A Travellerspoint blog

Day 313 - 316 - First Christmas In Oz

Christmas was spent with Uncle Kev & Aunty Sylvia at their house & at their sisters place in Caboolture. It was a nice family occasion with presents, delicious food - a traditional dinner cooked by Sylv's kind sister a swim in her pool to cool the hot summer day & a home cinema viewing of Indiana Jones.

Posted by Eemail2004 03:53 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 285 - 312 - Parties & Developments

We checked back into Chill Hostel, met up with our old friends Paul & Simon as well as making new ones. Vix birthday we spent in Fiddlers Elbow subject to ladies night, a softcore strip show performed by extremely drunk guys followed by a fun karaoke session in Casablanca.
During December I finally got a job after a three day lame telesales trial working for The Smart Group an Ozzie marketing company door to door. It was a last desperate attempt to gain a financial foothold & paid off. The first week under the leadership of a cool, crazy guy named Timur I developed the necessary skills for sales. The team mainly consisting of backpackers were awesome, looking after me & a mad dutch guy called Joe (Jorn). It was the second & third weeks however that I really started to improve. Having learnt the pitch, developed an understanding of Integral Energy (the electricity client) as a billing company & the psychological 'tricks' to achieve success I was allowed to join my highly successful team on two roadtrips (time spent working & living in an area less knocked for a greater amount of time). These trips meant time away from Vicky sharing a van & apartment with my team for a week at a time. As I would come to notice the team worked hard to get the sales (all on commission only after 4 weeks) & parted just as hard at night. The best thing was I felt like I belonged with them.
Sadly by the end of the third week the team parted company to travel/head home & the few who remained were assimilated into other new teams. The cool thing was thanks to those guys I had the confidence & skills to become successful at sales & break records.
The other thing was through the Gumtree website Vix had managed to find us a house share in a nice little suburb called Auchenflower, situated right next to the train station & herself work nannying for two familes part time.

Posted by Eemail2004 03:39 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 278 - 284 - Family Reunion

The next entries are rough recollections due to loss of written entries.

We spent a week with Uncle Kev, Aunty Sylvia & Mum & Dad (who looked very healthy & full of energy after their two weeks in New Zealand). Our time together consisted of a trip to Noosa Heads on the Sunshine Coast feeding a cute iguana & following the beautiful tropical trail round the headland across boardwalks with the sea sparkling below. Fun & games on Kings Beach, Calhoundra. Kangeroo spotting & visiting our family friends across Brisbane. A pleasant week.

Posted by Eemail2004 02:57 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 272 - 277 - Hostel Hopping P2

sunny

Sunday we forced ourselves to get up at 8am so we could checkout in time creeping quietly round the room so not to wake our comotosed roomates. Unfortunately I forgot my key when I had a shower so had to knock & wake people up anyway to get back in!
By lunchtime we had picked up our 'work' vouchers from Peterpans & checked into Tin Billys Hostel, which was a medium-sized, dilapidated building situated above its own pub. Vix spent the afternoon doing more flyer work & I slept. In the evening we chatted to our new roomates in our small, scruffy, ten bed dorm who like everyone else seemed to ignore the no alcohol in the hostel rule (more money for the bar downstairs) drinking copious amounts of goon. Apart from the speaker announcement that fun stuff was going on in the bar that we were missing (spoke by a guy working behind the bar with much desperation - meaning the place was nearly empty) we had a nice, relaxing evening & thankfully weren't kept awake by noise from the bar.

Monday our roomates checked out so we had the place to ourselves for abit. Outside we bumped into Irish Paul who had got a job as floor manager for Peterpans & after congratulating him went off to find ourselves work. Sadly, most of the shops in town either had staff or had something against backpackers (sounds paranoid but it was true) & the job rep at XBase hostel dashed our hopes for more fruitpicking work saying that floods had damaged the crops so work was scarce! It was clearly going to be hard to get a job!

Tuesday & Wednesday was spent mainly looking for work & one agency Randstadt told Vicky that her ten years experience & all her qualifications gave her no advantage in Australia in fact any work would be paid at $18 not $25!

Thursday after recovering from a night of intense snoring from a Korean guy we decided to do some sight-seeing so chose Roma St Gardens. It should have been straight forward to reach, afterall there were several entrances. Yet we somehow still struggled to find the damn place eventually working out we could get across from the back of Roma St Station. Several escalators later we reached the gardens. They were bigger than we thought. Several large fields joined a lake & wooded bbq area complete with ducks on the ground level. Multiple walkways ran round the lake & up the cliffs, crisscrossing to dizzying heights. Further along the cliffs was a waterfall & pathways cutting through small garden parks until reaching the roadside. It was a beautiful place for our picnic. Apart from the skyscraper appartments the place seemed peacefully isolated.

Friday we packed & dropped our bags off with Paul, who had quit his job after being screwed over by the company (paid 'some' vouchers not cash for all his long hours) so I could do flyering & Vicky could finally earn money doing agency childcare work. In the evening we fetched our bags & were picked up by Uncle Kev & taken to his house, enjoying the luxury of a healthy meal cooked for us & a comfortable lounge which didn't smell bad (unlike Tin Billy's).

Posted by Eemail2004 03:04 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 256 - 271 - Hostel Hopping P1

sunny

Saturday we struggled awake & Hendrick drove us to our old house where we had breakfast while chatting to Laura, Yan & the two last arrivals Germans Marco & Sasha. A quick stop at Cheesecakes' to pick up forgotten clothes & meat then we drove to Brisbane where Hendrick dropped us off. We chilled by the pool the rest of the day at Yellow Submarine, befriending P.J, Harold, Mark & a bubbly girl we couldn't remember the name of then met our picker friends at Down Under Bar, beneath Xbase in the CBD.

