20 October 2010

The Shimmering Gold Coast!

IT wasn’t a good first hello from the Virgin Blue for me. The flight appeared to have come right across a hazardous weather that even the lady who sat next to me verified that ‘It was not normal’. Just to have that coming from the mouth of somebody who had been constantly taking flight to Sydney to visit her daughter over the years, it was just so damn scary.

The flight was so shaky that there was one time when one of the stewardesses in the Virgin Blue skimpy skirt uniform just came off- balance and landed helfself on the floor with splayed legs. Of course, she reacted by laughing out loud and it lingered for a least a few minutes inside my head. I was too horrified to see what color her underwear was.
Nothing could be more relieving than finally getting off the plane still in one piece. Phew.
I was pretty much traumatized by it I had almost become impatient while waiting for my luggage to come out on the treadmill.
You know you’re at the Gold Coast airport when you see racks of pamphlets offering everything that has to do with beaches.
Coming out of the Coolangatta Airport, I was surprised to see how ‘dead silent’ the whole area was and it wasn’t even 9pm YET. Walking almost ramblingly off, I tried to put everything together based on the google map that I had in my head.
Jeez, one thing about looking at a map is that, you tend to create your own imagination of how the place was gonna be like but once you’re there in real, things would just be different. You’d see things that you donn’t remember being there and that’s when you’re beginning to lose your sense of direction.
Giving up, I asked everybody that I bumped into. A little bit of instruction from the girl at a gas station had led me to this deserted walk path. Seriously, if I was in PJ, I wouldn’t have had the guts to walk alone in the dark like that.
Fighting with plenty of doubts in my mind, I finally saw what I was looking for – a B&B called YHA Coolangatta.
The reason why I picked up Coolangatta YHA out of so many budget hostels in Gold Coast is solely for its location. For one thing, it is just a stone’s throw away from the airport and merely a spit away from the beach.

At an AUD30 per night, Coolangatta YHA is all about value for money. Good thing about the rooms is that they are not trying to cramp up as many beds as possible into one room like most hostels do so each of the rooms is actually quite spacious.
The kitchen was just nice with plenty of dishes and bowls of various sizes for culinary uses.
And just outside of the kitchen was this lounge area that looks like such a perfect place to host a little party.
And I just lurvvvvvv these swings here. Imagine reading Eat.Pray.Love while cuddling up in one of them. Then I noticed they were not swings. Oh well, whatever you people. I’d still call them swings. LOLz
Of course, I can never leave out saying about the toilet. The toilet looked so ‘beachy’ with swingy doors and steel floor inside the shower cubicles.
And most importantly they have this ‘ASSORTED condom’ dispenser just in case you haven’t got it ready in your wallet. :-P
So, I was roomated with some don’t-know-don’t-care-who weirdo who kept hiding behind his draped down towel ALL THE TIME. He wouldn’t say a single word. Looking every bit like the psychopath in the American Psycho, I just prayed he wouldn’t sneak up and stab me in the middle of the night. LoLz
By the time I was done unloading all my stuffs, my stomach was beginning to groan for food. LITTLE did I ever imagine that food would be an issue at a place like Gold Coast – at least around the place that I stayed in. I walked out into the night only to find out ALL the restaurants within the vicinity were already close.
The only restaurant that still had their doors open was this pub here and they had just served their very last order to one of their customers.
Even the exciting sight of a Subway outlet turned out to be a disappointment.
In desperation of a re-fill, I ventured into the ONLY mini-market at the ONLY gas station that I found around and…
Our very own Made-in-Malaysia Maggie Noodles!

