Well…this was unexpected

Unexpected for these reasons:

1) I never planned to visit Melbourne on this trip
2) Things have happened in my hostel which have been, well, unexpected
3) And finally, I’ve become something I never thought I would. Homosexual. No I’m kidding, I bet you ladies almost just went to slit your wrists right? Not to worry.
I’ve become a street fundraiser.
And I’m going to be blunt when I say, I hate the fuckers. On several occasions through the years I’ve turned to a friend or loved one and said ‘I’d never do that’ or ‘how do they sleep at night?’ or, and probably most commonly ‘I really wish they’d fuck off’ And now, as fate should have it, I am one. Don’t get me wrong, I know they’re working for a good cause, I just don’t think it’s right to practically force people to give to charity, especially when they’re busy getting places. Desperate times call for desperate measuers though I guess. But strabgely, I actually enjoy it. I work with a Malaysian and Pakistani, Imran and Muhammed, and they are really fun to work with. Unlike the door to door work I did in Surfers Paradise, people are much friendlier on the street, even if they don’t stop to talk. Along with the fundraising gig, I’m also a dish-washer…again. On the day they signed me up, the head chef asked if I had a nick-name. Naively I answered ‘people seem to be calling me shaggy these days’; ‘shaggy it is’ he said. Shit. Why did I say that? I could’ve gone for anything. Gigalo? Pimp? Sexy? But nooo! At least my nick-name isn’t muppet, like muppet’s is. The guy really is a bloody muppet. 4 times he was asked to take my dishes away for me. Then half an hour later, I decided to take em’ myself. He obviously doesn’t listen, muppet.
I’m gonna have to go a month back in time now to say what I’ve done, I’ve been extremely busy and I’ve lost track of the time.
Here goes…

24th April: We left Magnetic Island and got the OzExperience Bus to Mission Beach. When we arrived we checked in to the ‘place to stay in Mission Beach’, which was Scotty’s. Oh yeah, on the subject of Mish B, which I’ll call it from now on, did you know Ant and Dec stayed in Mission Beach for the first series of I’m a Celebrity. Neither did I till I read their autobiography…which is really funny. I haven’t finished it yet, almost though. Anywho, the next day I enjoyed a nice lie in before preparing myself, or rather, not preparing myself at all for a 14,000ft skydive. For the morning, the journey there, and the 45 minutes I spent in the waiting room I didn’t think about what I was doing at all. Which was a bit stupid of me. Because when the harness was fitted to me, it really started to get real. My nerves were then kicking in and I realised what the hell I’d got myself in to.
Not long after we got in to the Plane, then it got even more real and I was think ‘shit, bollocks, crap’. Among various expletatives. The plane took off and as we climbed I was become more and more awair that I was about to jump, well I say jump, be thrown out of a Plane. But, when the light went green and it came to the jump, it was about 50 seconds from when the first person fell to when I went. Let me tell you, in that amount of time and panick, you have no time to think. Because of this, when I left the plane, I hardly even realised. It was weird, and amazing. I got the most amazing view of Mish B and Dunk Island. And there’s nothing quite like free falling through the sky. It’s a great experience and I’m proud to say I can finally cross it off the bucket list.

The next day, I didn’t really do anything. Me and Lauren, the girl I’d tagged with from Magnetic Island (who’s also bloody lovely, and lush :D) did bump in to some fellow cool Brits though. There were 8 of us, I think, sat around the table drinking tea, talking about weather, talking about the wedding and generally being extremely and stereotypically British. It was really funny when we realised how British we were really being half way through.

