End of my shift, the owner of the restaurant asks me for some tobacco, I give him some. As I get the packet back I notice there a piece of carton missing on my paper packet..?! WTF?! Whatever.
5 minutes after on, as I pop-up a very last time in the kitchen in order to say goodbye everyone, it turns out that my tobacco was indeed being used to make a massive spliff…
My boss is a stoner, whatever, I’m on weekend!!
And I incidentally got time to write.
So, let’s summarize this first semester spent in Australia.
I wanted to work in a Backpackers? I’ve been working for 2 months as Night Manager (night shifts at the reception) @ Home at the Mansion Backpacker (Melbourne).
I meant to make myself a first experience in catering? I’m currently working in some good restaurant, still learning some stuff from time to time even though I’m just a kitchen hand.
“No matter what you do, do it with style.”
Well… “So far so good” as they say down here!
That’s by the way one of the advantage to be literally on the other end of the world, you can lie as much as you want on your CV, no one’s even gonna double check anything.
So I admit that to get those jobs I’ve lied on my resume, I’m not ashamed.
When you see how most employers actually treat/abuse Working Holiday Visa foreigners, the least we can do in return is to make up a beautiful bullshit on the front line of our CV. Seems legit.
Wow, seems like we’ve crossed the seven pages by now… I’m surprising myself!!
When I see “2937 words” at the bottom left hand corner of my Word window I just can’t help thinking of the time I was still a student back in the days.
In order to graduate that year in Galway I remember that I had to pass a tricky subject called “Business Ethics”. The teacher asked us to write a couple of thousand words about some boring stuff, and by the time the number of words was the most important shit, so straight away writing becomes a pain in the ass… But now that I’m doing it for myself it changes quite a lot of things.
It even turned out that now I’m writing instead of drinking on my days off…. what a change!! I feel like I’m going through great things these days, major changes, irremediably facing a turning point of my life.
I would have learnt how to live with a very few stuff, and with no address.
I once said “My life now weighs 20 kilos of luggages, but tons of love and souvenirs.” when I had to leave Spain after the most incredible year of my life..
Sevilla mi alma !!
Oh – and guess what – I would also have learnt how TO LIVE WITHOUT NIGHTLIFE!! Can you believe that shit?!?
Ok, let me explain. To get hired at the restaurant, I had to accept to work every single weekend, ‘weekend’ here actually means ‘from Wednesday to Sunday included, afternoon + evening until closing (midnight)’ .
Subtitles?? No more weekends => Always working on the ‘party nights’ => Days off on Monday & Tuesday => Absolutely no way to have a good night out on any of these two fucked up days off…
So yeah, I simply had to renounce have a nightlife… Yes, you got me well!! I did NOT go out the past two months..!! Told you, changes…
But I’m not gonna lie to you, let’s make things clear out there, nightlife in Australia SUCKS SO BADLY. Every bar/club shuts around one, or eventually 2am if you’re really lucky and – another thing – you get automatically kicked out whenever you’re slightly drunk….. What’s the fuck Australia?!? Getting drunk IS THE PURPOSE of your establishment!!!!
Bars and night clubs aren’t that crazy here anyways… There’s always something missing, you know that I-don’t-know-what that makes your mood up?? I guess we can call that the good old European craziness.
Plus so far I haven’t found any “headquarter”, you know, that bar or club where you can head every single night with absolutely no chance to get bored?? Aka: Alfalfa @ Sevilla, Roisin Dubh @ Galway…
Or maybe nightlife is not THAT bad in Oz, maybe I just had a far too sick nightlife last year as I was leaving in Spain… Probably nothing worse than a too big contrast I guess.
But 3 months with no weekends, no nights out and a basically fucked up night life = party home. I, for instance, will never forget my very first Xmas abroad… Might be a bit ‘selfish towards my family’ to say that, but this year I really had the best Xmas ever!! I could never have imagined it would have been so much fun to celebrate it abroad..! (See photo on top of the page)
Indoors BBQ, midnight bath at 4am, all clothes getting stolen in the meantime, running after the thieves naked on the beach (…), totally randomly finding some new abandoned clothes further away at the water’s edge (!!), going back home at the sunrise, finding a couple of people passed out all over the floor & your housemate who threw up (& filled up) in a coffee cup from her bed…… WOOOOOOOOW!! This is what I mean when by “Xmas beautiful disaster party..!”
“NO FINESSE AT ALL!!!”
