One of the little luxuries Nikki and I (and our 12-year-old son Jack) enjoy is treating ourselves to a weekend in the city, being a tourist in our own town. We do this about three times a year, always in a different hotel and always eating at different cafés and restaurants. If pressed for my favourite location, I’d have to say I am partial to a view of the city from South Bank but, wherever we stay, I just love the extravagance and slight ludicrousness of being half-an-hour from home yet mentally a million miles away!
Well, now the Howsons have taken the
‘tourist in our own town’ concept to a new
extreme! We’re currently spending two weeks
staying in our own street in Indooroopilly –
literally 200 metres from home – and paying
$950 a week for the privilege!
Let me explain.
Every day for the past three years, I’ve
driven past this gated community of serviced
apartments with a sign on the gate spruiking
“weekly relocation accommodation”. Being a
curious chap, I’ve often wondered who would
stay here in the ’burbs, rather than in town. I
imagined folk who had just moved to Brisbane,
but beyond that I was stuck.
And so, when we came to having some
renovations done at home, and with the builder
suggesting he could work faster without us
being there, I knew exactly where I wanted to
bring the family for a couple of weeks!
It would be close to home in case the builder
had questions for me, but mainly I would get to
find out who has a holiday in Indooroopilly!
Yes, the managers told me on day one, folk
moving to Brisbane rent here until they’re
familiar with the city. Often they book in for
three months to give themselves time to have a
good look around.
So who else?
Well, the families of several
overseas students have arrived while we’ve
been staying. I guess that makes sense when
you consider the university is just a stone’s
But what’s completely surprised me is
the number of other families here from
Indooroopilly and neighbouring Chapel Hill,
all doing exactly the same as us – yes, they too
are reno refugees!
Looks like the people who built this
complex knew exactly what they were doing.
There certainly is a market for accommodation
in the ’burbs!
And you know what? Whilst we don’t have
a view of the CBD and we’ve still had to go to
school or work each day, it truly has felt like
we’ve been on holiday. Luxurious long deep
baths (knowing you’ve already paid for the
water), no chores other than cooking and
washing, beds and towels are changed every
few days and unlimited, free use of the pool
and gym – it almost makes me want to come
back here sometime!
Only one thing has caused us distress,
a moral dilemma on the first night. Our
internet devices all picked up unsecured wi-fi,
presumably from a nearby house. Knowing we
were going to be here for a couple of weeks, it
was tempting to leech away. But was it safe and
was it right? I turned to my Twitter followers for
advice and here are some of the responses...
@mjcj1971 said: “Just do it”.
@Karawr agreed: “If there’s no password, go
@Fionawb went further, egging me on: “Do
it. Do it. Do it. (Consider me a little devil on
@Australianne responded with: “Wrong.
You could take someone over their data
allowance and it’s very expensive after that. It’s
@Amy_Remeikis suggested it was probably
unlocked deliberately: “If you haven’t locked
your wi-fi in 2012, you are okay with people
@Ricky_Elias has an open-door policy
at his place: “I have an unlocked wi-fi with
‘guest’ in the name and don’t mind our
neighbours using it”.
What would you have done?
In the end, this
comment from @EvanontheGC decided it: “It’s
always fun to see what files I can find on other
computers on an unsecured network”. Click
With that moral burden lifted and with only
a few days left in our suburban holiday home, I
shall channel the Golgafrincham Ark-B Captain
from The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and
declare: “Just time for another bath!”