Sunday we packed up & had moved out by midday. The reason was that we had grown tired of our French roomies & fighting over the space in the tiny galley kitchen & had chosen another hostel, Chill, which was just round the corner. Thankfully we had no difficulty finding the towering turquoise building perched on a hill overlooking the CBD. Apart from the squeeze of an 8 bed dorm we had definitely traded up having gone from a cramped, rundown place to a new, flash hostel with t.v. rooms, a huge kitchen & loads of space. Also our roomies Simon (Kiwi butcher), Anders & Emily (Swedes) & a German & Irish girl were friendly & sociable unlike the predominantly French guys that kept everyone awake with their incessant noise & arrogantly shot us down at every turn. We were alot better off.

Monday we were up 8ish as to avoid the crowds that gather in kitchens. However, we could have gotten up at any time as kitchen was huge! After a shocking $130 shop for food at the close by Coles supermarket (we'd have to stamp that on the head) we had a walk round town along the busy main streets with buildings shooting up into the sky like huge urban trees, both offices & shopping centres. The heat & humidity had us diving into airconditioned buildings such as the library & internet cafes. We sighed with relief as we entered our appropriately named hostel & cooled off in our own room for a bit. Round 7pm things were completely opposite in the kitchen as hoards appeared from nowhere & chaos ensued as people fought for pans, utensils & cookers, It had been a bad idea making such a big lengthy meal like chilli con carni. After dinner we gathered on the roof deck & were treated to an awesome lightening display, jagged forks tearing the sky apart & thunder deafening everyone. From the roof it seemed both dangerous & exciting.

Tuesday was the beginning of the gruelling job hunt for both of us, Vicky had an interview in Bowen Hills for childcare work while I searched for jobs online. In the afternoon we bumped into Laura, Hanis & Hendrick, said our goodbyes & took a walk along South Bank.

Wednesday we had a pretty cool blast from the past. Elodie from Malaysia had checked into our hostel & we spent the morning catching up & visiting the museum on South Bank which covered animals, aborigines, war veterans, vehicles & of course history of the land. In the afternoon a sudden shower had us running back to the refuge of Chill where we played cards with Elodie & her Scottish friend Laura.

Thursday was another job hunting day till we got bored then it was about us hanging out with Elodie, Laura, Simon & Paul, drinking at the local pub in City Backpackers Hostel named 'The Fiddler's Elbow', a typical irish-themed haunt. The half pints went down nicely but the killer pool competition not so well - some people take things too seriously & like to cheat!

Friday was a quiet breakfast with just the 2 of us on the roof deck sat watching the busy lives of Brisbanites far below us. Elodie was hungover so we didn't see her all day. Instead we dealt with the exciting tasks of tax & job hunting at the library (free internet) then chilled at South Bank Streets Beach, bumping into Elodie being playfully dunked by a group of French guys.

Saturday Vicky disappeared with Elodie to South Bank whilst I enjoyed a lie in. The reason for this was to reclaim the nights sleep lost when Paul in the bunk above me fell asleep with a bottle of goon, spilling the contents on his mattress & onto me!
Later on I confronted a bewildered Paul who couldn't even remember the last night & met up with Vix, Elodie & the French gang. After a nice swim we followed the edge of the boardwalk along South Bank & crossed over one of the many bridges in Brisbane, following the opposite shore through mangroves into the botantical gardens. Entering from a different gateway threw me for a second as everything looked different. That was because it was. The gardens were far bigger than we'd thought & we had ended up by the University of Arts Museum, a building housing bizarre contemporary art though there were certain highlights like peoples use of household items & materials to make strange 'creations' (I refuse to call such crap art).
In the evening we all did a massive cook-up with the French guys who'd managed to sneak into the hostel, drinking goon & the equally nasty 'passion pop' till it was time to hit the Fiddler's. At the pub Laura & her friend Elaine had geniously dressed as ghostbusters for Halloween, complete with overalls & proton packs, while we had not even bothered!

Sunday was just a hangover day for everyone & Monday & Tuesday job-hunting & chilling by the 'beach', to keep away from the Melbourne Cup chaos.

Wednesday was sadly Elodie's last day & was spent again at South Bank. The evening was one hell of a drinking session. Elodie, Andrew (English), James & Flo (German) & two cool crazy Japanese girls Connie & Kay joined me & Vix in drinking 8 litres of Fruity Lexa (makes ya sexier)goon. We were wasted by 2.30am.

Thursday we managed to get up 11ish with a hellish hangover. I did some flyer work for Peterpans consuming a pie & V energy drink to keep me going. The work was easy & quite fun, handing out leaflets to entice people into the travel agents. No money but vouchers to use for accomodation. This was why we booked a few days in Tin Billy Hostel, right in the city centre for when our time ran out at Chill.
In evening we were treated to another electric display as lightening struck the same place three times across the river from our hostel!

Friday it was Vicky's turn to do flyer work while I chilled. In the evening we shared a vodka bottle with James & were very drunk by 9.30pm. Inevitably we ended up in Fiddler's Elbow which delightedly was Boys Nite=girls in bikinis/stripping. The night got into full swing as the Chill staff arrived. They definitely knew how to have a good time!
Back at the hostel Vix passed out in bed but I suffered insomniat thanks to the numerous Red Bulls I had drunk & Korean roomates slamming the door.

Saturday I was hungover again & v tired but forced myself to do flyer work whilst Vicky packed (definitely the easier option) then enjoyed a last beer with our Kiwi friend Simon.

Posted by Eemail2004 02:55 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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