I am used to time differences in multiples of 1 hour, not 30 mins. It would be the same as having London and Aberdeen on different time zones (which, admittedly, would only be necessary if you rotated Britain 90 degrees). Is it really worth it?
So, whilst the time difference was a surprise, I had done some research (Google) on Adelaide before I came.
I knew Adelaide was laid out on a grid structure – and from my taxi ride, nothing much had changed from 1837. I could have found my way to the hotel with my copy of an 1838 map (commissioned by The House of Commons).
Talking about the taxi ride (it’s OK expenses are paid by hosts….who are not facing the same public sector austerity we are in the UK because;
a) the Aussies regulated their banking sector more;
b) they are not entirely reliant on a tertiary level economy (they do a lot of ‘proper’ jobs here like farming and mining) and;
c) they sell their stuff to the only people that still have some money….the Chinese).
Where was I? Oh yes, the taxi ride. Whilst nothing much has changed from above, the street view wasn’t particularly promising.
But that’s normal. When you arrive anywhere for the first time, especially by train, you always seem to go through the arse-end of town.
On a more positive note, like all of Australia, the food, wine and beer is spectacular.
Customer service is exemplary (and genuine … so should be renamed people doing their job properly WHILST being nice).
We had our opening reception for the Mainstreet conference in Ebeneezor Place, a pedestrianised street, full of quirky independent shops that stayed open til 9pm ON A SUNDAY so we could wander round with our glasses of champagne in hand (it’s a hard life). No half-day closing here.
The only thing I was completey unprepared for was the interest in the Royal Wedding. And I hadn’t seen it.
The overall feeling here is the Brits do pomp and ceremony really well. But, I’d happily swap the ability to pull off a once-in-a-blue-moon occasion with the everyday efficiency and ‘can do’ attitude The Aussies take for granted.
Now I have been here a week, and had a chance to explore a bit, it is a really lovely city.
Because it is surrounded by parkland, that hasn’t been developed, the city centre is quite small and easily walkable. A bit like York that’s been contained by it’s walls.
Nevertheless, I didn’t have to be here long to start feeling the frustration from those that think Adelaide needs to change, if it’s not going to end up being left behind, like some sort of museum to 19th Century planning.
But, it certainly makes a change from being in Manchester, where there is so little green space at all.