I am nomad. Hear me roar.


Tuesday, 31 May 2011


I've been being quite dramatic lately. I had a rough time on the Island, and I am still sore, but recently a few of my friends have separately shared some of the things that they have been going through, and it's put me to shame.

I love my friends, I am humbled and honoured that they feel they can share these intimate aspects of their lives with me. I wish there was something, anything I could do, to alleviate their stress and pain. I listen, I wish, if I was the type that prayed, I would pray, because it's all I can do, and I feel useless the rest of the time.

The one thing I will do more than anything else however, is stop complaining about the comparatively trivial problems in my life. I've been through real tough times before, and this is not it.

I will stop whinging about it.

The Rocks Markets

Well, well, well

Afterwards, we began to make our way down to The Big Dig Archaeology Education Centre, on the way down there I got talking to the CEO, who told me some really interesting stories about the site.

The bit that we were looking at was owned by a dude called Mr Cribb, he was a butcher, and well, well, well, did our dear butcher have some curious things down his well. Firstly he had a still, so our butcher was not only dealing in choice cuts, but also dealing in his own choice (and very illegal) home brew. True, this kind of behaviour is to be expected from a convict, working off his sentence, and his still-in-the-well side business was relatively harmless, his bigamy on the other hand, was a whole different kettle of fishwives.

Mr Cribb had a healthy and living Mrs Cribb, when he was convicted and shipped to his prime piece of real estate in The Rocks. This does not appear to have been enough for our dear butcher however, as after he arrived, and set up shop, he decided to take on yet another Mrs Cribb, and all was going well for him.

That was at least, until the first Mrs Cribb got wind of how well her hubby was doing down under, with his butchery, land ownership, and still-in-the-well side business, and decided to hop on a boat down to Sydney. Now, as Mr Cribb clearly couldn't coexist with two wives, as this is too much to ask of any man outside of Iowa, his wives did this kind of tag-team thing, where Wife #2 left on the same boat that the first Mrs Cribb arrived on.

It is believed though, that Wife #2 was none too happy about the situation, and most especially did not want the first Mrs Cribb being all comfortable in the house that she had set up. More specifically she did not want the first Mrs Cribb to be in possession of her best china, which was discovered many years later cast neatly down Mr Cribbs well.

Well, well, well.

Vivid - Lighting of the Sails

YHA Sydney Harbour

There's a dig site in Sydney at The Rocks, I'd been through it before years ago on a ghost tour. At the time they were constructing something above it at the time, I was told it was apartments and assumed that due to the pristine harbour view that they were likely to have that they would sell for some astronomical price, and therefore it was unlikely that I would ever set foot in them. I then had a little bit of a wistful dream on the subject, sighed, and thought of them no more.

That is, until last Friday, when I found myself walking over the preserved dig site, and into what is now the YHA Sydney Harbour Youth Hostel, and what a hostel it is. Firstly as I mentioned in my previous post (which was written on Saturday morning despite being dated today) the view from the terrace is stunning, but on Friday night we, myself and the other forum attendees, had the added bonus of our welcome drinks coinciding with the Lighting of the Sails for the Vivid festival. So, as we were having our getting to know you chats, which were surprisingly not as awkward as they usually are, the Opera House was being noticeably more spectacular than usual, being dressed, and caressed in projected lights.

After watching the light show, a selection of delicious pastas and salads were served for us, and the group continued to chat easily throughout the meal. Conversation flowed fluidly, I guess that's what happens when you put 7 people who have travel as one very serious common interest together. They all get along famously.

Youth Forum

Presently I'm sitting a little bleary eyed on the terrace of the YHA Sydney Harbour. As a small slice of good luck and good timing that comes from me being somewhat unexpectedly back in Sydney.

I was recently offered the chance to sample this magnificent hostel free of charge in exchange for participating in their youth members forum, they wanted it seems young (well, under 30 anyway), vibrant, opinionated members of the YHA to use as a focus group, so essentially I received a free nights accommodation, dinner, breakfast and lunch, just for being me.


Flying Out

There's a quote from the BBC television adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, it's the adaptation that contains that lake scene, you know the one I mean, that lake scene where Colin Firth manages to combine period drama and white T-shirt contests, and come off dreamy, but that's slightly off topic.

