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Odds 'n' Ends

Written on: Friday March 28th, 2008

A journal entry from: Australia

Let me just first say that it has been such a pain trying to use the internet in this country. If I use the internet at the library, how will I get the pictures I've put onto my computer on another computer and then onto the blog? I don't have a flash drive or blank cds. I really need to go straight to the library when my camera is full of pictures and unload them onto one of their computers. I hope I actually can do that. We are having a really hard time finding any wireless hotspots. I'm at a cafe now that is supposed to have wireless, and I was really excited about that, all the way up until I got here and it doesn't work. Aaaaaarghh!! They say they have a guy on the way to fix it though. I reeeeeeeally hope so. I have all these fabulous pictures I want to upload! I hate not being able to update and then having to catch up a lot.

Well, we no longer work at Electric Ladyland. We were hired to fill in for the weekend, especially me, I was almost a favor I think. But after we worked the manager said we could work every Friday and Saturday. We assumed this was still the case all the next week. But only when we called on Friday evening to see what time we were supposed to come in did we find out we weren't on the schedule. We had in fact tried to contact the manager twice that week and he never responded until that evening, when he finally texted us to say, ?Sorry, two of my employees have come back from overseas an they want their jobs back, so as of right now I don't have any hours for you.? Crap! Thanks for letting us believe we still had jobs the whole week so we spent it NOT looking for another one!

It was ok, because Adam still had his job at the French cafe, until he quit it a few days ago. Remember crazy Lothar? He is a difficult man and Adam kinda kept butting heads with him. I know firsthand that Lothar does not listen, just talks. He must have some sort of attention deficit disorder. Plus he thinks he's better than everyone else. So here's what sparked the quitting, as told to me by Adam: Adam asked for a lunch break, which Lothar okayed. Then when Adam got back, Lothar screamed at him in front of customers and other staff. Apparently one of the staff went home sick during Adam's break and the register got too busy without her to help. So Lothar yelled and actually cursed at Adam, basically asking where he was and how could he not be helping at the register. Adam told him that he'd given him permission to go on a lunch break and that he had no idea the sick girl had left. I don't even know if this got through to Lothar, he makes no sense half the time. Adam quit the next day, citing irreconcilable differences. Ha. He'll pick up his money on Sunday. Goodbye, free pastries (actually he's stopped giving us free stuff a couple weeks ago).

But, he's still got his job at Mumbler, a bar/cafe, and it's been so long I don't know if I've already recorded that he works there in this blog or not. If not, now you know. He works there Saturdays. The boss there, unlike Lothar, is awesome. His name is Chris. Every time I pass his place on Swan Street he says Hi and we chat a little. And now Adam is working his first day at a new job, yet another bar/cafe, which is right next to where I now work.

Yes, that's right, I have a job! It's only 3 days a week but it pays pretty well! It's this Eastern furniture and home décor store called Bohemio. The couple who owns it are really nice. John is Australian and his wife, Gouri, is Indian. I mostly work with Gouri, who is great. It's easy to make her laugh so I try to do that as much as I can. I like people who laugh easily.

However, and this will sound really mean of them, and that might be true, they are essentially pitting me against another girl for the same job. I found out that they had hired somebody before they'd ever met me, but that her trial got postponed for some reason. Then I came in one day and after speaking with them they scheduled me for a trial that Saturday. So now this other girl is ready to start her trial, and instead of them telling her they already found someone else, let's call it off, they let her come in for a trial too. I guess they wanted to see who's better and then let one of us go, because we're both applying for the same hours! But I think they like me, and Gouri called me today to say that they worked something out, that this other girl will work Thursdays and Saturdays, and I'll keep Sundays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. At least for now. I'm not sure if we're still in competition or not. Guess I'll find out eventually.

(On a side but semi-related note, I got to ride in their van. I started toward what I thought was the passenger door before I remembered that that's the driver's side in Australia. Weirdos.)

So now you're caught up on the jobs; let's move to out trips and parties! We went to the zoo a few days ago, and then a footy game, and then yesterday we went to Phillip Island! The Penguin Parade place! And we made friends and hung out with them! Yay!

The zoo was great because we finally saw kangaroos. I tried and tried to get a video of one of them hopping but they were conspiring to do so only when my camera was off. So sorry. We saw kangaroos and wallabies (which are kangaroos but even cuter because they're small), a koala, some wombats, baboons and some hilarious gibbons, among other things. I think the gibbons were my favorite because they pressed themselves right up against the glass to peer at us as if we were the ones on display. And then one of them peed and tasted its own urine.

We took this poorly staged video to try and capture the Aussie accent on film. I hope you can hear the guy.

I won't talk too much about the zoo because the Phillip Island trip included a nature park which turned out to be better than the zoo, so wait till I get to that.

Ok, so after the zoo we went to the AFL season opener game of footy, which was Carlton vs. Richmond. We live in Richmond, and out landlord is a Richmond fan, so we decided before we went that we would be Richmond fans, even though they're supposed to suck. So we went to this huuuuuuuge arena, which was round, and sat up in the nosebleed section. It was freeeeezing cold, which was funny, because if you'll remember, three days previously I had been melting.

Footy is weird. We didn't know what was going on for most of the game. Mix soccer with football and add a pinch of basketball. The goal post looks like football, except there are three of them on each side. The ball looks like a football too. But the rules are like soccer, except they can touch the ball with their hands, and even run with it, as long as they dribble it every few seconds. I didn't even know this game existed; I thought when they said footy they meant what we call soccer. But no. It's a strange game.

