Day 148-154: Sydney (Week 17)
Trip Start Sep 12, 2004
57Trip End Jan 05, 2006
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A nightmare day from hell at work today, hundreds of calls because Notes passwords expired over the weekend. Of course they knew it was gonna happen but didn't bother to do anything in advance so just ended up firefighting all bloody day...god I'm looking forward to Feb 18th. Still hunting online for replacements sunglasses, managed to find the Ray Bans I lost on a UK site and it'll be about £80 for the glasses including shipping which ain't too bad, trouble is they're not in stock at the mo so probably won't get them in the 14 days. Not loving the Oakleys I bought on Friday really, too big and not as dark.
On 8-4.30s this week, went to the gym after but didn't have time to do much, just ran for 20 and cycled for 20. Reason time was short was because I wanted to go and watch Ocean's 12 at the Open Air Cinema this evening. The prebooked tickets were sold out but they release about 100 for cash sale at 6.30 - though they advise that you get there as early as possible. I arrived about 6 and was about 120th in line! One of the ushers said that those past the 80th point would probably not get tickets at 6.30 but could wait until 8.30 where they would release tickets for any pre-booked people who didn't turn up. Obviously I couldn't be arsed to stand in queue for 2 hours on the off chance that I MAY get a seat. It's a pity coz I really want to see a film there before the season ends in a couple of weeks, it's more the novelty factor really, the cinema is outside with views of the bridge and Opera House, the screen rises from the water just before the showing so you've basically got this amazing backdrop whilst watching the movie. Maybe i'll try again for a less popular film.
Got a bit hot and bothered rushing to the ticket queue so once I realised I wasn't gonna get anywhere I went and sat in the Royal Botanic Gardens for a little while, it's the first time I've been there and there are amazing views from Farm Cove over the harbour, the gardens are pretty spectacular too but I just sat on my arse watching the world go by. Caught the bus home about 7, chucked some washing on and pretty much vegged in front of the TV for the rest of the night, starting with The X Factor...yep it's over here now, then Niki wanted to watch Desperate Housewives - dunno if you've got that yet. Then I wanted to watch Queer as Folk at 10 but it's bloody finished and now they're showing Shameless which was on Channel 4 when I was still in the UK, never watched it there but watched the first episode and wasn't too bad.
Still pretty busy at work today but not quite so mental. Had to buy a lightbulb for my bedside lamp at lunch (you see how dull my working day is....buying a lightbulb is even worth mentioning!!). Gym after work, 20 min run, 20 min cycle, 15 min step, then lower body weights. Walked past an opticians called OPSM on the way home and noticed they had some Ray Ban sunglasses in the window, couldn't see my old ones but will have to pay a visit there tomorrow just in case. Also nipped to the supermarket, by the time I'd waited half an hour for the bus I didn't get home until just after 8. Tried the lightbulb I bought today but I'd bought a bayonet fitting and it needed a screw fitting, oh well, will have to take it back tomorrow - well at least it'll spice up another working day! lol
Another TV night tonight but not much on really. Niki came home with a friend and they chatted in the kitchen, think they got stoned on the balcony too, anyway was bored so went to bed half ten. Blimey - this has to be the shortest diary entry so far!
Sat next to a guy with a really long thumbnail on the bus this morning! Lunchtime I nipped to OPSM, by now I'd got the model number, name and lens code for the Ray Bans so thought that should be enough information for them to try and find them. They didn't have them in the store but checked the computer and it looked like they did have them in stock at some point, though they're now showing as obsolete. They took the details and said they'd try and see if there was any stock available around the country. Also nipped to the hardware store to swap the bulbs over, my excitement peaked as I entered the store and they were handing out blank keys for a free key cutting....my mind went into overdrive thinking of all the key cutting possibilities that lay before me... (help me!).
