Monday, November 29, 2004

Sydney Day 53

It's been a week since I last updated. Nothing happened to me, I've just been working a lot.
I never ended up going on that coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee because the weather was crap - rainy and cold. Instead I went home and cooked cheese latkes. I was printing up recipes for Hanukah and when I mention how i couldn't wait to try them out, a friend of mine told me to just make them now, so I went home and did. My roomates really enjoyed them. When hanukah comes around I'll make potato latkes. I was thinking about getting or making amenorah for hanukah so I could light the candles for the holiday but I found out when I was cooking the latkes and saw smoke in the apartment from my frying that there are NO smoke alarms in the aprtment! So scratch the candle idea... Hopedully I'll find somewhere I can hang out and light the candles at least one night although with work, getting a snight off is going to be tough with christmas coming and all.
This week I worked wednesday until sunday for a total of 40 hours! Thursday I worked 9am until 11pm with a 1 hour break and saturday I worked 12pm until about 10pm. I havn't had time to relax at all except for a beer or 2 after work but suring the day it's mostly been wake up, get dressed, eat and go to work. Tonight is my last night on my working spree and thankfully I got tomorrow off work. Unfortunately though, on my day off I have to go to a mandatory meeting at work at 4pm. It's supposed to be about 42 degrees tomorrow and would have been perfect for the beach but i won't have enough time to go.
Aside from work, I saw Bridget Jones the Edge of Reason and I had dinner with my russian relatives. It was nice to have been invited for dinner and they tried to fatten me up. I ate for almost an hour! I'm still as skinney as usual though but now i have a lot less hair. I"m sporting the ever so popular shaved head look now for the summer and i plan on keeping it up so I bought myuself a nice electric shaver for my head.
Time is up on the computer but will update again possibly tomorrow. I want to put up photos but I'm having arelaly hard time since I have SO many! Those wil be up soon, eventually!

Monday, November 22, 2004

Sydney Day 46

Last Thursday I did my first full double shift at work and it was ridiculous! I started work at 9am and took a break at 3pm. After a quick nap, shower and dinner, went back to work at 6pm and finished at 12:30am. It wasn't bad though. I quite enjoyed the evening shift. A lot of people I enjoy working with were with me that night and we had to sing happy birthday to 4 people in a row! It's always exciting when we sing happy birthday because we try to get everyone together and then we sing really loudly and here after you sing you go "Hip hip Hooray!", but I"m not sure why. I was told it has something to do with the queen or something.

Friday during the day I got all my stuff ready for my surf trip! It was really crappy weather in the city, rainy and cold. I met up with James at the meeting spot and once everyone gathered we ended up on this small surf bus and drove to the beach. We stayed in a beach area called Seven Mile Beach. We slept in tiny cabins with bunk beds which was the 'surf camp'. That night we got a lift to a tiny pub, chilled and called it an early night. Saturday morning we all got up at 7:30, had a quick breakfast and got ready to surf! I was given a wet suit and a 9 foot long surf board. We walked to the beach and was taught how to lie on the board and how to stabd up. I picked it up pretty fast and was able to ride the waves. We surfed for 2 hours, went back for lunch and a quick nap and then headed back to the each for another 2 hours. At night we all went to the only lively pub in the area. It was a fisherman's club and there were a lot of senior people there drinking. It's so tiny the area that the place closed at 12am. That night was fun, we got to get to know everyone on the trip. For the first time, the majority of people there were canadian! They seemed like kool guys. Because when I surfed I had to wear these prescription goggles in order to see, my nickname became Goggles and one girl insited on calling me Robin (from Batman and Robin). The next day was the same thing. Two 2 hour lessons of surf with lunch in between. The weather was a lot nicer than the first day. The first day was overcast and cold. The second day was sunny and nice. I got the hang of standing on the board and also even a little bit of turning. I was told by the head instructor I was one of the best people there amongst the other beginners. I felt great until I hear him say the same thing to someone else but I did think I was a bit better and staying up then most people. It's not hard to surf if you have balance. I have tons of amzing/funny photos to prove I can surf and promise to put hem online shortly.

I have a growing collection of pics now. I've taken about 350 pics not including the surf trip. I bought a photo CD from the surf camp with about 70 pics of me and about 20 pics of miscellaneous stuff taken over the weekend so I'm almost at 500 pics since I got here. I have them all on CD so I promise to upload them onto my photo website soon.