Long before that scene, there is a quote, spoken by Elizabeth after leaving Netherfield, having stayed there for a few days. She turns to Jane and says "I'm sorry to say it, but notwithstanding your excellent Mr Bingley, I have never been so happy to leave a place in my life". Elizabeth utters this phrase with an expression of such relief and fervour, and with only slight alteration sums up my feelings exactly. My time in the Whitsundays has been such an ordeal, with such a seemingly unnecessary amount of stress, the only redeeming factor being a few friends made. Now, as I fly out and back to Sydney, I have only one thought;

I'm sorry to say it, but notwithstanding the excellent people I have met, I have never been so happy to leave a place in my life.

Trip-trip Trippity-trip-trip

I'm having fun, I feel happy and the world has a nice rosy coloured hue.

I'm on drugs.

Now before you all get concerned and start the intervention, it's nothing illegal, I promise. The doctor just gave me some very nice pain medication yesterday, to help me be comfortable with my back injury, and frankly it's making me a little bit loopy, a damn bit dippy, a slight bit slippy sloopy even.

It's very enjoyable.

I am slightly concerned about the coherence of this post, however I am cheered by the thought that even though it is chemically induced, I have a big fat cheesy grin on my face for the first time this week. I'm sending out bodacious blessings to the beautiful bountiful ball that is the Earth in general, in a very 'do not operate heavy machinery' kind of way. I am focusing on emanating all my positive energy towards all of existence, but I just can't quite focus my eyes.

Have a joyous day everyone, only use as directed, and if bliss persists, soak up the side effects.

Just any other day on Daydream Island

Compensation Complication

The news from the doctor was good. It's just muscle damage, my x-rays are clear, the discs and vertebra are fine, which in practical terms, means sore, but not permanent. I was also given the all clear to fly, so I booked my flights off the Island as soon as I had the okay from HR.

I may leave, but as it turns out I'm not clear of this mess yet, I can't actually resign until I have been declared fit for work, I'm technically on Workers Compensation until then. On paper it sounds like a good deal, a bit of a free ride, 'milk it for all it's worth', I hear you say, but honestly, I just want to wash my hands of this whole experience as soon as possible.

Just any other day at Airlie Beach


Waiting, I started this day by waiting, waiting to be golf-buggied from the Staff Village to go see the nurse as I needed another check-up before she recommended I see the doctor. I waited 3 hours.

Waiting again, I continued my day waiting, waiting for my back to stop hurting because I had walked the distance from the Staff Village to go visit Nurse Awesome, as due to a miscommunication no one had come to pick me up. I waited the rest of the day.

Waiting continued, I discovered that due to the lateness in the day that I did manage to get to Nurse Awesome, I was unable to get a boat to and from the mainland to see a doctor. I would be waiting til 9:40 the next morning.

Waiting just a little bit longer, after the complications of the day, the accommodation, the safety in the workplace and a million other reasons it would not do to mention, I walked up to HR. I was waiting about 10 minutes when I was able to see one of the girls and I give my notice.

I also at this point, much to my own embarrassment, burst into tears. It was just such a relief.

No more waiting.


The first time I slipped was at about 6:30, I was walking into the drystore, hit a bit of wet floor and lost both feet straight out in front of me, dropping straight down and landing square on my butt, which of course made for a somewhat jarring but cushiony landing. If it didn't hurt so much it would have been hilarious. Actually it was the kind of fall where, if you see it you accidentally snort laughing first, then think "Oh wait, are they okay?", then feel really guilty for the fact that you are still laughing on the inside. Not so much fun from my end though. I hurt but I kept going, we were really busy, I was hoping that I was just bruised, and if I just ignored it, it'd go away. No such luck.

I slipped again at about 9am, this time with a nice fluid sideways motion, which would have scored me highly on the Australia's Funniest Home Videos scale, but did nothing for my back. In a really good amount of pain now, I kept working for as long as possible, but after an hour I conceded and went to visit the resort nurse.

Nurse Awesome, as she shall herein and forever after be known as, checked me out, and immediately sent me home with the explicit instructions of keeping my back straight and bed rest. She told me I had to visit her the next day, but I was not to walk there, I was told by my supervisor to call the Transit Desk for a lift.

So from there I was very kindly golf-buggied back to my room, to an afternoon of pain-killers, left-over breakfast buffet and lots of sleep.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Dream Accommodation

From Daydream to Nightmare

I take it all back, this place is a nightmare.

