Monday, 24 August 2009

Employed


Well after a 7 month holiday I have finally had to get myself a job. Boooo! However I can now start earning some dollar and having some fun again. Hoorah!

After attempting a couple of shitty sales jobs and deciding I am definitely NOT a salesman I have now found myself a new full time job as a salesman....

I am basically phoning up the people of Australia and trying to get them to buy injury protection insurance. Its £11 an hour to sit there and make calls, which is crazy. I have never earnt so much in my life! So now all I need to do is start saving the dollars to get myself back on the road again.

So far in my attempt to sell! sell! sell! I managed to end up discussing Bull's semen over the phone with a customer. Strangely however it worked and he took out the policy, might try bringing it up more often from now on.

So Melbourne is going to be my new home for the next few months while I work out where to go next. Watch this space.....

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Shepparton


Shepparton is a little Australian town 2 hours north of Melbourne and not much ever really seems to happen in Shepp. The only reason I came to Shepp was to spend some time with my main man Dunk who is over in Oz playing footy. The plan was to crash on his floor for about a week before I made the journey up to Sydney to find work. However I ended up staying nearly 2 and a half weeks as well as managing finding myself a job in Melbourne instead.

For the first week I spent most of the time in the local Internet cafe sending off CVs all over the place applying to all sorts of jobs in Sydney and Melbourne. I applied for job as a "Sandwich Artist" at Subway, a trainee pizza maker and a gas meter reader. I was pretty much applying to anything that was full time and salaried. I could not be doing with all that commission shizz after the hassle with work in Melbourne. Eventually the mass CV sending paid off and I found myself a job which I will tell you about later. This meant I could spend the rest of my time in Shepp having some fun and not having to worry about trying to find a job.

The majority of evenings and days for that matter were fairly chilled out which was real nice.. Most of the nights involved either the Xbox 360 or Monopoly city, which is possibly the best game I have EVER played. I also took up reading whilst I was here and powered through 2 books, the most books I have read for probably 10 years. I guess that's what happens when I don't have the Internet or TV to keep me occupied. I didn't really leave the house too much while I was in Shepp. The only times I seemed to leave was to either watch the lads at footy training or the odd nightly trip to IGA to do the odd bit of food shopping. All this lounging around the house playing Xbox in a house full of lads took my right back to my Uni days which was an awesome trip down memory lane.

As Dunk is over here to play footy while I was over here I wanted to see him play so went along to watch the guys in actions. Since they had got here they hadn't lost a game so they were all pretty confident that they weren't going to lose this one. There was quite a crowd there and was surprised how much support their was for a Sunday league game in a country that isn't really famous for its love of Football. Just as the game started a random Guy came up to me and said "I hear you guys are from the UK, want to come with me after the game and I'll show you some trees?". He then said he would come find us after the game and walked off. Not really often getting requests from strange men offering to show me some trees I didn't really know what to think. However I carried on watching the game which they eventually won 2-0 thanks to two goals from both Rushy and Dunks. At the end of the game I had totally for forgotten about the offer from the stranger to go see some trees and I turned round to see the "tree man" again asking if we were both ready to go. I had a quick ask around to check he wasn't a mental or anything and he turned out to be the Dad of one of the players. He also had a daughter working at the local backpacker hostel and had taken a couple of other people out on this tour of trees. We decided we had nothing to lose and it may even been quite interesting so we jumped in the car and headed off to look at trees.

The trees the man was taking was talking about weren't just any old trees, these were aboriginal scar trees. I had no idea what these were but the way in which the man was talking about the trees they sounded very exciting. Unfortunately they weren't but were still nice to see a bit of history for free. These tree were basically trees which 200 odd years ago an aboriginal man cut out an area of the bark to use for things such as bowls or even rafts. The aboriginals would cut the bark out in such a way that it wouldn't damage the tree in anyway and would just leave a big scar in the side of the tree. To be honest I'm boring myself just writing about it. We got to see a bit of the Victorian outback as well as learn a bit about trees but apart from that it was fairly uninteresting. We did however come across a great photo opportunity of an old abandoned pick up truck in the middle of a field. Was a nice little find.

While I was visiting Dunk it just happened to be Shepparton's 50th Anniversary year and their big evening celebrating the half century mark just happened to be over one of the weekends we were there. So I got myself a ticket for the bargain price of $50 and managed to cobble together some smart gear and had my first 3 course meal for over 6 months. It was superbly random night celebrating 50 years of a football club 1 week before I knew nothing about. It was a great night involving a lot of alcohol and Macedonian dancing. The alcohol part was mainly down to the had Macedonian founder of the club who would not take no for answer and brought us all several Whiskeys. He was a right character who when he saw me and Tommy for the first time shouted out "There's those Pommy pricks, wanna drink?". After the night ended we all strolled next door to the club and spent a bit of time in one of Shepparton's only clubs trying to avoid the numerous flights that would kick off every now and again.

Looking back on my 3 weeks I had a great time in Shepp. It was great seeing Dunk for all that time and awesome getting to know Quinny and Rushy his housemates. It was also nice have the financial pressures taken off as I wasn't having to pay rent whilst I was there. All in all a quality 2 weeks which I (without sounding like to much of a homo) look back at with fond memories.




Thursday, 6 August 2009

Melbourne Pt.2



My second visit to Melbourne was quite an eventful one involving 2 jobs, lots of Tennis, an art exhibition, as well as a 3 day stay in an Australian hospital with a suspected case of swine flu.

