Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Embracing the Disco Fanny

I'm about to write an opening line where I never thought I'd ever get to say all these words in one sentence...
So last night for my Tuesday night I came home with a sheewee, a Discofanny wet wipe and I stuck my head through a home made "vagina". Yep you read correctly, no I'm not just that weird person I went and saw a show amazingly named "Disco fanny" as past of the Comedy Festival in Melbourne. A few girls had mentioned it to me a while ago and I was sold as soon as get mentioned the name, who cares what the show was about, I was already entertained by the name and tag lines.
Typically I forgot it had crept up so soon until literally Monday night and of course Tuesday night was torrential rain and I felt sick, so a great start. But I couldn't cancel on these people on our first activity and also I'd never met them before, bad first impression as a flaker but however apparently they didn't hold the same moral dilemma and the majority chose bed and a bath over our date. Slightly awkward and it ended up being a little group of 3 not the 9 of us as planned, Not horrendous but I was more jealous yet beat me to it and I'd dragged myself out onto the tram. All this for the love of the disco fanny.
After a pretty rubbish meal at The Mill, and I'm lying here it was actually crap. Dead expensive and tiny rubbish food. Avoid. Id of rather got a sushi roll and ate it on the walk, which I did on the way home. Yummy. But we turned up at the performance and were presented with a Sheewee, which fully made my day/week/month. This is that handy little gadget my friends and I always laugh about and claim to urgently want one and now I'm in possession. Might save it for the next festival...handy. And a discofanny wipe, just comedy gold. Although I got a lovely tut tut from a man on the tram when I took a photo afterwards...

So Disco Fanny pretty much consisted of everything I thought it would be, a huge big feminist celebration of your "DF". We sang songs, the comedian rapped to us, showed us special pictures she had created with her ****** (I'll let you imagine this one), it did make me chuckle which was good since last week the house and I decided to check out some stand up comedy and I will never get that hour back. Imagine a dingy, empty pub and only us in there. You can't then leave because obviously they'll see you and that's the night over and it was terrible. Bless them they did try but I was just a little apprehensive before this one but surely with a name like Disco Fanny you're onto a winner.

Anyway this was well worth a little night out to see, and now I can finally stop begging everyone and anyone to come and see a comedy festival show with me. That's that ticked off. This is another perfect example of how much there is to do here. And it was only 15dollars for tickets. Fun on a budget. Perfect. Apologies for the pictures and the lack of pictures, as you can imagine not the most photographic things to publish.

Next up the girls and I are going to go to something called Puppetry of the Penis, it's next Thursday so I am beyond intrigued for this, I mean sounds interesting right?

Thursday, 3 April 2014

My first attempt at exploring the rooftop bars...

So I got here just over a week ago now and on the exploring front I have been pretty rubbish. Like I said in my previous post I am prepared to have a very broing, sensible few months just working my bum off and saving money and if I can fit in fun stuff then amazing but if not then there will come a time and I'll do it in a few months when its warmer and I can afford to.

Saying this I have a list as big as my belly on what I want to do here because there literally is so much to do, so many amazing restaurants, cafes, bars, music gigs, comedy clubs, botanical gardens... the list is endless. So in between working and festering we have still managed to do some pretty decent things and ticked a few things off my list. One of my first main things I really wanted to do especially whilst it was still warm and before winter came was to go to some of the rooftop bars I keep hearing about and I thankfully managed to go to a few now just before it got as cold as it is today. The other week was one of the girls friends birthdays and so for it we had a girly day out and went out for lunch and a few drinks. The lunch itself was nothing special, just a burger at what I can only describe as the Australian version of a Wetherspoons, and they charged me 2dollars for a slice of cheese. I was horrified. But we did go to the Carlton Club after to their tropical inspired rooftop bar which was so cool. Really funky vibe and atmosphere here and it was nice and sunny, perfect weather for a few ciders.

I wish we had ended up eating here because it turned out to not be as expensive as we first thought. Definitely worth a visit, I can imagine in the evenings this place gets rammed. There was also some funky looking exhibition happening on one of the floors and we walked passed a bar on the way up to the roof with lots of stuffed animals and velvet...definitely worth a second visit just to check this place out.

