Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rejoining the Rat Race

So after coming half way round the world and after much travelling (mainly up and down the East Coast – I really need to learn the other points of the compass) I find myself with a shortage of cash. So after blanketing all of Sydney with my CV (or Resume as the locals call it) I land a job in the heady heights of the Australian financial sector. It’s a pretty cool job actually as I’m working in a building designed by the same person who designed the Google headquarters in America. The main draw for me however, was not the design of the building nor was it the closeness to my hostel. No, it was the $1 cans of drink. Lovely.
So here I am writing my blog (when I’m supposed to be reading some training documents) and paying taxes and everything – luckily I get these back before I leave.

In other news, I now night manage and manage half of the entertainments and events for the hostel. Night managing consists of checking people in after reception hours and being woken up at all hours of the night by my phone. Oh, and occasionally clearing up after people who have just thrown up all over the roof terrace. Entertainments’ managing consists of largely getting drunk. No, really it does. Basically I take out a group of people from the hostel on a night out to certain pubs/clubs and I get a wristband. This magical piece of paper that adorns my wrist for the night gets me free drinks ALL NIGHT. So there you have it the grim and the glam all in one package and what do I get for this? Besides a REALLY bad hangover the next day? Free accommodation. Nice.

It’s really surprising to think I’ve been here for 8months already, with 4 months to go, New Zealand is edging closer and closer…

Anyway better get back to work,

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fraser Island and The Great Beyond

Fraser Island is amazing. Not just amazing. But *actually* amazing. Clear blue lakes that taste of Evian water (well one of the lakes is green and looks more like a pond but that's because it's full off tea tree, so it's OK). 4x4 driving which is brilliant fun, especially when carrying a back full of hangovers. The dingoes that walk past you with all the arrogance of an inner city chav. Lizards that wouldn't look out of place in Jurassic Park And the sand that gets EVERYWHERE. Most annoyingly in the crisp sandwiches. After having the traditional Christmas lunch of lots and lots of BBQ, we decided to be really rock and roll and have an early night (we had to be up on Boxing Day at 5am). Crystal had different ideas and continued drinking throughout all of the next day, now that WAS rock and roll.

After Fraser Island and Hervey Bay aka the most boring place in Australia (where the bats blacken the sky). Myself, Greg and (a now sober) Crystal took a greyhound to Sydney where we are all looking to make our fortunes (or minimum wage at the very least). The bus ride was horrible. 25 hours sitting next to Greg (neither of us are exactly what you call "small") was not my idea of fun. Sleeping was even worse with feet going out into the gangway and, well, I'm not exactly sure where Greg's legs went and I don't think I want to know.

But anyways, we're in Sydney and we're trying to find jobs looking high and low, left and right with a few things in the pipeline, things are on the up. That hasn't stopped me playing the odd drinking game on the Woodduck (aka greatest hostel in Sydney) roof or drinking with Adam and Jack (and Adam's Irish mates). Some of the highlights include me pretending to be Bryan McFadden (from Westlife) with the crappest Irish accent ever (which went from a passable Irish to Liverpool to Wales to Essex wide boy) and being believed.... by an Irishman.

I think the next time I write on this will be the day after my birthday....maybe two days after actually, which will be in two weeks. Until then, catch you on the otherside....

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Last Days in The Asylum

There are several hard truths in life. 'The Beach' is a much better book than a film, you will always be tagged in an photo on facebook you do not want to be tagged in and the whole 'Twilight' saga is not going to go away anytime soon.

Another one that needs to be added to that list is that money never lasts forever and sooner or later you're going to have to get a job and start contributing to society again. Which is why I found myself on the other end of a paint brush being a painter and decorator for three days. That's right, THREE DAYS. My first job in Australia where I have lasted for more than one day in a row. I feel like I need a rest, but alas no rest for the wicked. Because three of us (Me, Greg and Crystal) need to get down to Hervey Bay for the 22nd December. 

So, I've worked my fingers to the bone in creating some very amateurish looking flyers to put up on the noticeboards of Cairns. This ideally should have been done last week, but it wasn't. (I blame Greg personally).

Friday, December 4, 2009

Blogger's Block

For the past few weeks I've been in Cairns I haven't blogged. I've done lots of stuff gone out met cool people, won some prizes but haven't been able to put hands to keyboard and put the words on screen. Mainly because for the last few weeks I have been so hungover I cannot focus on a bright screen near my face. If I listen carefully I can actually hear my liver cry out in pain everytime I lift my bottle of beer/cup of goon.

I've decided to 'man up' and put my (sober-ish) thoughts to screen. Since I've been in Cairns I have won two competitions just by dancing on stage I won a white water rafting trip and a trip to Cape Tribulation not bad for 10 minutes work. I'm staying at a hostel called Asylum and every Monday they host a pub crawl they call 'Mad Monday'. It is chaos, last Monday I rugby tackled a sign and was told off by the hostel manager. Not one of my proudest moments. But I did win Mr Backpacker and a trip to Cape Tribulation so it's all good.

Other than the ridiculous amount of alcohol I have drank over the last two weeks I have been chilling out by the pool and lagoon and been job hunting. Job hunting in Cairns is a lot like repeatedly banging your head against an iron bar whilst singing the Bulgarian national anthem. Ultimately an exercise in futility. But I have done a days work shifting carpets about, that would make a grand total of three days worked in Australia. I will aim for a full week one of these days...

