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Sun, 24 Jun 2018

Northeast Today

The City with Golden Coast: Gold coast

The City with Golden Coast: Gold coast
June 04
14:08 2018

It was around 2 in the evening when I landed at the Gold coast international airport from Newcastle to cover the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018. I was invited by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation or ABC (International Development) in association with the Foreign Affairs department (Govt of Australia) to do commentary during the commonwealth Games 2018. WINS-Women in News and Sports, this programme was designed to give women sports journalists an opportunity to do commentary in international platforms. I was chosen by the team of experts to represent India for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018.

This was my second time covering the Commonwealth Games as a sports journalist and first time on foreign soil. So I had big hopes, aspirations and dreams of covering this international multi sports event. After collecting my luggage what caught my attention was BOROBI- the official mascot for the games. Standing tall, proud, happy and friendly BOROBI was welcoming all visitors to this wonderland. I couldn’t stop myself from clicking a selfie with BOROBI. The airport was abuzz with smiling friendly volunteers, hoardings, posters, placards, etc giving me a complete feel of the big event. The games fever was in an all time high now.

In the meantime, John my cabbie driver and guide came to pick me up from the airport. On my way to Merrimec from the airport fresh breeze mesmerized me. Beautiful beaches on both sides of the road made me excited because for the next few days I will be lucky to have a glimpse of these beautiful beaches.

I reached my home (holiday home) at around 2.40 pm. The place where I was put up was called Merrimac some 10 minutes walking distance from the Media convention center (Broad beach) which will be a busy place for the next couple of days with lots of activities during the Commonwealth Games. After a quick shower and a hot cup of coffee I headed straight to the Media Convention center with the help of my goggle map. On my way to the center I saw beautiful homes, fresh flowers on the streets, neat and clean streets and most of all no honking cars and traffic. In fact till the time I returned to my country I never saw any traffic police in Australia. Ever smiling passer bys made me feel as if I am at home (though this was my first visit to Gold coast). Finally I reached the Media Convention center with the help of a sardar who guided me the road to the center. To my utter surprise the volunteers there in the center was so active that I didn’t had to make a queue. My job was done in just few minutes. I was happy to have collected my Accreditation card and opening ceremony ticket for the big event. What amazed me in the media convention center were the sincerity, professionalism and dedication of the volunteers who made us (foreign journalist) so comfortable.

At the media convention center I met a whole lot of Indian volunteers and security personnel. They greeted me in Hindi and even I was delighted to meet so many Indians there. I caught up with some of them and started asking them about Indian restaurants and eating outs. I was surprised to hear that Australians are very fond of Indian cuisine. It was true! Just opposite to the media convention center was a whole lot of Indian restaurants and eating outlets. You name it and there’s everything that want to eat. Kebabs, Dal Makhani, Chicken Curry, Bombay Potatoes, Naan, Papad, Raita I mean you just name it and you have it.

Being away from home I was craving for desi food and my mentors Aaron Kearney and Tracey Holmes, both from ABC being a huge fan of Indian food we checked out a restaurant called Manihani being run by an Indian couple from Uttar Pradesh. We ordered Bombay Potatoes, Chicken with Vegetables, Dal Makhni, Paneer with Naan and Rice. The food was delicious and quite desi. The owners of this restaurant are now Australian citizens having settled there for more than 15 years now. So, if you planning a trip to Gold Coast make sure you try Indian Cuisine at these restaurants apart from local delicacies.

I have had the best of my experiences in Australia, both in Newcastle and Gold Coast. Both these cities had given me a great experience. I came home with memories that will last for a lifetime.

Prarthana Hazarika.
(Broadcast Journalist, Sports Commentator and Communication Expert)

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