A few days after arriving in Melbourne I went to meet up with Danny, a guy I traveled with around India almost 6 months ago, so so crazy to think and look back on how long ago this seems but it was so good to see him and catch up. And amazing that he now lives so close to me now. We ended up eating at TimeOut in Fed Square and I had some amazing nachos, pricy but they actually gave a good sized portion and didn't charge extra for more cheese. An obvious big bonus in my eyes. But after we had sat here for hours we ended up walking over to the rooftop bar Transit on Fed Square that overlooks the river. This was nice in the sunshine and had alright views over the water and to the city, much better than The Deck rooftop bar that we were told was the rooftop bar to go to for great views and when we arrived we found it was more like a balcony with views over the road to more buildings. (did sell Rekordeliq on tap though...yummy)

(Danny and I are the ones in the middle just in case you were bothered to know)

Possibly my favorite rooftop bar we have been too so far was on Sunday when it was gorgeous weather and also Robs early birthday day out and we headed down along St Kilda beach and went to Captain Baxters, this ridiculously busy rooftop bar, full of gorgeous looking people. We managed to snag a great table right at the front overlooking the beach although on hindsight I think they should have moved us to the corner considering we looked like peasants who had just stumbled into the wrong place and were lost. I had jeans and converse on and there were the most beautiful girls there in amazing dresses and heels. Ooops. But this place was definitely the place to be when its a hot day, so sadly there probably won''t be many more of these but least I had one. There was a dj on the rooftop and a live band in the courtyard on the ground floor. I'll warn you...pretty expensive. But so so nice. Little Sunday treat doesn't hurt anyone aye. Go here when its sunny definitely.

Okay so I know this is only 4 rooftop suggestions but it's a start... I will happily carry on my mission to make my way around all of them even if it means doing this in a thick coat and brolly.

- Captain Baxters
- Transit
- The Deck
- Carlton Club

Anyone got any good ones?

Finding a routine and settling down...

All I have been going on about for the last few weeks as I got to the end of my travels and the last of my patience was about finding myself somewhere to start a routine again. I wanted to settle down, find somewhere to live that didn't include sharing a room with 10 strangers in bunk beds, using dirty kitchens, to be able to unpack my bag and not cry daily as I had to attempt to carry it around and most of all I wanted a job. I wanted money again. So I decided before I even got to Australia what my next adventure was going to be, shocking as it is and I'm sorry to anyone who is at work who literally will think I am crazy, but I am a little bit tired of traveling for the moment. I want to settle down somewhere and set up camp for longer than a few days, so after that disastrous start that we don't even talk about in Surfers, an amazing time in Sydney I was finally in Melbourne ready to begin.

It was all arranged for me to live with my friends from University, Matty and Rob who I traveled around South Thailand with, and their two "girlfriends but not girlfriends" who I had been with in Laos and then together the 5 of us (yes I am a third wheel TWICE over) would find somewhere nice to live in Melbourne. Obstacle number one, 5 is a difficult number to house hunt with, how the hell are we finding it so hard to find three bedroom houses or flats anywhere. And the reason is that we are finding these places but the landlords charge these insane bonds immediately for you to move in plus a month rent, so you are looking at roughly 800dollars each for the bond plus a further 800ish in one big installment and quite frankly none of us, being the poor peasant travelers we are, have this. So right now we are living in St Kilda (Love this place) in a not so lovely flat that the guys moved into when they arrived a good few months ago now. And that means for me I have taken up residency on the sofa. O yay. I really shouldn't even moan, I am being put up rent free initially, in somewhere that isn't a hostel, where I can cook in a semi clean kitchen and it's easy to get to my jobs (yay I have jobs).

That's the next update, I have a job, well I have two now in fact. So I knew that as soon as I arrived in Melbourne I needed to get down to the boring, sensible stuff and get a job immediately. I arrived on 23rd and I gave myself until 1st to have found a job. And literally that is the first thing I did, I went straight to an internet cafe and printed out a wad of CVs and I walked down the main road in St Kilda, Ackland Street and I went and asked in every restaurant and cafe I could see. It felt so weird job hunting like this, I haven't had to apply for a job like this in a long long time but I was on some weird excited high about getting a job so I quite enjoyed it. I was slightly worried how easy it would be to find work because I had mixed stories from lots of people, one of the girls Harriet, found work the first few days she was here wheres as Alannah didn't for a month. Some people told me it would be easy and there are jobs out there and then others almost laughed about how hard it was going to be.
I think I weirdly for once had some good luck, I got a job on my first day trying and had quite a few call backs and trial shifts at some restaurants. If you put the effort in and you try then you are going to find something.
I wanted a restaurant job for the evenings and weekends and then some type of 9-5 during the week. I had seen an advert on Gumtree when I was in Sydney that I had applied to out of sheer desperation and with no hope that I would get a response but I did and I ended up arranging a meeting and having an interview on the Monday after I arrived and getting offered my job. As it stands I work 9-5 at this job and at this amazing yet ridiculously busy restaurant in St Kilda for the weekends and evenings. Its almost the end of my first week so it is pretty hard to tell how it's going to go, I think I need to get back into a routine, I am so used to being lazy and haven't obviously worked for 6 months so BIG shock to the old system. But hopefully I will see the benefits when I start getting paid. And one good thing, well bad for my health but I get the most amazing meals after work...