We caught up with our landlord, Alf, who was also at the game, for the last few minutes and sat with him. Alf is also really awesome, by the way. Richmond won, by the way. Ha! I knew I picked the right team.

Now, to Phillip Island. Our first stop was this small town called Turidan, where we had lunch. We got fish and chips, which was served in paper. Nevertheless, it was delicious. I am angry, though, that no one gives you ketchup in this country. At this eatery, for instance, we would have had to pay 30 cents for enough ketchup to dip three fries in. How can you serve fries with no ketchup?? You have to pay ridiculous amounts for it if you want any! I thought ketchup with your fries was a basic human right. This is when I miss the good ol' US of A.

Anyway, then we stopped at a winery in Grantville called the Gurdies Winery. Not a good winery name, I would think. Does not say ?fancy? and ?elegant.? But we enjoyed the wine tasting. There was an adorable yellow lab running around, which alone made my day. I love the picture of me rubbing his belly and him looking like he's smiling.

The view there was gorgeous. We could stare at the bay, whichever bay it was, and there were some trees with a definite Australian look to them.

Then we went to the Maru Wildlife Park. This was way cooler than the zoo because we actually got to pet a wombat, which is one of the cutest creatures on earth! Though it did nibble on me. And we got to feed and pet kangaroos and wallabies!!!!! I did not know you could do that! They are the cutest things! Just look at the pictures! Oh and we took a photo with a koala! It was one the Park took and we bought so I can't show you unless I scan it. But I do have photos of a sleeping koala, which is also one of the cutest creatures ever. It was wonderful!

I think I caught the tail-end of a kanagaroo hop here:

And check out this frightening bird:


We also stopped at a world-famous surfing beach, called Woolamai Beach. It was beautiful!! And then we went to a place called The Nobbies. It's a giant rock in the middle of the ocean. We froze our butts off and had coffee and cookies. It was a beautiful sight.

Finally, we went to the Penguin Parade. We were not allowed to take pictures there so unfortunately I have no photos of the cute little penguins or the beautiful beach we watched them on. But it was adorable. We sat on some wooden bleachers at night and watched them suddenly appear from the water and waddle their way onto shore to their homes. They make funny noises. They actually walk quite a long path, some of them, and there was a boardwalk right beside this path from which you could watch them from very up close. The best part happened when a wild wallaby stopped in the middle of the penguin's path to munch on either some grass or something in the grass. The penguins were waddling their way down the path until they spotted the wallaby in the middle of it. Then they stopped and stood around for a while. They were looking at each other as if to say, What the hell is that thing and is it safe to go past it? They chatted with each other for a while, then got the great idea to go under the boardwalk and try to go past it. But even then they couldn't quite muster the courage to do it. Then some stupid girl clapped and frightened the wallaby, who hopped away. Only then could the penguins go on. It was fun to watch the drama unfold.

It was nice that on the way back we got to watch a movie for free on little portable PSPs. I chose Flight of the Penguins. I knew beforehand that would be one of the choices.

I just realized that I've forgotten to talk about the party we went to at Mumbler, where Adam works. I think that was even before the zoo. Chris invited us to his private party. Actually Adam had to work during it, and I was just invited :) I had no idea that Chris is gay, but he is, and so are many of his friends! And that made for a fun party! Everyone was really nice, especially a girl named Tori. You will see her picture and look at her hair and possibly think she's a lesbian but she's very straight. She's extremely inclusive and warmly welcomed Adam and I to her group of friends. Oh, you'll also see a picture of me holding a pink drink with the word ?gay? written on the wall behind me. Haha! The drink special that night was the ?Gay Russian,? which was written on the wall, but Adam only got the ?Gay? part.

Tori invited us to hang out with her and the gang again the next day which we did. We went to the Lucky Coq, a really cool restaurant. We saw a girl from Electric Ladyland there who we chatted with for a bit. I am just so excited to have friends and acquaintances now. It's nice to walk down the street and have someone call after you to say Hey. Our landlord Alf does this, as well as Chris and my employers at Bohemio.

I think you've had enough now. I know I have. Having to wait to use the internet for over an hour paid off, because to make up for it, they're giving me free chai lattes. I feel fabulously urban sitting here at this art deco cafe, tapping away on my laptop and drinking my latte.


From T-dawg on Mar 28th, 2008

I am infintley jealous about the wallaby. I adore wallabies. even their name is cute.

From T-dawg on Mar 28th, 2008

Ok first, I meant to say that i adore WOMBATS. but wallabies are cute too. and also, I thoroughly enjoyed the final picture in this album. I must admit i had not expected to see male thongs amidst the cute marsupials and pretty landscapes.

From S. Biddy on Mar 28th, 2008

Yesssssss Going to have to agree with that last bit...the male thong pics amongst the other happy wild animal pictures. Unexpected as always Courn-dawg-izzle! BUT what you didn't write is how Adam blew his paycheck on the male thong to the far right! Rrrrr...haha j/k. Looks like fun in the land down undAH! Miss you though!

From Courtney's mom on Mar 30th, 2008

Love the zoo pics! Too cute!!

From Older Bro on Apr 2nd, 2008

Last picture with the thongs was interesting, lol. Loved the pictures of the animals and the ocean views. What great experiences you guys are having! Wow! See you soon!

From Alina on Apr 22nd, 2008

I'm glad to hear that you guys are living it up!! I sure hope to see you guys on August 23!

From james young on May 1st, 2008

hey adam! man you look great! cant believe where life has taken you lol. ahh my life is boring back here in michigan, working at UofM hospital. I'll just have to read up on your adventures :) good to see you are doing well man. hit me up on myspace!