Monday, February 27, 2012



Yesterday was 40* (104*F) so I found my self lounging around for a bit before heading to David's for the night. The plan was to go straight to living in a hostel but without my PIN I had no options. Fortunately this did give me the opportunity to finally get some footage of David and Cruz. 
After church today I wandered off into the city and ended up on Peel street where I saw some interesting graffiti art.

Next I went to Rundle Ave where I finally got my pics of the Rundle Mall pigs. 

Finally I did some reading at the Garden of Unearthly Delights and headed back to David's.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fringe Parade


Today I moved some beds around for Danielle and she contributed a bunch of food to my rations. Later I went to the Grace Emily and had a drink with Aaron. I hadn't gotten my confirmation text from the job I interviewed for so I began thinking about other options outside of Adelaide.. which is when I got the text. It read, "Hi Dermot from Kk marketing here,I'm sorry about the delay in getting back to you, it has been a super busy day. you have been successful in your interview. You were very impressive and I would like to invite you to training Monday and Tuesday from 12-6pm. You will get paid for both training days and start full time as of Wednesday. Let me know ASAP if you can attend. Thanks and well done."

My evening redeemed I excitedly finished my drink and headed out for the Fringe parade.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Fingers Crossed


Today I went to a group interview for meter checking job where all you have to do is check the meter and explain the discount to the customer. They asked why we wanted to work there, how much we wanted to make, and our general interests. I explained that I like being outside and generally like the looks of the job environment (free BBQs, entertainment room, and nice pay rate). I told them bottom line - need to make money but I'm also enthusiastic about enjoying my work. Overall, the interview went pretty well and I will hear back tomorrow around 6pm as to whether or not I got the job. Something interesting is that the guy in charge of interviewing us is from Ireland and was sponsored to stay here by this very position... could be more to this job than just a paycheck.

Back at Danielles I finally gave the bank a call and found out that I need my PIN sent to my mom, a five day process... which means I will have to stay with David for a couple days after Danielle's renter shows up this weekend. After a couple days with David I should have my PIN and be able to stay at a hostel for $100/week.

Later, I cycled around a nearby pond and went to the Garden of Unearthly Delights again hoping to maybe run into Aaron or James. I sat and read for a bit on my kindle and then decided to head back for tea (dinner).

Thursday, February 23, 2012

North Adelaide


Today I went to North Adelaide for a walking tour and met Tim from Brisbane. Our guide, Phillip took us to see a view of the city.

On the way back we saw a couple fancy brick homes that the bishop and archbishop of the local Catholic schools live in.

The bishop's house was big but the archbishop's house was more of a mansion. Back at the library we saw a circus act and had some "morning tea" - fruit, biscuits (cookies) and "fairy bread" (white bread with butter and sprinkles on it - not a bad combination!).
Next, Tim and I went to the Art Gallery of South Australia. On the way I checked out a place offering security licenses for $600 which is not bad considering that this would allow me to get jobs paying $30+/hour. At the gallery we saw many interesting paintings, sculptures, video media, etc. One that stood out was by John William Lewin called "Fish catch and Dawes Point, Sydney Harbour.

It's the oldest oil painting known to have been painted in Australia (1800). Also, as a natural history painting and decorative still-life as well as a proud fisherman's momento, it's an interesting example of popular British culture at the time.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Should I stay.. or go?


Today I stopped in at Danielle's neighbor Howard's to ask him about a construction job that he was looking into for me. He had suggested that I take a $60-100 class to get my White Card (a health & safety certification necessary for most all manual labour jobs in Australia) but the job wasn't even really available and I don't have money for food let alone a job that, as it turns out, doesn't actually exist. In town I checked and found that my card PIN still wasn't working even though I had changed it earlier (maybe BECAUSE I had changed it, but can't remember my old pin anyways because I haven't used it for too long). I went to the Grace Emily Hotel at 8:30p and drank water while meeting a few people and waiting for the free food at 11p. At 11:30p the food was finally ready... but they were charging  for it. Oh well, it was worth a shot.


Today I rode 15km to apply for another job and then went to a prayer meeting down Anzac Highway.

I've been thinking a lot lately about going somewhere exciting, like Brisbane. Brisbane is a place where I can see amazing things and visit one of the most beautiful places in the world – Cairns. On the other hand, I feel like any of these popular tourist spots are going to be big, expensive cities packed with other backpackers looking for work. The thing is that I am actually making some progress here in Adelaide – I have a network of friends, free accomodation, work to get me by, and maybe even a real job on the horizon (which is pretty good considering the current lull in the job market). Also, the Fringe festival is on so I figure it might be good to stick around for that. It’s just that I feel like when I finally do go to this new place (might also consider Perth or somewhere up North like Darwin) I might wonder why I didn’t go sooner!

