Friday, June 23, 2006
People in Perth
Nick invited me to join him in his new shop to learn how to run it and eventually take it over. It would have been a very lucrative deal and would probably have made me a millionaire over the next 10 years. The situation wasn't exactly right and I had to turn him down, unfortunately.
Paul, our first landlord was a very interesting fellow. He is a very tall guy with huge dreadlocks. He ran a hostel in the past, but says that running a hostel doesn't pay very much and you have to do it because you love the hostel lifestyle. It takes all your time and you don't have a life outside of it. Paul got out of the hostel business and now rents furnished apartments and sets up tourists with all sorts of tours. It seems to be a very profitable venture. On the weekends he is a DJ in a local park and he uses copious amounts of drugs and alcohol. His looks and drug use don't really go along with his business sense. Paul is quite a character.
Tim is a barrister or maybe a solicitor. I'm not sure which. He seems like a barrister though. He is an interesting person that must measure his days in six-minute increments. (It will be a sad day when they start per-second billing like the telephone companies). He was called to be the Elders quorum president when we first arrived in Perth and then to be the Bishop a few weeks before we left. He organized an Australia Day cricket grudge match between the Elders and the Priests to give the priests a chance to heal their pride after they lost a few weeks before.
Justin is Nick's son. He is a carpenter that specializes in finishing kitchens. Like many sons he doesn't seem to want to work in the family business with his dad, but was very happy to build all the shelving units for the new shop. Justin is a great guy. I worked in the old shop with his wife. They took a trip to Italy around the same time Tracie and I were in Melbourne and Tasmania. Justin's wife stayed a few weeks longer in Italy to learn Italian a little bit better. Justin speaks Italian because he served his mission there. His dad, Nick, emigrated to Australia from Italy when he was 11 and so Justin feels strong ties to Italy even though he was born in Australia.
Dermot is a carpenter from Ireland. After living and finding a girlfriend in New York for a couple of years, has decided to live and work in Perth. He is a great guy. He is very fun and can be summed up by the phrase, "Yes let's". He is up for everything and really enjoys going to the ocean for early morning body boarding or fishing. He got Tracie and me hooked on fishing. Having never really fished by myself before, I can really appreciate how calming it can be. He wants to get a motorbike but is being strongly discouraged by Michele.
Michele is Dermot's girlfriend and Tracie's best friend. She is also from Ireland but emigrated to New York when she was 12. She has a strong New York accent, but it turns Irish when she gets a little drunk. Like Tracie Michele is a nurse working for a nursing agency. She is wants to be sponsored for a working visa and eventually get permanent residency here in Australia. She has a lot of stress and is a bit of a worrier. Tracie calms her down a lot. I am jealous of Tracie and Michele's friendship.
Gerry is one of our current flat mates here in Sydney. He works for a company rents properties from people, furnishes them and then sublets them to all types of people. Gerry shows the properties to prospective renters. He is also an aspiring actor. He was in a show called, 'tick, tick, boom' and is in a new show called, 'Rent'. Rent was recently made into a movie because of the success of other musical movies. He is from Scotland and is supporting England in the world cup, sort of, because he has an English girlfriend.
Cedric is French. He is a great guy. Very fun. When Tracie had her second rental car accident and I told her not to worry, "It's only money". He really liked the phrase a lot and co-opted it into his meagre English vocabulary. He uses a bit differently than I do, he says it to mean spend your money having the time of your life. Money comes and go but the memories last until you get the mad cow disease. We had a really good time on his birthday with him and two of his French friends.
Sarah is a writer for an advertorial home magazine. It seems like a job I would love. Her magazine is owned by a Singaporean publisher who has a small portfolio of 10-12 magazines. Her magazine publishes four times per year. It looks very good. She asked me if I had any photos of Perth the magazine could use. They approved one and will pay me $100 when I invoice them. Sarah is Gerry's girlfriend and suppose his acting aspirations.
Liam was my boss at the restaurant. I like him a lot, but could hardly understand a word he said. He is from Thailand and has a thick accent. To make matters worse he learned English in Australia and so he actually has two accents for the price of one. I'm told that he is a very good boss compared to a lot of chefs who are real jerk-faces. I found Liam to be very nice.
Stephen is the owner of a small internet cafe in Northbridge. Tracie and I were two of his very first customers and he went out of his way to be nice to us. Over the few months we were there we saw his business grow along with the long hours he worked there. He would let us in while keeping others out because he liked us. In fact he gave Tracie his card so that we could call his cellphone if the cafe was closed and he would open for us. Sometime he was closed to have a little quiet time to work on the computers or something.
Tim the security guard is or was the security guard at the State Library of WA. I think he said that he was retiring soon. Hopefully he doesn't get shot on his last day. He gave us lots of great tips on the things to do and see around Perth. He is a very friendly and likable guy.
Narika is a gal that I worked with for a little while at TSA Telco group. When she was introducing me around the office she kept mishearing my name. After about three tries I settle on Jerry as being close enough. I though she would figure it out on her own. While some people did, her and another woman had to be told. Five weeks after I started there. This is one of my funniest and favourite stories from Australia.
I guess this is getting long and I'm having to think harder and harder to find interesting people to talk about. If I think of more tonight, I'll write more about them in the tomorrow afternoon. Otherwise it will be on to the train and Melbourne tomorrow.