Friday, October 4, 2013

Over a year

I'm surprised that I actually remembered I had a blog, considering it's been about 7 months since I published anything. I guess I decided today would be a good day to write about where I've been and what I've done. Depending on how long this post is might depend on how mug you find out.

Now I don't know where I ended, but I'll start with leaving Melbourne.

After 4 months, and 3 months of work, I headed out to Byron Bay for their famous Bluesfest. This year's headliners included Paul Simon, Robert Plante, Rufus Wainwright and smaller acts were Xavier Rudd, The Dropkick Murphys and VT's own Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

Needless to say it was an amazing 5 days and money couldn't have been spent better. I was with my old co-worker Stevie and we slept in his van for 5 days; ate and cooked from his camping stove, and washed ourselves in the ocean and sometimes the showers at the beach. For those of you who don't know, Byron Bay is a magical place, honestly! The Aboriginals used to go there for healing ceremonies. There's something about the place that makes you feel amazing.

After spending an extra week there, I moved up to Surfers Paradise on my own. I spent a few nights and lots of money. I met some amazing Brits, including two gals who I would meet again at my next stop.

And then I made it to Brisbane. After the British lads in Surfers told me to stay at Brisbane City Backpackers, well, my 4 night stay became a 10 week stay. For the first 2 weeks, I tried to find a job, dropping off over 30 applications to different restaurants. In the end, I got a job at the hostel working as their cook. It was me and another English lad working there- 50 hours a week at 371$ plus free accommodation. I wouldn't call it slave labor, but it was pretty close. In the six bed dorm I lived in, there was me, the other English cook, two English night managers, and a Canadian bartender named Kayla. We had two bartenders flow through, but the second one was a Irish gal named Sarah Jane. Kayla, Sarah Jane and I got on really well, and would always try to hang out when possible. Sarah Jane traveled with a few other girls, including one who would replace me. I also made friends in my original 14 bed all girls en-suite room- Patricia, Janie, Lindsey, Claire and Amy. Patty and Janie ended up moving into a house which we would go to when we needed to get away, Amy and Claire moved and worked in the outback and lindsey stayed at the hostel. She also helped me find my other job at a place called Riverbar and Kitchen. I found it ironic since my first job was at Riverland Bar and Cafe. Brisbane was good to me, but like always, I was getting bored. Sarah Jane, Kayla and I decided to do an east coast tour, starting in Noosa and working our way up to Cairns. Unfortunately, Sarah Jane could only join us to Rainbow beach as she had succeeded in getting a social work job in Sydney!

But we had a good time anyways, and we got to go to Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo- where I got to hold a koala and see all sort of cool and unique animals. And then we went to Rainbow Beach and Fraser Island. Fraser Island is the largest sand only island in the world and is a world heritage site. I got to drive on the sand and in the woods, but in our group of 8, we mainly let the boys drive. It was a fun time and the site had the best showers I've used in a long time (including other hostels and where I am now). Rainbow Beach's Pippies Hostel was fabulous and we met one of my now good friends Jess there. She manages the place and gave us good deals for staying. We also hung out with her outside of the hostel and she and her friend Lisa showed us around! It was a really great time and it was sad when Kayla and I had to leave. But Kayla and I had our next adventure- a few days stranded on a desert island (kinda).

Well it's lunch time. Maybe I'll post some more soon, we shall see! Joya

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Cute animals! And more!


Oh and to anyone who has seen the Rescuers Down Under, you know how the bad guy has a giant lizard as a pet named Joanna? Well it's because a Goanna is a giant lizard in Australia!!!

The girl is Vicky, she's one of my favorite people in the world and she wanted fairy floss! (Cotton Candy to us Americans)

And then a pint of Ben and Jerry's Phish Food ice cream since I couldn't drink.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Australian photos

Sorry there are no cute kolas and such but I will hopefully see them soon!

So the pictures are:
My friend Yichi looking out from the Eureka sky tower, the Bryan brothers in their quarter final game at the AU open, Vampire Weekend playing at Big Day Out Melbourne, Merry Xmas on Flinders St Station, the beach, my birthday tequila shot with a sparkler, and Magic Hat #9 at Dan Murphys liquor store- 6 pk for 17.99!


So, I'm sorry that I never finished up Thailand, let alone any of Australia.

So let's start with the end of Thailand. When I left off, I was on my way to Bangkok. I ended up meeting a kid from Melbourne, (where I was going), on my last day/ night and we spent some time together so I could figure out the city. It's crazy to think now how I had no idea of what to expect from Melbourne. People were telling me different suburbs to live in, but they didn't explain that they were suburbs, so as I was trying to find a house, I was getting very confused. Not only that, but rent was configured per week, not per month. And then I had to figure out if there was a bed included or not. Needless to say I was pretty confused to start. But luckily I got to Couchsurf in the beginning. Also, while Tom was traveling to Cambodia, he met a girl who was looking for a subletter in Melbourne (pronounce Mel burn, not Mel born). Millie was going to be traveling till the end of the month, so I at least had a place to stay for a bit.

I couch surfed in an area called Footscray, a poorer community with a large and diverse group of people. "Similar to Queens" I told my parents. Not sure if that comforted them. But anyways, after my interesting couch surfing experience, including heaps of dumpster dive food, I moved to Brighton. I got to know the south east part of Melbourne and really enjoyed it. I had a coffee shop right by the train station where I got my morning coffee for free.

I pretty much blew through the 2 grand I had saved up for. I didn't want to get back into work, bit once I realized I had no money, I finally got a job at a cafe/bar called Riverland Bar and Cafe. I've been there since December, and well, it's just ehh. I make $20 an hour, which covers bills and rent and other expenses, but I kinda hate it at times. I think that I'm getting over the restaurant business, the daily grind of being on your legs for 5+ hours takes it's toll, and with it being an outdoor venue, the elements can make it unbearable at times too. But I really enjoy the people and I'm kinda learning how to make proper cappuccinos and lattes, unlike American versions. Melbourites are very peculiar with their coffees. It can't be too hot or you burn the milk, it has to be the right creaminess, the ratio of foam has to be just right, the bubbles in the milk can't be too big, etc etc. It's alway funny when American customers come in and want a black coffee, or even better, a light beer. Light beer in AU means light alcohol content, not less calories. So when someone, who has a distinct American accent comes along and asks, I always point them to our lights in taste beer. Especially when they want a Budweiser. They do have Bud heavy here, but it's much sweeter and quite disgusting. I usually point them to Tasmanian Pale Ale which is more of a lager beer.

Anyways, I'm in Elsternwick now, which is right next to Brighton and I still go to my favorite coffee shop!

As for what I'm doing with my social life, well, not a whole lot. I stay in most nights to save money, I like to watch TV, I go out for dinners and drinks occasionally, I like to go to the nice parks, the beaches, and yea. I eat sleep and work.

Since coming to Australia, I've discovered a lot more about myself and continue to do so each day. I've had some moments where I think I want to come home or move back stateside. I have moments where I want an office job. I have moments where I want to tell my chef to fuck off and get that pointed, jagged stick out of his ass for being such a c***. And no, not used as a nice term (friends here sometimes uses the word cunt and mate as a diss). But when I talk to people about what's next in my adventure, I get nervous and excited to travel once again. And that's the problem with my life right now. I feel stuck, but now that I have most of my bills paid off, I am able to start saving once again and look for my next adventure!