Yesterday I visited the bowels of hell and it is actually a rather dull and dreary place that is far from being as glamorous as its public image would suggest.
You see I had to go to Surfer’s Paradise so that my daughter could spend some time with her friend from Tasmania who was on holiday with her family there. The drive there and back was nice for the conversation with my daughter , terrible for my back ( I am likely to be bed bound all day today as a consequence of the journey) but as it has been many years since I have spent any time on the Gold-Coast I spent some of my time there at looking at just what sort of place it has become in that interregnum.
The overwhelming impression one gets is of squalor with a veneer of tat and pretence. The footpaths are an unending patchwork of different surfaces and pose a great risk to anyone, like yours truly, who walks with a cane. Once you raise your eyes to the many people on the streets its hard to see much real joy among them. It seemed to me that most were trying very hard to “have fun” with a rather grim determination.
To give my daughter the most time with her friend I spent most of my day reading ” Dexter is Delicious” I finished the book as it happens and in many ways it was a most apt read for the day because the Miami setting Of Jeff Lindsey’s novels are so very similar to the place were I was reading his clever prose. I also could not help but wonder about the lives of those people who serve the tourists because I did not see even one person in the shops and Cafes who looked even vaguely happy or even marginally cheerful .
By my calculation it must be more than thirty years since I have been to Surfers Paradise and if I manage to go another thirty years before I again visit I will consider that to be too soon for this old codger.