Against the Grain

I did another quick turn in Brisbane (BNE). This was a close copy of my last trip in itinerary, but about 10-15 degrees Celsius warmer than the last time. On deplaning, while pocketing the amenity kit and pajamas, I had accidentally left my iPhone charging block and cable. It wasn’t a great trade.

Red-eye sunrise over BNE.

When I got to the hotel my phone gave me the 20% battery warning. I have a feeling that the battery in my iPhone SE is dying faster after the latest software update. Also, it randomly crashes and reboots after the update. I burned out the rest of the battery catching up on my 15 minutes per day of limited Screen Time for social media, and then learned of my missing charger.

It was a beautiful day here, nice and warm with a clear blue sky. Of all of the places that I have been for a decent amount of time, Australia seems to have the most appealing climate. I went off the grid (OTG) with my automatic watch to tell the time, in addition to the sun, and set out to buy a charging cable, among other things.

Fossil Men’s ME3073 Townsman Automatic Self Wind Watch

Did I mention that it was a beautiful day? I walked around downtown, the Brisbane City Botanical Gardens with a view of Kangaroo Point, and proceeded through the Streets Beach area, back around to the hotel without entertainment; no phone, headphones, books, etc. Without these my mind wandered and I started thinking about what I could write on this blog, what my life goals were, and how I could achieve them. I was thinking about my hopes and dreams, while still looking for the right means. It was a good centering review. These productive thoughts would never have entered my mind had I been listening to a podcast or otherwise as I normally would do.

This whole time I was looking for a paper map to find certain stores and figure out my walking route; something inconsequential with a phone and data. I never did find a proper map but kicked it old school and asked for directions once or twice.

There were tourists on battery scooters zooming around with glee on their faces. I had had a mild interest in trying them out but recalled that these were discriminatory vehicles that can only be registered and activated with a smartphone and cell service. It reminded me of the Jumbo shrimp restaurant in Singapore where I had wanted to try the famous chili crab. That dish is still on my list to try as they only queued people in line using a cell phone number registration, and the place was full.

Aussie humour.

It was a consuming trip of consumables. Food, coffees, smoothies, endless. It was the first time in awhile where I had just eaten lunch, and then wanted to try a pita or burrito from the wandering smells, but I resisted. For my second smoothie of the day, I went to Boost. I ordered the Protein Supreme. The attendant tried to up-sell me.

“Would you like an extra shot of whey protein for 60 cents?”

To which I replied “No, I would like the opposite.”

I guess I catch people off guard sometimes, something that I hope to be able to do in Japanese one day.

“I would like to have no whey protein for 60 cents less.”

“So, you want a Protein Supreme without the protein?”


The other staff who actually made my order called out my name and the order once it was ready.

“Protein Supreme with no protein?”

“Yep, that’s me.”

The smoothie had had no protein but I didn’t get the discount that I was after. They will remember me.

This reminded me of a couple of situations.

The first was when I had set out to learn how to make No Butter Butter Chicken. My extended family includes Indians, from India. This is a food blessing. One relative gladly helped me to learn how to make this new recipe. Curries seem to be very healthy with spices, herbs, ginger, garlic, etc. And all you have to do to get a non-dairy curry is substitute butter with oil, and substitute milk with coconut milk or otherwise. Piece of cake.

The second happened to be an Aussie steakhouse restaurant in Tokyo. I had ordered a baked potato with no sour cream and no cheese, to which my friend quipped “And no potato,” to the confusion of the waitress.

Do you have any non-dairy hand soap?

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