I got today and tomorrow off work which is great since I'm so sore from the surf trip. Tomorrow I'm planning on doing a walk from Bondi to Coogee Beach with IEP. It also includes a 2$ BBQ lunch so hopefully the weather will be nice enough to go.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Sydney Day 41

Wow I have done SO much since my last post so this may be a long one.
Last Wednesday I was invited by my british friends to go to their place and eat pizza. We were 6 of us and split in to buy 4 pizzas, costing me only 5$! it was great! First time I ate pizza since moving to Australia. Afterwards I went to that Toga party! It was a lot of fun. For 10$ I got a free toga (a.k.a. bed sheet) and all you can drink beer and 'special' punch. Afterwards we all headed to a bar called Scubar and were allowed to enter wearing our togas!

I worked the next night and then headed over to my new favorite hangout - Sidebar. I thought there was a party there with people from IEP, the resource center that I go to for help and free internet, etc. but I made a mistake and it's actually tomorrow (not last week). Anyways, I got to see that real cool manager again. he told me the "wall of fame" will be up soon and he introduced him to a real kool girl from Denmark who hangs out there every other day. I also got another free beer so I think I'm going to try and make Sidebar my australian version of Biftek although I never got free beer at Biftek but I always had a good time when I was (most of the time due to Sam's drunken antics, hehe).

From last friday until last sunday there was a backpacker exposition held at town hall. I went on friday and looked around. I got so much free brochures about all these great palces to visit. There are SO many things you can see and do in Australia! I doubt I'll be able to see a fraction of all the stuff in just 1 year but I'm going to try my best! I still have to sit down and go through everything but I have an idea of where I want to go and what I want to see. Basically I'm thinking of moving to Melbourne next and after a couple of months head up the east coast to Cairns stoping along the way at various places with a big stop in probably Brisbane where I'd like to live for a short time as well.

On Saturday I went back to Bondi Beach and I took a walk from Bondi all the way to Tanarama Beach. It's just beaches after beaches here in Australia! The walk was awesome and the views were incredible! Also along the way was a special sculpture exhibit of allkinds of wacky and kooky things. I went nuts and took as many pictures as I could before my camera died. I promise to post them up very soon.

Sunday I made my way back to the backpacker expo to get more information on Victoria and Melbourne. In the process I walked by a booth just as someone said "who wants free stuff??" to which I immediately raised my hand. Next thing I know it I was in an air guitar contest. I had to compete against 2 other guys and air guitar to Jet's Are You Gonna Be My Girl. I ended up wining the contest and got a few free t-shirts and a DVD of a famous soap opera called Neighbours. Turns out the show is almost 20 years old and it's where Kylie Minogue started her career. Too bad I don't have a DVD player to watch it on but I'll eventually mail it back home to Canada where hopefully it will be safe waiting for me when I return home next year (hopefully!hehe). Afterwards, I was still looking for a booth on Melbourne and Victoria when I walked by a booth that was collecting money for breast cancer. The catch was to also get your head shaved, so, needing a haricut, I gave 10$, and got my head shaved on size 3 razor which isn't that short. The people doing it were professional hairdressers so at least they made me look clean cut and not just chop off all my hair. She cleaned my neck and trimmed the sides a bit with scissors so it looked just a like a nice decent short haircut (Note: I'm writing these details for my mom to not freak out, hehe). I also took a few pictures. For shaving my head I got entered in a draw and since only 2 other people shaved there head, I had a 1 in 3 chance to win... and I did. I won 50$ so that was a really lucky day I had.

Monday I was supposed to have the day off but I was asked to come in special because they needed an extra person. During the day, though, I went and bought a new pair of headphones since my 5$ headphones I bought in Montreal broke after a month. I also bought 2 CDs - the new Green Day album American Idiot and the soundtrack to one of my favorite movies of all time, the Blues Brothers (GO SEE THAT MOVIE IF YOU HAVN"T YET! the Original 1981 verson not the 2000 remake!) They have a bunch of CD shops where everything is 10$ except brand new chart toppers which re 20$ but those were on sale for 15$ so itr was relativley cheap for the 2 CDs. The Green Day album is quite good and I agree with what some critics are saying that it is just as good as their smash hit Dookie.