I was staying back of the nunnery so was taking full advantage of the free food on offer there and stretching my budget as fair as humanly possible. Last time I was in Melbourne I was introduced to a quality little pizza restaurant that did awesome pizzas for only $4! That’s 2 quid! So would often pop along to Bimbos for a pizza in an effort to stretch my funds as long as possible while looking for work.

Last time I was in Melbourne I had really wanted to go to the Salvador Dalí exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria but hadn’t got round to it for a number of reasons. However this time I managed it and thought it was worth every cent. It went through his entire history of painting starting from his early works such as landscapes and portraits. I couldn’t be bothered with all that I just wanted to see some proper mental pictures. Eventually his surreal work started popping up and it was quality. The thing I love about Dalí paintings are I feel like each one is like you are looking through a window. Each one seems to have so much space to me they seem so real while they quite obviously aren’t. Unfortunately his most famous piece, the only with the floppy clocks, wasn’t there but I got to see the Lobster phone, a piece I had wanted to see for years. One massive school boy error was that we went on a Saturday. No idea why considering we could have gone anytime, so the exhibition was very very busy.

When I wasn’t looking at art I was also playing Tennis. I befriended the night porter at the hostel, after I had been locked out of my room in my boxers at 4am, a pretty funny story which I am surprised I haven’t mentioned on here already. But he got free access to the Tennis courts so had a few games with him. This reignited my enjoyment of Tennis and will probably try play a bit more when I get home (maybe).

I think it is worth mentioning the Friers family at this point. Tommy has some family friends here in Melbourne who were amazing to us while we were here. During my first stay in Melbourne we went round one night for dinner which was so nice having a proper home cooked meal after so many months eating out and about. This time round we went for dinner again, twice, once being Dave’s famous chilli, the other a full Sunday roast, a lamb roast as well!! As well as all the meal they made us they also took me and Tommy out for the evening to see the mighty “Melbourne Storm” rugby league side. Rugby isn’t very big in Melbourne, its all ozzy rules down there so the crowd and stadium weren’t very big. However it was great seeing a bit of live sport and also great to get taken out and not having to worry about how much of the budget it was eating into as Dave paid for everything which was so good of him. The Friers did a lot for us while we were in Melbourne and I really appreciated it.

I also had 2 very brief jobs while I was here. They were both brief because they were both terrible and eventually decided it wasn't worth getting out of bed for either of them. First job I last approximately 2 hours. This was supposed to be a job selling green energy to the people of Melbourne door to door. After 120 minutes of training for this I decided there was no way I was going to be a door to door sales man. So when we were sent off on our first break decided it wasn't worth returning, so sacked it off and went home. Job number 2 was as a sales person for the Red Cross. For this I had to get people signed up for monthly donations to help kids get breakfast in the morning. I lasted a little longer with this job, 3 days in total. It started well and on my first day on the streets I had earned 150 quid. However it went down hill from there and I just got to the point that I could not be bothered with it all anymore, the people were awful and I don't stop for these guys back home so why should I subject these guys to it here. Oh and it was also 100% commission. Whata joke!!

So I think that may be it for Melbourne now. I really did like Melbourne, especially the Fitzroy area I was staying in. I was pretty sad to leave when the time came as I just couldn’t seem to find a decent job there. It was such a shame, I think if things work out I will try and get back there during their summer and see what the place looks like in the sun, amazing I imagine. But for now anyway goodbye Melbourne and onwards to mighty Shepparton.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

The Hospital Visit


I managed to fit in a cheeky trip to the hospital as well while I was in Melbourne. For the first time since I was about 6, I ended up spending 3 days, 2 nights in Hospital.

I had been struggling with flu for a day or 2 and by Monday night I didn’t even have the energy to lift my arms up or really see clearly, which was slightly concearning. Thinking it could either be a bad flu, malaria or even swine flu. I thought as I am staying in a hostel I better get checked out before I give it to everyone in the hostel.

When I got to hospital it started off as suspected swine flu and I was put in quarantine and had to wear a mask and everyone that came near me had to be completely covered from head to toe in robes, gloves, hates and masks. I felt a little bit like Elliot must have in the final scenes of E.T. Once they found out it wasn’t swine flu it then went to tonsillitis, a condition that baffled the nurses due to my lack of tonsils. At one point the doctor actually said to me “I have never seen anything like this before”, which worried me a bit. Maybe I was evolving? After a while it then slowly morphed into possible glandular fever and then eventually to a no specific throat infection.

I don’t think at any point they were sure what I had. It was a very strange 3 days 2 nights in Hospital but 3 days I quite enjoyed it none the less, not that I am planning on making trips to hospital more regularly. It is just that I got 2 nights free accommodation, all thanks to her majesty as well as all my meals and cable TV. I guess the only reason I enjoyed my stay in hospital so much was the fact I wasn’t really that ill. At times I did feel bad taking up the hospital bed but if I really was OK the doctors would have sent me home. I pretty much had a drip hooked up to my arm for the whole time I was there pumping fluids and antibiotics into me around the clock. I was on a ward with only old people and if I learn nothing else from my travels my time in hospital definitely taught me to look after myself now as I do not want to be falling apart when I am old. Maybe getting my 5 a day from now on may be a plan.

*I do realsie it might seem a bit odd to post up a picture of yourself in a hospital bed. But I can assure you that i'm not as ill as I probably look. The anti pluage mask just makes me look like I am falling apart.