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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Townsville: Why it's better than Cairns.

I was born and bred in Townsville; sometimes maliciously referred to as Brownsville, or even worse, Bogansville.

There’ve been many changes to Townsville over the last fifty years. (Did I just say fifty??)

When I was a kid, once a week my parents would take us for an evening drive to buy an icecream from the Ozone Cafe on the Strand and we’d sit and watch the fountain change colours. “Oh look! It’s red! Now it’s blue! Now it’s yellow! It’s red again!”

That was about the most exciting after dark entertainment for kids back then.

The only other evening recreational activities in 1960-70’s Townsville were either a James Bond movie at one of two drive-ins or window shopping in the main street in our pyjamas whilst being serenaded by a filthy plague of pigeons nesting in Biblical proportions in the shopfront eaves.

The Ozone Café, fountain and pigeons still exist in Townsville today.

But despite many changes to my home city of late some other things have also managed to survive the halcyon years including the intense rivalry between Townsville and its nemesis, Cairns.

I don’t know how many emails I’ve sent off to the television breakfast show, Sunrise, informing them that Cairns is not the capital city of North Queensland as evidenced by their national weather map.

Dear Sunrise Weather Person, (I politely write)...

Why do you have stupid Cairns on your map and not Townsville? How am I supposed to know what the weather is like today? Cairns is roughly 1700 kilometres from Brisbane. Don’t you think people need to know what the weather is like in between? 

Besides, you’re filling the Cairns-ite’s heads with delusions of grandeur. They’re already up themselves and think they’re better than us even though the Cairn’s city esplanade is pretty much made up of mudflats whereas Townsville’s Strand esplanade is a glorious paradise.

Yours sincerely,

Pinky Smith.

They never answer my emails. but seriously… these are the real reasons I think Townsville is the jewel of North Queensland far surpassing muggy Cairns and its steamy mangroves.

We don’t have an embarrassingly named suburb called “Yorkey’s Knob”… Cairns does.

People don’t confuse Townsville with a French city that hosts a fancy pants film festival every year.

People generally wear shoes in Townsville when they go to a wedding (rubber thongs at the very least).

In Cairns the weddings are BYOFUC... (Bring your own fold up chair).

In Cairns, when people are pulled over by the cops for having five unrestrained kids in the back of their Nissan Nevara tray-back they say they didn’t know there were any kids there. In other words, they lie through their tooth.

In Townsville we don’t make our letterboxes out of old mufflers, coffee tables out of XXXX beer cartons or ashtrays out of beetroot cans.

In Townsville we don’t need a torch, mosquito spray and a newspaper when we go to the toilet at night.

In downtown Cairns they don’t have pigeons in the shopfront eaves because the worm-ridden, grey birds are a highly sought after culinary delicacy (along with the Flying Fox).

In Cairns, they serve beer to everyone in the Centrelink queue because the line extends two kilometres in the hot sun.

In Cairns they have custody hearings in court over bull mastiffs and Holden Utes with Chevy badges.

Oh… and did I mention our waterfront?

                         Image Credit- Scott Weaver Photography

*Apologies to my Cairns cousins… my actual, real, related by blood cousins.

Which do you prefer? Cairns or Townsville?