Sunday, 23 August 2009
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.
Posted by Rob at 5:00 pm