Island Sunset

As the sun sets on my third full day on the island I'm feeling a little better about the situation, nothing here is great but it is at least livable.

I've worked a few shifts in my position, it's busy which is good and it's been nice to get back to a role with customer contact, having a chance to interact with people.

Maybe this will turn out after all.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Island Arrival

Yesterday, I arrived on the island.

After packing, flying and catching a ferry, bowed down by a flu bug and more mucus than I ever thought my head could possibly hold, I arrived.

I was speechless, mostly because my sore throat would barely let out more than a squeak at a time, and half deaf because my ears had not yet popped properly. Along with two other new employees, I was subjected to a whirlwind tour of the island, and dumped in our rooms, as the managers were in a hurry to catch the last boat off to Airlie Beach for a party.

The rooms. The rooms were a bit of a shock. I was expecting them to be austere sure, but at least clean and maintained. They're not. Doors, drawers, handles and finishings are broken all over the shop, the carpet is putrid. Mildew has been painting folk art over the entirety of the bathroom ceiling.

I haven't even started working yet. My first shift is at 5pm tonight.

It may be my illness speaking, but I'm having a hard time seeing the bright side here. My one consolation, the people are nice, but it may not be enough.

I give it a week.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Wearing the Consequences

I'm on the plane now, I realise I should be really excited at this stage but I'm just not there yet. I'm just not sure about this adventure this time, I don't have that "good feeling" I usually get.

Instead, I have the feeling I get when I've been out clothes shopping, and I've bought some really fabulous article of glamour, that I absolutely love but that will promptly sit in my wardrobe for years (or my Dad's storage unit anyway) and never actually be worn. It'll just sit there, being beautiful never quite reaching it's full potential because instead of leaving it in the store to be purchased by someone who may actually take it out on the town, I own it just to hide it away, I am wasting it. I never should have bought it. I've made a bad move and every time I see the garment it reminds me.

This is the feeling I have now. I hope I haven't done the wrong thing.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Happy Belated Wandering Woman-niversary!

This month I forgot my own anniversary, terrible I know, but really, coming from someone who is capable of forgetting where they live, can you expect any better?

I have been rather unexcitingly engaged this month with some very unresponsive job hunting, and some on and off flirting with a fabulous flu bug type thing. It's been a very special time.

That was, until a couple days ago, when I received a call offering me a position in the beautiful Whitsundays, I start on Monday. I don't think the idea of it has hit me yet. I've been a bit numb about it all, but Sydney has been in the grips of some of it's coldest early May days in history and I'm going to go live on a tropical island, you've got to be excited about that, right?

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Did I ever tell you about the time I forgot where I lived?

I know I haven't because I didn't quite have words for it at the time.

It was Halloween last year, I was still in Japan.

In the weeks proceeding, I had found my living arrangements to be unsuitable.

In the days proceeding, I had contacted my property manager, viewed a few different properties, found one I liked, signed all the necessary documents and made all the necessary payments.

In the hours proceeding, I had packed all of my belongings, been picked up by my property manager at my old house, moved all of my belongings into my new apartment, nicknamed it 'my Shoebox', found my way to the nearest train station, and caught the train to Kobe where I was meeting a friend who was only in Japan for a day on a business conference.

In the minutes proceeding, I had stepped off the last train back from Kobe, bumped into four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles all of whom were Donatello and German, walked back down the main street, turned off the main street just before the 7Eleven and realised I had absolutely no idea where to go next.


So there I was, physical energy depleted by a full day in Kobe, emotional energy depleted by moving house, mental energy depleted by trying to make sense of Japanese street signs at an hour that was quickly encroaching on 2am, and all my faith in myself depleted by wondering how I could have managed to get myself in this situation.

I trudged repeatedly around the 6 block area I knew had to contain my Shoebox, fighting back self defeat and the urge to sob. Then, suddenly, when I felt like I'd been walking for nights and nights on end, when I had actually been circling for an hour, when I was just about ready to look for a park bench to curl up on, I caught a sliver of a glimpse of pale pink tiles. Pale pink tiles that would in the following months become the all too familiar herald of home, pale pink tiles which to this day cover one of the ugliest apartment buildings known to man, pale pink tiles whose only excuse for existing must be that they were very very cheap, but pale pink tiles that at that time were the most beautiful sight in the known Universe.