Kev in Aus

Chronicling the misadventures of a Canadian traveling through Australia. There's seemingly far too many of us!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Insert Witty Title Here

Ok, so things in Byron Bay are chugging along. I have some things lined up and should find out what's gonna happen in the next couple days. In the meantime, I continue to laze around the hostel, and wander around town. Byron Bay, right now, is almost like being an a beach town in Canada, as there are literally hundreds of Canadians here. Must be the Oz Experience crowd heading north from Sydney to Cairns. Either way, there's a lot of hockey being talked a-boot.

I picked up a new digital camera today, a Nikon Coolpix S5. Higher resolution and it's a lot more slim, so it fits in my pocket without people asking me, "Hey, is that an HP digital camera in your pocket, or are you happy to see me?" Granted, it's funny replying that I don't own a digital camera, and they get all uncomfortable, start sweating profusely, and then beat a hasty retreat without saying another word. I should have some pictures up soon, once I can get my system to a wireless drop, and I can show everyone pics of the wee turtles (they were too quick for me!).

And one final note, I'm heading into Nimbin tomorrow. For those of you who don't know what Nimbin is (and I suspect that's a large number of you stay-at-home-Canadians), imagine Amsterdam if it were in San Fransisco in the 60's. Hippies all over the place, and... er... questionable cookies. Check out the Wiki on it here. Not exactly a family oriented place, but I suppose that depends on your family. Anyways, I'll get lots of pictures of the rain forest if I remember. I'm not making any promises. *ahem*

Stay classy San Diego.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Why Do I Like It Here So Much?

Previously I posted about what I miss about Canada, and mentioned that there are more things I miss, I just didn't add them. Since then, I've had countless people (read: 4) ask me exactly what it is I like about Australia so much to want to move here permanently. Well folks, I'll give you a few things to chew on here:

The Weather - Yes, say what you want about surviving Canadian winters being "character-building" or "frostbitten-fingers-amputating" but at the end of the day, we all love the summer because it's warm, and we don't like being cold. Folks, the weather here in Australia has been nothing short of sensational. Granted, it *is* summer here in Aus, but even the winters are balmy. Sydney is apparently a lot like Vancouver, in that it doesn't get freezing cold, but it does dip below zero. Luckily, I won't be in Sydney for the winter months, and I'll be able to work on this pathetic Canadian tan (reada: pasty white flesh).

The Beaches - For thos of us who have spent a small amount of time near an ocean, looking out over the water is a pretty incredible experience. Granted, it's merely water with a high amount of salt, but the beaches along the east coats of Australia have been pretty nice to look at. I understand that they're even nicer on the west, near Perth, but I'll have to see those in the next year or so I suppose. But any beach that features topless women (like all the beaches around here do) puts it into the top 5 of my favourite beaches right away.

The People - Canadians are a friendly bunch, but I have not met more open people than I have here in Australia. I'll relate a story that actually happened before I even got into Oz:

I was in the Fiji airport reading a book after a really long flight from LAX (Worst. Airport. Evar.) and was just zoned and jetlagged pretty bad. About an hour before my flight to Sydney was about to board, a woman about 40-ish sat next to me, and asked me if I was going home to Sydney, or just to visit. Of course, as soon as I started tossing in my "eh's" and "aboot's" she knew I was Canadian. So she immediately told me to get out a pen and paper, and she told me 3 pages worth of places to visit, and things to see and so on. We had to board our plane, of course, but it turns out we were on the same plane, even though the flight numbers were different.

Anyhow, we saw each other in the Sydney airport again, and she asked me to smuggle in a bottle of Grand Marnier (she would have just been over her duty free limit, and I didn't have anything with me anyways). So I did, and met up with her outside the customs desks. She had a 5 hour layover in Sydney before she had to go to Port McQuarrie (just up the coast a little) so she offered to take me around downtime Sydney, just to get me familiar with it. She took me out for lunch as well, took some pictures, and gave me her address, email and phone number that if I ever wanted to crash on her couch as I'm passing through Port McQuarrie, to give her a call, and she'd set me up no problem.

Here's the funny thing: This was the first of many instances where people I've met have offered me a place to stay, food, or what have you after only knowing them for a couple of hours. I don't know any Canadians who would do that to a complete stranger from out of the country. Anyone? Anyone? Beuller?

The Intangibles - Some of tthe reasons why I want to stay, can't actually be put into coherent sentences. It's just that the atmosphere out here is so... laid-back? That's not the right word, really, but it's the best one I can come up with right now. People just kind of do whatever. The other thing is that it's a very backpacker friendly country, and people here are used to meeting people from all over the world. I can say that I had met very few Europeans back home, but my mobile is full of phone numbers and email addresses from people all over the world. It's cool just hanging with people from Germany or England listening to their perspectives on things.

Of course, these may seem like odd reasons, but I think this is one of those things where you really need to experience life on the other side to appreciate it fully.

Oh, and the partying. Good God, the partying... I'll save those stories for another time, but people, I'm just saying... It's insane.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Another Quick Update

OK, so I'm heading to Byron Bay right now to hang out with Ashley and her Dad in a campground for a couple days, then I think I'm going to stay in Byron for a while. There should be lots of places for me to work, abd it looks like a fun place to stay anyways, lots of beaches and such. Brisbane, right now, looks like an interesting place as well, being a smaller city than Sydney (about 1.5m people, as opposed to 4.5m, you see). I may come back here for a while, I'm not quite sure what I'll do. We'll see how Byron treats me.

Oh yes, my camera is no longer functioning so, sadly, that means no new pictures, and very few pictures of Heron Island as of right now, until I get it fixed, or just buy a new one.

On a lighter note, I have yet to be diagnosed with Syphilis, so I've got that going for me...

Abd I promise my future posts won't be quite as serious toned, or downright depressing. Boobies! See? :)

Friday, February 16, 2007

Another Chapter Finished

Well folks, due to some unfortunate circumstances, I am no longer on Heron Island. I'm currently sitting in a backpackers in Gladstone (run by a lovely couple out of their house, I should add) and I've got a couple of options. I could go meet our Winnipegger friend Ashley and her father down in Byron Bay, or I could go fruit picking in Queensland just to get a head start on it. I also found out that I cannot apply for permanent residence in Australia until I've stayed here for at least 6 months, so I'e got 1 1/2 months to go till that date arrives. In the meantime...

I had a great time on the island, and of course, didn't do everything I wanted to do. I went snorkeling a few times, but no SCUBA diving sadly. Nor did I get to ride the heli over, which would have been cool, but I'll just have to make sure I do it at some other point in my life.

I'm kind of in transition right now, so I don't know how often I'll be online (again with the lack of internet access!) but I'll be sure to keep everyone posted on my whereabouts.

Something that I read on the island that is sticking with me now: Success in life is not measured by the achievements one as reached, but by the obstacles one has overcome to reach those achievements.

I wish you all well.