The Perthect Storm

Friday, October 26, 2007

It had been a long time coming. I'd been planning to come to Perth even before I left home. I'd been planning to first fly from Surfer's Paradise back when Kirsty left in September, then to travel from Darwin to Broome through the Kimberly and fly to Perth from there, and finally to travel from Broome to Perth with some backpackers over two weeks and THEN arrive. And now, October 15, I'm here - a month later than my initial plan, procrastinating as always but getting the job done. And that's my next step: the job. After our night out last night at the Shed, it was time to get to work. But I also had to make DVD copies of all our photos for everyone on the trip. I walked into town with Ken, opened a bank account, got some blank DVDs, and popped in at Hays consulting to see what my first steps in the great job hunt should be. Resume? Check. University degrees? Somewhere at home but hopefully they can be found. Portfolio? Um. Yeaaaahhhh. I met back with Ken at the hostel and we started burning up DVDs like nobody's business. At 5:00, I met up with Nathalie, Julian, Greg, Kenji, and Ayumi (codename: Yummy) for some casino schenanigans. We grabbed the train out there, but Yummy didn't bring her passport or any ID. All she brought was her diving card. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, but I took her back to her hostel and picked up her passport with her.

On the way back, the trains started running less often and we actually didn't board until 7:50 when our tickets expired at 7:48. Whatsmore, we both bought concession passes because the machine only takes change and I didn't have $5 of it. And sure enough, the police were checking the train. I continued my conversation to Yummy though I saw them coming. Act cool. Act cool. I was so busy trying to think what to do that I repeated myself twice, but if they noticed they must've assumed it was because Yummy's english wasn't so great. We were nearing the stop and they were scrutinizing the ticket holders of the people behind us. I stood as the train looked to be getting near to our stop and told Yummy we were off at the next stop. Still she seemed to have no idea of the danger we were in. The officers finished with the row behind as the train slowed down to stop. I nodded a friendly and non-chalant "hey" to them and they walked right past us to some characters at the other end of the train before it could stop. We exited safely and entered the casino. Whew. My first gamble of the night had been a very lucky win. Would my luck hold?

The answer is yes. For awhile. Well, actually, no, then sort of, then no no no, then yes, yes, yes, and then "ah". I started with $50, down to 30, back to 60, down to 15, up to 90, down to 50 and it was time for a snack. Then I lost that 50 and a few $5 chips besides on roulette before walking out the door. But it was a good fun night and while I'd love to have left even, I had a lot of fun playing roulette with everyone else (although when they were all watching my winning streak in blackjack, that was fun too!). The next day, more errands. I made copies of my resume and met a fellow there who had married a Canadian girl from Ottawa and was moving back. We chatted about life in Australia for a bit and I mentioned that I was job hunting and he said to come with him, he could probably help with that. Unfortunately, he works for hospitality and retail, but it might be something for the short term. For the moment though, I want to keep my focus on getting a good/well-paying job. I went back to Hays and Focused, another recruitment agency and then met up with Nathalie and Julian to see Nathan Kaye. He plays a didj that actually telescopes to change key as well as lap steel, an electronic kick drum with his foot, and singing and beat boxing. All at once. He could play the didj and beat box through it at the same time. I actually loved it so much I bought his EP. He's probably as good as Xavier Rudd in my humble opine. I also met Erica, the daughter of some friends of my parents, who invited me to the show, and a fellow toonite. It was nice to reminisce of places back home with someone over here.

All in all, I was in Perth for two weeks. Greg (Frenchy), Nathalie, Julian and I went to King's Park one afternoon and hung around, taking photos, throwing our 'frisbee', doing somersault contests, you name it. It's quite a pretty park with nice views of the Perth Skyline, so we hung around until a little after sunset to get some nice photos before walking back to the hostel. There were also plenty of nights out. I caught up with Fiona, who I drove down from Brisbane to Surfer's Paradise the day I sold Betsy. We hung out and listened to the musician do a great job covering Neil Young (once he found out I was a canuck - he had a harmonica and eveything, really great!). I tried to meet up with Emma, who I travelled around Scandi with, but it never did work out unfortunately. I'll get down to Freemantle when I come back, though, and pay her a visit.

