So I have been subconsciously dreaming of Brisvegas the last few weeks, in light of my quick trip "home" next month. As I hinted in my last post - having been away for so long, the city has taken on a bit of a legendary character for me. The quality of the light, the humidity of the air, the memory of bare feet on hot bitumen when you hop out of the car, the sound of cicadas chirping in the bush at dusk. You know, all that stuff. It all has a dream-like quality, and its hard to believe I will get a taste of it soon.
I also am yearning to go for a wander around my old stomping grounds - but goodness knows there will be no time for that! I really wish I had a day or two to go walking the crooked streets of Rosalie and West End, drive down to Pinjarra Hills and out to the green lushness of Brookfield, go and see if there are still pineapple fields in Moggill, if the Valley still has that industrial low-fi charm.
And on that note - I have a sad, yet cathartic confession to make. I can't say I'm proud of this - but one place I really, really wish I could visit is Indooroopilly shoppingtown. Now, as a disclaimer: I have read the articles in anthropology that described how shopping centres are becoming the modern-day town square. And I totally understand that these gigantic retail monsters suck up small local businesses and permanently change the physical and cultural landscape of city suburbs. I have watched this process happen quite recently in Riga. I know the theory on why these places are popular and like magnets for the community.... but I never thought any of that theory applied to ME. I am usually so "above" shopping centres. In Riga, we only pop in to our local shopping centre to occasionally do grocery shopping - but that is rare. Usually we go to the market, or the local grocery store. Other times we might go to the sales, or to the food court for a bite to eat, but it is not a regular thing, and they are usually short "get in-get out" trips.
But every time I imagine special places in Brisbane, "shoppo" sneaks right into that list when I'm not looking. Its a no-brainer I guess - I spent lots of time there in my formative years: having lunch at the Myers cafe with my mum, going to sales and buying fabulous 80s fashion, working in my first after-school job, meeting up with friends there, watching the Tina Arena talent school performing on stage there. You know, meaningful childhood experiences. I'm getting teary just writing about it.
And sadly, I have realized that things are just like Charlie Brown (or someone) concluded - you can never go back. "Shoppo" is all totally different now. The rocket in the rocket park has been gone for ages. The Myers cafe isn't on the top floor anymore. I'll even bet Woolies has been changed around so I can't find anything anymore, and Tina Arena has been replaced by some other Australian starlet who I've never heard of. So I'm not sure I will include shoppo in my "Brisvegas nostalgia" tour. You said it, Charlie Brown. You can never really go back.