A Travellerspoint blog

settling down

rain 13 °C

since the last time I wrote, the weather turned rainy as the winter started to be a reality in Melbourne. this was just at time I see England had some summer weather taking you into the mid 20degrees. however Melbourne at this point is not far behind your temperatures.

everyone knows winter means cold and flu time, Australia no different. came down hard with a cold which I can only describe as English flu. knocking me off my feet for a good week. all this time not getting paid from work and once had two consecutive days off work have to get a medical certificate from doctor, whereas England it is 3 days. however health system out here is loads more complicated. in UK you have a doctor where you register, here you go to any doctor you like. certain times you have appointments others you turn up and you are seen by first come first served basis. in UK it is free to see doctor, here Medicare (like our nhs) only pay for 85% of government schedule fee and you have to put the other amount yourself. however a doctor can charge whatever they want and this could be over the government scheduled fee, and you have to pay for that too. just to make it a little more complicated if you can find a bulk billing doctor this means they will only charge the 85% government scheduled fee so there no charge, but these can mean problems getting in to see doctor or travelling out of town for an hour on tram ( as I had to)

I also think that for a city that does get a lot of rain, Melbourne has not got sufficient drains therefore every time it rains there are large puddles that are unneeded. also health and safety of wet tram floors with no signs up to advise to be careful, however does UK really need to be told to watch for wet slippy floor when its chucking it down outside?

this trip recently felt like a new life not a holiday and I'm looking forward to bupa contract ending and hopefully having some savings to go and explore a new place in Australia. Bupa job got real busy in June running up to the end of their tax year and new rebate entitlements starting beginning of new financial year here.

one good thing about living in a big city is everything so close, for example laser quest just in city centre, five mins from hostel in a building which I could only call a mall but also includes train station, cinema, bowling & laser quest. also been cinema few times as cold outside so need inside activities.

another thing I find weird is eating out here, trying to find a steakhouse that you don't need a mortgage for or somewhere like a mixture of foods such as harvestor is impossible. however Chinese, Asian and Mexican every where you look. I also miss chocolate as it does not taste same here due to extra ingredient to stop chocolate melting.

mortgages are cool out here though as first time buyers need 10% desposit as same as UK however get given $7000 to buy things for house with such as washing machine. what a nice idea! also get to move in 60 or 90 days and if no chain goes for 30 days. that so much easier then our when everything is ready you will get moving date game.

guess travelling is harder then I thought, missing food, comforts of home, but mostly the fact people don't stick around for long. made a good mate colette who recently gone back to her home town of Perth, which real shame but maybe see if can go visit her at least for week or two as flight only 4 1/2 hours.

Posted by chelle323 01:52 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Back in Melbourne

sunny 18 °C

The journey from Stanthorpe to Brisbane was a coach for 3 hours and half. Once got to Brisbane decided to stay there for few days.

The journey from Brisbane to Casino was meant to be 3 and half hours long but ended up being delayed for an hour because a guy on the coach could not behave, so the driver had to move him to the front of the coach. However instead of the guy settling down he decided to carry on being abusive. The driver rang the police and pulled over on the hard shoulder. However within the 40 minute-hour wait for the police to remove this guy, he smacked the driver!

Go to Casino just in the knick of time for the connecting train to Stratfield which was a night train for 11 hours. The carriage felt like a children’s play ground and they were crying or screaming for most of the night. But least no one hit the driver 

There was a break at Stratfield for hour or two and then another train to Melbourne which took another 11 hours. However there was a guy on this train who had put someone at knife point so was running from the police and thought Melbourne would be a good idea. However once he got to Melbourne he was arrested by around 10 police officers. All I can say is a VERY long journey, one which I will never do again by train, and how eventful?

However once got to Melbourne things turned out a lot better. Found a nice hostel called Space. It has a roof terrace with a hot tub on it, also the views from the roof are lovely – over look where the sun sets in the evening. Also has a movie room which has a massive projector TV and cinema style seats. Gym, free to use whenever and how often want – however only managed to go twice so far! Games room and lounge area. Also in the rooms you get a half size wardrobe each, 4 plug sockets per bed! And a private light – very nice extras. Even the laundry room is clean, first time for a long time I feel my clothes are getting clean not just wet. Overall the hostel is lovely, and no extra then others I have stayed in. There is also a bar downstairs which offers $5 pizza or pasta which is good if not in mood to cook but don’t want to spend a lot.

Had few interviews since the return to Melbourne and managed to get myself a temp position through Hallis Recruitment agency. This temp position could be up to 3 months but depends on demand, but fingers crossed. The company I am working for is Bupa and helping customers with the rebate changes coming up in Australia in the health care sector. The wage is $22 per hour which is approx 15 pound per hour. But everything is around double the price in Australia so I guess it’s about the same.

