I have now been back in Adelaide for four days and every day I am here I walk down new streets and discover new places and every day I like it more! It is of a similar size to exeter and even from the centre, you can see green hills at the end of some of the streets..
My first two days here were spent mostly in a whirl of CV-printing and distributing and phoning to the working hostels. Then, yesterday I got my first shift in a pub on Grote Street.. two days is not bad for getting a job! It's always nice to get some encouragement, the endless rounds of CV dropping in Airlie and Sydney were a lot more demoralising because nearly every place I went in to said work was unlikely as they had SO many CVs given in each day. Pubs in Adelaide haven't really said that, I think its a combination of Ade not being so MUCH of a backpacker destination, Melbourne is more popular for the night life and stuff, and also the time of year... the run up to Christmas and New Year (AND high season of summer in south australia) is a really good time to job-hunt because places ARE usually taking on new staff.
Anyway, the pub I worked in last night is called The Metropolitan Hotel.. one of the guys that runs it knows Leonie, my boss from Hoggie's so maybe in a roundabout way she actually did a favour for me, by her name on my CV getting me a call-back, who knows! The pub is actually quite COOL. It has a nice layout, almost like a big, old house. The bar is nice and clean and modern, the menu is really good with quite a few veggie options and the food looks and smells fantastic.
The clientele seem to be quite nice and posh, the pub is just accross from a theatre, so it gets a bit of business from the pre-performance theatre crowd and a little flurry in the interval. The pub is SMART. They immediately gave me a nice black shirt to wear with the pub's name on it, and apart from that I just wear denim shorts and black shoes, so it's smart casual. They are meticulous about things.. the guy that runs it likes the notes in the till to all be facing the same direction, which is PERFECT because I like the notes to do that to! And I like to work somewhere which has those standards of detail, where I don't feel like I'm fighting a losing battle to try to get things to be neat and tidy and organised.
Luckily, on my first shift, we got slammed.. which is the best possible scenario because it gave me chance to show that I can work really well under pressure and also shows how quickly I pick up the way the bar works, the till and stuff. It was ideal, and apparently I did well because I'm back working there tonight! Didn't get round to asking the pay last night (I'm always too scared!) but it's a good pub and I expect the pay will be fine, I doubt it will be an issue.
Yesterday afternoon, I went to the Parliament House in Adelaide.. I'd gone the day before to ask about the free tours but apparently they don't do them while pariliament is in session, instead you can sit in the "strangers gallery" and watch them in action! Which is way more exciting, I've done the tour, of Parliament House in Brisbane, but never actually seen live what they get up to.
So I found myself sitting first in the gallery above the Assembly Lounge, which is equivalent to the House of Commons, where all the MPs and the PM sit and make speeches and debate. The Assembly lounge is green, quite a gross green, and laid out a bit like the one in London, with a Speaker at the very top, clerks etc near the front then the ruling party on the left (here it is Labour, which are the more left-wing of the two main parties) and the Opposition on the right, as I sat looking at it. The opposition are the Liberals who, confusingly, are apparently equivalent to the Conservatives back home!
When I first went into the builiding and was waiting to go up, I had loads of questions but the only people around were the security guards so I asked them and they didn't have a clue about anything that went on there, kinda funny since they sit through it all day every day!
Anyway, sat there while they all filed in. An old bloke next to me was giving me all the info, he said he quite often comes and watches it now that he's retired and he knew all about everthing that was going on, interesting facts too. Apparently SA was the first state to give women the vote. The politicians took it in turns to read out some stuff, some were annual reports or movements or admendments, stuff like that. Then it was the Question Time and the Opposition were well heckling the Labour guys, they were terrible! Shouting out stuff and muttering, basically saying how hopeless they were. Very amusing to watch.
The ones on the front bench were mostly paying attention but even while some were speaking, people were getting up and moving around and not listening and reading documents and stuff. A few ladies on the back bench were looking at photos, and some people were on their mobiles, I don't know, maybe they were work-related calls and photos, but still! It seemed a bit rude!It was actually really interesting, I was in there for about an hour before I crossed over to the gallery above the red-carepeted and upholstered House of Representatives, whcih is like the English House of Lords only these guys are elected. Apparently they are similarly useless though, laws have to pass through the assembly THEN the house of representatives. the government system is essentially the same here as it is in England. The Reps were less smartly dressed, their room was a bit less grand and they were not as good at making speeches as the MPs.
That was a bit more boring, there IS a lot of "As the representative for so-un-so according to statue I hereby lay before you the 08-09 annual report for the department of X in the areas of J,K,L,M,N,O and P and the 08-09 annual report for the department of balderdash concerning FG and H" Very wordy and some of them spoke in SUCH a monotone it was almost impossible to concentrate! It was the same in the green room actually, some speakers had people dozing off. Others with a more engaging, up-and-downy voice tone you could see everyone around the room perk up and start to listen.
They were talking about handing back of a piece of land to its indigenous owners that had been used for nuclear testing and left radioactive but then rehabilitated and now handed back. Something to do with new directives introducing the use of Tasar bu police, water restrictions, and other stuff. Later on saw a news item on the Tasar bit, very exciting to have actually been IN parliament when they announced it and to have 'known' before the general news-watching public, so to speak!