Six months in, what have I done!Writen on about
I thought it was about time I fill you all in on what I have been up to, from start to finish, so this is going to be a longer than normal post.
I’ve been living down under for just over 6 months now and originally I was going to keep this blog updated with what I get up to. Notice that I said living, as I’m not actually here to do the whole traveler thing; so you won’t be reading about adventures into the outback and bungee jumping. I’d like to travel one day, but my objective right now is to get a job and get sponsored. So I haven’t seen much of Australia. YET!
I arrived at the airport with a bit of advice from an Aussie chick that I met on my second flight. She was recommending places to go in St. Kilda, as that’s where I was initially going to stay. She said to check out the …………… And go down to the …………… But I was so tired from not sleeping for around 40 hours that I had forgotten everything she told me. I’d imagine I’ve probably visited some of those places though.
2. A week in Base, a hostel
Well, it was an absolute piss up from start to end. I went into one room and met my “roomies” stayed the night, bumped into a big crowd and that night I was introduced to the infamous GOON, which is basically a 4lt box of wine, cheap as. It’s called Goon because apparently that is aboriginal for pillow, and homeless people use the sacks as pillows. Get pissed and make a pillow. Win, win right.
Thursday night is ladies night at Base, and by that it means ladies get cheap drinks. Or you can dress as a lady and get cheap drinks also. So, that’s exactly what I did. Unfortunately there is no photographic evidence, but I have to say, I looked fucking good in a dress. Definitely didn’t act very lady like. I don’t even remember leaving the hostel room, on account of the goon. I was later told I was outside pretending to be a girl, putting on a high pitched voice and screaming. I was soon put to bed.
I also did a pub quiz, which we came second in, and some other stuff I’m sure. Oh we did a BBQ by the beach, where I had my first taste of kangaroo, it’s really quite nice. I met some really cool people in Base, but the majority of whom are here travelling Australia, so that’s what they are currently off doing. Maybe I’ll see them again, maybe I won’t.
3. Christmas / Birthday / NYE
I’m born on Christmas day, don’t you know, so I would be spending my first Christmas and Birthday away from the UK. My brother is over here so I had some family to spend it with. For Christmas Eve we went to a bar in Brighton called Half Moon, which is a pretty cool bar. It was, by no exaggeration, full of hot Australian girls. I mean it was actually difficult to spot an ugly chick.
That night kind of fucked us over for Christmas day. We bought a BBQ for like $50, some food for around $50, some Champagne and some beers. I think I ate about 2 burgers and a hot dog, and then drank quite a bit. It was really hot but also really windy on the beach front. It was quite a surreal way to spend Christmas! We ended up leaving the BBQ behind, so basically, between the 3 of us, we spent $33 each for a little bit of food. But the experience was well worth it.
New Year’s Eve was a bit strange, as we had a festival to go to the next day, we decided to keep it low key, opting to go to a bar in St Kilda. We got there and the queue was massive, it was free entry so we thought we’d stick it out. I’m pretty sure we were queuing for like 40-60 minutes, so when we got in we decided to drink a lot, fast! We missed the New Year coming in, and it wasn’t until 1am that we realised and cheered. Ooops, guess we were pretty fucked. Great few days though.
The first festival I went to was called foreshore, just before Christmas, which was a little 2 stage festival just off the beach in St. Kilda.
The main festival was on NYD, called Summadayze, which was pretty cool. They had a stage that was perfectly suited to my taste – Danny Daze, Booka Shade, Maya Jane Coles, Carl Craig, Scuba and a couple of others. I don’t remember much of the later part of the day. Drinking alcohol in the scorching heat is a quick way to dehydrate and get very drunk, quickly. I’m beginning to see a pattern here that I’m saying drunk, drinking etc a lot. It is the Christmas right here period though.
Other festivals/gigs I went to include:
- SHM – the rain was more entertaining than them.
- The Rubans – Great Australian band and a great night.
- I think a couple more, but I really can’t remember…
5. Working on the rail
My first job here was working on the rail for a company called NuGroup, a rail labour company. When I say that you probably get images of prisoners throwing sledge hammers at a rail track. You’d have imagined it perfectly. It’s fucking hard work, and long hours. Some shifts would be 12 hours long and a lot of manual labour – not into manual labour I was soon to find out. To be fair though, looking back, it was quite different and did make you feel pretty hard core after a 12 hour shift, all dirty and sweating in your overalls.
I entered a sprint triathlon for NuGroup. The distances were Swim 400m; Cycle 10km; Run 5km. So I knew I had to practice my swimming. I started out pretty shit but after about 2 weeks to a month I felt ready. Two teams of 3 entered for NuGroup, including my brother, and we all did pretty well I think. Everyone broke the hour barrier and I came third out of everyone, which I was pretty happy about, beating my brother which I was very happy about ;)
7. Ripcurl Surf comp at Bells beach
We’d heard about this competition just a few days before it was on, so I was very keen to head down and see some pros on the waves of the famous Bell Beach (which looks nothing like the one they pretend it to be on Point Break, disappointing). It was a mint day. Weather wasn’t the best but the views and the surf were amazing. I’d only ever seen pros at Newquay before and the waves there were always shit. Here, there were the top surfers in the world, including Kelly Slater, doing things on a surf board that don’t look possible!
8. Lesbian party
Thought this was worth a mention, because it was so random and a bit weird. Yeah, went to a Lesbian party, with my friends Jason and Ken. Not too much to tell apart from some wisdom from Ken. He says:
“Why does society deem it necessary to clump together gay and lesbians, they literally have nothing in common with one another, there is no reason for them to interact”.
Makes sense really, I don’t think I need to explain why.
9. Back into cycling
Cycling in Melbourne is massive. Every Saturday and Sunday morning cyclists literally take up a whole lane of the main cycling road, Beach Road. There are huge bunches of riders, some the size of a Tour de France peloton, one after another. It kind of gave me a craving to get a bike and get back into it. So that’s what I did. I got a credit card and bought the most expensive bike I dared buy… my brother helped me buy a really decent helmet and I bought the clothing too, although later realising that I need winter clothing, it does get cold in the morning. I’m on Strava so if you are too, or you want to follow my rides visit here: Andy on Strava.
I am also doing a ride to conquer cancer. It is a 200km+ ride and I need to raise over $2,500. Obviously it’s for a great cause, so please sponsor me by visiting this link. Whether you know me or not, it’s good for your karma.
There are obviously a lot of things that I have missed out, but right now these are what stand out. If I do, I might update this post, or create another one.
Hope you enjoyed catching up.