'Hard' times..

Trip Start Sep 09, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

'Where you from darlin'?'
'Ahhh, so you play the bagpipes an all that?'

After almost a month of knuckling down, life here in Kal has been... how d'you say... almost imaginary. A lot has happened and yet there's almost nothing to report. In the grand scheme of things my time here has been the most uneventful so far, yet it's been one of the most lively and eye-opening of experiences. I'm still not convinced I'm not residing in a metropolis of inbreds and I'm still not convinced it's not all one big dream.

Things have been difficult. There's a lot of negative, destructive behaviour around here and I'm caught right in the thick of it. It's been far too serious and continuous to ignore and I'm not sure you can put it all down to a small town mentality. Honestly, I have never been around so many idiots in one place in my life, with an everyday behaviour you could only expect to find in the school playground: the constant idle chatter of small minds, the whispering, the gossiping, the slagging off of people who only moments ago were complimented, the persistent racist remarks and judgemental opinionated behaviour from people who can't see past the end of their nose. It's been constant, predictable and wholly disappointing. An absolute joke in fact.

A couple of years ago this wouldn't have been so much of a problem - I'd have made more allowances and blended in better for the benefit of the situation. But I'm not the same fella these days. I really haven't got the time of day for this kind of bullshit. Seriously, I don't think I've been surrounded by this many f*ckwits since I worked in an office. So I've singled myself out and have since been trying to make sense out of the whole 'it must be me' thing. It was only when my old mate Dusty rocked up in town last week that things came back into focus. He'd called a couple of nights previous to say he'd be swinging by Kal for a few days of banter before heading across to Perth. In fact, he'd been following the same route across the Nullarbor as we had, just a few weeks behind. Rolling up with his life strapped to the back of a 650 Kawazaki dirt bike truly put me in the shade. The guy's a legend. And it was this legend that saved me from an imminent and uncomfortable phase of insanity. Just watching his reaction to what was going on around him and the sort of set-behaviour of some of these imbeciles sealed it for me in an instant. Finally I wasn't alone, and the relief was beyond measure. I'd got my medicine. I'd been 'saved' by an American.

Working in the hotel has been great for the ever-ageing CV, having been fortunate enough to be thrown in the deep end with all the aspects and intricacies of running a hotel - from locking myself in the deep-freeze to having a keg of beer explode full-force in my face (easily the most 'refreshing' pint you could ever hope not to have.) Hotels like this are driven largely by the mining companies who pay huge amounts of dollar to have their workers pampered with hospitality. All day, from the 4am breakfast till close, they're fed, watered, accommodated and sent to bed reeking of stale beer. It's a highly lucrative business. As plates and pints get handed over in the hundreds, the cash-flow fattens and chugs away effortlessly. There's so much money flying around here you can almost smell it in the air. Kalgoorlie is without doubt Australia's 'Vegas', and with their food, accommodation and expenses covered (and the staggering rate of pay they get) these boys have got more money than sense. Many of them are clearing a good three grand a week and squander half of it on the only thing there is to spend your money on in Kal: beer, gambling and sex.

For anyone looking to top up the fund pot, there is still a hefty amount of work here. And it doesn't have to be mine work. The spin-off business itself throws open a whole fleet of opportunities. I got offered security work almost immediately following the briefest of introductions. To say these guys are laid back is the understatement of understatements. There's a silly amount of money to be made here. Just come to Kal.


(Daniel, READ THIS)

Another fine aspect of this corner of the world is how they've managed to maintain some of the more risqué traditions, like the thriving brothels on Hay Street and the many bars that take more than the full advantage of employing 'Skimpies'. Skimpies are young, attractive, topless barmaids who walk around in their tiny sexy little g-strings pulling beer, bending over every few minutes, chatting to customers and occasionally performing cheeky obscenities to keep the boys entertained. I've had to work alongside them and I'm telling you, introducing yourself to an achingly gorgeous young girl freshly showered and blow-dried with bedtime eyes, a juicy smile and two firm rounded breasts bobbing just inches from your face is as perplexing an experience as you could ever hope to get ('Hi I'm Scott. Nice to meet you both..') A difficult job I'm sure you'll agree but then, someone has to do it. Hard times.. (NO pun intended!)

These beauties hang around for a week and move on, which means things are kept interesting. Each week at 'changeover' the atmosphere is electric with anticipation, and as you'd expect, these last few weeks have been a right eye-opener. Some of the girls are spot on, switched on and make themsleves an absolute fortune, whilst others sink to some shocking levels to make a buck. But it's all good entertainment value. From 6am on a Monday morning the front bar of the hotel is alive with fluorescent jackets guzzling down pint after pint of 'Super' while hurling all sorts of innuendo at the half-naked hottie behind the bar. That's six 'o clock in the morning. As I said, different world.

Sarah and I went our separate ways not long after our arrival. Nothing scandalous to report, just that it became clear quite quickly that our ethics sit at opposite ends of the spectrum. She's doing fine though, clocking up plenty of hours and blending nicely into Kal life. There's been talk of us moving down the road into the 'staff house' at some point as a couple of the guys are planning to move on soon. This could throw open a few right-place-at-the-right-time opportunities at the hotel so we'll see what blooms. In the meantime I'll be taking a deep breath and battling on with the imbeciles..
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rbisset on

You tend to see this sort of thing all over Aus so it's not just Kal. When I was working in a small rural town, Ayr, QLD, they used to have a 'Shooters & Hooters' night every Thursday. A couple of girls from the stripclubs in Townsville would come down to one of the bars and serve beer topless for a few hours.

wakingdream on

With so many boobs making the circuit 'round there it's hard to imagine that it's not Hard Times :)
Seems like quite the eye-popping time out there. Or is that 'fly popping' times!

Glad to know all is well and you haven't fallen off the face of the planet.

Canada is still a waitin' for you but I'm afraid the boobs don't flow so freely 'round here! 'Specially not in the winter :) but don't reconsider as I have a feeling you might make history in the Great White North someday.

scottwoz on

Re: Skimpies
No worries babe, consider it done..

Michael Mongan on

Good times

Gary on

...your account is accurate if the hotel you worked in (the Exchange?) was all that Kalgoorlie is.

Apart from the amazing architecture and history - there is a thriving arts and cultural life - in the next month or so Bell Shakespeare, Irish performing companies - art exhibitions etc - see http://gac.curtin.edu.au/theatre.htm for a glimpse of what is on culturally...

There is one of the country's greatest horse racing carnivals held in Spring in which drop-dead glamour is the order of the day...

Stunning landscapes, wildflowers, great bars, restaurants, the best mining education institute in the world - and a great community...

Not everybody is an idiot - though I agree there are a number...the overwhelming majority are professional, good people...

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