Hello Perth! 18-20th Feb 11
Flying into Brisbane, I could see the damage the floods had left, and still a lot of the countryside was still underwater. It was quite strange seeing it like that. Waited in the airport for 4 hours stopover with some free wifi. Finally arrived in Perth, nice old cockney bloke from the hostel picked me up. Hostel is pretty random but chilled. Free pancakes every morning! Met a Dutch girl (Kristi) who randomly got the same flights as me and was just checking into the hostel at the same time as me, and then we were put in same room. Sooo tired.
Next morning, woke up at 6am due to weird time difference, tried to sleep a bit longer, had breakfast with Dutch girl and then we headed into town.It was scorching hot already (got about 35c). We got a bit lost, but finally made it through Northbridge where all the bars and clubs are, then over the railway into the center of town. The city seemed ok, but it was just another city, with a million Mcdonalds and Cotton ons (their favourite clothes shop equivalent to say New Look at home). The city was stressing me out a bit, after being in so many small towns, it was so much more busy than Christchurch. And the humidity and sun were so strong- a big shock coming from NZ. And because my clock was all mixed up, I wasn't really enjoying it as much as I should be. After an early night, I spent the following day on the free internet in library sorting out cv, helping a French girl from hostel book a flight- as she didn't understand some stuff and was really upset.
Next day met Sarah my friend from Melbourne hostel which was really nice to catch up and hear what she had been doing and to get some of the gossip from our friends in Melbourne, since I left.
Today, I took the train out of the city, as I just really needed to get away. This was a snap decision as I was sat in the CBD- center of Perth- there were sooo many people and they all seemed very strange, I really felt like I was in another world. This was the first time I have felt like this since I have been away from home- and it's pretty surprising that it's in Australia. I can't really explain it, the fashion is so strange- really tacky and bright crazy colours and loads of obvious over the top make up. All the teenagers had their bellies and/or cleavages out (regardless of their size on both counts), the boys all wore vest tops (singlets here) which were really low down and stupid caps, all of them really loud mouthed and rude. The ladies all wear really high patent heels at night, and I saw a few with stripper platform heels and leather skirts casually walking down the street last night- and it wasn't fancy dress! It's worse than the strip of bars near Elements and Toko on a Saturday night in Bournemouth! I actually felt like I was going to get mugged or something any minute. There were tonnes of aboriginals everywhere, which reminded me of how differently they are treated here to how the Maoris are treated in NZ, where they are a part of their history and accepted as a part of society. Basically I was missing New Zealand (and melbourne) a lot. I don't know whether it is Perth that is very different from the east coast Aus, or whether NZ and the kiwis kind, friendly nature has changed my views. But I really wasn't enjoying city life today.
Freemantle was a bit better, a smaller town with a sweet fishing boat Harbour and some nice markets. But it was still ram packed with people. I went with the intention of giving my cv out to all of the bars and restaurants. But I just couldn't bring myself to. I really didn't want to work here, I just want to go somewhere, where there are no people, where there is a nice beach and a small town somewhere else on the coast. I'm currently sitting on a small, bit quieter beach near to the town, looking out to the Indian ocean, which is beautiful. There must be much nicer places on the west coast, maybe I can find a boat job like I did in Cairns. I think I will look for people heading out of the city to grab a lift. I need to get out of here. I have 4 more nights booked in Perth to get my plans together.
20th-24th February 11'
Job Hunt over!
Good news, managed to get a job 5 hours south of Perth in a tiny town (with 200ppl) in a country pub/hotel. It might be really boring, but if there is just one person I get on with it will be fine and I just need to stick it out for about 6 weeks to make enough money to do the west coast and some of Asia. It's quite a good deal as I get my own room (maybe a double bed!!) which would be amazing, as hostels are getting a bit annoying. I will also get all my food included, and working behind the bar in the evenings, so maybe a few drinks chucked in as well. On top of that I still get paid $500pw which is reasonable, and being in a dead end town, I won't be able to spend it! I will be working in the hotel and the kitchen in the day. It all seems ok on paper but we will see when I get there. I start Monday, and they are paying for my train ticket down there too which helps a lot. I feel good already that I am getting out of the city, and the place I am going to is called Northcliffe on the south west coast, near to Margret river and Pemberton which are both meant to be really nice places. There are also nice beaches quite close, so when I get some time off hopefully I will be able to go and check them out. I was planning on heading down south anyway, so worst comes to worse and it really sucks, I have got a free ticket down there- there is nothing to lose.
Think I was quite lucky to get it, because I hadnt handed any cvs out at that point, i just walked into a free agency called the job shop by chance, and they just said here you go, have this job. One of the german girls in the hostel has been looking for 3 weeks and constantly handing cvs out everywhere. She hates me.
I just saw the news of the earthquake on a tv as I was walking past an tv shop, and saw it on sky news. I just can't believe it! It's so surreal that I had been there 5 days before. I think the death toll is at 75 or something now. The city was so nice, and it's so weird how we were all talking about earthquakes etc and I even wrote it down on here the other day.
Some of my friends are still there, Will was luckily out of the city so he didn't have too many problems, but Danielle and James are apparently in a marquee near the center taking cover, I just heard this from Will, and hoping to hear news from them soon. It's also quite bizarre that I took loads of pictures of the cathedral and the square before I left, and now it is not really there anymore. We had even talked at the time, how lucky the old buildings like that were to survive the earthquake in September. But the reason why this caused so much damage, this time, was because it was only 5km below the surface, whereas the previous one was something like 35km. Also because it was in the middle of the day as opposed to night, people were more out and about on lunch breaks etc. The pictures are just terrible, the whole roads have huge kind of waves underneath them, and closer to home, there were backpackers stuck in a YHA , they don't know if they have survived it. And also one backpacker was driving a van, and was killed due to falling rubble. It could have been any of us. The hostel I was staying in called City Oasis, is closed I found out online. I have sent them an email, as I had become friends with the manager to check if they are ok, I really hope the hostel is still there.
Anyway onto lighter topics, I have managed to get some sightseeing bits done in between giving a few CVs out here and there. The weather the whole time is over 35c and its just soo hot, its almost unbearable. All you want to do is lay on the beach. I have found that the outer suburbs of Perth are a lot nicer than the CBD:
Beautiful white fine sand beach, with bright blue clear water- loving the Indian ocean! Loads of really good surf here. Watched an amazing sunset and went for an amazing swim- first time I actually felt relaxed and happy in Perth!
Going to try and fit Rottnest Island and Cottesloe beach in before I leave.
Just planning Asia trip and had forgotten about the wet season starting in May, so I might have to cut the job a bit short to get there before then.