Here is a little joint account of our two months in Brisbane. During this time we were truely spoilt by June with great meals, we had some once in a lifetime job opportunities, saw all the Brisbane sights thanks to Beth, Ian and Llon, got fully aquainted with the Bribane public transport and had the luxury of our own room which was a breath of fresh air after the dorm staying last 2 months!
1. Last 8 days of Richards stay - Unfortunately it was the end of the road for Mad Rich and time for him to return to England to hunt down a job. In the last few days with him we went to Dreamworld with Beth, Ian and Llon where we went on every single ride in the park including 'The Giant Drop' and 'The Tower of Terror'....twice!! I did chicken out of the second run on the tower of terror and instead went on everyones favourite 'The Claw', which Beth kindly kept me company on, but at least I did the drop once..... unlike Ian and Beth the big chickens! Unfortunately Rich didnt get the chance to go to the waterpark due to me and Han getting our first jobs but he did get to eat some Apolo takeaway chicken burgers and get dragged around town looking for workclothes for Hannahs first bar shift, what more could you want! On the day before Rich left he showed June why he got to the finals of his school cooking competition and made us a propper 3 course meal with dips, chilli and rice and Llon finished it off by making his famous chocolate desert which is unbelievably good, so good that me and Han got the recipe and had a go at it before we left. It was sad to see bro go home as he was good entertainment value all the way.
2. The job hunt - As the main purpose of Brisbane was to earn some much needed dosh for th rest of our travels we quickly got on the job hunt! My first job offer came in pretty quick, however it defintely wasnt the most appealing. It was door to door sales selling solar power....the best job in the world I know! However, thanks to Beth I also managed to bag a job in an English bar in the city. I decided to work both jobs for a bit as you can supposedly earn a fair bit from the old door to door sales and my first couple of days were pretty succesful. However, that was probably when I still had an ounce of enthusiasm about solar power. Whereas, after a week knocking on doors delivering the same awful spiel trying to convince people on the doll that they could afford solar power (when they clearly preffered to spend there money on food), the job wasn't so appealling.
In the meantime Jonny had bagged himself a job as a paint-stripper for some old lady, which looked like it would sort him out for the 2 months. However, it soon turned out that the paint he was removing was lead based paint and although it can be removed safely with the right masks and vacuums/by professionals (which Jonny certainly wasn't), Jonny had no mask let alone a proper ventilator and was removing it by heat (apparently the most dangerous method)! So after 2 days he had to sack that one in to prevent possible brain damage (as noone wants that).
So Jonny was back on the job hunt! While he was looking for anything and everything I managed to force him to come out with me door to dooring for a couple of days. This didn't go to well though as Jonny much preferred having a chat to the old ladies rather than trying to sell them anything! He also didn't have the best luck with his clients, for example; he opened the door to a midget on a unicycle. After a couple of days atempting to sell solar power he could take no more and I soon followed suit. Luckily, I managed to pick up plenty of shifts at the Pig 'n' Whistle, which saw me through our time in Brisbane. Whereas, Jonny managed to get a few shifts as a gardener aswell as one job as a window cleaner........his talents are endless!
The last job Jonny found was a week in a kids camp that sounded pretty good so I tagged along too! However, it turned out to be a bit of a shambles as it turned out to be pretty illegal (as none of us had green cards to work with children), there wasn't enoough helpers to kids (and 1 out of 4 of the helpers were autistic, so they weren't the most proactive recruits!), and among our tasks I was told to hide 100 kids in an alley by myself telling them riddles (I don't know any riddles) for an hour while the parents were about! In addition, Jonny was convinced the organiser was a paedo, whereas I just thought/prayed he was eccentric! In the end we only managed to stick it out 2 days, as after we got inspected by the child protection authority we thought it was probaby best to leave before things got serious!
That pretty much sums up our jobs in Brisbane, as you Can see I was a bit luckier than Jonny, however he is now an expert on a ride on mower if anyone is looking for a gardener back in the UK.
