Location: Sydney, Australia
I guess now that its two months later, it's about time I wrote an update. Honestly time has gone by so quickly it's hard to remember everything I've been up too. Well I'm now living in Sydney with my friends Justin, Ben, Kyle, and Charlotte, all of whom I met in Banff, but let's back the truck up and I'll finish off my adventures in South Australia, living in Victor Harbour. So I continued to work at McCracken Golf and Country Club as a "Kitchen Hand" AKA Dishwasher, but get this, they payed me 19 bucks an hour!!!! Yeah it actually became 14 after the crazy taxes they put on travellers over here, but whatever, 19 bucks to wash dishes! All I can say is CHA-CHING! Not to mention the $16 an hour I was making at VOSCH (Victor harbor Out of SChool Hours) Childcare. Although my hours weren't as many as I wanted, I still had plenty of money, and lots of time to surf, so it was a postive negative.
Speaking of surfing, I had the my coolest experience yet one november morning. I was out catching a few waves with a handful of surfers, when out of no where I saw two fins coming in with the breaking wave. Now most people at this sight might start to panic, and to be truly honest my heart did jump for a second, but I soon remembered what I had been told. If a shark is going to attack you, you are not going to see it until your leg has been bitten off and the back of your board is missing, haha. And even though South Australia is crowded with great whites (one recently spotted at a beach 30 minutes from where I was living). Where I was surfing there wasn't really a shark population living in the dark water. Instead it was two dolphins!!!! They were small dolphins, probably still young, and very playful, they were jumping out of the water and would ride the wave right beside you, close enough to reach out touch if they weren't so fast! Definatly the coolest thing I've seen in Oz
Unfortunatly my Australian jinx returned. As all of you know, I have been cursed to break all expensive things I put my hands on in Australia, ie. the car and my burrowed surfboard. Well I now have come to realize it's not all expensive things, just cars and surfboards. After planning a morning surf with one of my co-workers, I had packed my board and gear into the car, cranked the tunes to get me pumped and ready to surf and headed off down the road, and 5 minutes later, I entered a round-about and BOOM! I gently rode up on the curb and back off again, unfortunatly the tire did not survive the run and bump, and that was another 90 bucks out of my pocket! But the jinx would not be true unless it was followed up with me injuring the surfboard as well!!! Well here we go again, the setting, late december. The scene of the crime, Middleton beach. The accused, one of the biggest waves of the day. The Victim, my BORROWED and already 40 dollars spent to replace a broken fin Surfboard! I had been out surfing for a couple hours, when this EPIC wave came in ( I don't actually talk like that now, it just makes the wave seem bigger then it was haha!) anyways the wave scoopes me up, I stood up and started to cut open the face of the wave shen suddenly, I lost my balance and crashed into the bubblin whitewash. As I held my breath I waited for the familiar tug on my leg from my leash strapped to my board, but it never came. I surfaced in time to see my board bouncing along with the wave until it crashed into the rocks on the shore. I pulled on my leash to discover the string holding the leash to the board had snapped, a costly mishap, a 50 dollar mishap to be exact, not to mention the many cuts and bruises on my feet from swimming straight into the rocks and climbing on the mussel clad formations!! But wait it gets better, the day I went to pay for the fixups, I get to the bank withdraw a hundred dollars, take my card, reciept and walk away without my money, so make that 150 dollars to fix the board. Yeah you could say it's my own fault for leaving the cash, but I blame the board and one heck of a jinx!!!!
Inbetween working and breakin things i also managed t see some more of South Australia. My family and i went on a trip to Kangaroo Island, at the end of october. We stayed at a family friends farm house, and toured around the island for three days. I saw lots of possums, and wallabies, and ferrel (Wild) cats. There are so many wild cats around that you can hunt them and there are many souvenir shops that sell ferrel cat hats and beer stubbies! Its hilarious! Another cool things about K.I. was while we were there, there was a speed sheep shearing competition on. so almost every farmer on the island had gathered to get drunk and watch guys shear sheep in under 40 seconds.
Location: Victor Harbor, Australia
Wow, I'm an Idiot!
I just realized how to access the messages on this sight!! Thanks for all the response guys, its great to hear from everyone! I'll write you guys some emails to try and catch up indiviually instead of blah blah blah here!!!!