So  if you are on a working visa as well and you want to find work then just make sure you put in the effort and jobs are there, the easiest thing to find is hospitality. There are so many bars and restaurants that you can apply too. If you want a proper job then that's where you are going to struggle because you can only work for 6 months at a company so it's unlikely you will find companies with such short term positions. If you do then bonus. I also looked into temp work, I signed up with an agency just like I would at home to get me basic admin roles, so that's an option.
O and my office has a puppy... Yep. How cute is this beauty

That's been one thing I have really struggled with, and it may sound silly but I hate not having decent clothes. Every time I go out I just look at all the people who look amazing and fashionable and really up to date and I am in my converse and hoody. It may sound stupid but I hate it. It really upsets me, I feel so rubbish and under dressed and trampy like I am still living in my Asia traveling wardrobe. So the first thing I did on my first week was buy a handbag, a coat and some normal shoes. Got to start somewhere, now I just need to pick up little bits here and there. Yesterday was quite a big day...for the first time in god knows how many months I went out and I brought make up. I haven't worn any makeup for the last 6 months, which I think I thought was still acceptable until I caught sight of my face in window reflections and had to realize I was no longer traveling and this wasn't okay. So today I got up and actually put on some bronzer and filled in my eyebrows. Okay yes I know this isn't much but I am building it up. I am soooo rubbish at make up and making myself look presentable, I struggle to brush my hair let alone style it.

So that's pretty much taken up my first week, I have accepted that for the next few months I just want to slave away and dedicate my life to working for a bit. Not going to be the most fun at times but I am in no position to be fussy, I need to work hard, earn some money, after all I have just had a 6 month holiday that has made me want to travel more. But I am also fully ready for a rest and some normality so I am quite prepared for a bit of a boring life. The way I see it is that there is plenty of time to explore and enjoy Melbourne, either on my days off or in a few months when it's warmer here. And my god its cold, I brought myself a woolly hat on the first day. It was that cold. Which I wasn't happy with but I realized yesterday that if it was amazing weather I wouldn't want to work. I would do minimal shifts and resent it so rather I work my butt off now in the cold and enjoy the summer no?

But the main thing is I am loving Melbourne. I was so excited for this place and everyone raves about it which sometimes means it's one big anticlimax, but from what I have seen there is so much going on and so many places to explore. And I cannot wait.

Who else loves Melbourne? Any advice?

Monday, 24 March 2014

O Sydney you beauty.

So I feel like it's been a little bit too long since my last blog post. Apologies, it's been so hard to find a spare minute and even harder to find cheap wifi and computers. How is it that it's easier to connect to the world in Asia than Australia?
Anyway right now I am attempting to sort out a sensible life in Melbourne, that and try and not freeze to death in these baltic conditions. I arrived two days ago now and they almost had to force me off the plane when I first felt the weather, a few days ago I was getting sunburnt on Bondi Beach and now I am buying woolly hats and socks. What is this aye...

But back to business, I want to gloat about the amazing week I had in Sydney, it literally took me by surprise how much I loved it infact I started to regret my decision to leave because I was literally having such an amazing time. There is so much to do and its such a surreal lifestyle, just walking around all the gorgeous parks and casually looking over to the Opera house that is right there on your doorstep. An amazing place and even more amazing salad bars, you can tell I am easily pleased. But I was so excited to finally get to Melbourne and job hunt and settle into a routine with my friends that I hadn't even thought about Sydney and what to do there.

So originally I was catching a bus from Coffs Harbour and stopping at Port Macquarie for a few nights then heading to Sydney for a few days then flying to Melbourne but in the end I sacked off Port M and decided not to waste any more time and just get straight to the good stuff so I changed my bus and caught a lovely 11hour bus straight to Sydney. So this meant I had two days flying solo before Luke arrived from where he had been loving life in Byron and we were reunited again for a few days before I ditched him again.

I booked a night in Bounce Hostel for my solo night and literally just spent the day just walking around the city. And I literally mean the whole day, I walked for hours all down the main George street, popped into a few shops to get 'sensible' clothes for Melbourne and walked all around the harbor and Circular Quay doing a few little touristy bits. I'll be honest I was in one of those dead unsociable moods where my own company suited me perfectly so I had no intentions of socializing in any way during the day or when I finally got to my hostel but the girls in my room were so sweet I couldn't pretend to be listening to my music with headphones that weren't even plugged in (my friend actually does this) So I did join in with the evening activity in the hostel which was a pizza and goon night for $5 but I drew the line at the night out they were pushing for and sloped off to bed.

