Monday, February 23, 2009

Brisi trip

Brisi trip


With my head firmly above the jetlag line, and my feet firmly down from a smooth landing, it's time to have an iced coffee, or lemonade and share the memories of Brisbane.

Thursday morning got off to a good start, when I was ready early with half an hour to spare. Unlike Melbourne last year, it wasn't a mad rush to the last seconds. The sun was shining, and it was a reasonably comfortable day. My friends picked me up in a taxi, which got us to the airport on time, and well, a take off that was nothing short of amazing. We had a window seat on the right side of the aircraft, which meant we were able to look out sort of south and east. Ten minutes into the flight, we would have been above Newcastle, and were able to look all the way to South Sydney, the skies were so clear.

The clouds soon appeared, but then heading into the tropics this time of the year, and particularly in the afternoon, what could you expect. Never the less the view of coming in to Brisi was nothing short of brilliant.

Stephanie, who runs Asperger's Services Australia (ASA), picked us up from the airport, and showed us the offices of ASA. The weather was hot, sticky and humid, but the hospitality was wonderful. It was a relaxing afternoon inside the air-conned motel room, then off to see more friends for dinner. This was the first time I ever walked into a queenslander style house. The concept was different, and airy.

The next day arrived, and so did we all at the Brisbane Tattersalls Hotel. With nearly 200 people from the business community, it was the perfect setting to show how gifted people with Asperger's were. Tony Attwood presented the first speech, which was then followed by Amy from the Southern Suburbs Asperger’s Support Group. A representative from MP Bill Shorten's office also appeared, which was follow by a short video on my success at RocKwiz.

The adrenalin was rushing, as it was my chance to show what us aspies were made of. I noted the perception how an aspie would easily meltdown, with all the lights, noise and excitement of such a television show, and how opinion was totally changed around that night, when an aspie was given the chance. I noted how my team and I became victorious, and how enjoyable the night turned out to be. I also spoke on how important it was for aspies and employers to communicate.

It was time for some beautiful lunch, in which the first bight was deliciously scrumptious. It tasted like fish, with hollandaise source, but something seemed different. It was a taste I never had before in my life. Upon asking one of the other guests, they noted that it was chicken. Unbelievable, I actually liked the taste of chicken. When considering my food allergy, I had to give it a miss, as getting sick was the last thing anyone wanted.

But the next thing of utter resistible temptation was the steamed date pudding.......

This seemed to have fixed any remaining nerves I had left over from the speech. With the lunch over, it was then a site seeing trip with Amy's friends, and a look around the city of Brisbane. The taste buds were watering again, so this time it was time to go italiano. Meeting up with cousins that I hadn't seen for years was a real thrill. We went to Tomato Joe's for a beautifully cooked pizza, and some pasta with Salmon.

Saturday arrived, and it was more steamy Queensland weather. We were off to the Holiday Inn, to present the second day of Asperger's Services Australia's seminars. Various people with the syndrome presented their speeches, as I did my last talk in the after noon. This time I spoke more about the experiences of growing up, and the amount of bullying I received as a teenager. I mainly focused on, how many people with the syndrome get a raw deal in life, but more importantly it was your attitude that made the difference.

Stephanie and the rest of us had some problems with the security, when exiting the car-park to get to the air-port. We arrived very late, and well, we only had fifteen minutes to get aboard. We managed to get the last few seats on the plane; however, it wasn't before one of the flight attendants got their knickers in a knot. They apparently noted, because I was vision impaired, I could not sit on the door seat. This issue came up, just as my friends and I were about three meters away from boarding the plain. Thanks to some finger flicking, we all got on without any more issues.

Our flight was an early evening trip. With having an easterly view, looking out the aircraft's left side, they were some spectacular cloud formations. The one below resembled Mt. Everest, and when flying directly above it, it was a real experience and a half.

The trip went fast, and before we knew it, it was a 7:00 touch-down in Sydney. Again, it was just one of those views that you only get at an air-port, a sunset of such deep yellows and oranges. Unfortunately the camera doesn't do it any justice.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bags are packed, ready to go!


Well, the excitement is in the air, and my bags are all packed tonight for going to Brisbane tomorrow. I've been invited by Asperger's Services Australia to do some speeches on my condition, how it effects me, and how it can benefit potential employers.

The idea of going in a plane again already has the adrenalin flowing, I absolutely love flying, and the prospect of presenting my story in front of a few hundred business people is quite a thrill. There must be at least one person there willing to give me a job.

How it all will pan out though is just the matter of taking it all one minute at a time. I'm also looking forward to seeing some of my cousins, who live up there; I haven't seen them for years.