Sunday 27th January 2013, 5.50pm (day 521)
This is Serge, a naturalised Australian but born in Belgium, smoking a cigarette as he shelters from Cyclone Oswald, which began walloping Brisbane pretty much as I arrived yesterday and hasn’t stopped yet. It’s been very harsh and today no one left the Kookaburra Inn – the backpackers’ hostel where I am staying (expect to see more of this place over the next few months). However, the worst seems to have passed. The rain has mostly stopped and the winds are high, but manageable. I hope. This was the second-worst day of weather to be featured on this blog (after 9/7/12).
There is a double meaning to the title of this post by the way. I realised today, after about 24 hours of being here, that a good proportion of the people staying here are not ‘backpackers’ at all but refugees being housed here by the Australian government, from Iraq and Afghanistan. Interesting. Anyway, you will see more of Australia yet, never fear – but we just have to wait for this cyclone to pass over, which in accordance with all natural laws, it will.