A little ways down the road from me is a strange and wonderous megalopolous of twelve-karat golden glitter. It is the home of water slides and movie stars, cocktails, karaoke, neon and flesh. So much flesh. Flesh available for viewing. All day and night, and whether you like it or not. Or so it seems.
This city hurries and hustles you from the moment you arrive til the moment you leave, and it feels like you never really get off the back foot, never really settle in, never catch up to where-ever it is going, before it’s time to pack up and take your scalded retinas back to your muted life. Everything on the Gold Coast is bigger and louder and more. At lease more than what I’m used to.
The first time I landed on the Goldy I had been on a bus for around twenty-four hours, with double that amount of Uni students, who had been drinking and primping and flirting with each other for ninteen of those hours. I’m pretty sure someone copped a hummer on the back seat, and I’m definitely sure someone spewed in the onboard dunny, between Gundagai and Jugiong. No amount of LouLou could expunge the odour.
I stumbled down the stairs blinking and sleep drunk, and straight onto the cacophony of fluorescence and 1cent drinks and sex shops and street spruikers that was the early 90s version Surfers Paradise. There was apparently a beach where you could baste yourself ’til noon, and we did venture down there once, to see if the sand really was golden (it was the same pale beige of my own town) and if the water really was warm (it was, and I was startled by how delicious the lukewarm waves felt on my two day bender tender skin).
We stayed and played on the Goldy for one flimsy week, and we crammed like no exam we had ever had before: Ripley’s and Seaworld and Hire a Bomb to Kirra, and Cocktails and Dreams and Condom Kingdom and Vespas on the Highway, and umbrella hats to save our blowdried hair from the humid wet rain, and flashing signs and drunk and Georges Paragon “Yes Sir! Half price seafood” to finish.
We had a seminar as well, and even that was bigger and bolder, buffing itself up to a shine, as if in step with the ebullient excess.
I’ve been to the Gold Coast many times since, and I’m always struck by the other-ness of the place. It is nothing like the rest of Australia, nor does it apologise. The Goldy of the 2000s has grown up a little, but not easily, and not without angst. The Gold Coast of now is like an excited and troubled adolescent, full of cheeky fun and anger all at once. When I’m there I’m half excited and half frightened. I think I’ll have a good time, I think I can wrangle those streets, but I just might be a bit careful, in case I get bitten.
So today, I got my tickets to Problogger, a bloggy seminar being held at the colourful QT and I’m beyond excited. This cyber-world I inhabit is strange and exciting and very weird, and PB will be a chance for me to see, and possibly talk-with-voices to, some of my internet heroes in the flesh. So much golden flesh.
Okay, now this is sounding creepy. Maybe not too much flesh.
Have you ever been to the Gold Coast?
Are you going to Problogger?