Discovered this afternoon, after someone stuck their foot in it by email, that one of the guys who's supposed to be leaving the same day as me has now been extended to the 25th Feb, even he didn't know it yet! I asked if he was the only one and the Team Leader said he thought that my 3 month limit was up on the 18th which is why I was leaving, though of course he didn't actually ask me, he heard it from someone else. I pointed out that the 3 months is up on March 9th so I could be extended, he apologised and said he would check with the IT Manager when he gets back from hol. I know I keep saying I'm looking forward to finishing but another $850 would come in handy so would rather do the extra week, what's more annoying is they didn't even ask me, they just listened to the assumption of someone else...who probably said that so that they'd get extended not me....buggers!
OPSM called during the afternoon too to say that they'd found a pair of the sunnies in Victoria and that they'd take about 4 working days to be delivered here, the bonus is that because they're discontinued stock they're only $99.95 (£40) which is practically half the price I paid for them in the UK. They should be here next Tues which is good coz it means I'm still within the 14 days to take the Oakleys back and get a refund.
No gym today, Wednesday is a day off. Wandered into the city briefly to buy birthday cards for Mum and Dad and then walked home and had a little nap. Arranged to meet Aaron this evening for a drink and catch up as I haven't seen him for weeks. Was also supposed to be seeing Al so invited him along too. Al was gonna come over to mine early and then we were gonna walk over to Stonewall to meet Aaron. However got a text from Aaron saying he couldn't make it coz his barman was sick and he needed to cover, but said that we should go visit him in the bar for a couple. Then Al sent a text saying he was running late, so we eventually got to the Two Fat Ducks bar at about 9. Aaron had bought himself a $1500 Sony digital camera which was very nice, even has a nightvision setting! Which is very useful for taking pics in the Dark Side Restaurant.
Also met one of Aarons friends, Brett, he'd been travelling round Europe for some time and has recently got a french working visa as he met someone over there and is returning in 7 weeks to live with him! Brett and Al chatted quite a lot as Al is taking French and of course is going to Europe so enjoyed hearing tales of travelling round and finding work. Showed Al the Dark Side after all the customers had left (was a quiet night apparently), think he'd like to eat there sometime so might arrange that. Al and I wandered up Oxford St after having a couple of drinks, Aaron said he'd be closing up in half an hour so would call me when he's done to find out where we were. Stopped off in the Sushi Train for some food, then ended up in the Brighton bar, upstairs was karaoke so I sang a couple, it was really quiet so didn't have to wait long. Aaron sent a text whilst we were there to say he wasn't coming out after all coz "Friends need[ed] to chat".....which was slightly weird. Anyway Al and I stayed at Brighton till just before midnight by which time I was getting knackered and mildly drunk so wandered home.
Two people sick at work today....sick my arse! Just lazy buggers if you ask me. This of course meant it was busier for those people left, only had a lunch break other than that was stuck on the phone all day, very glad to get out. Went for a swim after work, checked to see whether my sunnies had been handed in but unsurprisingly they hadn't. Swam 34 lengths in the medium lane which is 1700m, done that in about 50 mins or so, then relaxed in the big jacuzzi/hydrotherapy pool as they call it. Walked home and had a quick bite to eat before going to choir.
Had to learn Like A Prayer without sheet music tonight, we're singing it with Courtney Act. I think it was her choice and it seems as if it's all a bit last minute. If you remember the song there's a choir doing backing and obviously we'll be doing the choiry backing vocal stuff and Courtney will be Madonna. Was really tough trying to learn all the harmonies without any sheet music. Really didn't feel like it tonight either, plus we've got a 6 hour rehearsal on Saturday.
Went for drinks after, a few people went including Chris and King, went to The Oxford. Unbelievably neither Chris or King are drinking at the moment - they've put themselves on the wagon, think it's a new year (ish) healthy thing and get the impression that sometimes their drinking gets a bit out of control. What I love about those two is how much they make me laugh and how much of a laugh we have together. I was laughing so hard at some of the things they come out with, no point explaining here coz 'you had to be there....'.
