I'm in Adelaide, visiting number two son. We arrived from Brisbane on an afternoon flight that delivered us into temperatures of forty plus. It was a bit like walking into a blast furnace – reminded me of Mt Isa.
I've been here twice before, first time in the late nineties, and last time about five years ago. On both occasions it was to attend conferences, so there wasn't much time for sightseeing. This time, we have two full days, so should get to see a little more.
Yesterday we developed many new and wonderful ways of getting lost, between airport and Plympton where we're staying, and between Plympton and North Adelaide where son lives. This was not all bad, as we got to see places we would have otherwise missed, and we spoke to many locals when we were looking for directions. They were invariably helpful, especially when I introduced myself as lost and from Queensland.
First impressions (since last time) – a city drowning in the heat-induced torpor, but with a pleasant ambience and lots of space and light. It's a hard-surfaced environment – all metal and masonry. I miss the absence of timber – even the power poles are metal, and there is an air of architectural permanence absent in Brisbane.
Today dawned about ten degrees cooler, and with a refreshing breeze which seems to be blowing from all directions at once. We'll go first to the beach, and then to the hills to get a fix on the place. The hybrid we hired (just for fun) is a handy little tool, with all the motoring personality of a kitchen appliance, but it is comfortable and easy to drive.
The people – well they're just like Queenslanders, and helpful and friendly. They seem to wear suntans that are more comprehensive than at home. maybe the sun's not quite as damaging. The shop assistants tend to be curt and efficient – or at least the one's we've encountered. I was surprised to find (when I went for a early morning walk) that the newsagents are closed and the supermarkets open. This is exactly the opposite of the situation at home.
What was even more surprising to me was to be told by the checkout chick that the supermarket opened at midnight. Obviously, shopping in Adelaide in the early hours of the morning is a new and exciting trend.