Sand in my pants and guilty gifts

Well what a fantastic day around Brisbane, I mean any city that puts a beach into its downtown area and then maintains it beautifully is alright by me.

Clarke on Streets Beach Brisbane

If anything like this was tried by my city council back home it would need 20 years of ‘consultation’ and ‘resource consents’. Not to mention the at least six trips overseas by multiple staff members for ‘research’ before deciding to downgrade the original plan and settling on a water fountain…..citing costs.


Ben Clarke Greg

Company wasn’t bad either being accompanied by applicants Ben (UK)and Greg (US/Singapore) Great getting to know them better – ie: Ben is training for a marathon and Greg is particularly fussy about which brand of sunscreen he uses. 

Brisbane looking down river


Anyway that aside something else has been happening over the last few days between the applicants that I thought I would share. Known as ‘The giving of gifts’, whereby members of our group give small thoughtful gifts from their home country to everyone else. A lovely gesture indeed.

-For example, Mieko from Tokyo gave me this…




this was from Anjaan of India…




this delicious chocolate was from Mirjam of Croatia / Germany….



Australia’s Hailey handed out these to everyone…




Whereas Yi from China gave gifts like this…




Everyone was on board, I mean even the hotel gave me a little something…..well sort of gave.




Whereas ‘Clarke from New Zealand’ got everyone a little one of these…



What a stink guy – clearly I messed the memo.

I now have gift guilt, and it feels like the group is splitting into two alliances. That being those who gave gifts, and ‘The others’ of which I’m a none too proud member.

To make up for this I might try and purchase some little Australian curio’s and pass these off as a gift from New Zealand.   Am thinking plastic boomerang’s maybe, or small Guy Sebastion dolls – or how about just bits cut off Russell Crowe?  No one will know, it could be our little secret.

Bed now, tomorrow is a massive day – off to ‘Hamo’ which I’ve deciphered to mean Hamilton Island – Can’t wait.


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