I asked a blogging friend about this and he says that I'm in "an interesting situation but at the end of the day, it’s a good one to have! Having to choose between staying in Adelaide, where you seem to be well set up, or moving on to a different Australian city, where you’ll once again meet new people and find new opportunities, is a choice that many people don’t have. And I think you should do whatever you are comfortable with. Perth and Darwin and Brisbane aren’t going anywhere so if you enjoy where you’re at now, then stay. At some point you’ll feel that it is the right time to move on and when that happens, you should move on. But if you’re not fully convinced yet, then there’s no reason to change your situation."

I think that’s the right way to look at it, might as well stay a bit – I have a year and, as he says, “Perth and Darwin and Brisbane aren’t going anywhere.”

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Arachnid Invasion!


By the looks of it I had myself a run in with a White-tailed Spider (Lampona cylindrata) today.

... they're nasty lil pseudoscorpion types that can cause necrosis and leave permanent scarring. After getting footage of the lil freak I squashed him and went to the youth meeting with David Kho. When I got back I found another White Tail... not liking the looks of this.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Slip! Slop! Slap!


Today I went with Danielle to meet up with her son Tane for a $5 Schnitzel. After a good meal Danielle and I went to the Grace Emily Hotel for a drink where the bartender told me that a place called Casablabla was probably hiring. On the way back we found a backpack on the sidewalk with a smashed up iphone, cigarettes, toilet paper and some clothing. I tried calling the contacts on the phone with Skype (phone didn't have any credit on it) and got a bunch of very confused aboriginals with no idea what I was saying. After searching the bag again I found a peice of paper with an appointment to see an Aboriginal Sobriety Group leader... steriotypes aside, this is a lead that might help in finding the guy.


During the last couple days I've applied at Casablabla, Coles and a bunch of places online. It's funny, I told myself I'd never do retail again, but for $22/hour may just have to make an exception.

The sun in Australia is really intense, all the time, and thanks to the hole in the Ozone (which allows extra UV rays through the atmosphere) it is also really dangerous. So, it's no wonder that Aussies go out of their way to have, not only the best sunblock, but lots of it!

Today was a busy day so I made sure to "Slip, Slop, Slap."

I dropped off the backpack (that Danielle and I found a few days earlier) at the police station and tried to get some stuff at Salvos (Salvation Army) but, as usual, I missed the small window in which they operate... Next, I went to a hostel for jobs and pamphlets (for inspiration on things to do) and on the way to the next hostel I saw Coopers Ale House. David had suggested I try their Vintage Coopers so I went in and got one for $7.50.. during happy hour. It was a good beer though and as I was drinking it I got my money's worth. First, the bar brought out a huge platter of free food and since they were so slow I got a good go at it.
Then, I met an Aussie who markets Vale Ale and had some suggestions for me on places to see in the city. At that point another Aussie named Paul sat down next to me and, after discussing a few of his insights on the local venues, we started talking about his business. Paul sells solar panels and also has a plan for a local venture, one that a backpacker like me fits right into. After buying me a couple of drinks, Paul showed me his business and we went down to the Fringe festival (Garden of Unearthly Delights) to discuss some ideas. During our visit he bought me a corn and a fantastic chocolate/strawberry waffle covered in ice cream as an incentive to possibly work with him.

Paul continued to show me around Adelaide a bit and then went home as I continued to the next few hostels. During my search I met a couple of Aussies who had just returned from Border Town (a town named, as many things in Australia, after its location - on the border between SA and Victoria). We talked a bit and I headed to a couple more hostels. At the YHA Adelaide I saw them again as I was heading out.

On the way back I was repeatedly harrassed by the same car whos inhabitants assuredly had tourettes... For a city with such perfect bicycling conditions (flat) and, therefore, a fair number of cyclists - Adelaide sure hates people on bikes! Oh well, at least I don't have to pay $1.50/liter ($6/gallon) for petrol (gas).

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

rAging in rAdelaide


Antipodean life has been good - back in backpacker mode and loving every minute of it! Things have slowed down a bit, but still going according to plan. I stayed at my brother's for nine days and then headed over to Danielle's to give him a break. So far I've just been doing work for my friend, James

...but with all the help I've been getting from the church and friends in general, it's just a matter of time till something official turns up. I talked to some environmental advocates about working with them for $22/hour, a guy from church offered to put me in contact with a friend in the mines and David's neighbor, who works on the rigs, gave me some advice on my CV then took it into work with him. Zsusha's sister, who works for Oz Minerals, also gave me some advice on working in the mining industry.