Luke arrived the following day and this is also the horrific day that I left my nice hostel and turned up in this hovel that we had booked in Byron, it was filthy and I made the foolish mistake of joking that if one of us didn't catch some disease or bed bugs here it would be a miracle, so of course who got bed bugs...ME. So what ever you do, no matter how cheap you want to be and the fact it's in a great location DO NOT stay in ChiliBlue Hostel in Kings Cross. DON'T DO IT. But on the other hand Bounce was great, stay there and the reception were so helpful on telling me where to go and what to do.

What I found about Sydney is it's so easy to walk around and find everything, no need to bother with buses just get those legs moving, be warned I may have exceeded this a tad because by the end of it my feet were actually bleeding. Way to over enthusiastic I think.
But normally Luke and I took a nice little stroll down through Kings Cross to this little harbour and walked along the water until we came to this great view of the Opera House and the bridge and the Botanical Gardens.
You have to spend a lot of you time just walking around this bit and of course repeating yourself about how beautiful it is and how you can't believe this is a city and a lifestyle, our new lifestyle. I am literally one big massive broken record.

Make sure you of course do all the cliche touristy bits, walk down to Circular Quay and the Opera House, but be warned that Opera house...not so pretty up close, you want to get your pictures from far back not near the building work, head round the Botanical Gardens and find the spot right by that famous chair thing and there's a great spot, just walk along the river and you'll find it. Definitely sit at the Opera Bar by the water and have a few ciders. I came and sat here on my own to read a book when I got fed up with the Botanical Gardens. Great spot for a bit of people watching too.
I wanted to catch a ferry from Circular Quay and just go out on a boat somewhere on the harbor, I literally wasn't fussed where we actually ended up but one of the ferries was called Charlotte, I mean HELLO and I missed that opportunity, rubbish.

I literally loved my time in good old Sydney, I even went to the gym a few times in Kings Cross, the Fitness First under the massive Coke sign, because they were handing out free trial passes and I needed to get this lard arse in motion, that and the showers there were amazing. Well worth a few minutes of pain on the treadmill. Literally I struggled embarrassingly on the machines but I swear to god there were machines there that I had never even seen before. Look out for free passes being handed out all around town or just go in and ask for a day pass. They let me go there 3 times for free. And underneath is the most amazing health food shop that did these gorgeous protein health shakes, make sure you go just for a good shower and then get this afterwards. Go for number 5...banana, blueberries, some protein thing, almonds and coconut milk, literally incredible.

So if you are heading here then firstly you lucky lucky thing. I am so jealous. I already miss the parks and the salad bars o and the god damn sun.


GO: and visit the museums, yeh boring you might be saying, but no they were so fun. I went to the History Museum with Luke to get our geek on and go and see the dinosaurs. But it was actually really interesting and there are some weird stuffed animals to take pictures of. Of course. Also check out the Art Museum, which is in a gorgeous building with these huge rooms that you can wander around like in films. And the Contemporary Art museum by the harbor, but this wasn't as good as I expected it to but still have a look.

EAT: at as many salad bars as you can, I kid you not there are some great cafes here. Look out for the huge metalic blue building by Circular Quay and go in to the CQ cafe and get a takeaway salad box. So many options to choose from and they pile it in there so you will literally be stuffed. Perfect lunch to eat in one of the parks.
Make sure you also check out one of the Mad Pizza restaurants you will see all over the city. Amazing proper pizza and some great combinations of fresh ingredients, and they let me have the garlic oil and overload my pizza. I made a masterpiece and I smelt great.

DRINK: We went for a cheeky cider at the Ivy Hotel, way to posh and expensive for us commoners but it felt great pretending we could afford to be there like all the other rich business man sipping their champagne. We brought one drink and just made it last, but the food prices were actually perfectly reasonable. They serve some insane looking pizzas in these takeaway boxes so pretty quirky and it was only like 20 dollars which is what we paid at Mad pizza. So make sure you go to the rooftop pool bar here and if you're lucky you might find a celebratory. We were unsuccessful. Boo.

STAY: in either Bounce Hostel that I mentioned earlier or my friends stayed in the Jolly Swagman in Kings Cross which was another gooden. And remember no CHILIBLUE.

GO: to Bondi Beach for the day. Well worth it for a nice day trip. This is where we spent my final day in Sydney, I drowned my sorrows with some sneaky wine and just chilled out. So so nice. I want to go back immediately please.

Who else loved Sydney? This is such a short post so I will do more because theres so much more to share but this can be a little taster.

Just seriously walk around everywhere, its heaven. Enjoy.