And I did catch up with one of the guys I traveled Scandi with, Daren (AKA Dazza). He hasn't changed at all, hilarious and the stereotypical Aussie. We went to his place and he showed me his beer fridge, complete with three kegs and two taps. And he brews beer, I should mention. Which we drank quite readily, and I was very impressed. His girlfriend came home and then drove us to his friend's (and the bottle shop) for a BBQ. On the menu, a couple nice lamb chops! Mmmm! We got a cab to Northbridge and met up with some friends of mine at the Brass Monkey before heading to Black Betty's. It was a fun time there for sure, though it wasn't long before I got a phone call from my mom and went to the lobby so I could hear her. "You can't stand there". Who knows why not, but I went to the outside foyer behind the bouncer, where I also wasn't allowed to stand. "You have to go out there." Riiight. And then I can't come back in. Why can't I just talk on the bloody phone for two minutes? And then I was kicked out. Nice.

But there were plenty of nights out. Indeed, too many. Aside from the big night out with Daz, there were a couple with people from my hostel. Every Wed night, the Mustang Bar has a $5 BBQ including a pint of beer. It's two sausages and a 'steak', a few potatoes, and some salad. Not bad! Thursday, the Euro Bar does a free sausage BBQ and $2 middies of Toohey's New. And we tried to go out everytime one of our Broome Gang left Perth. The biggest of those, for me at least, was Greg's last night. I had just worked from 7AM-4PM that day - oh yeah, I got a job! I work on a construction site for the moment while I'm looking for something better. $20/hr which is almost nothing, but definitely still better than, and I was digging a trench most of the day to reroute the storm drains. So I was pretty beat, but I came out for a beer. And then people started buying rounds. Two more beer, and I didn't want to leave without buying a round too, so another one. I was sitting beside Tanja, a really cool German girl, and we were having a good conversation, and the next thing I know, we're all heading to the Deen and it's getting late. And another drink or two. A bit of dancing. And it's 4:30 in the morning by the time I get to sleep. Up again at 6, it was an early morning and I went to work. The other guy I was working with didn't show, so it was basically just me onsite with the site manager. I worked until 4 trenching and spreading sand and finding some pipes and cleaning up the paving stones. And I was asleep that night by 10. As far as other work, no luck finding anything I can do as an engineer without a sponsorship so far. Mining work as an EE seems to be difficult, and I haven't had a call back from the agencies looking for labouring work for me. But for now the construction job should suffice.

The final thing that has occupied a lot of my time was that I got an email that my laptop had - finally - been connected to the internet. Now I had an IP address. The Surfer's Police were also emailed, as was the ISP. All that needed to be done was to get a request from the police to the ISP and we had an address. Sadly, this was not easy to do as the Surfer's Police are not exactly sitting on the cutting edge of technology. In fact, even getting an email address from them was difficult at best. On top of that, everybody kept referring me to the officer who filed the police report. You know, the one who never returned my calls, was always on patrol and couldn't be reached. Finally, I got a hold of the OIC (that's cool-person talk for Officer in Charge), who seemed excited to get this very unprecedented means of capture working for them. He talked to the section head, Sgt. Malone who then called me back and had me email her the evidence I had including photos of him using my computer and creating an account. They were supposed to let me know they had received the information, which I also faxed to them just in case, but I heard nothing. Subsequent calls were not returned and I couldn't do anything but try to reach John Kubanko (the OIC) again. I finally did get a hold of him, and he promised to look into it, and he did call me back to confirm the spelling of my last name, but I didn't hear from him after that. And of course, he had three days off. It went on like this for the entire two weeks I was here, and finally, I decided I had exhausted all possibility of the police actually doing their job and decided to head out myself. And incidentally, I also talked to local police, Sydney police, Brisbane police, anyone I thought might be able to help a bit. I called Uncle Russ at home to see if he could send an email for me and he asked the Computer Crimes department to look into it, but again, nothing. So, I'm heading to Sydney to take care of it myself. In fact, my flight leaves at 4 this afternoon.

Perth Photos

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