Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Chance was on our side because the girl who answered the phone was on her way to work at the hostel and agreed to pick us up at the airport and bring us to the hostel for free. We didn't even know what direction the city was in.
Outside the airport, it was the coldest day that I have seen in the entire time we have been in Australia. We could see our breath! It hasn't been that cold since. It was a big shock considering that it was 30+ degrees in Singapore.
One of us tried to get into the drivers side by mistake, I can't remember who but I'm sure Tracie does, me would be safe bet, but I might have taken the back to be nice to Tracie. The hostel girl ask if we wanted to drive and thought it was pretty funny.
We were in the Hostel for a couple of nights but soon moved onto the apartment in Highgate. The hostel was OK, not many people were there at the time which for any hostel is a big plus.
The new apartment was nice and we had a couple of weeks alone there before our roommate showed up. This apartment was a little cheaper than a private one would have been, but looking back, I would get the private one next time.
The flat had single beds pushed together and no heater. We made do with pushing the beds together (which is what we have been doing for pretty much the entire time we have been in Australia) and by buying our own space heater. Luckily it was the end of winter clearance time and we were able to pick up an electric heater for only 12 dollars. There were a lot of cold nights even with the heater.
The best thing about the apartment was that it had a washing machine in the bathroom. I haven't been in a place without one since I left Argentina seven years ago and not having one is a real pain. Although there was no clothes dryer, that isn't as big a problem as it seems especially in places where there is no below freezing weather. I don't really like to hand the clothes to dry because they end up crunchy (especially sock and jeans) and get bleached by the sun much more quickly than I would have thought.
The best thing about the being in the building was that we had two really good neighbours and Michele has turned out to be Tracie's best friend in Australia.
The location was also really good because it was only a 15 minute walk downtown which meant that we did a lot of walking and didn't really need a car. In fact finding parking, and having to pay for parking along with buying gasoline made not having a car somewhat of a blessing. We were also about an hours walk away from Blockbuster so I could still rent as many movies as I wanted.
Did I ever tell you that I met a guy living in Argentina who liked to go to Blockbuster there because, "It smells like America"?
Tracie started working pretty much right away for WANA, a nursing agency in Perth. I think she got her first shift with in the first two weeks.
It took me a little while longer. Eventually I got a job doing dishes in a Restaurant. It paid $14 per hour which wasn't bad and by the end I was working five nights a week. I think they liked me a lot there. I didn't do any screwing around and got the job done well enough. Knowing your place is an important part of being on the lowest rung of the ladder.
Once one of the sous-chefs made one of the steak parmas too small and it made the head chef really mad. The head chef wouldn't let the underling have it to eat and said it was for me. I think it was a little bit because he was mad and a little because he liked me. They would make me special meals all the time. The dish washer before me got in trouble several times by asking the owner for cervesa even though he knew that was against the proper protocol. I think it caused the head chef a real hassle. You must always be offered and never as for a beer. The offered me several bottles of coke at the end of every shift. By the end though I was ready to quit. Dish washing can be fun, but really I'm too old to be doing it. I had another job at the fruit shop during the same time for a morning job, and I liked it too. It was my job to unload the truck. It was pretty much the same thing I was doing at sears only with more fruit and refrigeration.
My hands are cramping up so I will continue tomorrow.