So I've officially been in the country for one MONTH now, and man does time fly!!! I've seen and done lots already though, even though things have been really chill. I went to a place called Urimburra, it is an animal sanctuary. I got to walk around and feed koala's, and Kangaroos, some of which were as tall as me when they stood up on the ends of there feet. They were very friendly because they had been raised by humans and were used to the contact, but they were still aggresive enought to rip the bag of food right out of you hands, they were very strong. I also saw some wombats, emu's, croc's and lizards. The strangest thing is seeing some of these animals in the wild. The other days as I was driving and I saw some wild kangaroos out in a feild like deer, haha but thats normal around here. There are all the normal birds around though, like seagulls and magpies, and crows, but there are also tropical birds bursting with colours, its a very crazy mix. Then while driving home from the Adelaide airport after picking up the fam, there was a Koala strolling down the middle of a very busy street, it had obviously gotten lost in the city, it was quite the sight.
My family had a great trip to Queensland, strolling on the beaches, para-sailing and snorkling in the great barrier reef, but as soon as they returned my mom was all over me to get my resumes handed out to get a full time job, now that I only work at the daycare on tuesdays and fridays after school. So after much procrastination I hit the streets, and handed out a single resume. I dropped it off at McCracken Golf and Country Club and Resort, a place like Dalewood but with a hotel and senior citizens residence on the premises. That night I was called and told that they are planning to train me to cook in the bistro, I have my first shift on Monday and I'll let you all know how it goes!
Australia is a truly great country, and recently I was informed of another reason to love it even more. There beer stores are not actually stores like the beer store back home, but Drive Thru's!! That's Right, DRIVE-THRU'S!!!! Complete with two lanes, one designated for browsing, checking out brands and prices, the other for the hardcores who know exactly what they want, you pull in, place your order and pop your trunk, you pay, and they put it in back for you and you drive out the other end!!! What a great Country!! Beers prices are about the same in Oz as back in Canada, and tastes just as good! None of the places have any Canuck imports that ive seen, but i met a fellow Canadian who has lived in here for a few years, and he told me that he once saw a shop that had 24's of Kokanee, with a price tag of 70 bucks a 24, crazy eh??? I think i'll stick to the Aussie beers while I'm here!!!!
Well thats all the news for now, Talk you all later, and thanks again for all the shout outs!! Mac
Location: Victor Harbor, Australia
Hey there faithful friends!
Not to much craziness has happened in the last two weeks during my parents absence! As you may or may not know, only one week after arriving it was time for my families two week school holiday. In Aus here they go to school basically year round, but at the end of each term the have two weeks of holidays, and in Decemeber at the end of term, they go on a month long holiday, Decemeber of course being their summertime. Mom, Dave and the girls left for Queensland (north eastern Australia), on Sunday October fourth, to spend a week in Surfers Paridise on the gold coast and another week in Cairns (pronounced Cans) to snorkel along the great barrier reef! This of course ment I was left with peace and quiet in the house, but alone in a town I still didn't know very well. Luckily my job began last week giving me something to spend my time doing. I am currently working at the schools child care center call VOSCH, due to the vacation we have been very busy with a daycamp atmosphere with kids aged 5 to 12. It is a very fun, yet choatic atmosphere as the kids aren't really separeted into age groups, but are given many chocies to how they want to spend their time. We use computer rooms, the gym, we play outside on the play equipement, and we even have an x-box which is taken out for a couple of hours a day. Its quite the modern daycare, of course there are still tons of arts and crafts to get the kids nice and sticky, as well as my workshirt, do sparkles ever come out?
Besides work I have still managed to spend lots of time on the beach, unfortunatly because I wear a full body wetsuit, which is black and neon red (straight from the 90's haha), I haven't had much success in scoring a wicked tan, except on my feet, hands, and face. I have been slowly improving my surf skills, but its seems that I have greatly improved my skills in the area of damaging expensive things. On my last surf excursion, I had been in the water for about two hours, when I notice I had lost the stability in the back of my board (Of course when I refer to it as my bored, I mean my mother's co-workers husband's board, which has gracioulsy been lent to me). I Flipped the board over to discover that I had broken the center fin off the back of my board!! Bad News Bears! So no big deal right, all I have to do is buy a replacement fin and pop it back in right?? WRONG!! Apperently because the surf board is so old, they don't make replace ment parts for the fin system anymore, meaning that I have to spend like 100 bucks to get an entire new system put on the board just to replace a broken fin!! Oh well thats life, hahaha, better my parents car or a surfboard board then my leg!
