I spent the last 14 days in throbbing London where the High Street of suburban Kentish Town (where we were staying) was bumber to bumper with pedestrians and where the centre of the city, Oxford Street, was thronging with locals and tourists enjoying clear summer days.
Arriving back in Brisbane felt like being back in rural Spain.
We collected our luggage from the baggage carousel (what if they provided some musical accompaniment as you watch everyone elses bags arrive (never yours) and go round and round and round endlessly) and headed for the Airtrain which would take us to the city. There we sat almost alone on Platform One (there are only two) waiting for the arrival of the 6:30am.
We listened to the young woman at the ticket office make multiple announcements reminding both of us to keep behind the yellow safety line; informing us that the 6:30 would be arriving on Platform One in 14, 8, 4 and 1 minute. As Platform One was the only possible destination for this train and as that fact was also displayed prominently on the electronic signage her advice seemed a little redundant. She also confirmed for us (both of us) that the train had in fact arrived and hey presto there it was in front of us.
At South Brisbane where we alighted - one stop from the city centre - we found ourselves on a platform reminiscent of Longreach in Central Queensland. It was consciously rustic, painted in fading heritage colours and almost deserted. It was now 7:45am on a Friday morning. where was everybody?
The last time we'd been somewhere this quaint and quiet had been in Andalucia in Niguelas at the village bus stop.
I was suffering from international traveller's cultural deprivation.
Niguelas on a busy morning
Ronda (Spain) Saturday Morning