The next day me and Lauren got on the last East Coast Oz Experience bus to Cairns. It’s been a great experience with the OzE clan, although I have to admit, some of the best scenery I’ve seen has been out of the bus window….I want my money back, lol. As soon as I arrived in Cairns, I went to Tribal Travel and got the flyer distributing gig again. $10 an hour, better than nothing, job’s a gooden. That night, me and what is now known as ‘the family’ (I’ll explain why later) decided to ‘do something’, so I suggested we went to the cinema. We all went to see Arthur staring Russel Brand which I thought was really funny πŸ™‚
Was nice to be at a cinema after so long as well. On the way out, Maddy found something in her purse. She got it out and everyone reacted the same: “Wooooaaaaahhh”. It was a twenty pound note. And it was huge! At least, it seemed huge, because we’re all so used to Oz money now it looked really weird.

On the 29th I went on a large job hunt in Cairns. And when I say large, I mean LARGE. I did a sort of snake route through almost every street with shops, cafes, coffee shops, etc handing in a total of 27 resumes. If only I had a time machine at this point to see that only one of these places would ever get back to me in the future. Kah! Typical. Anyway, it turns out I walked so far that my legs started to ache like buggary and I got cramp πŸ˜€

The day after me and ‘the family’ lagooned it up in the hot 38 degree sun. It was a perfect day for a dip in the clear and cold water. That day I also bumped in to good ol’ Matti from OzIntro. It was nice to see him again, I missed Matt. Altough he seemed to have changed a tad seeing as he was around his own Northern kind πŸ˜›
The F word featured more frequently in his vocabulary.
After the chill session at Cairns Lagoon, I went for another lil job hunt. Later that night, we all visited The Woolshed as per usual for our free backpacker meal provided by Carrivella’s hostel. Which, by the way, provided the most entertaining check-in on the east coast thanks to Gloria. She’s like a crazy cat lady, but without the cats. And twice as old.
On the way back from the meal, ‘the family’ had split up and I was walking with Maddy to the hostel. We were having a nice chat, when something terrible happened. I farted. In reaction to the sudden fart, which I predicted to be silent, therefore safe, I said “whoops”. This sent Maddy in to fits of giggles. I could have got away with it too, she said she thought I’d scuffed my shoes, till I said “whoops”.

On the 1st of May, I pinched and punched everyone in ‘the family’. Nah, not really, I’m mature and above that kind of thing, period! Ha ha, I just said period πŸ˜†
So, the 1st…ahem. On this day, we decided to check out Cairns’ Botanical Gardens. It was a really lovely day spent with everyone and the Botanical Gardens were nice. Yeah, nice. . . . moving on.
The night before I had scored myself a date with Jamie the Canadian. Obviously there are other Canadians in existence, like Kristen for example, who was Jamie’s good friend. They were both hilarious and really nice to talk to. However, me and Jamie (the male, english one) started talking about a man date to see ‘Paul’. I was started to be won over by this concept.

So on the 3rd of May, I cancelled Canadian Jamie’s date for a man date with English Jamie from Bath. Jamie, I thought, is a lot like me in many ways. His sense of humour is similar and he’s a bit odd like me. We got on very well. But, on the day of the mate (man-date), Jamie betrayed me by asking Mel, whom which he seemed to fancy, if she wanted to join us. I was gutted, I’d ditched hot Canadian Jamie for what was now an awkward threesome. And I was now the third wheel. I hate being the third wheel. What made it worse is that before the movie, the Canadians said it as their last night and when leaving after our free meal, Jamie (girl one) had turned to me and said “will I ever see you again”. ‘Nawwww’ I thought. Anyway, Paul was very funny and Jamie and Mel didn’t do much. Well, they didn’t do anything, so it was all good. The girls went and saw a chick flick at the same time as our three-way, so after the films we met up and went to the parks to piss about πŸ™‚
Whilst I was still in the ‘I can’t believe Jamie did that’ stage, a bird shat on my head in the park. That was annoying. I’ve never been shat on the head by a bird before though. Sop I gyuess that’s another off the bucket list.
We pissed around all night that night, climbing on giant fish, taking photos of our evolution of man impression and all the usual stuff πŸ˜›
It was great fun.