Some other cools news is that i've finally had some social interection with some poeple roughly my age. My mom being the mother that she is, basically arranged a play date with one of her fellow teachers daughters. Alana had just finished working near Melbourne at a Ski resort and had returned to Victor Harbour only to have her parents leave for a 3 week vacation as well. My mom had left her phone number on a peice of paper with a note to call her. Me being the shy guy that I am, didn't really know what to do if I did call her, so I procranstinated and then completly forgot about calling. Surprisingly on Tuesday, she called me, and we hung out and introduced ourselves and got on pretty well and then I found out that she was an International Broomballer! Over the past few years she has gone to the Australian National broomball championship playing on both womens and mixed teams, and last year she was selected to play for the Australian team at the world championships that were held in Ontario, Canada! Unfortunatly it's not quite the competition you might expect for a national and world championship event. Because Australia is not exactly a winter sports country (althought they do have ski resorts and scattered ice rinks), Anyone who can afford the ticket to the national or International event and can stand on the ice with a broomball stick is basically allowed to play, Ha! After telling me all about her broomball expierence she invited me to go play on her team that evening, and of course being the proud Canadian I am, I jumped at any opportunity to get on some ice, even if it was in a pair of shoes with sponges on the bottom. I am happy to say that it was a truly great time, I'll admit that I was nervous about my own broomball skills, having only played it for about a week in gym class in grade 12, and considering the fact that these Aussie had been playing every tuesday for the last few years and had National and International experience no matter what the team selection process was! Arriving at the rink it was great to smell that terrific scent of ice, and everyone on the team were really friendly as most aussies are! Also the environment of the games being played were competative, but in the beer league sort of way. Everyone wanted to win, but at the same time everyone knew everyone from the other team and the referees, and we all went to the pub after the game for a selection of fine Australian beers. It was a great night on the ice, even if i had to fly to one of the hottest countries in the world to play!! I have so much more to tell you all about Australia, but once again I have rambled on much more then I had planned too, so i'll save it for another Blog! Hope you are kicking ass at whatever it is you are doing at the moment! Still waiting to get some emails telling me what your up to! Mac
Location: Victour Harbour!, Australia
Well I succsesfully managed to drive accident free while driving on the wrong side of the road for 4 days!! And what a great time it was, but like all good things, it must come to an end. And here is how it went down that fateful thursday morning in Victor Harbour.
It was a beautful thursday morning in Australia, I had big plans for the day with a trip to Adelaide prepared to get my passport stamp and other important work papers organized so that I can begin making some Australian "Chedder"(in the words of 50 Cent). After dropping my sisters and Mother at school I headed back home to collect my things to head to Adelaide (an hour and a half trip from Victor Harbour). As headed home through a subdivision, I accidently drove throught a yeild sign, (they tend to use yeild or "Give Way" signs instead of stop signs here. As a matter of fact besides being on the other side of the road, many things are different. They use round abouts instead of traffic lights which actually seemed to work better if you ask me, and the only place you see traffic lights are in big cities and cross walks in small towns. Thats right cross walks! Not flashing yellow lights like in Canada, but full on red yellow green lights, quite alot of power at your finger tips!) and almost collided with an old station wagon. Luckily niether of us were speeding and I managed to slam on the barkes while she swerverd. At the last second i knicked the back of her bumper, leaving the wagon unharmed but destroying the front right headlight of my parents car! Oops, 400 dollars of repairs later, makes it seem that I wont be buying my own surf board as soon as expected. But I'm physically ok and so is the driver of the other car so all is good.
Once checking in with Mom about the bad news, I was given the ok to continue up to Adelaide. Although I'm new to the country and this was my first time driving to Adelaide on a nice sunny day, I must say that South Australia is absolutly beautiful. With its many styles of Eucalyptus, growing all along the highway. You still manage to have an amazing veiw of all the rolling hills and fields, with cows and sheep, the odd group of wild kangaroos, and the small billabongs scattered along the countryside. and once you get to the top of a hill and catch a glimpse of the ocean, you'll see an amazing colour of Blue, and I'm told that it will only get better as I head farther north up the east coast. Now that I have gotten my terrible descriptions out of me, I will say that I succsesfully arrived in Adelaide with no more accidents along the way, obtained my Visa Label for my passport, did a bit of shopping, and got home in time for dinner. I have much more to say about Adelaide and Australia, but I have grown tired of typing and you have no doubt become tired of reading my terrible writing. So if you have actually read this far down the page, please take the time to put a message up on my board and let me know what you think, ask any questions, and let me know what you're up too! Email Me!! And I promise I will write back!!! Take Care! Mac