Brisbane Goodbyes and my new home in Melbourne
Trip Start Aug 18, 2010
53Trip End Aug 31, 2011
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Before long, Matt was dressed up in his onesey NZ black outfit, and we headed up to the roof bar of the building to enjoy a few more drinks and photos, before partially perhaps damaging a mannequin and the photo booth (long story). I was of course battling jet lag, and had made an arrangement with the bank that while they sent out a new bank card they give me a 30 minute window to draw some money for the week which was a relief. The night transgressed from there, visits to strip bars, ensued, and with the maths of 4 room keys between 16 of us, things were always going to go horribly wrong. With the addition of a lot of guys having a free pass from family and husband duties, they were a bit over exuberant and keen to party ironically resulting in an early night for some of them. Besides some humorous run-ins with the building security, some partially naked guys running around and many guys getting turned away from the bars, it got the point where I called it a night as we were aimlessly walking around the town, not before dragging one of the best men back to his room as he was struggling in his legless state!
With sore heads and some black eyes in the group the next morning, we somehow managed to coordinate the check out and had a breakfast on the stinkingly hot coast before catching a lift back to Brisbane. I had some tired decisions to make as my plans to make a move to Melbourne the following week were scuppered by waiting on the new bank card but also admittedly being far more broke than expected from my travels. The week was pretty uneventful but I moved in to a hostel in the city for the weekend of Tamara and Matts wedding as Rosie and Sean were Europe bound and Fiona had moved to Melbourne so my planned accommodation had changed. The hostel was decent enough and in a good location and I managed to get a lift to the wedding on the Saturday with one of the guys from the bachelors which was a saving grace.
The wedding itself was about a 40 minutes’ drive from Brisbane but in a beautiful and peaceful nature area. It was good to catch up with some of the guys and see the Melbourne crowd of Gustav, Laura and Fiona as well as other guest I had not seen since London a few years before. The ceremony was amazing and suited the couple perfectly. There were drinks a plenty and a good sampling of finger foods and once the speeches were done, people could really let their hair down. The wise choice of allowing free spirits after only a certain time of the night was a welcome too and before you knew it time flew by and things were being wrapped up. A few of shared a taxi back to the city and although unplanned, myself and another guest ending staying out till 5am!
So I had decided to see if I could find work in Brisbane for a few weeks as it seemed the more sensible thing to do in my financial state. I had already been making contacts with agencies in Melbourne and my heart was set on moving but I would give it a week or two and if nothing came through, I would move regardless after borrowing some much needed money from my dad!
Thankfully, it helps to have good decent people as friends, I have lots of favours I owe to lots of people, especially in the past few years of travelling, and Erin and her husband Weller offered me a pace to stay while I was in limbo. They are very cool people and stayed in a different part of the city, in an apartment which had a gym and pool which I used in my days of soul and job searching. As well as being helpful and gracious hosts, I really enjoyed getting to know them better too. After a week or so of no movement on the job front in Brisbane I decided to take my chances and move. The week I had planned to move state was State Of Origin game one week. It is absolutely huge in this part of the world as Queensland and NSW pit their teams of rugby league players against each other in a 3 match series which is as brutal as it gets, the first game also happened to be in Melbourne, but due to that co-incidence flight prices escalated to crazy levels and I had to delay any move till aft the game. So my last night in Queensland was spent at a friend’s place of Wellers with some ardent hard-core fans as Queensland won the first game against their mortal enemies. (Their QLD team nickname is the Maroons, which they for some reason pronounce Marones?)
So the next morning I said my thank you’s and another goodbye to Erin and Weller and headed to the airport for my flight to Melbourne with Tiger Airways (a budget airline) and caught a shuttle to a hostel in the Fitzroy area of Melbourne called The Nunnery which came highly recommended.
And yeah this is where I have been for the past 2 weeks. I admittedly had a very productive first few days, seeing 5 agencies and being offered work within 24 hours, and after some tough choices spent a couple days working in one role before taking on my current role as a Recruitment Analyst in a fast growing Energy Company. The role is a big challenge and tough going, but the environment and people are great and it’s nice to be a non-government role again. They are not afraid of spending money and there is huge potential in the place. As well as great colleagues it’s well situated in the city and I think I am harbouring the faintest of hopes they may keep me on for the duration of my visa if not beyond.
Socially I had started my stay in the hostel a bit reserved as I have been so broke and spent most of my free time catching on TV series, Homeland, The River, Battlestar Galactica, Archer etc. on my laptop but have since been more involved and met some great people; there is a sense of a changing of the guard here as there are a lot of long termers in the hostel and many are moving on as they are nearing the end if their visas or looking to move out with the change of seasons. There are definitely a few people I care less for but on the whole it’s a good place and very well equipped facility wise. It has a real charm (being an old ex-convent) and you can easily blend in the background and keep to yourself or go out every night depending on your mood.
I have already seen a few gigs here too, which has been great and the local area is absolutely swamped with live music venues and places to eat and drink. Having been paid this last week and the added bonus of some tax back from my time in NZ, I managed to let my hair down this weekend (a long weekend in honour of the Queen’s birthday). Friday I went out to a rock bar on AC/DC lane with some good hostel people, Saturday was the start of the rugby internationals and another gig as well as the Euros (football/soccer tournament) so I was running around town changing from Bok green to Dutch Orange supporting the various teams and different bars till 6AM! The next few weeks will involve some early mornings to catch the sports, tied in with kick-starting a new gym and long hours of work it’s going to be interesting! The cold weather also means I need to desperately need to get some warmer clothes but there is no shortage of supply in the vibrant shopping surroundings.
I also spent a few hours with some cool German people going to the Victoria markets which was unexpectedly huge and filled with a massive array of fruit, veg, delicatessen, clothes, meats, fish and all the food of great quality and well-priced especially as the markets winds down we all picked up some cheap bargains (3kg of steaks for $20). I also managed to get a cheap dodgy Orange Dutch soccer shirt for $10! While sampling some of the wares we came across a chilli stand who had a Guinness book of records record for the world’s hottest chilli sauce, their scale starts at 1/10 and this chilli was 15/10! I wasn’t foolish enough to try it, but the German guys did and suffered for the next 40 minutes. But yeah I can see I will be heading back a few more times in the months to come to the markets.
So things are good, and there are a lot of options and choices coming my way but I am settling in to Melbourne, getting used to the tram systems and daily finding new exhibits and venues and bands to see and explore. I am happy with my choice to move and hopefully after another few weeks of work and post June the tax back payments here in Oz, it will help determine what and where I stay and do. Hostel living has its ups and downs, I desperately need a new phone/camera and June is a crazy month, gig, sports and socially. Hopefully the Dutch can turn the Euros around after the shock loss to Denmark, the Springboks can beat England 3-0 in their series and I will be supporting Wales this weekend taking on the Wallabies at the game here in Melbourne. Exciting, daunting and interesting days ahead.