While I was at the Grace Emily today a girl named Lexy came over and started talking to me about Australia. She mentioned that she had $40k invested in her PHD and actually has to pay it back if she ever makes more than 35k/year. This explains how Aussies can go to school for free because I was starting to get the impression that the government just funded it outright. After talking about a few job ideas for me, including retail, Lexy pointed out that I wont likely get paid less than $22/hour because of my age.

At one point Aaron decided to go elsewhere so we left with his friend James to a place called Crown followed by a kebab place and a hungry jacks.

I used my coupons so we could buy a bunch of burgers and, after eating, we walked until we discovered a trolley (shopping cart) and I pushed James around in it a bit :P


Today I went to Tim's for tea where we ate a potato dish called Cottage Pie (cottage because its made with beef otherwise called Shepard's Pie if made with lamb) and had ice cream for desert. After eating we all went to a home meeting, had more deserts (I was pretty much shaking from my sugar high at this point), and headed back to Tim's. I then headed back in the dark wearing Danielle's blinking vest, because it's illegal to ride without lights (let alone without a helmet) at night here... the tyres (tires) on my bike could also be in better condition - the threading that holds them together is coming apart and the wheels are wobbling a bit...


Today I went to church and then over to Michelle's for lunch. We ate pork, egg, beef stew, and bread rolls then watched some cricket on the tele. Cricket is a very unnecessarily drawn out game. They don't do three strikes your out... they do 300 strikes your out then the other team goes. This takes a full 8-hour day as opposed to the series games where they play until all the players are out... which generally works out to four days. Even if one team scores 1000 points right off (no coming back from that) they have to keep playing... and, unfortunately, there is no sportsmanship. If one team sees that they are losing they give up and just punt the ball for the next three days while everyone watches and boos from the stands.


Today I went to the Grace Emily Hotel again to meet up with Aaron and Danielle. After an hour they finally showed up and we had a few beers. I got rid of a fair number of coins in a short period of time which helped make my pocket a bit more manageable (this happens when coin currency goes up to $2). While we were there I spoke with a guy who teaches psychology and is currently researching the mathmatics of life like in the movie "A Beautiful Mind."

After Danielle left Aaron bought us a couple more ciders and we talked about the values that people place on family vs friends. Aaron brought up the point that some friends might act more like family than family, but my opinion is that family is one of those things where you might not realize what you have until it's gone, so it's best to try and appreciate it while you can. After a bit Aaron left because he had to work in a few hours so I watched some live music. One band played some rock music and the next played very playfully - interacting with the audience and joking about the harmonica being a weird brand. They covered CCR and after they were done I decided I was ready to head out.

Friday, February 03, 2012


Today I went to Hahndorf, a small German township outside of Adelaide.. it was about 25km (15 miles) each way (50km total). The hills going there and coming back were pretty extreme, but I actually felt pretty good considering.

In Hahndorf I went to Otto's Bakery and had a doughnut with custard. It was pretty good - had a floury/doughy taste and plenty of custard. I went back in and had a hot dog bun looking thing with honey cream down the middle.. it was too sugary though and made me feel a bit sick.

Next I went to the supermarket for a can of beans since I wasn't going to be able to enjoy anything for a while anyways. Then I went to the sweets shop for some carmel/almond and baileys fudge. Finally, I stopped in at the butchery and got some veal jerky (I'm not necessarily into the whole process that goes into making veal nor do I appreciate the waste that probably comes from slaughtering an animal before it matures, but it was all they had). All in all it tastes alright and now I can say I've had it.

On the way back I decided to take a different route (the steep one since I would be going back down this time). I still had to climb back up some of the hills that brought me down into Hahndorf (maybe even a few more than it took before...) but the finish was all downhill, very downhill. In fact, I'd say that the chances of me surviving a crash were just about nonexistant... that being said I hit a pot hole at about 60kph (40mph) and my life pretty much flashed before my eyes.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Brighton Beach

During the last few days I've been staying with my brother, David. I borrowed a bike from a friend, rode it 14 miles to body surf at Glenelg and the next day I rode it even further to do some work for a guy up North. Today I went to Brighton Beach a ways down South of Glenelg and was surprised to find it was very calm. This is actually very unexpected considering that, according to Joseph (Zsusha's dad), there's supposed to be more waves as you near the coast.

When I got to the beach I swam out to the Pier and jumped off it a few times. After I was satisfied with my ability to jump off a high place I walked up to the boardwalk and looked at the sculptures.