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Old-world vibes, international headlines

It’s that time of year when kids (of all ages) are sifting through the showbag guide, dreaming of strawberry sundaes and trying to stay awake long enough to catch the fireworks. The Royal Queensland Show, or Ekka, is on in Brisbane until Sunday and every year this tale of two cities evolves.

Between Matildas’ World Cup victories, and Olympic and Paralympic Games preparations, Brissie has got to be one of the hottest international cities right now. Yet step through the gates of the Brisbane Showgrounds and there’s a good chance you’ll bump into someone you know also scrambling their way through Sideshow Alley to catch a glimpse of the huge clydesdales competing on the Main Arena. 

As Brisbane fulfils its potential as the world’s greatest city, how has it somehow managed to maintain this “small town” vibe? Southerners used to poke fun at our city’s innocence, yet the basis of this well-worn taunt may actually turn out to be one of Brisbane’s greatest assets. Few thriving metropolises offer such friendly charm and unabashed warmth as our river city, which has stayed true to itself despite mammoth net interstate and overseas migration numbers.

I love walking down the street to chat with the neighbours, or catching up with former school mates returning here after venturing away only to realise how good their original home is. Brisbane may still have that old-world charm, but what was once spoken of in a negative light is fast becoming one of the city’s most attractive features. 

On a side note, I drove out of my front gates yesterday morning and the first thing I spotted was a dad and son mid-battle in a one-on-one football game. Ten seconds later a teenager in a green and gold beanie strolls past walking his dog. Go the Matildas! 

I hope you enjoy the read.

Matt Lancashire