Yesturday was a really long day. I just did a lot of errands. My bag broke, so I had to get that fixed and then I was looking around the whole city for a strap for my glasses. I am going on a surf trip this weekend and I needed something to helpo keep my glasses on my face while i"m surfing or else i"ll be a blind surfer. I had no luck but instead found a pair of goggles that had perscription lenses. They are stylish and now I ca surf AND see! After shopping, I headed home and had some friends over for a barbecue on the roof! The brits and Tim from IEP came over for some hamburgers and beer, it was a lot of fun. The brits and i then went to se a movie at the IMAX theatre. Im sure I was told by someone that it was the largest IMAX screen in the world but it didn't look any different than the one in Montreal. On top of that, the movie we saw sucked SO BADLY! It was this 3D movie called Haunted Castle. The poster just said "Haunted Castle, Enter if you DARE!" I was even scared to go see it when I saw in small print "Warning: Horror theme and mild violence". What it should have said was "Warning: do not see this if you are above the age of 10". It was just this completely computer graphic movie. It lasted about 45 minutes. The story was basically about this guy who inherits his mothers castle and when he gets there thigns start to come alive (not scary) and then Satan appears and offers the guy a deal to be a rock star but first tells hims to walk around. When he walks around we see what he sees. Not one thing in it was scary and it was basically like one of those rides you go on in Disney world where the camera follows a path and the seats jerk and move when something happens in the movie except the seats didn't move. The main character was a human superimosed on the computer graphics. the guy looked 25 but when the voice over of his character spoke, it sounded like a 15 year old kid with pimples and glasses. the corniest part was when the main character, Johnny, is told to go see a show by Satan in this special thatre and as he's about to go in, his mothers spirit shows up and says "Don't go in there! It's horrible!". Inside was a band of mechanical monkeys playing really awful music while a ball and chain moved and one by one broke them into scraps of metal. SO scray NOT.

So this weekend I'm going on a "Learn to Surf" trip with IEP. It's a sweet deal. For 200$ we go down south about an hour or two away from Sydney and get 8 2-hour lessons over 2 days. The transportation, food, accomidation and equipment is all included. Plus once we return to Sydney there is a party with free pizza and beer. James, one of the brits, is going as well. It should be a blast!

I proise to update when I return from my small trip and will have more pictures up soon!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Sydney Day 34

I was all excited for today and I woke up feeling shitty! I think I may be getting sick again. Stephanie has a cold and sleeping in the same room (NOTE for those getting all excited: room, not BED!) doesn't help me any bit.

The Powerhouse museum was pretty cool. I got a 4$ discount off for being a member of VIP Backpackers so that was cool. In the museum I saw a bunch of fun science things I got to touch and play with. The funniest moment had to have been finding a moth in the ancient rug exhibit. I notified the front desk and after explaining that moths EAT rugs, THEN they stopped looking at me funny and said they'd 'look into it'.

Yesturday I was suppoed to work from 12pm until around 4pm and then 6:30pm until late but i got sent home at 12:05pm because the managers asked too many employees to come at one. They needed maybe 3 of us and we were 7! So I ended up chilling all day and then went to work at 6:30pm. There was a special function involving 400 McDonalds managers from all over the world. There was a convention nearby involving 4000 employees and we were one of the restaurant in teh area that had taken them on. The actual resturant was closed and it was a pretty easy night I also finished at 11:00 instead of 12:00am like I normally do.

Today I met my aunt Ellen from Canada for lunch! She's actually from Australia and lived in Canada for almost 40 years. She's in town visiting her brother so it was great to have a chance and hang out with her. She was too kind and treated me to lunch at a fancy seafood restaurant in Darling Harbour and then we took the Monorail (Monorail! Whats that name? Monorail!, said it again! MONORAIL!!!) for a short ride so she could switch to the necessary train to get back to where she was staying. It was really nice to sit down and talk for a couple of hours.

Tonight is that crazy toga party. Thankfully it's early so if I need to I'll call it an early night. I always wanted to go to a toga party and Im not going to miss out!!!

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Sydney Day 32

On Friday I did end up going to a museum. I checked out the Australian Museum. I had to rush it a bit to get to worko n time but it was a great museum. It had a section on skeletons, birds, insects, animals in general, dinosaurs, minerals and evolution. There was also a short part on aboriginal history but I had no time to check it out. I took lots of pictures but I'll have to upload them another time.

It finally happened. I dropped something at work. It wasn't SO bad though. I didn't drop a whole tray of food, just one dish. It was only the 'live lobster dish'... the 180$ dish... but it was actually place on 2 plates and one of the halves just slid off the plate... in clear view of the customer... He was okay with it since the chef made another half for him to eat and he even asked me if I had to pay for it and was happy to hear I didn't have to (thank god!) so at least he was a good sport. Accidents happen! Just more than usual when it involes me.... hehehe.

I have today off and was all excited to go to the beach and take a walk on one of the paths to another beach (Bondi to Coogee) but the weather is crap again! I happened to bump into Mark, one of the british people I've been hanging out with so we;ve decided to hit up another museum, the Power House museum.

