Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Finally the luck bug has hit me square on in the forehead, and I like it!
So I got it, the house of dreams I mean. I went for the interview and was strangely nervous, nothing to do with the fact that I had built this up into monumental proportions in my head or anything….
So the other guys in the house seem very chilled and lovely, they showed me round the palatial weatherboard house, with generous back garden complete with overflowing, bountiful veggie patch…yes, that’s right a veggie patch…this house is more Byron than the one I had IN Byron!
My room has high ceilings and more than enough room to swing several litters of kittens. Plus, I have access to a small, shared studio with one of the other girls who is a print maker….cant wait to ferret amongst the trash to see what sort of easel I can knock up. I am having the most overwhelming urges to paint big canvases, and low and behold, here is a house where I can do just that! I keep having these visions that I should paint the colourful, wonky stories that come up when ever I write poetry… so this is my inspiration.
So Iain, called me this morning to say that yes, they had picked me to move in and would I like to move in tonight…to which I of course replied “yes please.”
Tonight, my friends, is a big night for me, for the first time since December12th 2010 I will be sleeping within my very own (well, rented) 4 walls!.... I shall have my own bed, and I shall ceremonially be unpacking my suitcase for the first time in 3 months! this brings a slight tear to my eye I must confess as the excitement overwhelms….
I shall now over the next few days endeavour to fill my roomy nest with all things lovely, including incense, pretty flowers and loving thoughts.
As a celebration, today I ventured to Crossways the Hari Krishna place on Swanston Street, which I had been informed of thru my dear friend Helen who swore by their chocolate pudding.
I piled in thru the tiny door and was herded up the stairs with the other 20 odd people who all had the same idea at 1.45pm on a Thursday afternoon. We walked into the long thin room, which was filled with wooden tables. At one end, stood the glowing hot ban maree full of bubbling dahl and mountains of fluffy rice. Each and every person in the room was smiling contentedly to them selves, and the workers were all singing along to the Krishna chants, while handing out fresh flower garlands. A huge jolly looking man with a bindi came over to me and handed me one he had just finished threading and said, “for you, to make you smile!” and it did all right. The smell was incredible and I felt truly lucky to have been given a gift of such intricate delicacy, which smelled so heavenly. I vowed to keep it and hang it in my room as soon as I moved in. A Hari Krishna, flower garland that has been officially blessed, not much of a better house-warming gift than that I say!
So I dutifully qued up and paid my 6 dollars 50, to be handed an enormous plate of yummy tofu and vegetable dahl, along with a pile of rice and crumbled popadoms sprinkled over the top. Next I was given a sizeable bowl of coconut and raspberry pudding with a river of thick vanilla custard, and then on to the drink station to collect a glass of water and a deliciously yoghurty lassi.
No veganism for me today im afraid!
After a week of living on fruit and ryvitas, I pretty much inhaled the meal in one go. Trying my best to pace myself, as I knew that the hot spicy concoction would shock my tummy, I savoured each mouthful and reminded myself, that as this meal had been made with love, that this was the manor in which I should eat it. Having said that I was bloody hungry.
So after possibly the most satisfying meal ever, I took my squeaky clean dishes over to the washing station, thanked the big jolly man very much for my flowers and food, and floated out on a cloud of hari hari love, and in need of a gastric bypass.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Today I write, dear ones, thru a blue fuzzy Macintosh screen. My computer has obviously decided that I write far too much bullshit, far too often, and has chosen to don its jade tinted glasses for the better part.
This has me crossing fingers, toes, legs and arms in a fancy ‘Eagle’ like yoga pose, when ever I turn on said machine, in the hope that after a good nights sleep the blue fuzz will have miraculously disappeared.
The first thing I want to talk about today are the, without fail, symptoms that my body vomits up each and every time I reside in a city, or overtly urban area:
1. the desire to eat, fly’s ceremonially out of the window,
2. therefore I loose weight. Not in a graceful yogic, athlete sort of way, but in that heroine chique, starvation kind of way that leaves me with dark circles under my eyes and cracked lips…not attractive….
3. my skin turns into a barren wasteland of perished epidermis that fades day by day, until any sign of luscious Byron Bay sunkissedness, is banished by the pale, flaky cloak of the smoggy city.
4. my hair smells like a fast food chain, pretty much 24hours a day. My treasured locks act as a sort of sponge for foul back street odours, that replay over as I lye in my bed ready to sleep.
5. each and every muscle in my body aches, or has bunched up into a tangled knot of pressure, due to the lack of yoga, and the increase in traipsing the city streets daily, in an endless bit to save myself the $3 tram fare.