Then the best day in year – MY BIRTHDAY 
- Went to St Kilda (just outside the CBD of Melbourne) to walk along the beach
- Went to Chill Bar at Southbank which is a bar totally made from ice, including the walls, seats, tables and even the glasses you drink from. Only lasted around 25 minutes in there as it is -10 degrees. But was really cool.
- Went to gay rights for marriage rally and the turnout was amazing!
- However only stayed for 30minutes because went to glow in the dark golf with some mates from work and a mate from St Kilda. I came second  but still was a brilliant laugh!
- The night out was mental – went to a bar which is on a roof top, in the summer this bar is turned into an outside cinema with deck chairs etc. And also went to Croft Institute which is a bar that use to be a mental hospital and has a bed and hospital sinks within the bathroom.

- Overall very good birthday, and the 16/05/2012 was the 3 month anniversary of being in Australia and I hope that this job manages to keep me here even longer.

Posted by chelle323 17:59 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Apple adventure

Put names on list within the hostel to do farm work, at this point don't no where, what or when or even any guarantee going to get picked. applied for office and retail jobs everywhere saw was advertising around Brisbane.

A recruitment company got in touch with me for some tests which included maths, logic, customer service role play and comphensive tests & a telephone interview - and that was all for a temp call centre job!! they even took references off my old employer before looking at my test results and accepting me for the position. all I can say is a lot more in depth then England!

whilst waiting for the results from the tests, got offered a job in stanthorpe to do apple picking. got told to leave Brisbane tomorrow by crisp coach for 3 and 1/2 hours and $60.

when got to the hostel it was a very pleasant surprise. cabin idea rooms with 6 people in each dorm. people at farm were nicest travellers met so far, very friendly. the kitchen was massive and gave the opportunity to cook from home and that bought costs down considerably. the farm was 5-10 min drive away which Doug, the manager of hostel, had mini bus for all workers.

once got to the farm I started to be disappointed. there was no orgainsation, not enough tractors, not enough ladders etc etc. but still went for it, worked hard as could and first week came out with $211 and rent is $200 so left me with $11 to myself. talk about crap wage! the way they pay is not by hour but by bin, the bins you can easily get 4 people sat in them. each bin pays $30 and after tax you receive around $25. best day got 2 bins.

the weather turned wet towards the end of second week and this meant that couldn't go to work as the apples we were picking were grannys and they bruise easy as it is but in the rain there isn't much chance of not bruising them. also changed farms 3 times within 3 weeks and also did a morning of pear picking too.

however stanthorpe was beautiful, surrounded by hills and trees. nice village with a supermarket, creek and couple of pubs. met few Germans there which started to teach me German! and became good mates with. if can want to meet up with them again going up to cairns.

one day went to work and the rain came so had to pack up. on way to top of the farm Claire crashed a tractor. it was pretty smashed up. new at this point it was time to move on.

new plan is to head to Melbourne to find a job, as rumour has it most jobs there. also money extremely low now so Melbourne is a sensible choice as our flight leaves from there. next few weeks desperately need a job in Melbourne otherwise no option but to fly home.

Posted by chelle323 17:52 Archived in Australia Tagged brisbane apples Comments (1)

First week of Brisbane

sunny 26 °C

Well so far Melbourne my favorite city then Brisbane then Sydney.

Weather been better here then in Sydney but still a lot of rain! Cant believe Australia gets so much rain!!!!

Went to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary on boat, and saw some of the areas which were hit by the storms this time last year which made Brisbane River burst its banks and destroy a lot of nearby areas. Once got to sanctuary got the most amazing opportunity which was to CUDDLE A KOALA!!! they are proper heavy though but it was really cool. Also learnt that they have 2 thumbs on each hand! weird :)

Anyway now money is getting pretty low and it is time to quickly start finding a job other wise I will be home telling you about my adventures instead of writing a blog! So either see you in few weeks or watch out for my next blog!

Posted by chelle323 01:50 Archived in Australia Tagged rain koala brisbane Comments (0)

Sydney

all seasons in one day 20 °C

Got to Sydney however the train was delayed which made the journey very long and boring. decided to stay in a hostel over looking bondi beach.

investigated the near by area with a coastal walk around bondi. the view was nice however the weather turned from overcast to thunderstorms. went on this walk again but walked further as weather was better and once away from the tourist area on bondi the beach and view was amazing.

went into cbd of Sydney where the famous opera house and harbour bridge are. these were nice but again the weather was not on my side!

went to manly beach on ferry from circular quay. the beach was lovely and water was very blue. very touristy area though. the weather in manly was nice but on way back to Sydney the rain came down again.

only a short visit here as off to Brisbane to explore the east coast further.

Posted by chelle323 15:00 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

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