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Melbourne hostel life

Written on: Friday February 29th, 2008

A journal entry from: Australia

We're finally starting to feel settled, and it's a happy feeling. We have phones, bank accounts, an apartment (which we haven't moved into yet), jobs, and friends! Mostly. Technically I'm supposed to go in for a "trial" tonight at a nightclub, to bartend and sell shots. Which is exactly something I never thought I would do. And maybe I never will, because I'm not going to go in. Adam got a job at the same place and he already had it last night.

Apparently a "trial" is code for working an entire shift unpaid, doing all the dirty work while everyone else stands around smoking half the time. They didn't even give him a share of the tips! He worked from seven until four am picking up glasses and cleaning up vomit. I think they only let him bartend for 45 minutes, which is what he was hired for.

And they want me to start learning from scratch how to tend bar on a Saturday night in a nightclub?? That freaks me out slightly. Although from the sound of it what they really want me to do is free dirty work.

Here's the thing: it only pays $12/hr, which in Australia is pretty crappy, and they only want us Friday and Saturday nights. I don't want to spend every weekend here working the whole night. I think when we agreed to take the job we were just excited to have a job offer. But maybe we can afford to be a little pickier.

We won't starve; Adam has another job at a French cafe. I could have got one there too, but at the time I turned down the offer. I know it sounds perfect for me, but I've never worked food & bev and I didn't want to start. I was pretty set on working at Borders or another bookstore, but they're not hiring. At least for the moment. I might have to crawl back to Lothar, the owner of the cafe, and say pleeeeeeease take me back! I'm sorry! I do want your job!!

Lothar is a blog entry all to himself. Lothar is a crazy, half French half German, racist, generous, talkative man, among other things. We went in to apply for a job and he sat us down, fed us, and talked about himself for two hours. I threw in "racist" to describe him because he pretty much is slightly condescending to everyone that's not a white male European. He spoke badly of black people, American Southerners (who "take 30 minutes to say Hello") and fat people. He's kind of an ass, but despite all that, there's something likable about him, and no one can say that he's not very friendly. He treats us like family, giving us free food every time we come by. He even told us he'd give us a bed if we couldn't find an unfurnished apartment. So maybe I'll work at this cafe after all.

Well, Adam's just informed me that he is also not going to go into work tonight at the nightclub either. He was supposed to come back tonight and work again, per the owner, though the bar manager didn't like him for some reason. I think we're just gonna pretend that whole debacle never happened and carry on looking for other work!

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All the above was written last night. My blog writing got interrupted by the weekly hostel barbeque. At which, by the way, was served kangaroo. I kid you not. I'm of the opinion that you should not go around eating your national animal. They don't even look tasty. In fact, Adam said it was quite gross when he tried some last night. However that could have something to do with the fact that he hadn't eaten meat in months.

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Here's our cast of characters so far:

Patrick - The hostel owner. He's incredibly friendly and helpful and has a great Aussie accent.

Austin - Our local video store man. We like to harrass him by going into his store and never renting a movie. He knows us by name, he's our local Aussie friend. I like his coke bottle glasses.

Alex - Very cool, very posh Londoner. She stays in our room. She's become a good friend of ours. She and I are supposed to go shopping today, which means that she will shop and I will look at things.

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Barry - He's crazy. Also from London. He and Alex hang out a lot, and he's also in our room, though they didn't know each other before arriving at the hostel. We hang out with the two of them quite a bit. Barry's the most extraverted person I've ever known. He never shuts up, and will say or do anything for attention.

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Noelle - Everyone loves her. She's a middle-aged Lebanese woman who lives here at the hostel; I think she's studying here. She has the funniest accent and way of talking I've ever heard. She always has to know what everyone's doing. I've heard she asked an overweight man, "Why you so fat?" - but with a complete lack of malice. I took her picture and she asked me in her hilarious accent, "You going to put me on the face book?"

Chris - He's a nice German guy who stayed in our room the whole time we've been here, but he just left for Kuala Lumpur yesterday. He thought we slept too much.

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Christine - German girl who has also stayed in our room since we've been here. She's extremely tall and lanky and works 3 jobs, saving up for New Zealand. It's kind of sad, because she doesn't really get to enjoy her last weeks here in Melbourne.

Anna - Cute, round-faced, pink-cheeked German girl. She's always smiling. I taught her the word "plug."

Julia (Jules) - Another English girl, who the other English people make fun of for her Northern accent, which she claims she does not have. I think she'd never met an American before Adam and I, which could be why she was sooooo excited. My favorite line from her so far is, "Oh, you talk just like them!" - meaning the people on American tv shows.

Those are the most note-worthy, at least.

After the aforementioned kangaroo barbeque, and after lounging around the hostel for a bit, Alex and a couple other girls decided they wanted to go out. Forty-five minutes later about 15 of us were headed out on the town, including me and Adam. Of course we all got separated into little groups and trickled back home later. Adam and I enjoyed the gigantic Irish pub we went to, and the drunk Indian boys celebrating a birthday next to us, with whom we shouted, "Whoooooo!" every five minutes. I have a terribly lecherous video to post from last night of people drinking out of a wine bag.

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Now I'm just hoping to get a job at the French cafe, La Colline, this week, or somewhere else, because we gotta start paying rent!!

P.S. We went to the Sydney Street music festival, where bands played on stages all throughout the block and people roamed the streets. Here's a vid!

 

From T-dawg on Mar 2nd, 2008

OMG. the smart car was the most exciting picture. Mark my words, I WILL own one soon!! i hope... it looks like you're having a freakin blast. yay! And my tax rebate will be coming and it will be big and i can come see youuuu! in like a year. keep keepin us posted! love ya!