Cuz yeah, dunno if I told you yet, I now live in a massive house with something like 25 people?? The building is basically divided in 6 five person flats, but the concept is pretty sick ; only foreigners!!!
So it still feels like I’m living in a backpacker, but with a bit more of comfort & privacy.
By ‘privacy’ I mean sharing one room with only 2 other guys (instead of 7 when I used to live in Melbourne…) and by ‘comfort’, I mean having a regular single bed instead of a f*cking shaky bunk bed that I use to share with some random people as I was still living in an actual hostel. Oh yeah true, also at least now I know who I’m sharing my room with, believe me, it’s something appreciable.
You guys can’t even picture how wonderful my world’s gonna become as soon as I will find back a normal private room with eventually… a double bed for me only..???
Would that be possible?? Isn’t it too good to be true?! Wow, you see, just for you to have an idea, a singular night in a normal private bedroom, is one of my greatest dream these days..!
So yeah, life has its ups and downs, I do not hide, it’s part of the game.
And yes, I’ve had some ‘downs’ lately. There are just some days that are tougher than some others and it’s human after all sometimes to get back home literally whacked and not obviously in a good mood after having scrubbed nasty plates all day long…
Let me put things back in their context,
1/ A simple detail that takes a lot of proportions when it comes to have a Skype conversation with someone who’s in Europe, there is a 10 HOUR jet-lag with Australia… = Pretty impossible to talk to people you love for a whole year.
And believe me, after those 3 years that I’m travelling around the world now, I do really feel like it’s getting harder and harder to always be far away from the ones I love… To be constantly off balance… Believe me, I do really miss some of you so badly!! It’s not because I’m currently down under that I don’t think of you guys!!
But it does not necessarily mean that I’m gonna get done with travelling soon, because you know, ain’t no price to make new encounters on a daily basis..!
This shit is pretty addictive and… It keeps you alive.
2/ In order to runaway asap from this (after 3 months) slightly boring Bondi, I have to do a lot of sacrifices and living life ‘like a gypsy’ to save as much money as I can. (No offense, it’s just an expression)
By sacrifices I mainly mean having the least expenses possible. It’s constantly living on a low budget. As I wrote once:
“Being a backpacker is mostly about learning how to cut down on cost of living. It’s for example to constantly know where to find the cheapest tobacco place in a radius of 10Ks around, it’s to consider a rest of a shampoo bottle found in a backpackers as a real find, it’s to use that same rest of shampoo to do the dishes (…), it’s always being after free wifi spots, it’s travelling around with a disabled train ticket cuz it’s 10 times cheaper than a regular full fare ticket…
But being a backpacker is also learning how to properly enjoy free stuff & especially human relationships. The generosity and support from other backpackers travelling around worth over than all of those ridiculous dollars.”
“My days were more exciting when I was penniless.” Into The Wild.
So yeah, I’m saving on absolutely everything, I’m doing groceries twice a month, only buying basics products such as eggs & cheese. The rest of the food I eat home is for half coming from the leftovers taken home by one of my flatmate who works in a bakery (WIN) and for half coming straight from my restaurant, the food I’m taking/stealing home besides all of the dinners I have over there.
Makes me think of a good one : “If we are what we eat, I’m fast, cheap and easy.”
I’m also saving on my laundry, that I’m doing myself on the bathtub since it’s $4 to use the washer from my house… #GreedyLandlordsAcrossTheWorld (This one is for you Erna.)
Oh!!! Yes, before I forget, I mostly save on alcohol!! Brace yourselves; I haven’t bought any spirit in almost five months that I’m Australia now..! Fuck me, who would have thought!!
But it’s true, since a regular bottle of vodka cost approximately at least $40 (€33), it goes straight in the ‘non-affordable-products’ category. So then I mostly drink beers and ‘goon’, that disgusting Aussie wine sold in a box which gives you the worst hangover ever… Backpackers will know what I mean, THIS is a real sacrifice.
So yeah, this life that I lead now is not that easy every day. ‘Down under’ made/makes me go through ups and downs. One cannot win every time, otherwise victories would be tasteless.
“Everything’s gonna be alright in the end. If it’s not alright, it’s not the end.”
For a while I just might have forgotten that the most important is not to be strong, but to feel strong.
The only real thing you gotta never forget is why you’re doing all that.
I do those sacrifices in order to save money to travel, always further away, and that is what I try to remember anytime I feel down, my goal.
‘This heart of mine was made to travel this world.’