Thursday 3rd Sept
I finally moved out of the hostel and into a shared flat! It is just up behind the hostel, a 2-bed made into a 3-bed by a partition-room in the lounge, which is where I am staying. It is noisy, with walls that are paperthin and do not touch the sides, but it is only $100/wk, so I just put my earplugs in and don't complain. My new flatmates are nice and very sociable, it is a multicultural house with the guy Tim that owns it (born in UK but aussie accent), a french girl, an italian girl and a chilean girl, who I share with. My roommate unfortunately has a stinking cold and snores like a warthog at the moment, which is a bit gross, and makes me nervous that I will catch it off her, but I cross my fingers and *belive* in the strength of my immune system.
It's just bliss to be out of a hostel and to be only sharing with 4other people, not 70. I love not having to label my food in the fridge, having a private bathroom and toilets that aren't stalls/cubicles. It will be great to have a washing machine that doens't cost $4 to use! And it's nice not to have to make sure I carry my key with me every time I leave the room.
I lost hours and hours from work yesterday, when the entire of Airlie beach was plunged into darkness twice as the entire area lost power when an electricity substation exploded, or a car ploughed into it, or the roadworks men cut through a main power line, according to the varied theories! Either way, I stuck it out at peterpans trying to look busy for an hour or so, but with no internet and no internet booking systems working, we had no customers and eventually I was forced to go home. Sat in the dark in hoggies for an hour and had a drink, waiting to find out if we would be open in the evening, then the power came back on, started work at 6 til it went off again at 8pm and we had to finish service by torch and candlelight, all very exciting, although annoying to lose work-time.
A few funny things here I keep meaning to record:
- It gets dark here EARLY! It is dark by 6pm, was the same in Thailand. Because it is so hot, I feel like it should be getting dark late, but I suppose it is still "winter" here, so shorter day lengths, or are day lengths more constant in the tropics?? Must check that!
- People here are obsessed with their drinks being supercold! All spirits and soft drinks are served with atleast half a glass full of ice (although that's maybe a profit-margin thing as much as the temperature). They keep the GLASSES in the fridge before pouring beer into them, and lots of people use polystyrine 'coolers' around their glasses and bottles when they are drinking them.
- Midori is really popular here, but rarely asked for back home.
- Lemon lime and bitters! Yum! It is SO refreshing, and interesting how it is virtually unheard of in the UK, but I'd say the second most popular soft drink here, after coke. Also no blackcurrent cordial, it is raspberry. Funny to think how these things would come to be..
- Sailingness, everywhere! I swear, nearly everybody that lives in Airlie Beach owns a boat; found out last night that the guy whose flat I am now in has a yacht that he has just finished doing up, but I doubt I'll have the time off to go out in it before I leave.
- Highchairs; in the UK, as in Australia, pub highchairs are pretty grotty, germ-ridden things. Mums in the uk often wipe the table with babywipes or put the kids food on a plate or tray on the table; aussie mums just chuck the food straight on the table, with no regard for germs! This must be a good thing, I wonder if aussie babies have better immune systems than their british counterparts as a result?!
- Aussies don't seem to care about "best before" dates.. both places I have worked when I've stocked up the bottle fridges I always date-check and have found SO MUCH stuff that is months and months past it's date but when I tell them, they just shrug and say it doesn't matter and that often stuff is out of date already when it's delivered to them! It's so weird! In England, I think it's actually illegal to sell out-of-date products, which makes sense.. What is the point of a best before or use by date if no-one pays any attention to it?
Think if I had moved into the flat sooner maybe I would have stayed in Airlie longer, being as how a) it is a more pleasant and long-term place to live and b)it is so much cheaper I could actually have saved money. It's too late to change my plans now as I have already booked my flight from cairns to darwin and it is non-refundable. But maybe I shouldn't have planned quite so far ahead! Flgihts DO get more and more exxie the closer you get to the date, but I could perhaps have put off booking for another couple of weeks. I just hate having a plan in my head of what I'm going to do and not getting on with putting it in place! Oh well, I'm looking forward to everywhere else I'm going next and given that I'm only in aus for a year, I think two months is a good length of time to stop and work for each time, then I can do that maybe four times while I am here and get to see the maximum number of places 'properly' so hopefully melbourne for a couple months then over to work somewhere on the west coast in between traveling. Plans, again!!