our weekend a bit short and got a ride back to Brisbane with my friend who brought us up.
So, not only was my Brisbane weekend cut short, I was now in a bind for money. I just happened to be all out of groceries, nearly out of minutes on my phone, and out of money on my GoCard (public transportation card). How do you eat, call your bank, or travel to open a new account without any of these things? Answer: You can’t! I valiantly ate cereal and PB&J sandwiches for the rest of the week, had my mom communicate with my bank, and walked back and forth to school. I learned that one can survive on cereal and PB&J for a week without adverse effects and decided that listening to my mom to set up an emergency account when I first arrive in Australia probably would have been a fantastic idea. Emergency money arrived the next week, and the first thing I did was set up an emergency account at an Australian bank. J