This week isn't so bad since I got today off, work all day tomorrow and then got wednesday night off to go to an all you can drink TOGA PARTY! for only 10$ and they supply the toga! Hopefully it'll be like the scene from one of my favorite movies, Animal House! Toga! Toga!

Friday, November 05, 2004

Sydney Day 29

I've been here almost a month! I'm not feeling that homesick. Obviously I miss a lot of things back home but I've been calling home a lot and speaking to friends back home and it reallly makes me feel good and feels almost like I never left. On the other hand I'm also very welcomed when I meet new people. When people find out I'm canadian they get happy and when I mention I'm from Montreal, those that know about it, love that I"m from there and say it's an awesome city, to which I ensure them that they are right.
The saga with my halloween costume continues. I am now a legend in this bar called Side Bar. The manager who liked me so much told me to come in again. When I showed up he gave me a free beer, took a photo of me holding my, I mean my former, Optimus Prime helmet and then asked me to write a note. He then told me he's going to Blow up the photo, and put that, the note and my cotume on a "Wall of Fame" which he is going to start doing from now on. So, if you're ever in Sydney, go to George St and Pitt St and check out my photo!
I never thought knowing French would come in hand while being in Australia, but I was wrong. The other night, a group of tourists from Frnace were eating int eh restaurant and the were having a hard time communicating with the waiter. I came up and started to help out and they were suprised to hear someone talking French. It was fun to practice a little.
Today the weather is really crappy outside again so I'm going to try and hit up a museum before I have to head over to work.
Yesturday I went to a flea market and bought a pair of Speakers with my German roomate. Now we have music in the apartment! Too bad not everyone's taste of music in the apartment is the same. The Germans are really into techno dance beats and I'm not. but we're sharing them since we shared the price on the speakers. I'll live with it.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Sydney day 26

I forgot to mention in the last update that I got together with my relatives that live in Australia. It is a man and women who are much older than me, Jenny and Micheal. The woman and I are second generation cousins. My Grandfather and her Grandfather ( I believe) were brothers. They moved to Australia from Russia and have been leavin ghere for many years. The took me out for dinner with their whole family. Jenny's 2 daughters, 3 grandchildren and sister and brother in law also came along. It was nice to meet them all. We went out for chinese food and it was delicious. The funniest thing was that Jenny, being very traditional, asked me if I would like to sleep over since I lived quite a distance from them and it would have been tough to drive me home. Her daughter Diana offered to drive me and it was settled but Jenny kept insiting I sleep over. Finally, after Diana convinced her that is really was ok that she drive me home, Jenny turns to me and says "It's ok, whatever you want to do Josh.... You can sleep over if you want" heheh! In the end I got a lift home. We agreed to stay in touch and I will be giving them a call sometime soon.

Last night was Halloween! It kicked ass! By far the most fun I've had so far on halloween. At 4:45 I suited up as Optimus Prime and walked to the harbour where the boat for the cruise was leaving. My roomate Stephanie walked with me to laugh at me and see everyone's reaction, seeing some guy dressed in cardboard during late afternoon. As I passed by, cars were honking at me! Finaly at the dock, there were others dressed up just as crazy as I was. Three brits came dressed as Nazi's! They spend 200$ each to buy authentic uniforms from an army shop. They had hats and even arm bans with Swatzikas. It was quite scary actually but fun nonetheless. There were a lot of zombies, witches and pirates. Everyone love dmy costume. On the boat was all you can eat meat and all you can drink pop, wine and beer. Once inside the boat I had to take off the head of the costume ebcause the roof was too low and I was too tall. Eventualy I just walked around with my knees bent. Everyone kept tapping me on the shoulder saying that I had the coolest costume they had ever seen and wanteds a photo with me. I was tempted to start charging 5$ because it was just getting so out of hand! Once the boat hit shore again we went to a bar called Side Bar. Inside, same thing, everyone loved my costume. Once i got to hot to wear it all the time i let others try it out. I was so popular strangers were buying me drinks. Towards the end someone came up to me and said it was the coolest costume he had ever seen and wanted to buy me a drink. He returned with this GIGANTIC mug filled with beer. It must have been a litre of beer. I spent an hour drinking it. It turned out that the guy actually worked there (he could possibly have been the manager or owner) and he asked me if I could donate the costume to their "wall of fame". I agreed since I didnt need it anymore. In return, he let me keep the mug and he game wthis awesome white sun visor that has their logo across the front and says Sydney Australia across the side. Fun was had by all!

As I promised... PICTURES!


Other pics