Wednesday, November 12, 2014

It's G20 Time

The G20 is in my city over the weekend and I'm excited!

Actually that's a lie. I'm not excited at all. I'm annoyed. And I've been heading down the slippery slope from slightly irked to full on lucky-I'm-not-allowed-to-carry-a-weapon annoyed over the past couple of weeks.

The irked part was from having our house buzzed at all hours of the day or night by Black Hawk helicopters. And by buzzed I mean the whole house was shaking and I couldn't hear the Bachelor, Blake, defend himself for breaking his engagement to Sam. Generally they chose to practice their late night manoeuvres the night before speed session. Speed session is hard enough by itself without being sleep deprived.

I did manage to keep from getting too annoyed by telling myself that if I ever write a novel that involves having to describe life in a war zone I'd be able to describe that aspect pretty well. So actually the whole experience could have helped with my Pulitzer Prize aspirations.

The irritation built when I realised that it's almost impossible to find out exactly where we can and cannot run for the three days of the summit. Sure there are maps of the restricted zone where the roads that are closed are marked but I haven't been able to source a map that shows where pedestrian access will be denied. The best I could come up with was this -

Cyclist and Pedestrian Access

A small number of footpaths will be closed in the Brisbane CBD and South Brisbane. There will also be a number of footpaths and bikeways closed in South Bank surrounding the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.  Signage and diversions will be in place to advise pedestrians and cyclists of closures and alternative routes.
Cyclists should look out for signage as there will be impacts on footpaths and street access in the Brisbane CBD and South Brisbane which will extend to bikeways.
This is not particularly useful when you're trying to plan a run, which I've been trying to do for Saturday's group.
Originally I'd thought it might be fun to run towards the city and see what all the hype is about. Maybe catch a glimpse of a sniper or the secret service or even a head of state. And then the part of me that's a little scared of being strip-searched in public or seeing that happen to any of my squad friends (actually that thought is quite terrifying because what has been seen can never be unseen) told me that that might not be the best idea.
So then I thought we should head out towards Tennyson and then back to our starting point over the Green Bridge and through the uni. But a certain VIP decided to accept an invitation to speak at the University of Queensland and now that's off-limits too. 
I'm desperately hoping that pedestrian access will still be allowed on the Go Between Bridge or else we'll be running an unplanned 38k. That could be a bit of an adventure.

The thing that really took the irritation up the next step was this article. The secret service wanted a roundabout demolished so the US presidential motorcade wouldn't have to slow down. Seriously?!! Mr Obama has brought his very own Cadillac which can withstand biochemical attacks, bullets and roadside bombs so why are they worried about slowing down for a roundabout?

I don't know - you invite some people over for a visit and all of a sudden they want to redecorate. At your expense.

I know I should be mollified a little by the fact that we've been given an extra public holiday but when you can't do your usual stuff without having to think and plan and then rethink it all because there's been a change to the G20 schedule, the holiday doesn't even come close to making up for it.

Next time, all you important heads of state, maybe you should consider having your summit somewhere that doesn't cause as much of a hassle to the locals. Richard Branson's island comes to mind.

I'm sure there'd be plenty of room if people were happy to share. Just as long as Mr Abbott isn't put in with Mr Putin cause I'm pretty sure there'd be some towel flicking and undie-wedgie action if that happened.


  1. I totally get you. We had them in Holland in the beginning of the year. It didn't effect me because it was in The Hague and I live no where near there. But my manager lives in a town not too far away and even there were security rules. Roads were closed, people needed passes to get to their house and so on. And I don't even speak about the money that it's costing for a country to get this show on the road.

  2. It does sound like a pain. I hope you get your run in without a lot of hassles.

  3. Haha. That's funny. Destroy a roundabout! Yet we don't lock the White House front door. Silly!

  4. LOL! Gracie's comment is hysterical! Your blog is always a good read Char! - My Fave!

  5. I feel like a total idiot because I didn't even know what the G20 was (I googled it so I'm good now:). I can't believe that Obama is demanding roads be torn up- seems extreme!

  6. I do not envy you one bit. Chicago had one of those a couple of years ago and it was a royal PIA.

  7. Mystery route! Make it up on the fly! Perhaps you could have an obstacle run instead of a regular Saturday morning run. (I once unwittingly ran smack into preparations for the F1 street race, couldn't find my way through or out, and eventually gave up and went for breakfast instead.)

  8. I couldn't do Go Between yesterday but Kurilpa works!

  9. Do any of them read your blog? or my blog? didn't think so, so I don't think they are important...

  10. Obama was in Belgium twice earlier this year and the things that got shut down and the security was incredible. Sounds like you are really in the thick of it - hang in there!

  11. I was just saying today thank God I'm not in BrisVegas right now. Mind you I live a stone's throw from the army base and we have helicopters flying over us all the time. And tanks driving down the street!
    Hope the time passes quickly. Hang on... you got a public holiday so I can't feel sorry for you ;)

  12. Ooh, closures like that would really annoy me. Hope it's not for too long...

  13. One of the friends I was away with actually ran into the city on Saturday and had no problems.

    (Actually she knows you.... Glee? Someone I lived at a residential college with at Uni!) Small world etc etc.

  14. Of course I know Glee - she runs with my group. Yep, it is a small world.


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