The next day, the 4th, was Hadley’s Birthday! Woohoo! Happy Birthday bro πŸ˜€
It was also the day we were introduced to Slam, which coincidentally, you’ll love when I show you Haderz πŸ˜‰
Me and Maddy were instantly hooked to the card game. Jamie who taught us both how to play soon went off it, when I beat him. That night Lauren and Natlia left. It was sad to see the family splitting apart. We’d all had such a great time together. But we’re travelling and it’s the way the cookie crumbles.
I suppose at this point I should explain what ‘the family is’.
‘The family’ consisted of me and fellow British Backpackers Lauren, Natalie, Jamie and Maddy. We all ended up in the same room in Cairns and we found chemistry straight away. We’d all met previously in Mission Beach and it was obvious then that we got along. But now we were together, just the four of us…and the Canadians, but there were in a different hostel. After spending a few days together, we were having a really good laugh and we started to resemble a family due to certain personality traits. Lauren was clearly the Mother due to her organisation and general motherly-ness. Also, like I said, she’s lush so she’d be a milf. Mel, for reasons I’m unsure of, was the drunken Aunty. She was always up for a laugh and was always great tot tslk to. Seeing as me and Jamie were both odd, we were first creepy uncle aha. I changed to be the father figure, and to me Jamie was like the son because of his silly and funny antics. Natalie was also the aunty at first, or she might have even been the grandma. But towards the end, as Loz got more lazy and forgetful, Natalie seemed to pick up the motherly instincts. Good on ya Nat! Lauren: tut tut. I’ll really miss you guys. Hope we dod meet up for our Alton Towers reuinion πŸ˜€

So the next day it was just Me, Maddy and Jamie left. With not much to do, we mooched around Cairns Central shopping centre. We did that for a surprinsingly long time as well. That night me, Jamie and Maddy went for the usual free meal. Only this night there was a competition called Meal or No Meal on. Jamie won a place to enter, but kindly gave it to me. Thanks for that mate. I entered and chose number four. The way it worked was, there was a birthday girl playing to win the best prize (a Great Barrier Reef Cruise). But also, if we guessed what was under our trays, we got $20. I guessed slice of Pizza when four was called, for no apparewnt reason, and it was right! $20 in my pocket, whoop whoop! πŸ™‚ Thanks again Jamie, I owe you one.

On May 6th, me and Maddy set off for the Daintree Rainforest. During the tour, we saw a wild crocodile next to a baby croc along the river bank, which is apparently quite rair, that was really cool. We also visited a nice little wildlife centre and a scenic lookout where we got some nice pics. That night wasn’t so exciting though. We stayed in a hostel that was, how can I put this . . . dead. There was nobody in sight. apart from the failry quiet girls in our room. I found it relaxing and a nice change, but Maddy hated it, lol. Bless her.

We returned to Cairns the next day and met our new roomies. There was a girl from Birmingham called Lana who was really sound. It’s a shame she was 27, seemed like we had a lot in common. Besides her studying quantum physics and being a pole dancer. I finished ‘The Lovely Bones’ this day which is a fantastic book, I recomend it to everyone. I replaced this with Ant & Dec’s autobiography ‘Ooh What a Lovely Pair’. A lot of peope react the same when I say I read it: ‘why would you want to read that’. ‘Why not’ I think. And, it’s bloody good, the first half is really funny. Last bit is a bit dull though.

The next day, I wrote my own Uke song. But that’s it. Nothing else happened ha ha.

On the 9th May, I had my Great Barrier Reef cruise and snorkel. I know now why it’s the 7th natural wonder. It’s absolutely astonishing. The water is so clear, and some of the fish you see are beautiful. Not to mention huge! I got some brilliant photos of me and Tommie. I even filmed some stuff underwater with a camera that I rented on the boat. On the return journey to Cairns, there was on board entertainment from one of the coolest guys ever. He was a fairly old Aussie wearing a Bandana and playing the guitar. He had a brilliant sense of humour, well, I thought so anyway. I was the only one laughing a lot of the time. He sang some great tunes, and a few lovely songs he’d written himself. One of them really struck a chord with me.