And that my lovelies is how one creates “the Melbourne/ London/ Sydney/ New York look”.
So I started my new job yesterday at Naked Treaties, an entirely organic range of yummy cakes and treats that are entirely raw, gluten, sugar and dairy free… today I got to sample the cheese free, berry cheesecake and my god… this is a reason to turn vegan I swear….
So this morning I, once again, made the half hour walk from my hostel to the Naked Treaties kitchen in Collingwood.
It is a pleasant walk thru the little park, along Gertrude and Brunswick street and over to Smith Street. This way I get to look in all the windows of the shops and indulge myself on the smells of freshly baked muffins and fresh frothy coffee that I cannot afford, like one of the lost boys at the imaginary feast.
Speaking of depressive monetary conditions, I just had THE most exasperating supermarket journey…. I made may way to the ludicrously priced ‘Coles express’ next to Melbourne central train station, to purchase 1 apple, 1 banana, 1 small tin of tuna and 2 mushrooms…I shall explain:
the apple is to prevent scurvy, the tuna is my only source of protein, and since I am spending most of day at the library (which is incredibly strict on food policies) I shall not be regained access with half a packet of ryvitas in my bag…so I chose mushrooms to use as an alternative cracker/sponge like device….. and of course, the banana is pudding.
Please remember my friends, that this is my food allowance for the day, and so I look forward to this small ritual with and increasing intensity as the day wears on. I trotted out of the most expensive supermarket in the world, and plonked myself down on the grass outside the library with my tummy already complaining…. as my excited fingers fumbled to crack open the tiny tin, I gasped with disbelief. This, was not the tin of lemon and pepper tuna that I always eat, no sir, this faker was covered in a dubious white, creamy substance that upon further inspection was infact…mayonnaise! uuuurgh! i couldn’t believe it, my one vaguely filling course was ruined by a few measly bits of sweet corn, and a dollop of factory reproduced mayo…bastard.
Deflated, I bit into my royal gala apple, “you’re a shabby substitute for my tuna” I sighed. Still, I tried to salvage what was left of my teddy bears picnic, and nibbled my core down to the pips, sucking every inch of juice from its carcass. On to the banana, desert, and once again, a more filling portion of my meal, that, I retold myself for the umpteenth time, “contains potassium, that stops your muscles from cramping and lines your stomach”….a daily fact that, somehow, elevates the banana to ‘king of the fruit world’ in my eyes. I peeled back its leathery jacket, making sure to get the stringy stuff that clings with determination to the main attraction, like a bad warm up act. I carefully broke away the first inch and looked down to find “NOOOOOOO!” my fruit of the loom was BAD!......
By this point I was actually fighting back the tears, and was ready to pack my bags and go home…. “Right” I said to myself thru gritted teeth “that’s it, there has got to be some good luck for me soon…surely?!....”
So there you have it for now. I am now readying myself to go and see 2 houses tonight…I am hoping 1 of them works out well, especially after my tunary banana afternoon….
Sunday, February 20, 2011
I had previously been warned about the weather in this funny city, and it has not failed to comply.
An overcast gloomy morning awoke me with an icy wind that whistled thru my bones making both my nose run, and my hair insanely greasy upon impact.
After checking out, collecting my $30 deposit and filling out the feedback form with a true honest grit, I stumbled out of “Hotel Disappointment” with my bulging suitcase, royal blue holdall, mould colored back pack and navy velvet jacket clutched around my midriff to try and block some of the arctic tundra that assaulted me at every step.
I toddled up the road and clattered, sheepishly, back into the ‘Space’ reception area. The receptionist checked me in straight away, no waiting until 2pm for me….see, I always knew they were lovely there…..and I was surprised to find I had been booked into exactly the same room as a few days ago.
So I headed for the lift, this time chuckling to myself as I left track marks in the brick dust, and up to level 1.
I opened my door to find the room occupied by two Italian girls who had quite made themselves at home by stealing the pillows from all 6 beds, and were having a good ol gossip. I felt I had interrupted something as they sort of jumped as I launched thru the door. They quickly ran around replacing all the bedding and moving their bags so I could squeeze past. This time I headed to the last bed in the row, under the window (I say window, tho it is actually covered completely by scaffolding, there for, eradicating any light what so ever) one of the Italians had taken my bed from last time in the middle row, I was glad as I felt a little more nest like, in the corner.
I bundled my case and bag into the lockable cupboard, and revelled in the cleanliness of the room for a minute, before grabbing my backpack, water bottle, jacket umbrella and gloves (yes gloves!!) and headed to the library.
