Kev in Aus

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

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Folks, I'm going on hiatus for a while. I'm moving out of my flat as my lease runs out next week, and back into a hostel. Things are going well, but I feel I have nothing of import to say in this blog lately, since I don't do anything but work, sleep and spend my money frivolously. I'll keep everyone posted through Facebook and rare phone calls.

Keep it real folks, I'll be back soon.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Get Yer Pope On!

So we here in Sydney are "enjoying" World Youth Day (that being somewhat of a misnomer because it's going on for a full week, starting today and lasting until next Monday). I say "enjoying" because it's a huge pain, since most of the streets in the CBD have closed and those who need to drive or take public transportation into the city are hugely inconvenienced. For those of you who don't know what WYD is (and I suspect that's a large portion of you), it's essentially a huge Catholic meeting with thousands gathering to pray, attend mass, and generally make life completely annoying for those of us who are not religious.

The Pope himself arrived on Friday on his own Pope-plane, with his Pope-mobile, and I can only assume Pope-butlers. Here's what I think is completely asinine. He's here to preach about helping fellow man, sheltering the poor, and all that wonderful stuff Catholicism espouses, but he's charging $150 a head to attend his mass on Thursday. Seriously, man, woman, child, monkey, whatever, you gotta pay $150 just to be in his presence at Randwick racetrack to listen to him preach pretty much the same stuff that Father Jimmy O'Toole preaches every Sunday at the nearest church. Is that not complete bullocks and against the whole "bring God to the masses" ideology? Of course, some people would say it's just like spending $150 to see your favourite rock band or what have you, but I don't know a lot of people that would travel halfway around the world just to see a band, and spend their last dollars on it.

For those of you who may not know (again, I suspect a fair number of you) I would identify myself as being athiest. Now, I'm not against religion itself, I just think that if you're supposed to be helping your fellow man, charging people a ridiculous amount is not really the best way to do it. It pretty much ensures that only the rich will be able to attend, or the poor will have to become even poorer just to hear the word of God. And I'm not alone in this. Seeing as I work in an Irish pub, and Ireland is, in general, a fairly religious country, I've had the opportunity to discuss this with people who do attend weekly mass, and who identify themselves as deeply religious, and they also think it's pretty crazy.

So to summarize: the Pope charges too much for sermons, Irish people love beer, and I'm likely going to this Hell place I've heard so much about.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Ha ha, well, not quite, but it's Christmas in July here in Sydney (and really, I think in all of New South Wales). The pub is decorated with heaps of tinsel and wreaths and such. In fact, I am, as I write this, wearing a Santa hat in an internet cafe on my break. I'm sure people are wondering what drugs I'm on (hint: it rhymes with back rogaine). But it's all fun, and people are really getting into it. In fact, on the 25-27, there's a Yulefest going on in Katoomba, a town about an hour outside of Sydney, right in the Blue Mountains, and I'm heading there with Ash, Shawna, and a few Irish lads that Ash knows. Should be a good time, and it's one of the only places in Australia that occasionally gets snow, so we're looking forward to checking it out.

Otherwise, it's getting damn frigid in these parts. It's getting down to about 10 degrees at night, but the winds pick up to around 90km/h, which just makes it that much worse (as all my Canadian reader knows). And you can't find parkas around here without having to pay through a painful orifice. Luckily I have a nice woolen beanie to keep me warm! Hee hee!

Otherwise, nothing new on this end. Still awaiting on residency, and trying to get some money together to go to Thailand before heading back to Canada if I have to. But that's all in the initial planning stages. We'll see what happens in the next few weeks.


Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy Canada Day!

Well, it was a couple days ago, but the sentiment was there. There was a pretty big Canada Day celebration going on at one of the backpacker bars in Sydney (Scubar) and it was a lot of fun. They were supposed to play Canadian music, and I asked the DJ to play some good old Canadian tunes (Tragically Hip, Spirit of the West, Sam Roberts that sort of thing) and he said, "Oh, I don't have those, I've got Avril Livigne, Nelly Furtado and Nickelback though." Yeah, they were born in Canada, but I was thinking more of like stuff that you would really only hear in Canada. Sad state of affairs. Though I did get a chance to play the Hockey Night in Canada theme over the sound system, so that was great. And we also sang the national anthem literally about 20 times over the course of the night. How patriotic we were.

Oh! Shawna's back in Sydney now. After living up in Airlie Beach for the past year and a half, she finally escaped the clutches and decided to come visit me in Sydney. She's sleeping on our couch right now until she finds work and gets her own place (or we kick out one of the flatmates and she takes their place, Your days are numbered Francie!) So that was fun, me, Ash and Shawna tearing it up like old times. Brings a tear to me eyes.

In other news, I've got just over 3 months left on my visa here in Oz and I'm not looking forward to having to leave. I mean, it's going to be great to see everyone again, but I know I'm just going to miss Oz too much. The past 2 years of my life have been the most exciting and, well, meaningful I suppose, and I just don't want it to end. But I'm still applying for residency, so we'll see how that pans out.

Other than that, not much is happening. We're clipping along, saving a few dollars and trying to get a few more things crammed into my time here (Fraser Island, Magnetic Island, the Snowy Mountains, etc) so hopefully I'll have some good pics up soon.