With the failure of my job hunting looming over me, and with the depression of all my friends leaving I decided to do the sensible thing: get the fuck out of Cairns and go to Melbourne. I made this pretty large decision based on the internet. When applying for jobs on the net in Cairns, there was nothing. Whereas in Melbourne, loads of stuff came up. So based on this, I figurd there’d be more opportunities in Melbourne. Of course, I knew nothing about Melbouren, and I wasn’t ever planning to go, but I figured I’d take my chances, seeing as I was almost broke . . . again.
The decision backfired pretty quickly though. First, I’d booked an airport shuttle bus for $5 from the hostel. It was then meant to be another $5 to give to the driver. However, the driver never got that money, because the driver fucking ignored me when he passed the hostel. I couldn’t have looked more like a bloke who was just about to take a shuttle to the airport. But nooo, off he drove. So I had to hail a cab and pay $19 to get to the airport. I thought that was quite reasonable, and the driver was lovely, so it didn’t bother me too much.
However, when I arrived at the airport and looked at my ticket, the colour completely drained from my face. I looked down and noticed I was bleeding from the chest, very heavily. No I’m kidding, I just realised that I’d made a big boo boo. It’s a long story to explain how I did it, but basically, I’d turned up a day late. The receptionist said it was fine, and I could buy a ticket now for the current flight. ‘That’s pretty far from fucking fine’ I thought after hearing the price. $130, on top of what I’d already paid for the missed flight. So I bought the ticket and boarded the 2AM flight to Melbourne. I was absolutely shattered, but got no sleep on the 3 hour flight. When I thought things couldn’t have got worse, they kinda did. About a week before this flight it had been 38 degrees in Cairns. And before Cairns, I’d been heading North up the East coast and everywhere had been hot. I knew Melbourne was cold, but I didn’t think it was going to be too bad. It was. When I got out of the plane, it was 6 degrees. That might not sound much, but when your body is used to intense heat for four months, you are a bit shocked at that. I booked a pick up to a hostel in St Kilda called Habitat HQ, which is where I am now. When I arrived I booked three nights. I felt really strange because I thought I was hungry. So I went to Coles, and bought-then ate lots of food. I still felt weird, so I ate more food. Nothing. I was getting a bit freaky and paranoid, I was really tired, so I figured I had jet lag. I went to bad at about 6:30pm. The next morning I felt much better…s’all good.

The day before I’d got an interview sorted with Pan International (a charity company) for a street fundraising role. I didn’t like the idea of this job, but with no money left after the airport boo boo I was desperate. So on the 12th May I went to the interview with Imran from Malaysia. It was very hopeful, and Imran swayed me towards the role. Mostly because he’s a bloody great bloke. I know this because he is our field manager…and my boss. I got the job. The day after the interview I went in to the office to sign my life away to Plan and get my photo taken for my ID tag. If I’m honest, I didn’t know what I was getting myself in to.

The same day I’d signed Plan’s forms, I thought it’d be a good idea to look for a night job for some extra money. The first cafe I went to was right next to our office. I said ‘hi, do you need a kitchen hand?’ He said, ‘no’. ‘Well, it was worth a try’ I thought. As I prepared to leave he said ‘But I know a place that does. I’ll give you their number. When can you start?’ ‘Urm…tomorrow?’ I said. ‘Great!’ he replied as he jotted down the name and number. I called them up, and sure enough I was starting tomorrow. I was also starting the fundraising jon tomorrow. Oh yeah, not nine to five, try nine to five, then 6 to 12. Then start again the next day. I’m hard core!

So this is what I’m up to now. It’s now the 25th. I’ve been working solidly the whole time. Other things have happened, but I’m running out of patience and internet time. So I’ll nip it in the bud.

Thanks for reading this stupidly long Blog. All the best from me πŸ˜€

When the storm’s over – I think of You (Coo, guy singing on the Reef Cruise). That one’s for you Shorty πŸ™‚ x

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