Going for gold
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I HADto think carefully before replying. I wished she hadn’t asked.
Oh, what the heck, I just blurted it out. ‘‘We are going to Queensland . . . to the Gold Coast.’’
It’s hard to describe an expression that reveals a mixture of revulsion, disbelief, condescension and a vague awareness that one is required to say something that does not reveal one’s true reaction. ‘‘Oh, that’s nice,’’ she said, finally, in a tone that left no doubt it was not nice at all.
But it was nice, you know, our holiday on the Gold Coast. We had booked at the last minute and wanted warmth and waves at the right price.
Our apartment turned out to be on the 13th floor of an elderly building but it had an ocean view and the only sound we could hear was the crash of waves. I was on the beach at 5.20am every day and drinking tea on the balcony by 6.30am. Dinner was at a different surf club every night and the days were filled with beach outings, walks and day trips. It was the school holidays, and there were crowds about, but not any that could compete with Melbourne on a weekday.
The weather was divine. Everyone we met was in a good mood. People wore lightcoloured clothing and looked younger and happier for it. Avocados were 9c each. The surf clubs were packed because the meals were cheap and (surprise) edible. Stress fell off us.
Did I tell my friend any of this? Did she even ask how it was? No, of course not. I am not one to mess with people’s preconceptions, but I feel the need to rush to the defence of the Gold Coast. We all know it’s not Paris, London or New York. It’s not even Noosa. But it is what it is, and an open mind and sense of fun will allow the good things in all places to be revealed. So, yeah, we went to the Gold Coast. And we may even go again. Send your 400-word contribution to our Follow the Reader column: travel@theaustralian. com.au. Published columnists will receive a three-piece set for clothes, shoes and toiletries by F1 Spacepak, a compression packing system that maximises suitcase space. $98. More: flight001.com.au.