Really need to get some transport sorted for going down to Hervey Bay in time for the 22nd December, but you know how it is, someone offers you a beer and before you know it that transport isn't the most important thing on your mind....

Anyways gotta go someone has just offered me a beer.....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Getting on it until I vomit, then when I vomit, I'm going to get back on it.

I really like hip-hop music. Eminem, Dre and Nas are the Rembrandts and Da Vinci's of their generation, the music they make their masterpieces. Phil (I'll talk more about Phil in a bit) would probably disagree with that sentiment after the two weeks he was in Sydney. There is a lot of hip hop music on the woodduck (really cool hostel in Sydney) playlist. So by the end of Phil's stay he had listened to the entire back catalogue of every rap song ever recorded. Twice.

Phil is Greg's mate from back in Manchester. He is mental. In a good way. Most of what he done I can't actually write in this blog, his favourite sayings were 'You're the salt of the earth you are' and 'you're my f***ing hero you are'. They lost all meaning he said them that much. He spent his last night in Sydney burning holes in the rooftop with a can of aerosol and lighter. The time he was here I must have drank my own body weight in goon and beer. To quote a film 'I feel like the ghost of a complete stranger'.

I'm back in Cairns now, I flew up with Greg a couple of days ago. And tonight I'm probably going to get on it until I vomit and when I vomit I'm going to get back on it. Being back in the tropics means it's the return of Bug Wars. The ceasefire is over. So far the bugs seem to be winning after being covered in bites as soon as we stepped foot off the plane. And a bed bug was found in Karen's bed. Full of blood. Probably hers. The hostel we're staying at is called Asylum. At least I think it's a hostel and not an *actual* asylum. We're all referred to as inmates. (Did you see what they did there?)

Also I've got into this farmville thing on facebook, my brother posted the best comment ever 'so, one day you go to the other side of the world to witness the wonders; the next you've got a farm on facebook... '

Anyways got to go I need to stock up on insect repellant and bite cream. War is hell.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Going back to the dark side

Johnny Rotten once asked the question "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" I asked myself the same question a week ago. The only difference was Johnny Rotten was playing a concert in America and I was in a tomato field in Bowen. And he was the lead singer of The Sex Pistols and I'm a backpacker. 

After arriving in Cairns we all tried to find jobs with varying degrees of success (Karen found a job eventually, me and Jon didn't). So myself and Jon travelled to Bowen on the promise of fruit picking work which we were told paid quite well. It didn't. We were also told we would have 2-3 weeks work which would then lead onto more work. 2-3 weeks work turned into 2-3 days work, that then turned into one days work. So after working a 12 hour day picking tomatoes we decided to hot foot it to Brisbane. Also, Bowen is famous for being  the place where they filmed 'Australia' (the film with Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman in). Oh yeah, Bowen also does an awesome lamb & gravy roll and chips.

Brisbane is quite a nice city to look at but with not an awful lot to do I decided to go back to Sydney. Staying true to form I decided to quit my job before I even had a first day. I doubt I'll do a full weeks work all the time I'm in Australia. Or ever again. To quote mate Greg said "you've come back to the dark side", and it feels like it. I've done nothing but drink for the last three days and jesus, I feel rough. And, yes, I am going back out tonight (teapot shots and World Bar, awesome). But as fun as Sydney is, I'm flying back upto Cairns next Wednesday. Yes, I know, I might as well have stayed in Cairns, but where's the fun in that?

So I've travelled up the East Coast in a campervan, down it in a Greyhound bus and up it again in a plane. Pretty much all the travel styles covered. (I ain't bloody walking it). And I've enjoyed every minute of it. Well, apart from the tomatoes.

Anyway, I must go, I hear the goon and BBQ calling...

Friday, October 23, 2009

In Which We Finally Arrive in Cairns

So we've finally reached Cairns, ditched the campervan and checked ourselves into a hostel. The campervan survived the trip (well apart from the massive scratch Jon managed to put on it just as we pulled outside the drop off pace, but they didn't seem to notice so it's OK).

Cairns hasn't really impressed me so far, but they do have a Hungry Jack's so it's not all bad.

Bug Wars - The Final Battle

In a last ditch attempt to win the war, the bugs sent their most deadly weapon. A fucking huge spider.

As I stepped into the campervan to put some spaghetti in tomato and cheese sauce on the gas hob, Karen asked me 'what is that above your head?' As I looked up I came eyeball to eyeball with a spider the size of a Vauxhall Corsa. As I (very bravely) dived onto the bunk to get out of it's way, The Bastard decided to move (The Bastard is what I've decided to call it). All three of us spoke at great length about what to do about the situation. The conversation was peppered with swear words and things like 'I'm not fucking going in there'.

After a good 15 minutes and consulting a bemused Aussie who confirmed The Bastard was a huntsman and not dangerous we decided to get a tupperware container and trap the little fucker. So whilst Jon had the tupperware container over the spider (sorry The Bastard) I (again, very bravely) got a piece of cardboard from a Coco Pops container and slid it under the mass of legs and hatred. After it was in the plastic box, I let Jon take The Bastard as far away from the van as possible. He then very bravely threw the whole thing to the ground and ran back to us with speeds that would have won him the Olympics 100m. (Or the very least sports day back at school).

After this the bugs have left us alone for the most part. Presumably because they were so scared of our treatment of The Bastard.

And so the ceasefire continues, until the next time.....

In other non-bug related news, trying to find a job in Cairns, is proving much harder than in Brisbane and Sydney. (In Brisbane we were actually offered jobs as we were walking down the street).