Of course, I didn’t travel all the way to Australia to have something that we have back in Malaysia. Instead, I went for this.
Apparently, I was hungrier than I thought I was. LOL
Waking up the next morning, I realized how YHA Goolangatta was not as bad as I thought when I first checked in.
IN fact, it fitted well with the kind of hostels that came to my imagination when I first started out travelling.
They even have a mini swimming pool just in case you can’t get enough of the beach.
And they have this room to keep your hours going with quite a number of indoor activities.
The only erkkk thing about the hostel is probably the unavailability of free Wi-Fi. They DO have Wi-Fi but they charge you at a-no- so-cheap rate. Imagining how sleepy the whole neighborhood can be at nights, I took two of the 24 hours.
Apart from the weirdo, I actually shared a room with another guy from – ok, this is gonna surprise you but he is from Kuwait. Introducing himself as Mustapha (hello!), it was actually my very first encounter with a Kuwaitian so I didn’t know what to expect from somebody whose country had partially sent Saddam Hussein to the tip of a nozzle. He was a student at the University of Adelaide who suddenly decided to fly all the way to the Queensland for an overnight weekend getaway!
Ohhh, and while I had always imagined how people in Kuwait were still struggling to get on their feet after heavily devastated in the Gulf War back in 1994, I realized how wrong I was. Mustapa told me how his studies in Australia were fully sponsored by FAMA scholarship. You know how expensive it is to study in Australia and that seems to tell something. Ohh, if you don’t already know, FAMA stands for FATHER and MOTHER. LOlz.
Hitting into the beach together, the beachy life of the world renowned Gold Coast began to unfold while we traversed along the coastal walk way.
The walkway seemed to be in a process of widening so it really showed how committed the local authorities were in bringing in more comfort to the people of Gold Coast and the millions of  tourists that come from all over the globe to celebrate the beach lifestyle that it has to offer every year.
And I’ve always been fascinated by the way they do construction works in Australia. Everything seems to be so well-arranged and safe and clean you wouldn’t see any of those hard-labors that most of our construction workers have to endure here in Malaysia. You see, even their turfing job seems to be something that is fun to do. It’s like the simplest job of laying down pieces of mat. LOLz
And the 70 km long of beach that makes Gold Coast stand out in the tourism map is worth celebrated. It really is beautiful.
The true origin of the name is still debatable. The name was officially applied to the area in 1958, when the local government area covering Southport and Coolangatta was renamed "Gold Coast", although the urban area and the local government area have never had the same boundaries.
You see, there is a saying that every good thing comes with a bad thing. Mustapha actually convinced me that it was worth going up the hill when we already covered at least a few kilometers along the beach with the hostel being the starting point.
And he was right. Being on the highest spot at least in the entire city of Coolangatta, there was not a better place to see the whole stretch of the golden beach all the way to the Surfers Paradise
Next up – lunch. Mustapa was too persuasive (since saying ‘too sweet’ might sound so gay har har har) to say no to when he convinced me again that it was worth to pay AUD16 for a 2 hours of buffet at a Pizza Hut outlet he accidently bumped into when he got lost the day before. And Pizza Hut we went.
I’ve never been really a big fan of pizzas back in Malaysia but Pizza Hut in Australia, or at least the one that we went to, seemed to offer a variety that even the shiest taste buds would open up like ants being splashed with honey. (Whatever!LOL!)
But seriously, they were so many choices of pizzas that I wished I had a least a dozen of hungry puppies inside my belly.
But if there were puppies inside a stomach, it must be one that belongs to Mustapha. He stopped at nothing when it comes to pizzas.
He cleared up dish after dish after dish I actually got full by just watching him eat. Hehe.  
And this crump of left-over tells it all. All his. 
He only slowed down when he found what he believed was a thread of hair. I actually doubted because it was too blond for a hair. But then, we were in Gold Coast where most people were blond so it kinda makes sense. LOlz.
Not quite enough with pizza, we went for the ice-cream.
And whatever shit this was.
He really is a food maniac. By the time we went out of the Pizza Hut, I was almost passing out. And even worse it was that I had to struggle to keep a good balance of myself since Mustapha kept pushing me to the edge of the walkway. I wondered if it was normal to walk shoulder to shoulder in Kuwait. Errkkk.
Oh well, if you don’t already know (I did not), the epicenter of life in Golden Coast is located in a place called Surfers Paradise. And that was exactly where we were heading to next..


fufu said...

wow wow wow... wanna go surfing there!!!

JIPP said...

yupp yuppp. Gold Coast is all about surfing.

ken said...

i wanna go there too! :(

JIPP said...

make a plan Ken. :-)

thomas said...

Another exiting journey down under.

JIPP said...

thanks Thomas. I liked it there. :-)

Jon said...

Just happened to come across your blog when I was surfing for Coolagatta YHA. Cool blogging. Love the surf boy. :-)

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