Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 27 Up In Town Gladstone style


7th February 2011

It was a beautiful day so after Rona caught up with her chores we thought we might go into town, get a cup of coffee, perhaps even see a movie.

Gladstone is quite a long walk from the marina but there is a bus service right outside. We obtained a timetable and the bus came promptly at 10.45. Two tickets to Gladstone Central seemed to be just the ticket if you excuse the pun, so upon entering the bus that was our request. "I don’t go to Gladstone Central", the bus driver replied. "We only go to Kin Kora Central”. “Great! We’ll go there”. Tickets purchased we sat and enjoyed the scenery as the bus took us through every back street, in down town Gladstone. After about 30 minutes Rona thought she saw Gladstone Central and wanted to get off. I was unsure, and fearful of being stranded in the middle of Gladstone suburbia in the now sweltering heat. We stayed on the bus as it wove its way down streets that were obviously too small for it, convinced that the driver was making up her own route. We were therefore relieved when the bus finally popped out on a main highway opposite a shopping centre! Kin Kora I presume, but the sign said “Welcome to Gladstone Central”. We rang the bell and the driver begrudgingly stopped the bus. As we got off she growled "We don’t call this Gladstone Central, this in Night Owl". Of course it is.

We crossed the highway and entered the centre. Outside it was huge, but inside it was dingy and small. Just a Bi-Lo, a small coffee shop, and a hairdressers. the place had been painted a tasteful baby poo brown throughout and a large down escalator took up most of the bentral floor space. Peering into the gloom of this moving belt, it led to the underground carpark.  We asked where KFC was, as we had seen the sign outside. That’s down an escalator. Where are the toilets? They are down there too. The Cinemas? They are upstairs. We went down the escalator, found the unlit carpark and walked through to find ourselves back out on the street.

We finally found the KFC and ordered. "The Wicked Wings Snack Pack please, but we want an extra piece of chicken”. “So, that’s the Wicked Wings pack with two extra pieces”. "No, one extra piece”. "OK, That’s two Wicked Wings packs”. “No, we want a Wicked Wings pack but it come swith three pieces, and as we are going to share it, we want an extra piece’. “No, it comes with two pieces”. “It says three on your sign”. “What Sign?” “The one above your head”. She stared at this as if we had put it there while she wasn't looking before announcing, “Well, that’s wrong. What I can do is the Wicked Wings Snack Pack, charge you for one extra piece and give you one piece, free of charge”. "That will be fine".

From the KFC we found the cinema. We have wanted to see “The Kings Speech” for some time so were delighted to see that it was playing. We queued as the line moved painfully slowly. Two rather large 20 something women were in front of us and each took an age to buy their tickets, a jumbo coke and what looked like a horses feed bag of popcorn. Finally we were at the front of the queue. “Two for Kings Speech, please’. “You have to go next door for those tickets”. Of course we do. We left that queue, went through some more doors into another ticket area that had no one there. “Two tickets for Kings Speech, please”. “Certainly, where would you like to sit?” The attendant showed us a map of the cinema. “Here.” Rona indicated. “Certainly, would you like anything from the menu or the bar?” “Just the tickets”. “Certainly, that will be $60”.  “What!!!!! We just want to see the movie”. “You can do that at normal prices at 4.20 this afternoon. Right now it’s $30 a ticket”.

We left and hiked back to the boat, not trusting the buses. They are a strange lot up here. Country born and bred. Strong in the body, but soft in the head.

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