Kev in Aus

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

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Ultraviolet Garden

So I quit work and I'm heading up to Byron for my birthday. Should be good times, some friends went up there this week, and will meet Ash and I up there when we go. After that, I'm not coming back to Sydney. I'll probably head up to Brisbane and stay with my friend, Chris, from Heron. He's a top bloke, fair dinkum even. Then after that, the dreaded fruit picking.

I can't put it off any longer folks. I'm heading up to Noosa hopefully. 3 months. Good lord, am I not looking forward to that.

So to answer a few questions, my application for permanent residency is going to be put on hold for now. I need to apply from outside Australia, and while I want to go to New Zealand eventually anyways, I've decided that I should, and will, do the fruit picking. Could be a character building experience, I figure. And chicks dig blisters.

Also, while Sydney is a giant city, the vast majority of people I have met while here happen to be English, Irish or Canadian; hardly the right nationalities to ensure residency through marriage (Mom). So that isn't an option right now, though I'm going to be here until well into 2008 anyways, so who's to say that's not in the cards sooner or later? Bruce, the homeless guy down the street, that's who. And don't you forget it.

In other news, the Flames are not in the playoffs any longer (boo-urns), but luckily the Canucks are still in it, and Ottawa should probably beat the Devils (I hope). I was lucky enough to catch a game on TV the other night, Calgary v Detroit, and even though I wasn't a huge hockey fan before, not being able to watch it whenever I want has made me miss it down here, and really enjoy the games I get to see, especially if I'm able to see a great game with Canadian teams, or like the time I saw Sidney Crosby get his 6 points in a game with random strangers in a bar, who kept asking me hockey questions. Good times, good times.

Join me for my next exciting entry, where we discuss the pros and cons of giving dolphins the vote.

Friday, April 20, 2007

How'd That monkey Get Up That Tree?

*Inside Joke Alert*

I dunno Ashley, how *did* that monkey get in that tree? Now, I'm no scientologist or nothing, but I think it may have something to do with the fact that... he's a monkey? Could be wrong here, not quite sure. I'll have to do some research...

Anyhow, I finally took a trip to the Taronga Zoo in Sydney (not Steve Irwin's yet. That one is somewhere around Brisbane). Nice place, it's built sort of on the side of a hill, so you get off the ferry, and head to the cable car to ride up to the top, and sort of meander your way down. All pretty cool, and we got some nice pictures. I even have one with me and a koala. And for the first time in a while, I'm not doing anything rude to the koala. Must have been an off day.

What else is going on? Oh, since my birthday is in a couple weeks, I've decided to head up to Byron again for the weekend with some friends. I'm considering staying there after the weekend is over though, and not coming back to Sydney, just because I think I need to get out of here once again. I've got a couple days to think about that anyways, so we'll see what I come up with. Luckily, I do all my best thinking while I do my best drinking.

Also, I am now in possession of a guitar. A nice acoustic guitar folks, that I need to learn to play. A friend of a friend found it on her travels, and gave it to me. How nice. Also! She gave me a box of KD. Not just Macaroni and Cheese made by Kraft, but real CANADIAN Kraft Dinner. It even has French! I'm going to cherish it like it was my own foot. But hopefully with less cheese.

I think that's it for now folks. Tune in for the next post which will finally answer the question that's on everyone's mind: Will there ever be a boy born who can swim faster than a shark? I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the answer.

Which is no.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Oh Yes...

AFL is in full swing. That's Aussie Football League of course. Funny thing about the Aussie sports, though. The team names aren't exactly... um... intimidating. Example: Sydney's team name is, I kid you not, the Sydney Swans. And there are the Rabbitohs, Magpies and the Cats. Not Tigercats or Killer Cats, just Cats. Like fluffy yarn-playing cats. Weak.

Of course, they have some of the teams with tough names, like the Demons, Dragons, and Lions, but I like to focus on the pink-sounding names. Though, I would have to say my favourite, purely for nostalgic reasons is the Bombers. Luckily they're in second place right now, so I've picked a good team to cheer on.

AFL looks like a fun game to play. You basically grab the ball, hit it to your teammates, run as fast as you can towards the other teams uprights, and kick it through. That's it. It's pretty rough, not like rugby, but rougher than soccer. I'll have to try it sometime I suppose.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Winter Is A-Comin!

Evenin' everybody. Well, it's getting to be fall here in Sydney, and it really is noticeable. The days are generally still nice, but it gets down to about 15 degrees at night (which is actually chilly down here without any long sleeved shirts), and it's only supposed to get cooler. Damn this weather!

Sadly, I have nothing else to report. I work, sleep, and occasionally go out and get blind drunk. That's going to slow down considerably in the next little while though, as everyone I hang around with is leaving Sydney for other locales, be it in Australia or back to their home countries, wherever that may be. The next big thing is going to be my birthday I guess, and that's not for 3 more weeks.

Random sentence: I would kill someone for some real lemonade. Like, *ACTUAL* lemonade, and not Sprite.

I'm growing somewhat bored with Sydney right now. Granted, I don't really do much, and I've done all the touristy things, so I'm just saving up to go somewhere else and check out some new scenery. I reckon my birthday weekend will have me heading back to Byron Bay again, as I really loved it there, and it's close enough and cheap enough to get to without me breaking the bank just to travel for a weekend. It's also supposed to be herpes-free (according to the adverts anyways), so it's got that going for it.