Now I shall digress slightly to yesterday.
So after my horrific night listening to the soundtrack of ‘Foreign Fornication and the Irish Boys’, I headed straight out of the door at around 8am.
I immediately burst into tears and reached for the phone to call my dear friend Oliver, who always manages to make the right noises in theses situations. He met the brief with gusto, cooing calming words down the line, which eventually dried up my leaky bulbs and even managed to raise the corners of my mouth into a vague, puffy eyed, smile.
We chatted for a while before I had to head to catch the train to Thornbury to check out a potential house.
I slumped back into the train seat and closed my eyes, repeating my daily manta of “it wont be like this forever, it wont be like this forever, just roll with it Sally.”
As the carriages clattered on I viewed each stop thru he window, imagining what it would be like to live there and surveying the ‘grimyness/sallyness’ of each potential suburb.
Eventually we arrived at Thornbury and I departed to find the house. After an hour chatting with Sam, the potential housemate, I had decided that this house wasn’t for me. Altho it was lovely and she was great, it just wasn’t right. I bid her adieu clutching the umbrella she generously donated and clasping a bin liner over my backpack to prevent soggy laptop syndrome.
I had, however, been totally convinced that Thornbury was a great area to live. Quiet, running tracks and park land near by, 30 min bike to the city, farmers market, and close to Northcote and Fitzroy….sold to the lady with the puffy eyes.
So the search continues….
Once again, food becomes immaterial somehow whenever I am stressed and poor, so, aware that I had been living on Ryvitas for the past 3days, I treated myself to a rather sizeable bento box of sushi which I then drooled over whilst staring out of the restaurant window, over to Flinders street train track. I then walked along the river bank as the sun set, chatting, for the second time that day, to my dear friend from Byron about the days events, it was almost like he was there with me……...almost.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
20th feb 2011 – Melbourne
And so, back to the blog she goes.
a very quick recap for you all…… so I hot footed it out of Nelson within the two week mark, headed to Melbourne for a quick 14 day holiday of drunken stupidity with my dear friend Jess and then, finally, headed with the most enthusiasm I had had in the entire month, back to my beloved Byron, where my beautiful friends awaited me with open arms and knowing smiles, they had, of course all been following my hallowed tales dans la blog.
In between the tequila shots and champagne that Melbs held for me, I also stumbled upon a hairdressing course that far outweighed the measley looking one amongst the strip clubs and Mc Donalds of the Gold Coast.
Back in Byron I decided that this was the course for me, so after a lengthy enrolment process, and the visa complications that I live my life by, I am finally here, back in the city of Melbourne.
Alas, things never work out quite as dream like as one hopes….. for one, the shock of the city is one that im not sure I will ever get used to. Within 10 minutes of ‘Sal in the City’ I was sneezed on by a, not entirely clean looking, woman. I then headed to my school to say hi and collect/drop off some paperwork. Upon entering the school I was confronted by 10 “Shazzas” (as my friend Jessica would call them) half a dozen of the beasts were more than overweight, with the customary hacked off mullet hair doo, token blonde streaks gleaming in the neon salon lighting, in the over straightened fringe…… “my god, what have I done!” I thought rather loudly to myself, this thought was accompanied by a matching facial expression I am sure.
As I reached for my paper bag to prevent hyperventilation, Colleen, the school accounts lady, swooped in and ushered me upstairs to sign away my life for the next 18 months….oh well….im sure it’ll all work out.
As far a as accomadation is concerned I have had even less luck.
I had already booked into the aptly named ‘Space’ hostel for 2 nights. Upon arrival I realised that the ‘space’ part, was mainly because it was still under construction…. a building site, complete with dust sheets and brick dust throughout.
my shared room happened to be with 5 other boys. Stark white walls surrounded, with air conditioning blasting my eyeballs out. I had 2 mediocre nights sleep, after which I decided to head somewhere else…..on my way out I bid the receptionist adeau and trotted off towards the even more aptly named “Hotel Discovery”.
Now this, my dear readers was an experience to behold, and proved in everyway that Sally can pretty much cope with anything…officially.
After being checked in by the surprisingly rude Indian man at reception I headed thru the bright yellow door towards my fate. I clattered into the old rusty lift, the only way up to the 3rd floor, and clumsily stumbled around until I found room 333. I walked in and the smell hit me. Damp, sweat and teenage boys combined, to create a musty stench that lingers in the nostrils.
