Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Total Eclipse

I'm still job hunting, but am having pretty much the exact same results as before.  I do have hope for a job with Tjapukai though because Agatha has a friend who works there and said they need people.  Agatha gave her my resume and a recommendation and her friend is to give my resume to her boss.  I still haven't received a call and it's been a few days, but hopefully I can at least get an interview - that would feel like progress.  I called about a job yesterday (I thought it was the first day the ad had been in the paper) and was told they'd already short-listed applicants and had received over 50 responses over the weekend!!  I've got some stiff competition apparently.  I knew that Cairns had the highest unemployment rates in the country, but figured they would WANT to hire people just short term, but I guess it's not like in the states where they can hire you as a temp and pay you less.  Ugh, enough of that useless insight into the current job market.  Shoko called yesterday and I'll be working Tuesday and Thursday of next week.  Sadly, when you add up the hours from those 2 days it equals the same pay as I'd get for only working my usual Wed. shift (Wed. are field trip days so I usually get paid to go along).  Oh well, it will give me something to do.

       Things at the hostel are a bit, how shall I put this, uncertain.  Agatha, Alicia, and Jay all got fired last week (apparently the hostel just isn't doing well enough financially to employ them anymore), so this is their last week here.  Now Tim (the manager) will be doing everything those three did (which is impossible).  He was to cover the morning shift the last few days and yesterday when I left to go to Tai-Chi around 6:45 reception still wasn't open (and therefore breakfast hadn't been put out).  I debated whether I should at least just put out the breakfast for the sake of everyone else that lives there, but decided against it.  When I got back a bit after 8am I ran into Lou and his wife Lesley, she told me she had just put out breakfast for everyone that was waiting.  Agatha told me the other night that, basically, if things get too unbearable here with the chaos and disorganization, I can always come live with her and Alicia.  She said she feels bad leaving me here and she's still my friend.  It was so incredibly sweet of her - I just love those two.  There's also rumors flying around that we're all going to be moved into one building (there are 3) because of renovations or something.  Agatha hinted as much to me and someone this morning told them Tim had said something similar to them.  No time-line for such a thing, but it will probably happen all in one day with not real prior warning.  I try not to worry about it - it would definitely be easier if I had another job though.  Then I could just move back to the Cairns Girls hostel and pay for my room.  Granted, I'm sure there are other hostels in town that do work for accommodation, I could always try to find one of those.

Tuesday night we finally had our dinner at Iyara.  Rith lives with the Thai family that owns the restaurant, so the last time we'd gone out to dinner (spontaneously) we decided we should make a plan to visit Iyara since none of us had tried it and Pukari was really keen.  It took awhile before we could get our four schedules to coincide and we hoped to invited some others once we had a date.  In the end Emma had to work so she couldn't come, but Caterina (mine and Pukari's new friend from volleyball) said she'd love to come and she brought a friend from work so we had an even six.
 It was very fun and worked out well because everyone at the table at least knew someone else even if they didn't know everyone in the group (if that makes sense).  The restaurant is one the esplanade and is on the second floor: our table was on the balcony with a view of the palm trees, footpath, and water beyond.  After a delicious dinner we all decided to get some gelato and take a walk towards the pier.  It was nice to get to know everyone better and we decided we should definitely all go bowling sometime since Rith is still unable to play volleyball because his arm is in a cast.  Caterina wants to go to the movies some night and Pukari told her if she plans it we'd come.  She said if she plans it she gets to pick the movie as well, and I agreed that it was only fair, but there was some protest from the boys - I think they're afraid she'll pick a chick-flick or something.  It was a great evening, and even though it was way more than I'd normally every pay for a meal it was worth it.

Last night was a lunar eclipse (found out that tidbit of information from Caterina at dinner Tuesday night) but I totally forgot until I arrived at the waterfront to see the amazing full moon shining overtop the hill and illuminating the water.  Caterina's reminder to bring my camera the night before hadn't made enough of an impression I guess, because I'd arrived without it and didn't want to walk all the way back.  Thankfully, the courts have the perfect vantage point so I was able to see the whole thing, start to finish while playing volleyball.  Multi-tasking at its finest.  Anyway, a bit of background is in order for my non-Australian readers (which I'm quite certain is all of you): there's a well-known Australian chant/cheer often heard at sporting events:

You might remember hearing it during the Sydney Olympics.  Well, Rocky and Casey decided to change it up a bit last night and quite often when the ball was coming my way, or after I'd served, one or both would start "Abbie, Abbie, Abbie!"  It was pretty comical, since I'm pretty sure neither of them are Australian.  Wednesday nights are usually the quietest nights on the courts and last night was no exception.  Somehow after having already played for about 3 hours I was roped into playing two-on-two.  We'd just finished a game, and quite a few people left afterwards, so there were only 4 of us - the other court was full with Scott, Cindy, Alec, Lightt, and the gang.  Ari and Ben weren't ready to call it quits for the night (boys....always raring to go) so Katia and I split up and agreed to give it a try.  Ari and I lost the first game so we had to play a second "revenge" game.  We lost that one as well and Ben said we should play best out of 5.  It definitely wasn't evenly matched because I am terrible at setting the ball and Katia can - when playing 2-on-2 that's pretty important.  We lost the third and so I figured that was that (and said as much), but Ari and Ben immediately decided we should just play five games (they must be in better shape than I am).  Ari and I lost our fourth in a row and then finally managed to win the 5th game.  Once again, I figured we were finally done (five back-to-back games of two-on-two is very exhausting) but Ben wanted to play until they'd won 5 games!  I protested and thankfully was saved by the security patrol shutting off the lights for the night.  It was a really good workout though and I had to have sweated off a few pounds as well.

Whew!  This was one of those days where I felt as if I didn't have much to blog about, but knew it had been awhile so I should at least try.  Now I'm looking at all I've written and realized more has happened in the last few days than I thought!  I'm to be training a new guy in reception all weekend, so hopefully that goes well.

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