Got home just after 11, went to the bathroom to clean my teeth and there'd been an invasion of cockroaches....now I haven't spoken about cockroaches I don't think. Obviously they're a fact of life over here but just recently we've had more in the flat because they 'bombed' upstairs...ie they let off a roach bomb which is like a chemical mist which kills any roaches in the flat, of course because they did that the little bastards came scuttling downstairs into ours. Luckily we don't get the really big ones, just the smaller ones which I can cope with, think I killed about 6 in the bathroom, what's really pissing me off is that they're now in my bedroom, or in the built-in wardrobe to be precise. Haven't had hardly any insects in my room since moving in which has been wonderful, but now they've started appearing, had to kill a couple in there too. Of course we spray around the place but doesn't seem to make much difference really. I sprayed round the edges of the room, door and window again just to help keep them at bay. Anyway, after my killing spree went straight to bed.
Read on the net at work that there was a riot at the new Ikea store in Edmonton, London yesterday. Thought that was quite funny, especially as some stories were claiming there was related stabbing and other's said it was a coincidence, one story had pics too, pics of crazed people trying to get a cheap sofa! lol....now I may like Ikea but that's just a little dramatic. A new store opened in Sydney a few weeks ago and don't recall any riots here, maybe the English are more stupid than Aussies sometimes.
Lion King tonight so finshed work at 4 and nipped to the gym for a quick cycle and some upper body weights. Didn't really have much time as I needed to be on the bus about 5.30 to get home in time to get ready. Met Al at about half 6 in Market City shopping centre which is pretty close to the Capitol Theatre in the Chinatown district. We actually met in the supermarket as Al was getting some shopping in, we wandered to a restaurant in chinatown for some food. During the meal he seemed quiet, didn't say much and wasn't giving me much eye contact, basically it felt really awkward. Anyway, I can't be bothered to write paragraphs about the evening, but suffice to say the evening ended after Lion King in an argument with Al whilst we were in the car looking for a parking space. It turned nasty, some hurtful stuff was said and it ended with me paying him the money I owed him for the meal and us going our seperate ways. It's too complicated to explain but we just seem to misunderstand each other and it just isn't working, it's either really really good and we have a great time, or it's shit and we argue, there's no middle ground. Somehow I don't think we'll be in contact anymore, I certainly won't be contacting him and doubt he'll do the same.
Tried to go out and have a couple of drinks but wasn't really up for it, spoke to Chris on the phone who was really nice and supportive so it was good to hear a friendly voice. Gave up in the end and went home and cried my tears, got it out of my system and will move on. It'll leave a bit of a hole for a while coz we spent lots of time together, and it was great having someone to hang out with who enjoyed the things I enjoyed, but hey, he wasn't around before Christmas and I coped so I'm sure I'll be fine now too. I guess it's for the best too coz I was finding the sort of grey area we were in difficult, just wish it could have happened and ended a bit less unpleasently.
Lion King was good by the way, though not as spectacular as I thought it would be as it's hyped up quite a bit. It is very clever though how they bring the puppets and characters to life so it's worth seeing, just a pity I was with someone who didn't seem to appreciate it, he only applauded at the end, he said it was good but I wonder if the $100 ticket would have been better used by someone else.
Felt a bit better in the morning after a nights sleep. Choir rehearsal all day today from 10 to 4 at one of the rehearsal rooms at the Seymour Centre which is where we'll be performing on the 26th. Jumped on the bus and was there about 9.45...some people milling around, I'm slowly getting to know everyone, which is weird considering how long I've been going, there doesn't seem to be much mixing between the sections - ie Tenors, Basses, Sopranos, Altos.....and of course I'm a bit shite at talking to new people so that doesn't help. Basically spent the morning going through the repetoire and practising the choralography, the rehearsal room has mirrors so we could see how god awful it looked! Caught up with Chris who waltzed in late.
Went to the Broadway centre to pick up some lunch and then ate with Chris and a few others in Victoria Park which is just over the road from the Seymour. Pretty much covered all the repetoire in the afternoon, including the so called 'Manly Medley' which the guys are singing, but now we've added actions - and you can imagine the sort of embarrasing crap that we'll be doing to 'Macho Man'....god help me, thank god I'm gonna be on the 2nd row now. Wandered back to Broadway after rehearsal to do some shopping, picked up the t-shirt I need for the concert, just need a long sleeve black shirt now. Nipped to the net cafe afterwards to update some stuff and catch up on messages.
