Thursday, 30 August 2012

Hitting the Ground Running

It feels like I’m doing things back to front as per usual. When I arrived in Perth I took it easy. I’d had three weeks of not working before flying out so it wasn't like I was in need of a holiday but I had been there before and seen much of the sights so I wasn't anxious to explore nor was I looking for work at that time. So there I was in a busy city taking it easy. In contrast as soon as I arrived in Broome I asked about work. I knew I had enough money to survive for three weeks without employment but obviously the sooner I started earning the better. Therefore my first day in Broome was spent checking out the local restaurants, cafes and bars and handing out my CV. This also allowed me to familiarise myself with the town layout and get a feel for the place.

My job hunt was successful. I had a trial at my first choice place and it went really well. It was quiet but they liked me well enough to put me on the books and give me some weekend shifts. In fact I worked every day for the next week.  Though I have the basic skills it’ll take me time to learn the menu and how this place does things. It’s not fine dining but it is the most formal place I’ve worked so far and I like it. It’s got the small town feel I liked at the restaurant I learned in back home and I prefer the formality of this place to the casual dining of The Restaurant I worked in whilst in Perth. The staff here are more of a mix than The Restaurant.  There are some long term staff but mostly its backpackers filling the part time rolls where as in The Restaurant it was uni students. Don’t get me wrong I spent enough time as a student so I have nothing against them but these days I have more in common with the backpackers. I don’t think it ever occurred to the girls in The Restaurant that I might be educated never mind to what level. Anyway this place did ask how long I planned to stay and I said as long as there was work but really all they asked was that I give them notice when I plan to go. Since I have never left a job without giving notice this is one commitment I am happy to make.

One of the staff mentioned that there might be a room available but I found myself reluctant to take it. I like the hostel. I have made myself at home in my room and already I’ve grown used to the comings and goings of the other guests.  I’ve not had the chance to get to know any people yet but I’ve started to say hi to folk and swap small talk with some of the more obvious long term guests. I think if I moved now I would regret it and would miss out a large part of what I love about travelling, meeting folks. There is one girl in my room who is here long term. She works a lot but is friendly when our paths do cross. The girls passing through have been a mixed bag. There was an older Swiss lady who was on her 16th visit to Australia and was stopping in Broome between tours. She was lovely and was happy to give advice on which tours to take and when to take them to get the most from the region. There was a younger Swiss girl who was also stopping between tours who I also got on with but after I started working I hardly saw her. Then there was an Asian, and English and Australian girl. Out of thee I only really had a chance to talk to the Australian. She was visiting from the east coast and had a week of day tours lined up. I would loved to have heard about them but again I’ve hardly seen her as I’ve been working most evenings! The English girl was stopping for a week of sun and fun and the other girl I didn’t get a chance to talk to except to complain that the hostel hadn’t fixed the fan in our room, prematurely it turned out as the engineers turned up within the next hour to fix it. We have two empty beds now and I am looking forward to see who will take them over next.

Though I have been working it’s mostly been evening shifts thus allowing m the chance to do some exploring during the day. The older Swiss lady told me about a market that was held every weekend and said it was worth visiting so I decided to walk there on Saturday morning. On my way out of the hostel I met the younger Swiss girl and we walked there together. It was nice to chat but we parted way on arrival as she was meeting friends and I had other plans. See, Saturday is my naughty day. It’s the start of my weight watchers points so I usually allow myself a treat out of my weekly points. I had decided to walk to McDonalds to treat myself to a Malteser McFlurry after the markets. Not a great plan I admit but one I was looking forward to. The markets were indeed worth seeing and I could easily have spent a fair whack of my money there but I was restrained and contented myself with looking for the moment. I then went for my McFlurry and internet fix since McDonalds also has the virtue of free wifi. Usually I don’t need it but when I went to top up my internet I discovered the sim had been disconnected the day before as I had not topped it up for the last six months. A quick call and a new sim was on its way but I would have to wait a few days before it arrived. Until then it was McDonalds and hostel internet. Since the hostel internet is extortionately expensive my online activity was severely restricted for my first week in Broome. As usual I got caught up in facebook and before I knew it I had to return to the hostel to get ready for my evening shift.

During the week I discovered that the laundry here is closed in the morning. On questioning the receptionist about alternatives I discovered that there was a Coles in town. Coles and Woolworths are alike Asda and Tesco back home and like most folk I have my preference and for me it’s Coles. I think it’s cheaper and their fruit and veg selection is better.  Therefore before work on Sunday I was happy to wander up to Coles to do a weekly shop. On my way I realised I had missed out a large part of the town in my previous wanderings. The town isn’t large so that meant maybe a dozen shops but still it was half the town centre! I shall definitely be returning once I get paid to try out some of the cafes and visit some of the more interesting shops. Of course that could take a while. I get paid fortnightly and since I started just before payday I have to wait just over two weeks for my first pay. Thanks to my savings from The Restaurant I won’t have to sleep on the beach and I won’t starve but neither will I be dining out or buying anything new for a while. I guess it’s enforced savings which in all honesty isn’t a bad thing. 

I was suppose to have a day off on the Monday but agreed to do a small evening shift which allowed me enough time to do my laundry and since I couldn’t do that until the afternoon it gave me the whole morning to explore. I was woken at 7am by the garbage trucks which suited me fine as it meant by 8am I was up, dressed, fed and out of the hostel. I had to make a quick stop at work to get my phone but then it was back to town beach where I gave my camera a proper workout. In fact I spent so long photographing the beach and the walk to it from my work that it was 10am before I was on my way to my actual destination for the day, the dinosaur footprints. If you know me well then you will know that I love dinosaurs, I’m like a 5 years old kid the minute you mention them. Unfortunately because I took so long getting there the tide was coming in so I couldn’t see them however the stunning scenery kept me entertained and it was still worth the walk. The nice thing about being here for a while is knowing I can go back and time my journey better next time so that I have a better chance of seeing them. I also saw an Osprey nest and again put my camera to good use zooming in as close as I could to try get a better look and capture it. So entranced by my surroundings was I that it was 2pm before I was back at the hostel and I had to rush to get my washing on. Fortunately there was a free machine and space on the line. I also took the opportunity of the hot weather to wash out my small rucksack which was definitely overdue. The hot weather also meant that despite my late start my uniform was ready just in time for work. You gotta love a tropical climate.

The next day my system got a double shock. The first was a 6am start as I had my first breakfast shift. We were down a member of staff but I think I did ok and I got to finish at 3pm leaving me at a bit of a loss at what to do with myself. It was at this point my system received its second shock as I used my staff drink to taste all our speciality beers. I only had large shot of each beer but seven of them was enough to make me feel decidedly light headed and I felt quite ‘floaty’ on the walk back to the hostel. Once there I had an early dinner and decided to take myself off to my room to read a book. It might not have been the most exciting evening ever but after my hectic week it was a well deserved rest.  

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