Last night, we went out to Fortitude Valley here in Brisbane to a Vietnamese Restaurant on Wickham Street; Chinatown. My brother and his girlfriend and Aunty Narelle and Uncle Iain also came to dinner. It was a great place to eat. We ordered the banquet; and us vegetarians had our own meals (which we found very filling too). I had a go at some of the banquet meals and found them delicious! Then, Mum had some Deep Fried Ice-cream... a great end to a lovely night.
At the next table, there was also another birthday party. The lady there was celebrating her 60th; and they brought a huge cake. Well, the whole restaurant broke into song of Happy Birthday; and then to make the night complete, our table sang Happy Birthday to the tune of 'God Save The Queen', 'Advance Australia Fair' and 'Waltzing Matilda'... that got us all a sliver of the lady's cake. And what a cake! It was delectable; and tasted like it had been soaked in something that tasted like aniseed; how lovely! And there were nuts coating the outside with chocolate drizzled over the top... the whole cake was white. Yummo! We loved it and thanked her very much for the taste.
After we paid the bill and left, we decided a walk through Chinatown would be nice. It has had a big facelift over the last six months; and so has been closed off for a while until now. We walked through and found the old bricks that made up the paving have been replaced with proper large grey pavers. The whole place has new lanterns, lights and statues for it all. There used to be a few little temples around; which were falling apart, but now they've been taken out to have these lovely statues of fish and fountains of water put in their places instead.
When we got to the top of the mall, we found a massive metal bell that used to be at the bottom of the mall encased in either perspex or glass. Around the base of the bell are white river rocks; and at the base of the whole perspex case and base, there's three plaques of 'Lest We Forget' in three languages. It's very beautiful and touching to see in such a place.
While we were at the top of the Chinatown Mall, I spotted a shop I hadn't been to in about a year and half and said it was a very cool place. We walked around this little shop that had all kinds of things from rude and funny cards to new-age teas, incense sticks, cones (incense in a cone shape that is more intense and burns slower) and bags, strange hats and funny dice game called 'Pot' (the rules are hilarious; but I can't tell you complete). And then, they had energy pops made from natural energy plants and small badges with insults and cartoon characters on them. I bought four for $10 because they were very retro and I loved them; and they were completely me.
By this time, it was around 10pm and Gabe and Kat had to take off to the next train; and the rain had died down. So, we said our goodbyes to them and they left to go to the station. Mum, Dad and Aunty Narelle and Uncle Iain and I walked down Chinatown Mall and Mum and I took some more photos of the fish statue. And this is when I spotted something I had never seen before. During dinner, we had hear - and felt - drums being played outside. They were loud and brilliantly played! I loved the sound of them; but Dad kept asking what they were. As we walked past a restaurant, I spotted the dragon heads and the drums all piled up outside the place; and guys who used them having their dinner all still in costume! It was so cool to get photo of the dragon heads and drums. I love the colours and how beautifully made they are.Well, Mum saw my photos and thought they were wonderful. But it was time to head off home. We noticed it was a quiet night out there last night; compared to most Saturday nights. I think it was because of the smoke haze or the rain that kept most people inside. Either way, we had a great night out on the town. It was very colourful and enjoyable in every way. Until next time, take care!