Fact! I've become addicted to Facebook.

Thursday is my day off this week, so I'll be finding an immigration service to figure out what I need to do to get residency. Apparently I have to go through some sort of assessment to see what skills I have, and whether they can be used here in Australia. I'm really hoping they need someone to test out beds, or get rid of all the excess beer they have in this country. These jobs would be right up my alley, I reckon.

My computer went crazy last week, and (techno-babble alert!) none of my USB ports are working, so I can't upload any new pictures to it, or use my mice or anything like that, and it's driving me nuts. Damned crappy Chinese knock-off gamepads!

Um... that's it for now I suppose. My next post should be more stimulating, as it has to do with migratory patterns of the elusive Spider Wombat. Or was that the Wombat Spider? Either way, it's comedy gold!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

My Mind is Like a Sieve with No Handle

I keep forgetting to add in things that I think about during the day, so here's just a few little nuggets:

- Congratulations to my brother and sister-in-law who have decided to bring in the first nephew to the Lambert family. Little Owen Lambert was born March 27th at 7lbs 12oz. Congratulations again! Now I can officially cut off my nuts.

- Congratulations to Jenn, who is getting married to some American guy who no doubtedly used great cunning and guile to steal her heart and whisk her away to the bowels of hell. Or Atlanta. I always get those 2 mixed up. Anyhow, I wish nothing but the best for you Jenn. I'm so happy for you!

- Congratulations to Mandrea (for those of you not in the know, for efficiency's sake, it's easier to type 'Mandrea' than it is 'Matt and Andrea'. Yeah, we're weird) for getting a nice house, moving into it this week, and finally becoming homeowners. I'm telling you guys, a minivan or paneled stationwagon is right around the corner. Probably literally. Go outside and check. Also, now you can actually go to Vegas, bet it all on a gut-shot straight and say, "Man, how am I gonna explain losing the HOUSE?" That's living the dream.

- And finally, congratulations to... um... me for... uh... almost living to be 30 I suppose. 1 more month! (Ugh).

Why Would Anyone Want to Live in Winnipeg?

I actually had a post titled this that I was gonna put up, but I felt that too many people would disown me and stop reading my blog if I actually ended up posting it, so I'm not going to until I clean it up a little. In the meantime, this will just be a "What's Kev been up to lately" kind of thing. Though this post may end up being so mundane, I'll still end up losing readers in droves. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

Anyhow, as some of you may be able to tell from my last post, I'm working in an Italian restaurant in Sydney, just on Darling Harbour, about a 2 minute walk away from the Sydney Aquarium. It's working out nicely, as I work so much, and at such late hours that I spend little money, and I'm saving a ton. In fact, after tax and tips, I'm making almost as much money as I was making working in Calgary. The bonus is that they feed me for free, and if I close, I get to drink for free as well, so the only thing I'm paying for right now is my accomidation, which is cheap as (which, by the way, is my new favourite Aussie saying, " as" like "Sweet As" or "Cheap As". Cheap as what you may ask? I don't know, and it's never implied. Get over it).

Anyhow, another little bit of info for people who've never been here: Tipping is totally optional. It's not uncommon for people to get a bill for $250 and leave no tip, or if it's simply a few dollars short of a round number, they'll just leave that. It's not an indication of poor service, it's just not done around here. It's mostly because waiters get paid the same as everyone else, anywhere from $18-22/hour, so it's not needed to suppliment their income. Consequently, all of the tips we get are pooled together and distributed to everyone weekly based on the number of hours they worked, and it seems to work out to about another $4-5/hour, depending on the week, so it's alright. The downside of all this is that in order for a restaurant to pay for their staff, the prices are generally a lot higher for basic food, like a glass of Coke is $3.75 or a 300g steak (12oz I guess) is almost $30, and that's a standard price. Expensive, but you get used to it (much like escorts).

Moving right along, my plans have somewhat changed in the past few weeks. Originally I wanted to get residency so I could live here permanently, but I think I realized that Iw ould simply be trading one city for another, and think I would just fall into complacency again, and I don't want to do that. Instead, I'm going to apply for residency so that if I want to live and work in Australia again, I can without any hassles. What I'd like to do now is get residency, work for a year or 2, then continue traveling around. I'd go to New Zealand first and visit some of the peeps I met on Heron (lots of Aussies and Kiwis worked on the island, and they're all solid folk), then go up to Vietnam and/or Thailand to check it out. I've heard nothing but great things about both of these places, and they're cheap as anyways. You can live in Bangkok in a decent hostel for about $40AUS/week, and eat really well for about $3/day. Zounds!

Anyhow, after SE Asia, I have a friend in South Africa that I'd like to go visit (Hi Laura!) who said she would be visiting me in Australia if she wasn't about to give birth. After South Africa, I plan on flying up to Europe and travel around there for a while, since I'm already halfway there anyways. Then off to South America somewhere, likely Brazil or Argentina, before heading back to North America where I may stop off in some random American cities before flying back into Canada. Of course, all this will take a couple years I think, so I may not be back home until 2009. I'd still really like to make it back in time for the Olympics, and hopefully head to Vancouver to see some of the action.

Now, of course, none of this is carved in stone, and it all depends on whether I can actually get residency here, and if I have to qualify by working here for a long time, if I can save up the money, get visas for all the other countries I want to visit or what-have-you. Still, it's a plan, and I've come to realize that it's better to have a plan and have to change it, than to not have a plan at all.