Northern Territory Australia

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Spent some time with Todd who was our driver/guide on the Great Ocean Road tour for the past couple of days, he took me sightseeing around Adelaide’s suburbs and to the beach with his spoodle dog Flin, then he dropped me at the Ghan Train station to make my epic 25 hour train ride to Alice Springs. Luckily Todd gave me a pillow and book to take which ended up as complete lifesavers. I was sat next to a 80 year old man who luckily got off at the only other stop 4 hours into the journey, so I had the 2 seats to myself for the other 20 hours. Obviously getting the cheapest backpacker seats available meant they were reclining and no beds, and the buffet cart was overpriced and the food was crap, everything had cheese and plane food is better, and the scenery was not even that impressive, but hey, I’ve been on the Ghan!! I managed to lay squashed across the 2 seats and get a couple of hours sleep on and off. They provided 1 shower for the entire carriage I was in, so most of us opted out of taking a scanky shower and catching verruca’s and decided to wait until we got to our accommodation, plus they had 1 female and 1 male toilet between tons of us. I bet the money loaded passengers in the ‘Premier’ section had a whale of a time!! Got to Alice Springs and got picked up and taken to ‘Alice Lodge’ hostel where I’m staying. It’s quite cute and chilled out with a pool (it’s really hot!!) and it’s like the hostels in Northern Queensland. I met up with Paul from Adelaide and his Aussie mate Melody he met in America, and we went for dinner in Bojangles in town. I had the mixed grill which consisted off crocodile, kangaroo, buffalo, emu and camel, and it was gorgeous!! We then had a few drinks and it was a proper outback Aussie saloon, very American (never been to USA but can imagine), and they even had a smoking section inside!! Me and Paul were so impressed and sat at a table drinking and smoking happily, it felt so surreal to be fagging it in a pub, and it was fab!! He and Melody had to be up early to go on a tour, but Paul’s like me and kept having another after another, we were having too much fun. It’s a shame he’s gone now because it felt like we’d been mates for years. I love it when you meet and click with certain people and it feels like you have known them for 20 years, and that happened with both Todd and Paul, and now we’ve all b*****ed off in different directions. Oh well, that’s travelling for you.

Started my cleaning work at the hostel to pay for accommodation, and it’s such a breeze, 1.5 hours of cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, bargain! Then took a walk up to Anzac hill to get views across this outback town. It’s Good Friday so everywhere is shut today, but I’ll be kicking back and relaxing here for a while.

Well not too much has happened here in the outback, apart from the fact I am being driven to the brink of total insanity by the b****** desert flies that constantly bombard your face, and the mutated giant marching ants that are EVERYWHERE!. Paul came back from his tour on Monday and we hit the bars and sank more jaeger bombs. Sightseeing wise I have visited the Royal Flying Doctors Services, which is all about how they get medical help to the people in the outback (remember the programme Flying Doctors when we were kids???). People out in the middle of nowhere are equipped with medical boxes and charts of the anatomy, they can phone up the doctor a million miles away, describe the symptoms and the doctor will prescribe medication over the phone according to the anatomy chart. The bottles are only labelled with letters, so people do not medicate themselves without knowing what the hell they are taking, so the doctor will say “take 2 of medication B twice a day” – sweet. Then went to the National Pioneers Women’s Hall of fame, which is all about what the women did in the setting up days of townships in the outback, and how much they have come on. Also went to the Old telegraph Station after a dusty trek up the Todd River which is always dry, and this shows how the first telegraph cables were put in and the isolation these first settlers lived in, so people could actually communicate from the outback to the rest of the world in less than 6 months. It’s so interesting so see how these people survived in the middle of nowhere with hardly any supplies, and being so isolated from everywhere else in the world. Then saw the ‘Residency’, which is a period dwelling of the first government building in Alice. There are hardly any normal paths here, apart from the shopping Centre, most of the paths are red dust dirt tracks, which is a pain in the backside when wearing flip flops as you constantly kick stones out from your shoes, and your feet are turned red/brown with dust, and your busy flapping your arms about wildly and screaming abuse because of the god damn flies! What is their purpose in life???? Seriously! They regroup and hatch plans of military style attack, and the same one will flap in your face and buzz in your ear for about 30 minutes when trekking back from town. I HATE them so much with a burning passion. Anyway, had a job interview at the Lasseters Hotel/Casino, it was for waitressing, but after seeing I have 6 years bar experience, they offered me the bar job the next day. I start Monday. Obviously wooed them with my sparkling personality and dazzling sense of humour! Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!

What I love about the Aussies here is that instead of saying “How’s it going?”, they say “How’s it goern?”. Goern. What a fantastic word. They are very friendly here and like to tell you their life stories and the life stories of their entire families. There is never any sense of rush, they can talk for hours and hours, so there is no point in being in a hurry for anything because you will never get there in time. This evening one of the Irish guys that works reception (there are 2, the Irish guy PJ runs it with his Polish wife), but it’s the other one who’s name I can’t remember, and after being here for a week I think it would appear rude to ask him again, but anyway, he’s about 7 foot tall, long ginger hair and ginger beard, but a really sound bloke, he cracked open his bottles of cider and asked me to join him when he knocked off his shift, so we sat drinking cider, smoking cigarettes and putting the world to rights. Now this morning when I was cleaning the kitchen, I put the sign outside in the middle of the door to not go in as floors are wet. I then went about the bathrooms, then had a shower when I’d finished. As I came out in my towel PJ the boss stormed up to me and ordered me to mop the kitchen floor again as people had gone in when it was still wet and got mud all over the floor. He then said the sign wasn’t in front of the door, so how were people supposed to know. (DOH – I do the same routine every morning!!) I insisted the sign was in front of the door quite clearly (which it damn well was!), and informed him that someone must have moved it because they are vultures round here with no patience and I’m constantly being bugged when cleaning with whining voices saying “can I just put this in the fridge?”, “can I just get some water?”, etc., and it’s like NO, GO AWAY IM CLEANING! So I said to PJ that short of bolting the doors or sticking electric wire around the kitchen there’s not much I can do as I do not have eyes in the back of my head to shoo them all away. Well – surprise surprise, this morning I was sacked from my cleaning job by PJ. He told me it would be ‘Better” if one of the other girls did it, and shock horror, there was now no more room in the Inn so I would have to move. I just stared him in the eye and said that was fine by me, got straight on the phone and arranged another hostel which is so much closer to my new job anyway. Now yesterday when I remopped I was stomping around cursing him extremely loudly, and there are loads of Taiwanese girls who wanted my job, so no doubt the fact I called the Irish p****every name under the sun got back to his attention. The other Irish guy was warning everyone I had a temper and if they messed up the kitchen I’d rip their heads off, to which I shouted in reply – TOO DAMN RIGHT. It’s a shame, I’ll miss the ginger hippy guy, he’s cool, but I hate PJ. Well I’m sure the Taiwanese girls will be happy now. They applied for my job at the hotel a week before I did, and I got the interview the same day and accepted the next, so they were sooooo annoyed. Well they can all stick the cleaning mops up their backsides.

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