A rather obese man lying on one of the 4 sets of metal bunk beds rolled over and said “welcome to hotel shithole, you look far too pretty to be in here love…”
“Just like prison, its actually like prison” I thought, as my best hospitality smile spread across my face before I could stop it.
I literally dropped my bags, bundled my laptop, passport and anything else too precious to be stolen, into my backpack and bolted out the door.
I then spent the rest of the day at the library frantically searching for houses, emailing friends and family to let them know where to find my body should I not escape alive, and wandering around wishing I could disappear into one of the many book shelves, nestled safely between the warm musty pages.
This was followed by yet another bag of liquorice (my second in two days..my only comfort, and source of food right now) and a walk thru the city streets, day dreaming of having my own little studio hidden down one of the many cobbled back streets, far away from backpackers and obese people alike.
By 7.30pm I had been walking for a good 4 hours and decided I had to head back and face the music at some point. Back at “Hotel Disgusting” I headed up to the room of sin. A rather disjointed german couple had joined the scene. He, a scrawny looking 19 year old with bad highlights and a love of cheap aftershave, and her, a rather rotund looking female, was squeezing herself zealously into a rather snug LBD with the help of said boyfriend, who was now sweating profusely, and with this, was leaking his terrible eau de yuck, all over the place.
“Hello” I chirruped, trying desperately to stop judging them before they had even opened their mouths.
They stared at me like I was an alien and then started whispering to each other and carried on jimmying the dress into position. I climbed onto my rickety bunk and surveyed the scene. 4 sets of equally dodgy black metal bunks were dotted around the edge of the room, the entire centre area, normally left for activity, or standing space, was filled with back packers crap…..clothes, deodorant, straighteners, shoes, hair brushes, make up and general shit.
I piled my things neatly into a corner and draped my blue velvet jacket over the whole lot in the hope it would not be either vomited on, or stolen within the next 48 hrs.
After an hour blogging with gusto, all the above reprobates had left the building headed for a night of happy slapping and rohypnol no doubt. I revelled in the silence. I then showered, brushed toothy pegs and clambered into bed to read.
“ah, not too bad” I thought to myself as I pulled the covers up to my ears and rolled over for a much needed sleep.
However, this tale could never end well, for if it did, I surely would have nothing to blog about and you, my dear readers, would never tune in.
At around 3am I stirred in my sleep aware of others in the room. As my senses returned and my ears started to tune in I recognised the familiar heavy breathing that only ever accompanies one when either climbing a very steep set of stairs, or shagging…..
I kid you not my darling ones, less that 100 meters away from me, the fat German and twiglet boy were playing ‘hide the Brotwurst’ in a very unglamourus fashion. I rolled over and covered my head with my pillow, trying to drown out, not only the sounds of the muskrat love, but also the ear piercing, glass smashing, blood curdling screams that were playing over and over in my head as I tried desperately to think of anything else and return to my happy place.
Once the carnal urges had ‘surpassed’ shall we say, both of the offenders konked out immediately snoring like villians while I was left feeling dirty and abused like some sort of victim of mental rape.
Slowly but surely sleepyness arrived once more and I welcomed it with open arms….
4am, now this one really took the proverbial biscuit…..
3 loud, loutish, Irish youths barged into our room, smashed the light on, and started screaming at each other in their slurred Gaylic tongue. Startled, I woke immediately, pulled my sheets up around me as a sort of protective nest, and reached for Unyun in the fear they may trample him, should he throw himself to his mercy.
The tiresome threesome then proceeded to shout at each other, whilst brawling on the floor. Im not sure quite how, but one of them ended up naked, the other two then pounced on him, laughing and slapping his scrawny irish body. The sound track to this was that of burping, bordering on vomiting noises, and loud boyish farts which they were aiming at each other faces, whilst howling with laughter.
After 30 minutes of this the hoodlums finally make their ways to bed, only ot pass out instantly and spend the rest of the night drowning in alcohol laced spittle.
I awoke this morn not a happy bunny. One of the boys woke up at my alarm which, I must say, I let ring a little longer than normal, a slight revenge but one all the same.
“Morning” he muttered.
No apology, nothing. I simply glared at the disgusting figure of a male that was slumped before me, climbed down the edge of the bunk, collected my showering implements and stormed out of the door.
After scrubbing myself industriously, drying and dressing, I headed back to the cess pit, where lay the slumbering 6 people I disliked the most at that precise time.
I grabbed my backpack from the locker I had safely locked, and kept the keys tied to my person all night, and headed to reception to complain, then out onto the streets to begin house hunting…it was 7.30am on Sunday morning…..