Time is already flying by at an alarming speed. Work at the restaurant has been going well and I’ve really been enjoying it. Everyone I work with seems really great and the atmosphere is professional yet fun. As long as you are working – and working hard – the bosses are fine with you having a laugh along the way. I’ve been assured by a couple of members of staff that I’ll be moving up from food runner (where they have everyone start to learn the basics) to waitress soon. Unlike in Canada, where this move would result in a huge increase in income due to tips, I can probably expect only around $30 – $50 extra per night, as Australia is not a big tipping country. Serving vs. running has other benefits, one of which is simply being a bit easier on the body. My arms, shoulders, and upper back have definitely been feeling the effects of trays full of beer and platters of bratwurst. I’ve begun to combat this by scoping out yoga in my current area and signing up for a one-week unlimited introductory offer at hot yoga studio called Hom Yoga. It had been about a year since my last hot class, and I definitely got a good kick in the … abs. Most studios offer very cheap introductory rates for about a week, so I plan to just hop from studio to studio to get my yoga fix for the next six months.
A while ago, I had a conversation with someone – I think it might have been someone I was couchsurfing with – about useless superpowers. For example, a friend of mine has the uncanny ability to tell the time at any given moment, almost down to the minute. A couple of years ago, while travelling in Greece, our motley crew of temporary friends were all declared to have a power. I can’t remember all of them, but I do remember that one of my glorious powers was the power to lead the group to ugly places. In Santorini, this is quite a feat, as the island is probably on of the most picturesque places in the world. Somehow, without fail, when I was steering our wanderings, we would turn up in crumbling car parks with graffiti on the decrepit walls. I tend to be drawn to ugly places such as these, and I’m always the one taking photos of tagged dumpsters and crumbling ruins. (See Exhibit A: Greece and Exhibit B: Melbourne).
The moral of this rather unrelated story is that I think I have discovered another (somewhat more useful) power of mine: the ability to find the best coffee shops. This is a lofty statement, I know, but as I think I’ve mentioned before, I love a good coffee shop (such as The Sweatshop in Townsville). I can’t think of many places I’d rather be than curled up in an eccentric coffee shop, with mismatched everything, excellent brew, indie creativity-inducing music, and slightly hipster staff. Indeed, most of what you read was probably written in such a coffee shop, first scribbled into my trusty Moleskine notebook and then transferred to the Mac to enter it into the blogosphere. Just this weekend, I found myself drawn back to Rozelle for markets and wandering. I managed to snag a $20 wool blend pea coat in preparation for winter, its only flaw being that it is slightly too short in the sleeves. Debating a more expensive but enjoyable ferry ride vs. a cheap and boring bus ride back to the centre of the city, I wandered somewhat aimlessly until I came across The Old City. Something about its eclectic collection of pillows and record player drew me in, despite the fact that the cafe was entirely empty. About ten minutes after I arrived the place started to fill up and the owner (who had taken over only five weeks previous) announced that there would be live music that afternoon. He also asked us to have patience, as their barista had called in sick and a young (14?) barista-in-training was doing the role, so I forgave my slightly cool cappuccino. The music was great, the staff genuine, and the coffee would be excellent when this mini barista was all trained up. Most importantly, I was happy to be supporting – unknowingly at first – this new business endeavor.
Yesterday marked my 6-month anniversary in Australia, and the bones of a life reflection post have slowly started to come together. They will hopefully make their way up here sometime soon. A few days ago I added some photos to a post a couple of posts ago about Sydney, scroll down if you missed them!