Got home about half seven, spoke to Carlos on the way and arranged to meet for dinner. He moved flats yesterday so was pretty busy unpacking and settling into his new place, he's moved from Newtown to Zetland which is a little bit further east apparently but I haven't got a clue where it is really. Anyway went home to have a quick shower, Niki was in and said she wanted a 'chat'. She said that she's going overseas for work for a couple of weeks over Easter, now because I wanted to move out just after Easter she said this would make things complicated. She wants to get a new flatmate in before she goes away, so effectively she was giving me a months notice, either that or I agree to stay on until mid April when she'll be back. I think if I'd read my stars for this weekend there would have been something about unexpected change!!! I said I'd have a think about what I wanted to do and let her know.
Met Carlos on Oxford St and as I had a BOGOF for Wagamama we went there. Carlos is still with his bloke, he's also working at City Gym now as an instructor which isn't far from me so he's pretty busy as usual. After Wagamamas we went to the Grumpy Baker for a coffee and cake...well Apple & Rhubarb Crumble Tart. Chris sent me a text whilst I was out inviting me to Newtown as he was out there with his friend Nick. So finished up coffee with Carlos and left him to go catch the bus to Newtown. Was there by about 10, met up with Chris and Nick at The Newtown, they were also with another friend who I haven't met before called Colin. Bumped into a couple of other people whilst I was there including Heiko and Greg, a couple of the guys I spent Christmas afternoon with. Stayed there until just before midnight and then we walked down to the Imperial, didn't see any shows tonight, just stayed in the front bar for the evening, though did go downstairs to the club briefly. By half 3 I was knackered so said my goodbyes, caught a cab and was in bed by 4am. Had a really good night and certainly helped take my mind of things!
Obviously I wasn't up very early, woke up about 9 but managed to get to sleep again finally getting up about midday. Had planned to go and see the Chinese New Year parade down in Chinatown but it started at 11am so there was no chance of getting there for then. Pottered around and had some brekkie. Then wandered up to the Academy Twin cinema on the Paddington side of Oxford St to book the films I want to see at the Mardi Gras Film Festival. Bought the 5 film pass coz you save a bit of money, annoyingly a couple of the films I wanted to see are sold out so had to pick a couple of alternatives. Going to see Euro Boys, We're Not In Kansas Anymore, Raspberry Reich, That Man: Peter Berlin, and Pumping Velvet. Wanted to see Locked Up and Summer Storm and apparently it may be possible to get tickets on the night so will try and get to them anyway. Then I wandered down to Starbucks and did the cup of tea and the sunday paper thing.
After reading the paper for an hour or so I wandered down toward chinatown to see if there was much going on but it was pretty quiet. So nipped into a new net cafe in the area for a couple of hours, all new shiny flatscreens that don't make me go blind - I'll swear using internet cafes with crap monitors is affecting my eyesight! Arron was online so chatted to him and arranged to meet up on Oxford St so I wandered home, done the ironing - *yawn* - and walked to the Shift to meet Arron. Was about half 6 and he was already pissed...nice! He was playing pool with a couple of mates, had a couple of games of doubles before all 4 of us oing down to Stanley St to eat. Stanley isn't very far from me, it's another one of these little streets with loads of cafes and restaurants on it. We went to a 'European' restaurant, well more Italian I guess but the food was pretty good and had some interesting conversations as 2 guys were pissed and me and the were stone cold sober....don't you hate being round drunk people sober?
Was pretty knackered due to my late one last night so made my way home after the meal. Had thought about the flat move during the day and decided that I would move out on the 12th March, both Chris and Aaron had offered accomodation so at least I've got some options other than moving back to a hostel, guess it just means I've gotta get organised, also gotta try and sell the bed or hope that whoever moves in wants it. Aaron's offer is good coz he's got a 3 bed apartment in the middle of the city so that would be very handy indeed and it's only a short taxi journey from mine so will make moving easy. Told Niki what I'd decided to do and she'll be drawing up the notice letter and we've just got to work out the money stuff too. Of course one good thing about moving out is I get my $800 bond back so that'll be a nice little top up to the money.
So after a weekend of change another week comes to a close. Next week may be my last at work depending on whether they extend me for another week or not...we'll see!