Wednesday, October 27, 2010

new friends..finally settled!


           On my bday, Mick Fanning's mom bought me a cake and roses for my on!
Hello everyone! It's been a few weeks, because lucky for us....we got a new apartment!! (which unfortunately meant that we were without internet for a few weeks). Aside from the internet, getting our apartment was definitely a relief because we were working to trade for our accommodations at Komune..and it was getting to be a little bit much when we literally would take the "lift" a few stories downstairs to our job. Sure, it was convenient....but we got to the point where we needed our privacy. We definitely don't miss getting the surprise roommates every so often (seeing as we were living in a shared room in a hostel, we got what we paid for). Now that we have our new's definitely cheaper living in our own place, and we were lucky enough to have it furnished. They pay rent by the week here, the dishwasher has a "play" button, the oven works in celsius, and everywhere you go in australia you'll find an energy saving on/off switch for each and every outlet. California should maybe hop on that last train...
                                            Our first home-cooked meal...stuffed bell peppers!

I also recently got a second job. Komune was giving the three of us a couple days a week to work, but it just wasn't enough to get us on our feet. I was lucky enough to meet a friend that offered me a job at a smoothie/fresh juice/ sandwich/mom and pop kind of place. It turns out that Mick Fanning's (pro surfer) mom (or, "mum") owns the place, and she happened to need someone to help out with the sandwich making. My first day on the job was on my birthday this past week. My friend Craig had told the owner that it was my birthday that day, and upon walking in for my 1st day, Liz (the owner) had bought me a bouquet of roses and a birthday cake. I had never met the woman in my life, she was my boss, and she was the sweetest woman ever. I've never spent any birthdays (or holidays for that matter) out of california, so I made sure to write her a thank you card to let her know how much it meant to me that she would welcome me like she did. Since then I've worked a few days, and I'm pretty much getting the hang of everything. If you get the chance, the little cafe is called "fresh garden cafe" in you can google it to get a better idea of the place. So far, it seems like the place is really popular, and it seems to have a pretty good reputation. 

           Out to dinner with some friends of ours..mix of english, aussie, and american in this pic.

So, on the note of my really was a great day. I'll admit, the three of us didn't think my birthday would involve much more than just the three of us because it was so soon into our trip. It ended up being perfect, because 1) I didnt have to do a thing to plan it :)..... 2) it involved the three of us..and our close friends that we've met here 3) I wasn't as homesick as I thought I would be on the big day :). When i had gotten home from work at the cafe that day, the girls had surprised me with balloons, a 30 pack of beer, champagne punch, a birthday cake, and ipod speakers so we could bump some music in our new place! Not to mention, I got to talk to a close friend from home on skype, right when I walked through the door. We've met a few americans here that have spent some time in america and some time in Australia...and they were able to make it out to celebrate that night. We went to a great pizza place first, then went to a few bars over the next few hours to get some drinks. I also received some great presents from home...before, during, and after my birthday..which is also REALLY exciting. For instance, grandma and grandpa..I just got your card yesterday.. that means you officially are allowing me to celebrate my birthday for an entire week..i love it :) Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes, gifts, thoughts, could've been a day to miss where I used to be..but it ended up being a day of wishing you were all here with me!

 My birthday..the girls surprised me with a decorated apartment! Alyssa, Craig, me, and Chels are in this pic.
As far as Komune goes, we all bartend on the weekends for several events that the resort puts on. Last week for instance, there was a hens party (bachelorette party), a bucks party (bachelor party), an 18th bday party (when aussies are finally legal to drink), and a 21st bday party ( just a run of the mill bday party for the aussies). All of these events were held on the same night, so the bar was definitely busy. I ended up working a total of 13 hours the day after my birthday..can't think of a better way to spend the morning after ;) !! We actually all feel lucky to get such a great amount of hours in just one day of working...the aussies love the idea of having 3-4 day work weeks and the remainder of the days are spent mainly at the beach, bbq'ing, surfing, etc. We all are really liking Komune, and we've met some great friends so far. Oh, and it still remains the same, the drinks out here in Australia...still not up to par with us Americans :). 

 Aside from working, we also spend our time doing some promoting for Komune. We've been getting free trips up and down the coast to promote for a halloween party that they are having this weekend. Naturally, they HAD to use the California girls to help promote for this one...Halloween is definitely not as huge here in Australia. Regardless, it's been fun hanging out with Adam (our driver) as he drives us up and down the coast. He's an aussie that is currently engaged to an american girl who he met in coolangatta about 4 years ago. She was planning to originally visit australia for two years, but met Adam in her first month in Cooly...and now they're getting married. YIKES! We asked adam what the easiest way would be to get our citizenship in Australia..and he quickly answered..without hesitation, "oh, just fall in love!"

It still remains..I've never been so lucky at "pokies" (1 cent slot machines). I've officially won $150 bucks out of those machines!
Everything is within walking distance there's no need for a car right now. Our apartment is about 100 steps from the beach and its about a 10 minute walk to work. To be honest, not having a car is a blessing..I would hate to feel the pressure of having to drive on the opposite side of the road..opposite side of the car...oh and not to mention I would be driving a manual car. No thanks.. I'll stick to walking! 

