Now, I don’t like to brag, but… I live in paradise.
Cairns, in the Tropical Far North of Queensland, Australia, has been my home for almost a year and holy cow, batman, it’s the best place I’ve ever lived!
I am confident I was always destined to live in Cairns.
My parents have this big wooden cabinet with fancy glass doors at the top and cupboards at the bottom. This is where my mum proudly displays her fine China and glassware (old mismatched plates and Jack Daniels shot glasses), pretty porcelain dolls (collected from a supermarket loyalty program) and most importantly, photos of me.
I remember as a child, in those cupboards was a world of exciting books. Well, gardening guides and stories of the war aren’t that exciting, but when you’re not allowed to touch them they might as well be puppies in a playground.
So every time my parents were out I would sneak into those cupboards and spend hours flicking through the books. After I raided the house for chocolate and ice cream, of course – priorities.
I remember one book called “How” taught me how to make a volcano out of baking soda and vinegar, and this ridiculous riddle: YYURYYUBICURYY4ME, which I’ve never been able to forget.
(Comment if you can guess what it means!)
But my fave book was one about Cairns. It was probably just because there were no words, only pretty pictures.
I had no idea where Cairns was, but it looked green and there was lots of frogs.
Now here I am in this glorious place, and I can confirm that there is a lot of green, there are plenty of frogs, and in an unexpected twist, there is also green frogs.
Cairns is nestled in between two World Heritage sites – the Great Barrier Reef and the Tropical North Queensland Rainforest – and it is what I like to call Amazeballs.
The atmosphere here is one of pure happiness and holiday-like joy. That is potentially something to do with the large amount of people that actually are on holiday here, but mostly because there just isn’t much to dislike about the place.
The outdoor recreation options are endless, there’s good shopping, great restaurants, fun nightlife, crazy nature and wildlife, hot babes, pretty ladies, culture, loads of tourist attractions and the people are always so friendly.
In fact, just last Friday night when I was walking through City Place after work I made loads of new friends.
One lovely chap literally claimed I was his best friend and subsequently tried to introduce me to his other, equally lovely friends who were all brandishing entry stamps from classy night spots The Woolshed and Gilligan’s. I imagine just moments before I was lucky enough to meet them they were dancing in their underwear on a sticky table-top.
Another guy over-excitedly exclaimed in a terrific French accent “OMG it’s Annabella, it’s Annabella!” as I walked past.
I can only assume that Annabella is somebody famous and extremely good looking.
Then I came across a kind gentleman who said: “What’s up hoochie mama?”. I’m not entirely sure, but I think that means I looked fabulous. Oh yeah. Baby got back.
Maybe not everyone is quite as complimentary. On a sunny afternoon while merrily walking to work along Lake St I walked past a stumbling Indigenous lady who was yelling profanities at what I assumed was her stumbling husband about 20 metres behind. As I attempted to dodge the sitch she proclaimed loudly to me, and the rest of Cairns, that I was “a big hoe”, followed by more yelling at Stumbly Husband.
I think I should probably reconsider wearing fishnet tights and miniskirts to work from now on…
I spend a lot of time going on about the weather in Cairns, which can irk some of my friends back home in New Zealand who are enduring Arctic temperatures most of the time.
(Note: After almost two years in the tropics, anything below 25 degrees Celsius is considered cold.)
But, in my defence, I find it absolutely fascinating.
There is two seasons in the tropics. Wet and dry. Hot and hotter. Topless babes, or lots more topless babes.
The wet season goes from November through to March with the “build-up” starting in about October, and can be a bit of a shock to the system. It’s super hot, with temperatures up to 35 most days, it’s humid and as soon as you step outside you can pretty much consider your make-up melted off.
I imagine if you don’t wear make-up then your face will probably melt off.
Don’t even bother trying to do your hair.
When it does decide to rain it does a damn good job of it. And it is so much fun.
My sympathies go out to those who have suffered through floods and cyclones, but my experiences of floods earlier this year extended to wading through knee-deep water in my street in the middle of the night, wearing pajamas and watching for stray crocs.
The rest of the year is absolutely stunning. Almost every single day the sun is shining and temperatures sit around 28C.
Every time I drive to the beautiful tourist destinations of Port Douglas, Palm Cove, Kuranda, the Tableland or Mission Beach, or walk along the Cairns Esplanade (to name-drop a few) I think to myself “People pay thousands of dollars to come here, and I can come here whenever I want!”.
I often walk around with a big smile on my face – which could explain why it’s such a cheerful place to be, or maybe why North Queenslanders have a reputation for being a bit loopy.
Three other reasons why my life is better than your holiday:
– I’m going to Europe in three weeks!
– I’m going to see Mr Worldwide in three months!
– I’m going to eat rice crackers covered in peanut butter in three seconds!
Gosh, I love to brag.