Friday, September 26, 2014

Canberra Appreciation Month: No Vacancy

Today’s waltz through the utopia of Canberra actually crosses the border of the ACT and enters Queanbeyan, a feat not achieved by typical Canberrans for several millennia, especially those who live northside.  Excepting, of course, the twice-a-year pilgrimage to the coast.

Queanbeyan is a strange little place – I would describe it to non-Canberrans akin to how Australians view New Zealand; we’re allowed to make fun of the place, but if anyone else does, we’ll beat them to death with thongs, because we secretly love the kiwis… but then I realised that no one in Canberra actually has that affiliation to Quangers, which made me a bit sad.  Until I drive through Q-Town (on my way to the coast), and realise that it is actually just a little bit shit.  So now I don't know how to explain the relationship between Canberra and Queanbeyan other than "Canberrans use Quangers to make themselves feel better about being in Canberra, and Quangers people use Canberra to feel better about being in Quangers" but in total opposite ways.  Canberrans will use the rough-parts of Q-Town (all of it) to say, "Well, at least we don't live there tish pish posh" and Q-bergs will look at the Berra and say, "Well, at least the cardboard box I live in is only twenty minutes down the road from that glory box of a city."  

Trust me, that's how it works.    

The fact that Queanbeyan is a little bit shit makes me wonder… why are there so many fucking hotels and motels in Queanbeyan?  Next time you drive through (on your way to the coast), have a squiz at the buildings – 98% (maths was never my strong point) are either hotels, motels or caravan parks.  Why so many?  Is it for the weary traveller who simply can’t go “another twenty minutes to Canberra for accommodation”?  Is it for the world’s worst travellers (Canberrans) who need to “stop for a bit to avoid driver fatigue” twenty minutes into their trip?  Is it because Queanbeyan has something else going for it that I don’t know about that people need to stay there to witness?  Is it a Queanbeyan joke that they keep these hotels open just to fuck with my head? 

Surely there is no need to have streets upon streets filled with hotels in a town like Queanbeyan; those interested in spending a weekend visiting the printing museum couldn’t possibly fill out all of those rooms?  How do they all stay in business?  How come so many have “No Vacancy” signs out?  WHAT IS YOUR SECRET, QUEANBEYAN?!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'll let you in on the secret of Quangers, my fine-feathered friend... it is a little bit closer to this fabulous attraction than Canberra is:

Tina Turner may have also downed a beer at the Queanbeyan League's Club with Chicka and Mal after the '89 grand final, though my guess is that it is Captains Flat that remains the real draw-card.

Klaus von Freiburg III