3. Sports! - Obviously with us being sporty people we wanted to get stuck in to the sports Brisbane had to offer. We had about 3 games of squash with each other at The University of Queensland and Hibiscus Squash Club and were really chuffed with how well we played to say it had been 4 months since we picked up a racket! We tried to kid ourselves into thinking we were still fit when we were still feeling ok after a few routines but the true story of my fitness unravelled in a horrible mess when I played Ben the young Aussie pro/Japanese number 1. I lost 3-2 twice and was walking like John Wayne for 2 or 3 days with the stiffest bottom ever.
We also watched Llon play netball two or three times, once when Rich was still here and we all had a go at shooting on a court and overly exagerating the pivot. Unfortunately Llon and his team lost every time we watched!! Not even when he drafted in the unexpecting Hannah could they muster a win despite all Hans efforts to fight a man on the opposite team.
I watched some pretty good games of rugby and Afl with Beth, Ian and Llon when Han was at work. Llon was kind enough to go to the Afl with me for the first time (popping that Afl cherry) when we went to watch Brisbane Lions vs Essendon at the Gabba and had a great time despite the mardy Essendon fan in front of us who appeared to hate me for cheering for Brisbane to win. What did he expect when the game was being played in Brisbane?! Jackass! Beth and Ian took me to the rugby where beforehand we had a smoking hot Vietnamese curry, then in the ground I was being a clown, trying to swipe in with my ticket the wrong way up and needing assistance from the steward who probably thought I was special. The game was full on and really close but unfortunately Queensland Reds lost by about 6. Towards the final whistle I was glad to hear Ian come out with a silly question about the volume of the liquid in his beer glass.....not realising that he had two cups inside one another!! This meant he could no longer rip me. Ian was also very kind at the end and got me a really nice Reds stubby holder as a souvenir which is going to make me want to drink more beer when we're back in England now so I can get to use it!
A few other things we got up to were 2 games of putt putt at Victoria Park golf course where I won both times and Han came last both times haha It was good fun though especially watching Han and Llon argue about their number of shots! I had a cheeky game of golf around the course as well which was a nice change and I went round 7 over in the pouring rain so was pretty happy with that. Me and Han took on the barefoot bowls one afternoon which was more of an excuse to have a few pitches of cider, but the bowls was a good crack too with Han coming through at the end to pip me 3-2. We went on a few runs aswell to Hans delight because she had been trying to get me to go on them for weeks and I kept refusing because of my dodgy knee. We just ran down to the park and did a few laps then jogged/walked back.
4. Sights - We saw our fair share of sights in and around Brisbane. We had a nice picnic on kangaroo point aswell as an interesting ride back on the river cat with a special needs man shouting and following us! We went up Mt Cootha twice; once with Beth in the luxury of a car and once with Bethan Jones and Tom on bikes (not so luxury). We climbed the biggest glass house mountain with Llon and spent a chilly day at water world. In the last week of our stay I gave in to Jonnys constant request to go on the XXXX brewery tour, which to be fair to him was pretty good. Well the actual tour was pretty pants, but the 7 free drinks each in the bar plus 2 free bbqs (we managed to sneak up for the next brewey tours bbq too) went down a treat!
5. Other random stuff - Another event worth mentioning is when I got my hair cut for the 1st time in 4 months! I stupidly thought that a $20 haircut would do the trick. However, it did not go to plan as I ended up with a mullet and a staircase fringe. In addition, on the way back from my hair cut (I was already feeling sorry for myself) I sliced my toe on a pavement slab. So Jonny had to sepnd the next couple hours digging stones out of my foot and trying his best to pretend that I didn't look like a penis with my new cut!
During our stay Jonny also became addicted to monoply, scrabble, words with friends (thanks to Llon) and James Patterson books in an attempt to entertain himself while I was at work......bless him, he's always been a cool kid!
All in all our time in Brisbane was pretty good. It was really good to spend some time with my cousins and Auntie, for us to do some work and meet some proper Aussies (probably the only thing missing from our tour up the east coast)! We will definately miss the Aussie lifestyle and weather, infact we could do with some aussie heat right now as we are freezing our t*** of in Bob at the mo!