Brisbane, where vegan dreams come true

I have come to the conclusion that there are more Germans in Australia than there are Australians. I arrived in Brisbane yesterday morning and once again, two of my three roommates are German. They are everywhere! Not that it’s a bad thing, I love Germans (duh, I am a little Germ myself) and I like listening to them speak in the hopes that I’ll be able to pick out one of the few words I know. I have accumulated very useful words in my German vocabulary, words like crumb, chair, and butt cheek. How convenient and impressive is that?! Of course I can also say please and thank you and can even count to 20, which I consider to be one of my special talents.


Anyway, enough about Germans (sorry guys). Brisbane is a nice city, it really is, but it does not compare to Sydney. I still think about that dreamy city everyday and there was a moment while I was walking down a particularly beautiful tree-lined street that reminded me so much of Sydney that I felt a calm happiness rush over me, like I was home. It’s corny, but I have this longing to be back there in the city that still holds my heart!!!


On my first day, I walked around Brisbane for hours and hours until my feet were screaming for rest. Both of them were aching ceaselessly, so desperately in need of a break to the point that I almost didn’t know if I would be able to push through the last few steps to my hostel. I love to walk and always assume I can get everywhere by foot, but I will definitely be considering public transit for future adventures.


I walked to the West End where I found no shortage of vegan restaurant options and eventually settled for a veggie burger. It was tremendously hard for me to decide where to spend my lunch allowance for the day and I walked back and forth on the same street a few too many times before I could come to a decision. My poor feet. Little did they know that was just the beginning of a hard day of work.


With a happy and full belly, I ventured down to South Bank which is by far the most beautiful part of the city, from what I’ve seen so far. The vibrant riverside area is abounding with lush green trees and crowds of people out and about on a sunny Saturday afternoon. What’s more is the massive public pool right off the main pathway, surrounded by palm trees and sand to give the illusion that you’re sitting on a beach and not in the middle of a city. This place is a kids’ paradise, not only because of the pool but also all of the massive and elaborate playgrounds spread throughout the park that had me wishing I was still young enough to play.

After my explorations of South Bank, I crossed the river to the Botanical Gardens, yet another part of the city that reminded me of Sydney. But just a little less impressive. It’s a beautiful space full of flowers and trees and all that good stuff that you would expect to see in a botanical garden. I then got a little lost, as I always do, and ended up doing even more walking than was necessary to make it back to my hostel. My feet really took a beating. So there you have it, my first day in Brisbane that was basically over by 3 o’clock because my feet had nothing left to give.


I sat in my room and read my book until my grumbling stomach reminded me it was dinner time. Time to eat again! Yay! I love food, if you couldn’t already tell, and the best thing about this city is that it is brimming with vegan possibilities. I am always waiting for my stomach to digest and clear up some space so I can indulge once again. I put my sad sore feet to work one final time that day, but thankfully only for a quick 15 minutes to the nearby grocery store and back.


I finally finished the book that night and the end left me unsatisfied and wanting more. I’ve never liked the feeling of finishing a good book. You’ve become so invested in the characters and then suddenly it’s all over and you don’t get to know what would become of your fictional friends in the years to come. I grew attached to them and it makes me sad that I won’t be able to open up the book and hop right back into that world. I’ll just have to get myself into a new book now to make up for it, although it may be a challenge to find one that is just as gripping and impossible to put down.


Throughout my evening of rest, I got acquainted with all of my roommates and learned that the one girl who isn’t German is from the states, Indiana to be specific. They are all super nice and easy to talk to, which has been refreshing after my experience in Surfers Paradise with my less than friendly roommates who couldn’t even muster a smile on the few occasions I saw them.


Also important to note is that I have officially reached full grandma status. My back, hips, knees, and feet all ache 90% of the time and I am in bed by 9 most nights, including weekends. I’ve got to be the lamest 21 year old on the planet.


Today, I woke up around 6 since my new sleep schedule consists of hitting the hay early and waking up early (what did I tell ya? Grandma.) I enjoy getting my day started at the crack of dawn and after a little breakfast I was ready to head out in search of vegan donuts!


Since making the switch to a vegan lifestyle, the only thing that has been impossible to find is donuts, which is devastating because they are probably my favourite dessert food ever. So you can imagine I was over the moon when I found an Australian chain of donut shops that offer vegan options. Even better, they have a location in South Bank, just a 20 minute stroll from my hostel. The bad boys are 6 bucks a pop which is kind of absurd, but at this point I would pay anything to get my hands on a vegan donut after (barely) surviving a year without one.


I paced back and forth along the street where the donut shop sat unopened with its fresh creations displayed in the window to taunt me. Finally 10 o’clock struck, a line already beginning to form, and I was faced with the impossible task of choosing from three vegan flavours. THREE! I was thrilled to just have one vegan option, any kind any flavour, and was overwhelmed and indecisive when I had so many delicious options before me. I went for the “Liam Hemsworthy”, a red velvet dough covered in cookies and cream icing and chunks.


Oh. My. Lanta. It was every bit as decadent and chewy and soft and flavourful as I had dreamed. I had forgotten just how heavenly it felt to bite into the fluffy yet dense and doughy delight that is a donut. Safe to say it was the perfect start to my day. Brisbane will always hold a special place in my heart for being the home of my first vegan donut.


After the slow process of indulgence that involved savouring each and every bite, I made my way to a field of grass by the river and started to read a new book. Going from a novel about a murderous girl cult in 1970s California to the memoir of a boy soldier is a big leap, but I’m ready to be absorbed into a whole new world.


And that brings us to right now. I’m not too sure what will come of this sunny Sunday here in the city of vegan dreams, but I do know that wherever I end up, I will be on the search for good food. No surprise there.


Tal



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