By request...I've been asked to clarify what they do for holidays out here (shoutout to you gma!). They do not do Thanksgiving..and they do not understand what it is at all. Regardless, our little group of americans and our aussie friends will without a doubt have a legitimate thanksgiving dinner (as good as we can get, at least). As far as Christmas goes, everything is pretty much consistent with America. Except, because Christmas is in the summer time, Aussies have christmas bbq's on the beach. Oh..and instead of santa and his reindeer, it's actually santa and his kangaroos..not kidding. Soooo... ok..maybe it's not very similar to Christmas in the states ;). 

And now..for the Aussie lingo:

BLT- BEETS, lettuce, and tomato. Today I was at work, and I told someone that BLT meant bacon, lettuce, and tomato. I quickly caught myself, and explained that there are definitely a few differences in America. 

"Cheers!"- Thank you. This one will for sure catch on with me.

"No worries"- you're welcome. This is kind of similar to the states..except this could be said both formally and casually.

"Too easy"- They say this usually at the end of a conversation. For instance, when someone orders a sandwich at work with a few modifications..and we say "no worries, we'll get that to you"...most customers will respond with something along the lines of "too easy, eh, cheers!"

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

brekkie and sunnies

I'm not sure if I've ever had everything fall into place when I had little to nothing planned from the beginning. I haven't updated the blog recently because things have been happening pretty naturally and there hasn't been any major bumps in the road that our worth telling the world about. But while we're on the subject of roads...let's just say that the most difficult thing about our trip so far is learning how to cross the street. YOU try getting used to crossing a street where you look: right, left, right (I had to look out my window at the street to remind myself).. instead of the American: left, right, left. This isn't so much an issue when you're using a crosswalk..but when you're jay walking, apparently cars like to speed up when they see foreigners like us looking the wrong way. all seriousness...getting run over is the worst of our worries at this point.
 Basically, within 36 hours of being in Coolangatta...we found ourselves with jobs and a place to live. The three of us were sitting downstairs for "brekkie" with our computers, and the general manager of Komune (the resort) came over to see what our plans were for the day. We let him know that it was a top priority for all three of us to get jobs..and we asked him if we could use the front desk printer to print out a copy of our resume to take to businesses. Turns out..there was no need to print out resumes...because he ended up hiring all three of us within that same day. He asked us to come back that afternoon to get behind the bar and make him some drinks. After that successful "interview" he proceeded to tell us that all we would need to do is some paperwork and we would officially be "working migrants", as our Australian bank likes to label us. For now we're working to pay for our accommodations here, but we hope to get our own apartment as soon as we find something that has as good of a view as this one.

 There are a lot of events that Komune puts on for anything surf related...with it being owned by pro surfers, I guess it comes with the territory. Between the friends that we meet through these events and through our job here, we have pretty much decided that we couldn't be working in a better place to get to know Coolangatta. On friday night, the Electric Sunglasses company had an event here and not only was it an awesome night hanging out with the company, but I scored some new "sunnies" that will forever be my favorite pair of shades. Ironically, I had rolled over onto my old sunnies that same day, and spent that whole day trying to find a new pair. Low and behold, a sunglasses company was staying in our very same resort..and Pete, the owner, was generous enough to give me a nice new pair of sunnies. He simply looked at my face, pulled some sunnies out of his briefcase..and I was back in business.

Pete the owner would be the man in the bottom left of the picture....quite the lively group, to say the least.

Our first day of work was on Saturday. Ironically, we worked Saturday morning, and were sent to clean up after the Electric party that we had attended the night before. Talk about bad karma! We're planning to email Pete from Electric and ask him for some more free sunnies since we cleaned up after all of the partiers! Alyssa and I also had a chance to work an entire shift behind the bar that night. There was an awesome group of Aussies that came in and were pretty understanding when it came to the language barrier...Aussie drinks are not exactly comparable to American drinks.  In other words, California knows how to party, and Aussie's fancy a shot of peach schnapps as opposed to a stiff shot of whiskey. As long as I know what they're talking about when they want a "fruit tingle", it's all gravy =). 
                                          This was with one of our manager's at his going away party.
As far as friends go, we’ve met our fair share of Aussie locals, and even Americans. There’s one guy from the states that we work with at Komune, so he’s been able to show us around a little bit and we don't have any language barrier with him! We also ran into a girl working at the gelato shop down the street; turns out she used to live in Santa Barbara for about 12 years and happened to have a bunch of mutual friends with Chelsiah. We all decided at the gelato shop that it truly is a small, small world and we should therefore meet up for a beer in the next few days…
                                            These huge lizards are everywhere!! Click on the pic to check this thing out!
Now your FAVORITE’s Aussie lingo time!
“How you going?”- Nope, I did not mean to say “doing” instead of “going”. You’re probably asked this about 10 times a day. Oh, and if WE try to ask someone how they are “going”, the Aussies laugh and say something along the lines of :“Oh, so yous are on holiday?!”- and no, I did not misspell that last sentence either, they say “yous” as an abbreviation of “you guys”. And “holiday” is another word for vacation. We’re used to this now...but in those first few days, the language barrier was definitely in full force.

And here’s a bonus was pretty much the theme of this blog, so I better explain it: “Sunnies”-This one has really caught on between the three of us..because lets face it, “sunnies” is way easier to say than that longggggggg word “sunglasses”. They very rarely say “sunglasses” or any long word for that matter. If a word needs an abbreviation, leave it up to an Australian to figure that one out.