I haven’t seen a single kangaroo, wombat or koala. I haven’t been attacked by the world’s most poisonous snake, startled by a spider as large as my head or lambasted by a rabid cricket fan. In terms of national stereotypes, Australia has a lot of work to do.
What I have found is a country a hell of a lot colder than I expected but every bit as beautiful. I’ve only been here a few days and have seen more beaches than the last decade. White sand, sickeningly clear waters…it’s almost enough to make one reconsider their chilly outlook on beach-culture. Almost, but not quite. The stunningly beautiful people that inhabit every level of the Sydney society have kept at bay any sudden urges to run half naked into the crystal clear waters, lacking as I do any particularly defined pectorals or bumcheeks you could crack walnuts with. This places me in an extremely small minority of the Bondi community I currently find myself ensconced in. Seriously, even the OAPs look like Arnold Swartzenegger’s fitter younger brother. Mostly the men. Some of the ladies.
So far my time has consisted of meeting old friends from South America, enjoying their considerable hospitality (thanks Em) and trying ever so hard to not fall asleep at hugely inappropriate times. Whilst crossing the road for example, or mid mouthful. Yes, jetlag has me fully grasped in her fluffy paws, lulling me to Bedfordshire each time I consider activities more strenuous than blinking. Still, despite my current predilection for lolling, exploring Bondi has been a pleasure, wandering the dramatically carved sea cliffs like a disorientated seal trying desperately not to gawk at the aforementioned adonii, the latter being a task of herculean restraint. I’ve also wandered into Sydney proper a few times to stare at the ridiculously enchanting Opera House, which is somehow even more dramatic than on TV.
But I’m not here to holiday. I am, after all, on a working visa. Everyone at the hostel is already knee deep in chores mostly revolving around construction or hard manual labour. Those of you who know me well will know this is exactly the work I specialise in. However I thought it best not to embarrass the poor souls and have decided to forgo the opportunity to jackhammer the ever-living shit out of an old department store. I will begin my vocational adventure in Melbourne which is, at the moment, the city I plan on spending most time in. Some quick research does seem to indicate that every level of employment requires its own qualification however, from the labour safety White Card to the “I swear I won’t serve that 10 year old a whiskey” RSA certificate. All of course cost money to complete which is fun. Then there are bank accounts to set up, tax numbers to acquire, agencies to join, websites to trawl…for someone with as little clue as myself it’s been quite the eye opener and certainly didn’t help with the whole not sleeping at the right time thing. Still, the initial panic’s worn off now. Maybe I’ll do a barista course and spend my time serving coffee to rich miners half my age. Who knows?
I’m going to finish this here due mainly to an extremely chilly wind aimed by the hand of some vengeful weather god right up my shorts. If all goes to plan my next entry should detail my successful plan to infiltrate the Australian parliament as an obscure nationalist candidate from the Northern Territories.