Dog Quote: ‘No one will love you more, be more patient or keep your secrets better than your dog.’
Word of the week: Temperament; a person's or animal's nature, especially as it permanently affects their behaviour. “the puppy has a good temperament.” Synonyms: Disposition, nature, character, personality, make-up, spirit.
It was 1988, I was ten years-old and we rolled up to the Chermside Shopping Centre in our best outfits, for ‘passport photos’. I really had no idea what this ‘passport photo’ was for but I got to dress up for the occasion. Little did I know at that moment just how much that little ‘passport’ would open my eyes to a whole new way of seeing and experiencing life.
Expo 88 happened and it was six months of amazingness, that little ‘Passport’ gave me access to weekends of roaring fun and independence. Brisbane came alive night and day with so many things to do, see and eat all in the one massive site at South Bank. I don’t recall what was at the South Bank Site before Expo 88 but surely it was never as good as what was there now. I was exposed to different cultures, different ways of dressing, different music, side show allies, amusement rides, an array of tasty foods and so many wonderful people from all around the world, it was magnificent.
At the time I had a friend from the Solomon Islands, Kelly, who lived down the road and her father worked at the Solomon Island Pavilion. SCORE! A friend with a six month pass too. We went together every weekend we could with her parents or mine. The best part about living in easy going Brisbane at the time was Kelly and I were deemed responsible enough to venture out on our own, although restrictions did apply but that coincided with the promise of a meal when meeting back with the adults at certain times and wasn’t an interference to our fun. No mobile phones back then to be checked up on. I realise now looking back that our parents put a great deal of trust into us, for that I am very grateful. The skill set I was learning at the time remains with me today and are the most versatile and fundamental to who I am.
We meet so many friendly people from all around the world and being the lovely young girls we were sometimes we got free samples or food, badges and stickers, once we even received a free bible from a kindly older women who was delighted to see us wondering through their pavilion.
My most memorable Pavilions: The Swiss Pavilion had an indoor ski slope set up. From my memory it was huge, being a Queenslander I’d never come across snow before, even though it was fake, it was good enough for me to toboggan down.
In the New Zealand Pavilion you got to sit on a mechanical sheep to watch their tourism film, lots of jostling for those prized sheep seats, even though the film wasn’t exciting.
Japanese Pavilion had simulators, holographic images and robots to amaze us, a ball pit to play in and perfectly manicured gardens to stroll in.
The Pacific Islands Display was beautiful grass huts, joined by bridges over clear running water channelled in networks around little man made beaches.
Lastly the German Pavilion, this pavilion was the loudest pavilion I remember especially in the afternoons and evenings. The music, the laughter, the dancing, the costumes was certainly a slight to see. I didn’t understand it all but there were adults having a great old time and provided us with entertainment watching the silly things everyone participated in.
For the thrill seekers there were rides I’d never seen before, The Titan was the draw card roller coaster, it went forwards, then backwards and I loved it and would line up as many times as I could before getting too sick to enjoy the rest of the day. I felt like a professional at the side show ally games winning dozens of toys, my collection was enviable. My first rock concert was an unforgettable performance by John Farnham, what a legend!
As Expo 88 came to an end I couldn’t believe it wasn’t going to exist forever, why take away something that was so much fun and brought together people of all ages and backgrounds to celebrate life and share experiences. The whole experience was life changing for me as I’m sure it was for so many others, the memories remain a part of me! If you ever get the chance to be a part of something that involves fabulous people, an emersion in different cultures, exploring your own independence and of course, tasting mouth-watering food be sure absorb as much of that great experience as you can because it may slip away all too quickly.
Do you have a fantastic memorable experience that has stayed with you over the years?
Thank you for reading, Join me next time,
xox Bec Mc